Nobody’s talking about this.
It’s the least talked about Trauma response,
yet it’s the most common.
You often hear and read content about Fight, Flight, and Freeze trauma responses.
These are adaptations we learn in childhood that keep us alive.
You’re able to read this piece of content because your Trauma Responses were successful.
But there’s one that you don’t hear much of,
because it’s so insidious and all-pervasive
that you don’t even notice you’re doing it.
You’re doing it every time you are wearing a smile in public
(pretending to be ok when you’re not.)
You’re doing it when you abandon your own needs
and volunteer to help someone when you don’t have the bandwidth.
You’re doing it when you say yes to having sex with your partner
because you don’t wan to hurt their feelings.
You’re doing it when you over-apologize to avoid an argument
(or risk displeasing someone.)
You probably even did it in some way this holiday season around family—
just to avoid conflict.
I’m talking about the “Fawn” response, which make no mistake—
is a Trauma response.
We learned how to do this as children—
in a moment of perceived threat,
to appease the other person and maintain an attachment with them,
or avoid getting hurt.
If you have ever identified as a “People Pleaser”
or a “Nice guy/good girl” then you are likely a fawner.
Fawning is: “I’ll say whatever I need to say
and be whoever I need to be in order to get my needs met.”
This is where our masks come from.
We do it with strangers.
We do it with our partner.
We do it with co-workers.
We do it with our children.
Fawning isn’t just about being overly flirtatious, charming
or laughing hysterically at someone’s jokes from whom you’re trying to win favor.
There are far more covert ways of fawning as well.
Not speaking up to share your feelings because you "don’t want to be a burden.”
Being ill and keeping it quiet because you "don’t want to upset anyone.”
Not sharing something that’s bothering you with a friend or someone your’e dating—
then letting it fester to the point where you avoid the person altogether instead of speaking up.
There are a million more.
If you can relate to any of these insidious Trauma responses,
just know that it’s not your fault.
We don’t do this consciously.
It’s often so engrained in us that fawning is a LIFESTYLE.
It’s conditioned into us as "cultural decencies.”
Ways to protect ourselves from being abused.
We abandon ourselves to be “polite” and “nice” and some even call it “manners”.
Becoming a Martyr is validated, venerated, and celebrated.
Then we wonder why we feel so resentful.
It’s because we can’t fawn without simultaneously creating resentment towards ourselves.
Then we will mistakenly project it onto others and often blame them for it.
And, over time,
the pressure builds and builds—
until we either “snap” and it explodes in dissociative rage,
or we internalize the resentment and it turns to chronic pain,
and auto-immune disorders.
Or avoidance of people in general.
Secure relationships are impossible without working through this conflict.
“I can’t have you and I can’t have me at the same time because when you are there I lose myself."
This is all too common—
and comes from an identity of Fawning we learned as a response to the threat
of losing attachments when we were children.
So the next time you hear the term “it’s in my family history” when it comes to illnesses
like digestive, thyroid, auto-immune, and reproductive issues,
check in to see if fawning is in your family history too.
Because to heal from our toxic people pleasing behaviours
will require a lot more than drugs and surgery.
It requires becoming Trigger Proof and mastering the art of Polarized Communication.
Of being able to discern your intuitive KNOWING from your Trauma responses…
When you do—
you’re able to sit with the guilt of displeasing someone.
You’re able to trust and obey your own inner voice over outside voices.
You stop giving a crap about what others think of you,
and you get to experience the freedom of living THIS ONE LIFE for yourself and what fulfills you.
Suddenly you wake up one day and see that the people around you
actually love who YOU ARE,
because you’ve dropped the mask and are real and authentic.
You realize that ONLY FROM THAT PLACE can secure relationships thrive.
This is why I’m so dedicated to getting to the upstream root cause of the problem.
Even though it’s likely the first Trauma response you were conditioned to learn,
nobody’s really talking about this,
and it’s destroying our health and relationships.
It doesn’t have to be this way anymore, and I’m committed to teaching
the tools I needed the most— so that I could create vibrant health and fulfilling relationships.
The patterns live in our bones.
It didn’t start with you,
but it can end with you.
Your wingman on the adventure,
(ending your fawning response forever….)