If you’ve been following me for a long time, or even just a little while, you’ll know that I talk about the fight, flight, and freeze survival strategies that we humans use to stay safe when we are in the midst of scary things that are happening to us.
These three responses are a given. They are hardwired into us. There is a reason they belong to the autonomic (automatic) nervous system.
But, there’s a fourth survival response that I don’t talk about as much, mainly because it’s not black and white, and it relies on a mixture of our survival strategies along with essential prosocial “adaptive” strategies to help us keep the peace, so to speak.
In this week’s new vlog I talk about the fawn response, and break down some of the scenarios that might lead it to surface.
Interestingly, it is thought by my mentors, namely Kathy Kain, that another form of ‘fawning’ is taking on a family member’s or partner’s illness or medical condition as a way to “keep the peace,” so we are more like them, more equal. So while this might be an adaptive response by our unconscious that helps us feel more safe emotionally, it is clearly a maladaptive strategy in the long-term, and not healthy. One could argue that “joining the social pack” when it comes to media news cycles could be a modern collective form of fawning that is doing a massive disservice to us, globally.
I hope you take some time to watch this new vlog, and consider how you and your family systems have brought on this more advanced form of survival strategy as a way of coping in the short term and keeping the peace, but at the same time, how it is not a smart evolutionary move if we want to create more nervous system regulation, personal authenticity, and global harmony in the long run.
I shared this quote on my social platforms last week and it was a big hit, so I wanted to share it here too. These words from Dr. Norman Doidge, one of the key leaders in breaking down neuroplasticity and our capacity to change, learn, and grow as humans, hits so close to home with the work I teach via my online programs and workshops.
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