10 Ways the FAWN Response Might Show up in Relationships

The Fawn response can be exhausting. We can use up a lot of energy trying to stay connected to feel safe in the relationship. Sometimes to our detriment.

It can be challenging to get enough objectivity to make a rational decision about whether the relationship is healthy or not because the fawn response is so strong. I like to remember that as children, we needed to stay connected to our caregivers to survive. If they forgot about us and didn’t feed us or take us to the doctor when we needed it, we could have died. So the intensity of the feeling to ‘stay connected or die’ is genuine.

As an adult, you might find yourself feeling ‘mad’, ‘needy’ or ‘weak’. Please know that you make sense. This is a trauma response. It is not logical. You have been wired to behave in this way since childhood. 

If this is showing up for you, know that you are not alone and that healing IS possible.