How the Flight Trauma Response Can Show Up In An Argument

When we are in conflict, it is easy to be triggered into an automatic trauma response. 


  • Maybe our partner is triggering a flashback to an old situation
  • Maybe their tone of voice feels threatening
  • Maybe the way they gestured reminded you of someone unsafe

Many things can trigger a trauma response, and they are individual to each person. We might not even know what triggered the response, just that suddenly we were unable to feel our body or that we just wanted to RUN. 

In the heat of an argument, you might need to take a break. You are allowed to take a break. It might sound like, “I need to take a break. Can I go for a 20-minute walk, and then we can continue the discussion?” It is great to have a time frame, so the other person is not left hanging, and there is an opportunity to complete what was started.

When we have RUN as a trauma response, we need to hold ourselves accountable for coming back when we say we will, even if we need to ask for more time.

If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone. Drop an emoji if this feels like you – so others know they are not alone.

Big hugs to everyone as we de-brief the trauma responses. 

Love, Jen

  • How the Flight Trauma Response Can Show Up In An Argument You want to leave the room and RUN. You might make yourself stay, but every part of you is screaming to get away. You might start fantasising about leaving the relationship and even threaten to leave the relationship. You find yourself looking for an escape route, and your eyes start to dart around. You stop listening to your partner because your sympathetic nervous system has taken over, and the thinking brain has switched off. Your mind is racing. Thoughts don’t seem to be connected logically. You feel jumpy. When they move their hand, you think they are going to lash out at you. In the moment, you are not aware of your body.