The "fawn response" is a term used in psychology to describe a specific coping mechanism that some individuals may exhibit when faced with stress, danger, or interpersonal conflict. It is one of the four commonly known responses in the context of the "fight, flight, freeze, or fawn" stress response model.
The fawn response involves trying to appease or please others as a way to avoid confrontation or negative outcomes. People who tend to display this response often prioritize the needs and desires of others over their own to gain acceptance or prevent potential harm. This behavior can be a survival strategy, especially in situations where direct confrontation or escape is not feasible or safe.
The concept of the fawn response has been used to describe patterns seen in individuals who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect, as it can be a way to protect oneself from perceived threats. It may also be observed in those who struggle with assertiveness or boundary-setting due to past experiences that have shaped their coping mechanisms.
It's important to note that while the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses are natural reactions to stress, they can become maladaptive if they consistently interfere with an individual's well-being and ability to engage in healthy relationships. In such cases, therapy and support may be helpful to address underlying issues and develop healthier coping strategies.