Spin-Off of Worrier Thread: Stress Response

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by ronandannette, Feb 9, 2019 at 10:10 AM.


What is Your Stress Response?

  1. Fight

    4 vote(s)
  2. Flight

    4 vote(s)
  3. Freeze

    6 vote(s)
  1. ronandannette

    ronandannette I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!

    May 4, 2006
    In recent years I was informed by mental-health professionals that there are actually 3 typical emotional/physiological responses to extreme stress: Fight/Flight/Freeze. :scratchin I found this information fascinating as it really illuminated some of my own behaviors and what I observe in other people. Which one are you?


    Myself and my DS are total freezers while DH is a flight guy. Intuitively over the years I've learned to cope by pre-thinking a lot of worst-case-scenarios, which is the only way I'd have a fighting chance of being anything less than totally useless in a crisis. Since learning this was a "thing" I've also tried to gently lead my DS in this direction too because he is prone to anxiety and makes very poor decisions (or no decisions at all) when he's feeling threatened. It really explains a lot of how his late-adolescence and early-adulthood has unfolded and gives us hope for a more successful path going forward.

    DH will just rapidly remove himself either physically or emotionally, from any perceived threat, and I always though this was denial, but I see it differently now. When we're in conflict I don't pursue him too aggressively because that just makes the withdrawal worse. Little insights like this have really helped our relationships and blessedly none of us have ever been confronted by a serious disaster where our mettle would truly be tested.
  2. amberpi

    amberpi DIS Veteran

    Jul 13, 2012
    I am very much a flight person, especially in personal relationships. I hate conflict; I will leave, withdraw, run away. Professionally though, it's never a problem.

    Good thread conversation.
  3. Avatar


  4. PollyannaMom

    PollyannaMom I was a click-clack champ!!

    May 16, 2006
    That was a cool link - thanks!
    Kitty 34 likes this.
  5. BlueStarryHat

    BlueStarryHat DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    I am a Flight person. If something is going on that I can't cope with, I isolate myself somewhere-usually up in my room.
  6. vacationer1954

    vacationer1954 DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2010
    I think I lean toward "fight" rather than "flight" or "freeze", though that's probably a lot different from when I was younger. Now, though, I think I internalize a stressful situation as one that simply shouldn't be happening, and I fight back against whatever seems to be the instigator of the cause of the stress.
  7. kimblebee

    kimblebee now my thoughts will be worth 5 cents

    May 28, 2009
    I’m a fight. Like you, I think about scenarios and how to handle them. Lots of times, I will fake it til I make it. After the situation is over, or when it’s done for the day or whatever, I tend to cry to relieve the stress.
  8. gillep

    gillep DIS Veteran

    Oct 12, 2009
    I am a fight while DH is a flight. As a pp said fake it till you make it is pretty much my anthem.
  9. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2017
    I never freeze...
  10. wenrob

    wenrob DIS Veteran

    Apr 14, 2008
    Fight. If there’s a crisis I tend to jump in with both feet. When it’s over I fall apart. For me, I think it gives some sense of control over a mostly uncontrollable situation. If I’m trying to do something about it at least I’m doing. Problem is I seem to be surrounded by “flight” people who are more than happy to leave me handling it all on my own. I’m not sure if it’s a situation I created or one they threw me into. Chicken or the egg type of thing. Made for a rough time when my dad was in the hospital and then passed. I still feel a little bruised by it all and maybe a teeny bit resentful.
    marcyleecorgan and Turksmom like this.
  11. neverlandsky

    neverlandsky DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 2017
    Fight always first. Then once the situation is over it’s flight for me because I need to cope and decompress.
  12. Kitty 34

    Kitty 34 Hums in her sleep

    Feb 16, 2000
    Depends on the situation for me, but for the most part I would be flight. Freeze would be totally last for me.
    Micca likes this.
  13. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

    Dec 5, 2000
    This sounds a lot like me. I'm terrible at fighting or arguing so I refuse to participate. As for stress response I just deal with it the best I can. I'm not very good at that either so I just try not to get stressed.:)
  14. scrhsa

    scrhsa DIS Veteran

    Apr 14, 2014
    My dd and I always say fight, flight or crumple. We are crumplers. You know, kind of like those fainting goats !?! :) My dd jokes and says she'll just lay down in a fetal position and let whatever happens happen. She says its just easier and less stressful :)
    marcyleecorgan and Turksmom like this.
  15. Snowysmom

    Snowysmom <font color=darkorchid>If they say "That's interes

    May 11, 2003
    I usually am a fight person. I am pretty good with taking care of things in a crisis. If it is a disagreement with DH or kids etc I will tend towards flight. I do not like personal conflict.
  16. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

    Apr 29, 2009
    Totally depends on the situation....

    Overall I would have to say fighter, whatever it takes to protect my family and myself... if there was a way to flee safely then yes of course, if not or no way out... I'm going to protect my family and fight to the last breath...

    In my professional career, I would pick my battles, let the little things slide, major stuff ...nope

    DH and I live by a few things - one being Drama Free is the Life for Me... we just stay away from drama...

    DH was a fireman in his early adult years, he handles extreme stress and crisis situation very well... I worked in health care, and have training in what to do in some crisis or life saving situations. We both feed off each other for strength in these situations or when crisis happens.

    While something is happening... I am right there doing what has to be done, now after the dust settles and everything is over is when I have that flight response...

    So protector, fighter, survivor...
  17. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    I realized mine was flight when I was at my friend’s house in high school, we were home alone, when suddenly we heard someone rummaging around in the next room. My friend completely froze; I couldn’t get her to move from the door, meanwhile I jumped up, threw open the window, pushed out the screen and finally convinced her to follow. When we ran around to the front we realized her mom had just come home to get something she’d forgotten :faint:
  18. design_mom

    design_mom probably more like my dad than I care to admit

    Feb 1, 2007
    Gosh, I don't know... I think it depends.

    I think I'm an avoider as much as possible (so I guess that's flight). There are a lot of times that I won't get my way because I'd rather let the other person have their way and avoid confrontation. Sometimes I regret it, because sometimes I feel like certain people take advantage of that.

    If confrontation is unavoidable or important enough that avoiding isn't a good option, then I'll fight. So that might be my secondary. I don't usually freeze, but similar to the OP I tend to pre-think scenarios so maybe that's my way of avoiding freezing? I don't know.

    My DH is a definite freezer though (I would have called it "flight" but I guess it's more of a freeze if there are 3 options). And I think my kids are both fighters. When DD was little we used to say that out of "fight or flight" she ONLY had fight. The girl would not back down from ANYTHING ever, even when it was in her best interest to do so. Many preschool and early elementary calls because she'd gotten in skirmishes because someone tried to ditch, or took "her" crayon from the community crayon box. (I have many grey hairs from those days.) Thankfully, she's gotten more even keeled as she ages.

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