The four F’s, fight, flight, freeze and fawn: Fawn types!

Pixabay: Couleur



Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. A guide and map for recovering from childhood trauma by Pete Walker


Fawn types seek safety by merging with the wishes, needs and demands of others. They act as if they believe that the price of admission to any relationship is the forfeiture of all their needs, rights, preferences and boundaries.

The disenfranchisement of the fawn type begins in childhood. She learns early that a modicum of safety and attachment can be gained by becoming the helpful and compliant servant of her exploitive parents.

A fawn type/ codependent is usually the child of at least one narcissistic parent.

The narcissist reverses the parent-child relationship.

The child is parentified and takes care of the needs of the parent, who acts like a needy and sometimes tantruming child. When this occurs, the child may be turned into the parent’s confidant, substitute spouse, coach, or housekeeper.

Or, she may be pressed into service to mother the younger siblings. In worst case scenarios, she may be exploited sexually.

Some codependent children adapt by becoming entertaining. Accordingly, the child learns to be the court jester and is unofficially put in charge of keeping his parent happy.

Pressing a child into codependent service usually involves scaring and shaming him out of developing a sense of self.

Of all the 4F types, fawn types are the most developmentally arrested in their healthy sense of self.



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by This.shaking on September 24, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you, Marty! This fawn is trying to grow up. TS

  2. Interesting consequences out of our control as kids

    Big picture look at all the kids neglected these days

  3. We can improve and grow up happy

    Fawn types have developed skills to survive that others do not have

  4. Thanks four the input

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