I grew up learning about fight or flight ad nauseam. I blew it off. I didn’t fight, I didn’t run. I figured it didn’t apply to me, which in a way it didn’t. I eventually learned about freeze. Then I read an article by Peter Walker outlining the 4 F’s: Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn. The fawn hit me hard. I realized I found my go to survival mode. Fawn is slave like people pleasing to the extreme. I would grovel almost to please. It was scary when I started recognizing what I was doing. Others have also tracked and shared this behavior. This article hits several of the main points of fawning. https://letsqueerthingsup.com/2019/07/06/7-subtle-signs-your-trauma-response-is-to-fawn/
If you are not familiar with all four of the F words do a little research. Plenty out on the Internet but I believe Peter Walker’s book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving is one of the top reads for learning about them. This is not the first book I read about my challenges. In fact, the book wasn’t written until after I stopped counseling. Complex PTSD is still not accepted in the psychologist book DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I still struggle to not get sucked into people pleasing. It is my go-to reaction to stress. What helps me is setting boundaries, “no” is a complete sentence, and a person asking me to set aside my values for them is not my friend. I continue to work on my skills to be human. Learning how I respond to stress and what I can do to counteract it, makes a difference.