If babies gave up as adults do, we’d all be still crawling on all fours
We’ve all done both in relationships, I’m sure.
I know I have and, to be honest, the flight is the one I’m most ashamed of.
It’s the easiest one to take and the one we shouldn’t be opting for.
My second wife Pam Allen chooses Flight most often and admits she did so even in her previous marriages.
It is a shame to be on the receiving end, since any relationship resolution has a habit of going nowhere.
Why do people prefer not to stand up and fight for what is meaningful in a relationship?
Why Not Just Fly When It Gets Too Tough?
The fight-or-flight response (also called the fight-or-flight-or-freeze response, hyper-arousal, or the acute stress response) was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.
His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognised as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.
(via Fight-or-flight response – Wikipedia, the free Encyclopaedia)
Relationship Problems Are Easier To Simply Avoid
As humans, when we’re interacting with others and especially when we’re faced with an argument or problem with our partner, we’ve grown up in a society where we often opt for the easy solution.
It’s easier to take flight than to be faced with problem solving, an ongoing and lengthy negative environment: with a very uncertain outcome.
We’re more prone to Flight than we are to Fight.
But did you realise the BEST option is to actually Fight?
Fight for certainty, fight for clarity and fight for harmony and happiness.
You got into this relationship for love, togetherness and eternity – why the heck would you really want to throw in the towel, without a concerted effort?
What About You?
Why do you think adults in relationships have a tendency to just give up, at the first sign of a difficult situation?
Express your thoughts, in the comments below.
19 thoughts on “What Is Flight or Fight Syndrome In A Relationship?”
Yes! That’s exactly why contrary to popular belief, fighting in relationships is good. Because when you really really care about “fighting” things out to make it work. It can be a red flag if things go smoothly all the time, because no one is that compatible, it only means they don’t care enough to put in the effort, because fighting is a pain.
Also, during the fight or flight stress response in humans, cortisol is released and we get an influx of glucose to fuel our bodies for the fight or flight, which ever we choose. So it’s good to exercise to alleviate stress and use up all that extra energy
My humble opinion is that we live in a society of instant gratification “a fast food” environment where if it doesn’t work then there is something else out there…..no one wants to work anymore – we are in a disposable world – if something breaks throw it away no need to fix it….
Like I said my humble opinion,
That is so so tue, Nancy!
Thank goodness there are some of us that appreciate a home cooked meal though, huh?
It’s so much easier for someone to go find someone who doesn’t care enough about them to stand up and day something when they fuck up instead if staying with the person who loves them with all they are and will call them out when they fuck up they run away and give up on the best thing they ever had and get with a string of hoes that doesn’t make them happy. Sad
fighting can solve a lot of unfinished business and can lead to better understanding on both sides…but it always waste a lot of energy and i don’t like it.
Welcome to the site, Aaron and thank you for the comment.
I’m interested to better understand why you think it’s a waste of energy and you don’t like it, if fighting for a win-win relationship situation is a good thing. Well, at least I think that’s what you said.
Could you elaborate a little more?
It is a win-win. I don’t know about other couples but with us, everytime we fight, let’s just say it’s a little over dramatic. I try very hard to avoid taking it over the top but it’s very hard to hold back sometimes. We feel very stressed out during the fight and just plain tired, especially when it’s about the same thing over and over.
Aaron, I can honestly say that Pam and I have been there too.
And it’s a crap experience, to say the least.
Could I suggest considering a different way to tackle the problem? Please indulge me here.
Sit down with your significant other and do it when you’re both in a good natured mood. That’s important so you’re both able to readily agree that arguing about stupid stuff is …. well, stupid.
Allow each of you to verbalise your thoughts on some ways to avoid the same result and look for ways that you both can work with. This is all about mutual benefit as well as potential compromises.
The best option is to fight as long as it’s a win-win situation for everyone and for the good of the relationship… but if you fight for the sake of fighting, that’s just plain petty and isn’t healthy at all..
Way cool to see you here, Hannah – warm hugs to you, from Pam and myself.
And, you know, you hit the nail on the head too.
Life and relationships should ONLY be about a win-win situation … always.
It’s interesting though, one person’s view of petty might not be the other partner’s understanding. They could thing of the situation as significant.
Would you agree with that?
hey, thanks! Yes, i agree people really have different views, even with petty things… so it’s really important to talk about things, and just be sensitive to your partner’s feelings
In relationships, people tend to flee because it is much easier to do and it is less stressing for them, unlike when they try to face it and deal with it. However, when it comes to love relationships such as married couples, they must sort out their feelings and talk about it with each other. No one is perfect, not even you, so don’t expect that your significant other is perfect and can’t commit mistakes once in a while. If there are misunderstandings, discuss it, even if it is uncomfortable. Acceptance (and forgiveness) is what keeps a healthy relationship going.
Very profound words indeed, Felicia – a huge thank you.
It’s interesting to discover from the people I chat to that they have these ideals and when it comes to an actual disagreement, the ideals fly out the window and both partners become locked into a situation where both need to be vindicated as well as the winners of the disagreement.
I’m far from perfect – just ask Pam :) We’re taking our adventure together and enjoying it as well as experiencing all those roadbumps along the way – those can be challenging which I’m sharing here.
Have you found that some people say they’re not perfect but then need to be when they’re in an argument?
I definitely agree with you! It’s better to discuss your problems rather than just being silent and not talk about it and just wait until both your moods become okay. Fighting is a better option. However, choosing not to talk about it is okay at times, especially when you think it’s something that is just too shallow.
You raise a good point, Elena.
Is it really worth ever being silent?
Here’s an example and I’d love you view on it – it’s from personal experience too.
When there is silence, there’s going to be one person who hasn’t a clue what’s going on or what the silent partner is thinking about. That’s very likely to create confusion and frustration – both negative emotions. And what do negative emotions lead to? More negativity in the relationship.
And probably a further escalation of current hostilities too. Thoughts?
Yes! Exactly! It creates more frustration because the other one expects a change but couldn’t see any results because the other doesn’t have a clue what he/she is doing wrong because they weren’t able to discuss about it.
Those were my thoughts too.
Now I’m wondering whether there’s ANY time when it would be ok to be silent. After all, if you’re in a lationship, the premise should be that you’re capable of explaining your touts to the point that your significant other has a good grasp on your opinion and completely understands what’s going on.
Anything less almost suggests you devalue their worth and status in the relationship.
I agree, it is easier to avoid issues in relationships but we really shouldn’t :-)
Thanks for the visit and comment, CJ