Trauma response quiz (4 Fs)


Trauma is usually caused by life-threatening events like combat situations, natural disasters, and accidents. But events like a breakup or the loss of a loved one can also be traumatic.

Given our minds and bodies are designed to ensure survival, we come neurobiologically prepared to cope with trauma.

Trauma response is how we cope with trauma. It’s a learned response that typically develops in childhood. The way we learned to respond to trauma in the past gets carried over to how we respond to stress and danger in the future.

Thus, our trauma responses play a major role in shaping our personalities.

Trauma response types

Trauma is usually very specific to an individual. A person responds to very specific types of triggers. However, there are four trauma responses the mind usually picks from:

1. Fight

The fight trauma response is when an individual tackles a danger head-on. The person believes they can reach safety by overpowering the source of their danger.

2. Flight

The flight response means feeling the danger. If you can’t fight, the next best option may be to flee.

3. Freeze

When both the fight and flight responses seem unfeasible in the moment, the individual is frozen with fear so they can better assess the situation. After a period of freezing, they may choose between fight or flight.

4. Fawn

The fawn response is being submissive to your aggressor. Being submissive to your aggressor makes them less likely to harm you. This is often seen in the animal kingdom, where conflicts are avoided by showing submissive behaviors.

People usually deploy a combination of these responses to cope with their individual stressors and potential threats. One or two of these responses tend to be dominant.

Your whole personality may be nothing but a trauma response. Knowing your dominant trauma responses can help you cope better with stress.

Taking the trauma response quiz

This test consists of 40 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. There are 10 items for each trauma response. Your results will show how you score on each trauma response.

When answering the items, try thinking about how you generally behave.

This test is 100% confidential, and your results will only be displayed to you.

Trauma response quiz

1. I put others down and make fun of them.

2. I have a tendency to blame other people.

3. I am assertive, courageous, and have firm boundaries.

4. I react to conflict with anger and aggression.

5. I have a tendency to argue a lot.

6. I’ve been accused of being a controlling person.

7. I frequently rebel against authority.

8. I'm direct with people and don't sugarcoat things.

9. I always want to be right.

9. I always want to be right.

11. When I feel threatened, I abruptly end relationships or think about doing so.

12. I tend to avoid conflicts and situations that bring up difficult emotions.

13. I utilize work, hobbies, drinking, and drugs to block out my bad feelings.

14. I tend to isolate myself, avoiding interactions with others.

15. I have a tendency to ghost people.

16. I tend to avoid commitment.

17. I get easily distracted and procrastinate a lot.

18. I respond to conflict by shutting down.

19. I do my best to avoid getting into arguments and confrontations.

20. I avoid responsibilities and challenges.

21. I dissociate and don’t seem to listen to people during conversations.

22. I go emotionally numb when I'm stressed.

23. I am often at a loss for words during conflicts.

24. I'm a highly self-aware person.

25. I have stage fright.

26. When I'm in a difficult circumstance, I daydream.

27. My mind goes blank when I feel threatened.

28. I fear trying new things.

29. I tend to suppress my thoughts and feelings.

30. I am indecisive and struggle to take action.

31. I am overly helpful, polite, and agreeable.

32. I rely too much on the opinions of other people.

33. I lack assertiveness and have weak or non-existent boundaries.

34. I feel like I’ve failed to develop my own self-identity.

35. I get into codependent relationships.

36. I tend to stay in abusive relationships.

37. I'm a very compassionate person.

38. When people dislike me, it bothers me.

39. I ignore my own needs in order to please others.

40. I have a tendency to apologize excessively to others.