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  • Writer's pictureRachel Brandwene, LCSW

Freeze Response Behaviors That Lead to Toxicity in Relationships

Updated: Mar 10

In relationships, expressing our needs is vital for mutual understanding and growth. However, for those of us grappling with disorganized attachment, this seemingly simple act can become a Herculean task, thanks to the omnipresent freeze response.


Let's dive deeper into the various ways this freeze response can manifest:


  1. Procrastination: The freeze response might compel you to postpone addressing your needs, leaving them simmering beneath the surface, unspoken and unattended.

  2. Avoidance: Confrontation can feel like navigating a minefield, so you instinctively veer away from any situation that might lead to discomfort or conflict. You find yourself tiptoeing around sensitive topics, fearing the potential fallout of speaking your truth.

  3. Numbing: When the weight of unexpressed needs becomes too heavy to bear, you seek solace in distractions. Whether it's burying yourself in work, scrolling endlessly through social media, or indulging in mindless activities.

  4. Overthinking: Every word feels like walking on eggshells, as you agonize over how to articulate your needs without causing offense or backlash. You find yourself trapped in a labyrinth of 'what ifs' and hypothetical scenarios, paralyzed by the fear of saying the wrong thing.

  5. Self-doubt: The nagging voice of self-doubt creeps in, casting shadows of uncertainty over your worthiness and the validity of your needs. You find yourself questioning whether you have the right to ask for what you want, or if your needs are even legitimate.

Recognizing these subtle yet insidious manifestations of the freeze response in your communication is crucial. It's the first step towards reclaiming your voice and fostering healthier, more authentic connections with your partner. By acknowledging these patterns and seeking support when needed, you can begin to thaw the icy grip of the freeze response and pave the way for open, honest communication in your relationships.


If you're looking to:

  • Improve your communication skills in your personal relationships

  • Learn more about the connection between the nervous system and communication patterns

  • Explore how your attachment style plays a role in your relationships

  • Seeking more positive and fulfilling relationships

CLICK HERE to join the waitlist for my course RECONNECT


During this course you will learn:

  • How the nervous system affects communication patterns in relationships so that you can calmly manage conflict

  • Tools for recognizing triggers so that you can express your needs and feel understood

  • An increased sense of self awareness so that you don’t feel like you have to hold everything your feeling inside

  • Techniques to help you address the queues that your body is sending you so that you can trust your instincts and feel settled in the uncertainty of the outcome


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