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Yes you are correct that trauma and pain, especially deep rooted as in abuse and childhood abuse, definitely makes people more protective and more likely to play red. The key behind this is what I'll call "stability" - a stable person can look at social dynamics and see exactly what's going on, and create a winning outcome for all. Unstable people and groups, on the other hand, tend to play Red as it becomes a game of survival and self-sufficiency.
As for saving others - my own theory is that you can't help others unless you help yourself, so best to save yourself and then focus on saving others if you can. The thing with "others" is that their actions are still completely out of your control - so even if you advise others correctly, often times they'll do something completely different - and there's not much you can do about it. So this is really a question of your relationship with the person and how much you want to stick your neck out for their success.