Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Because DH thinks I am and says I'm becoming a busybody. Is he right.

(62 Posts)
mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 19:12:23

This week 2 things have happened that I couldn't just ignore. dH says I should stop being mosey and interfering. I'm more of the opinion that in some situation more people should get involved. What do you think.

The first was in a busy play area. A toddler banged her head, blood everywhere. mum panicked and very young play assistant was shaken up, didn't know what to do and asked another young girl to find help. I calmed mum a bit and suggested the child not be held at arms length nearly upside down (didn't word it like that).

The second was when a young woman was being shoved, threatened and shouted at by her partner in the middle of a busy high street. Nobody stopped despite her looking around, either for help or highly embarrassed. I simply got my phone out and said I would call the police if he didn't take his hands off her. She smiled at me, he yelled at me and everyone else continued to turn a blind eye.

I do usually go months/years without any incident so I'm surely not a busybody am I. Was it BU to get involved or were all the others BU to ignore situations?

GlitzAndGiggles Sun 12-Jan-14 14:22:04

I don't get the point of your first bit but glad you helped in the second situation. I saw a man roughing up a woman at the train station so just called the police and they came and dealt with him

AnneElliott Sun 12-Jan-14 13:34:40

I agree that you did the right thing. I hate it when everyone walks on past. It happened to me once ( don't want to give details) and I promised myself I would never stand by and watch it happen to someone else.

DH is always having a go at me for doing it, but what if he'd killed her? How could you live with it knowing you could have done something?

YANBU. I'm one of those who usually dives in, as well. Generally, the odds are that someone acting like an arsehole is an arsehole. If it's explained to you that the person has some kind of SN which accounts for it, you can say sorry and walk away.

(Mind you, I have had a bit of a rethink in later years as have had to talk to DS about 'picking your battles.' When he was about 5, he charged at an angry, aggressive drunk who was throwing chairs around and yelled 'Stop that, it's naughty!' I managed to grab him and bolt round the corner before he got hurt but it scared me half to death.)

AlpacaPicnic Sat 11-Jan-14 23:45:14

Oops, cross post with iggi...

newyearhere Sat 11-Jan-14 23:45:11

YANBU. Could be a good idea to take a picture on your phone as well to prove anything that was going on.

AlpacaPicnic Sat 11-Jan-14 23:44:22

I believe it is called the Bystander Effect, but I also read that it is easy to deal with if one person seems to 'take charge' of the situation and allocates tasks personally to people nearby then they are willing to help... I.e. If someone says 'you in the blue coat - call 999, you in the red jumper get some water from that shop'

I suspect it is that people are scared of taking responsibility in case they get it wrong but most people are willing to help if someone tells them what to do.

echt Sat 11-Jan-14 23:44:16

Nice one, BohemianGirl. hmm Your bad experience doesn't justify belittling the OP by name-calling.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 11-Jan-14 23:38:07

YANBU. Sometimes there might be special circs, but "If not now, when?"

BohemianGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 23:35:14

I simply got my phone out and said I would call the police if he didn't take his hands off her. She smiled at me, he yelled at me

Personally, I think you were a bit of a muppet. I'd have just called the police rather than risk a smack in the mouth. I came from the angle of having spoken up at London Bridge Station one night with a couple shoving pushing and screaming, only to have them both turn on me.

BrandNewIggi Sat 11-Jan-14 23:33:44

The kindness of strangers is very important, IMO.

BrandNewIggi Sat 11-Jan-14 23:31:24

Justgirl - it's called the Bystander Effect.

Beavie Sat 11-Jan-14 23:31:23

I don't think ywbu. It's an atypical way to behave though, look up the murder of kitty genovese. It's human nature to walk on by, sad though that is.

sixtypercentfringe Sat 11-Jan-14 23:27:18

YANBU at all.

justgirl Sat 11-Jan-14 23:24:57

I was just about to ask about that echt! I'm sure the situation has a "name" but it's exactly that.....the more people there are, the more people that think someone else will deal with it.

My mum was stuck in traffic once and a few cars ahead was a van, a young women was walking along the path (fairly busy, big town road next to school, houses yada yada) a woman jumped out of a van ahead and started attacking the girl who was walking. Literally kicking the living day lights out of her. Nobody did anything. My mum included...kept thinking she should, but also thinking someone else would. She has regretted it ever since and for a week or two after was terrified of the news and was half waiting to hear about the girl dying and nobody helped. I will never be that person....my instincts act out before my brain engages.

Bettercallsaul1 Sat 11-Jan-14 21:09:06

That's very interesting, Echt, and sounds completely believable. Shows there is no "safety in numbers"!

BOFalicious Sat 11-Jan-14 20:56:11

YANBU. More people should step in, IMO. Personally, I can't help it <teacher's daughter> grin

echt Sat 11-Jan-14 20:53:14

Yonks ago there was some research on the effect of others when it came to helping someone in need. The more people there were around, the less likely the victim was to be helped; the fewer, the greater the likelihood someone would step in. It's about the diffusing of responsibility, someone else's job, not mine.

CombineBananaFister Sat 11-Jan-14 20:27:17

Oh bollocks [blush} long day at work. (sad)

echt Sat 11-Jan-14 20:24:38

Well done, OP.

I would hope someone would help me or my DD if we were threatened.

CombineBananaFister Sat 11-Jan-14 20:21:47

My DH would be the same as your DH, even if it was obvious someone needed help he would just want to leave it to someone else or be worried of the consequences to me or Ds.

Think it's only natural and a split second judgement to help can be interferring or it can be useful but your intentions were to help so that makes a diffeence for me.

Hate to say it, but personally been burnt a few many times (pub work) so wouldn't always help in 2nd situation but would call police - just not advertise it 9sad0

KickThatDirtOffYourShoulder Sat 11-Jan-14 20:20:35

Oh good God, am on my phone. Apologies for the dreadful typing.

KickThatDirtOffYourShoulder Sat 11-Jan-14 20:19:03

I think you did the right thing. My DH says would have been cross with me for the second instance though, in case the guy had turned on me or I had the children with me. That could have turned nasty, would have been better to have quietly called police anyway but luckily all ended well.

If that was me in either situation I would want someone to hl.

wordyBird Sat 11-Jan-14 20:14:26

This is not being a busybody. This is being a good citizen. Your DH should be proud of you.
Well done you.

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 20:13:10

In this case I think threatening to ring diverted his attention a bit. He was angry but after a few expletives walked off. Suppose it could easily have turned out differently.

Know what you mean about ringing the police though january I rang them years ago when neighbours were being broken into and they came much much later so would have been no help.

Bettercallsaul1 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:08:31

The situation may be complicated but a bystander only has a few minutes -or seconds - to decide whether or not to intervene and has to trust their own judgement at the time - what else can they base their decision on?

The vast majority do not get involved in any situation, either from apathy or fear for their own safety, so I think the courageous few who do risk theIr own skin ( and critical comments from others) thoroughly deserve some back-patting. Once again, well done, OP!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now