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?

Joules68 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:14:35

no ywnbu! well done for not walking on by,more people should be like this

CoffeeTea103 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:14:58

Yanbu, in both situations. When is it ever unreasonable to help someone.

ManualSpaniel Sat 11-Jan-14 19:15:14

YANBU - your DH is.

I would've done the same, and hope if I was in a similar situation someone with some kindness would show it to me.

Bogeyface Sat 11-Jan-14 19:15:17

YANBU, but sadly many people would just walk by on the other side, as the parable says.

People like your DH always think it is someone elses problem, but if we all thought like that then where would we be? As for saying you shouldnt have helped a bleeding toddler and his mum, sorry but that is really shitty. Is he saying that if it had been him with your toddler, he wouldnt have appreciated a calming helping hand?

januarysunsetfire Sat 11-Jan-14 19:15:40

You must KNOW you're not being unreasonable, surely? confused

I would personally have dealt with the latter incident differently but that doesn't mean you were WRONG.

Fairylea Sat 11-Jan-14 19:16:10

I don't think you did any harm in the first situation but the mum was there and two assistants (albeit a bit shaken) were there to help as well.

However, the second one you were definitely right to step in. I wish more people would in that sort of situation.

I think your dh is being a bit arse - ish.

fifi669 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:16:24

I think you did well in both those situations. I'd like to think if do the same although I fear I'd freeze

finallydelurking Sat 11-Jan-14 19:18:08

YADNBU! I would and have done exactly the same smile your DH holds similar viewpoints to my teenagers!

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 19:18:35

My point exactly. Just amazed how many people, including big blokes won't help. I don't think I'd sleep if I didn't stop (though I was terrified the man was going to start on me too. I'm not exactly tough or even very tall smile

Boreoff456 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:19:10

Yanbu but neither is he.

First situation totally understand why you got involved. Your dh is bu.

Second situation, my own dh attempted the same thing a while a go. He got punched by the bloke then also by the woman being ' abused'. So I understand why your dh is wary. Personally I would call the police straight away.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 11-Jan-14 19:19:54

People like you give me back a bit of faith in humanity.

I definitely don't think YWBU in either of those scenarios, you calmed a situation down in one instance when it was very needed and stopped an abusive wanker in the second. Good for you, I hope I'd have the courage to do the same.

My neighbour once went out in the middle of the night when a young couple were having fight in the middle of our street, the young lad wouldn't let his girlfriend go, she read him the riot act and told the girl to go home and stood waiting with the boy to ensure the girl got away safely.

You'r DH is maybe worried for your safety (in the second instance), but what's his problem with the first?

firesidechat Sat 11-Jan-14 19:22:31

Well if you're a busy body then so am I, so YANBU.

KitsVegetable Sat 11-Jan-14 19:22:42

Thing is with the second situation do you actualy think that guy is going to think, Oh that woman in the street told me off, I better stop taking my frustrations/shame/anger out on my partner. Or do you think she'll just get an extra heap of bollocking later because of you.

I'm not saying you were wrong to do what you did but it isn't a simple solution.

justgirl Sat 11-Jan-14 19:31:08

I'm the same as you a have even been known to "fight" the battles of complete strangers who aren't standing up for themselves/what's right. It annoys my dp but a the same time he fully understands why and admires me for it but I guess it is a worry, one day it will be the wrong person and I'll probably get a bollocking but is sooner speak up then read a news headline a while later knowing I didn't intervene.

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 19:34:27

There was only 1 assistant in the 1st. Another one came but it was a big place so took a while. dH felt they would have a first wider there so should have stayed away. Mine was that as a mum, teacher and first wider I could see what they needed to do and I left when a first wider arrived.

I did cross the road away from the fighting couple so I put enough distance between me and the man to be safe. I know he'll do it again if that's what their relationship is like but couldn't walk away, especially after eye contact with the poor girl. She looked so helpless.

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 19:35:17

So true just girl

januarysunsetfire Sat 11-Jan-14 19:35:40

Well - I do see what you mean, just but sometimes fighting other people's battles can risk making matters worse and yes, coming across as something of a busybody.

I don't mean to suggest walking by and ignoring a situation is the right thing to do - it isn't - but on the other hand it is sometimes worth considering that firstly you DON'T know "the whole picture" and secondly that wading in may well make things worse.

Bogeyface Sat 11-Jan-14 19:35:59

Kits that crossed my mind too, but there is a different POV that perhaps the OP stepping in made it crystal clear to the girl that actually he WAS in the wrong (despite him probably telling her that whatever the issue was was her fault) and that if a complete stranger is willing to call the police for her, perhaps she shouldnt be with him.

Fairylea Sat 11-Jan-14 19:39:26

Bogeyface that's exactly what I think too.

addictedtosugar Sat 11-Jan-14 19:41:28

Don't know what I'd have done in the second situation.

When it was me in the first (at a library group), I handed over a wedge of tissues, a packet of baby wipes and my mini first aid kit (antiseptic wipes and plasters), and then gave them space. I never saw her at that group again, but our paths crossed 6 months or so afterwards, and she came over and said thank-you.

coco44 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:42:53

I calmed mum a bit and suggested the child not be held at arms length nearly upside down
Oh I bet she never thought of that after her child had bashed her head and there was blood everywhere.What a good job you came along.I bet she was so pleased bloody know-it-all Captain Obvious

Bogeyface Sat 11-Jan-14 19:44:42

Time of the month Coco?

Bettercallsaul1 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:46:27

I think you were right to stop in, in both incidents, and positively courageous in the second one.

Good for you, OP. If this is the definition of being a busybody, then the world needs more busybodies.

januarysunsetfire Sat 11-Jan-14 19:46:33

It does come back to not knowing the circumstances, though.

I have a brother, and we look nothing alike so it would be easy to assume we were boyfriend/girlfriend. He was upset about something one day I was with him and started ranting on and gesticulating wildly and getting 'physical' with me - grabbing my arm, pulling me and so on. (He has Asperger's.)

If someone had said, "Hey careful mate, I think you're hurting her!" in a shocked voice he'd have been repentant, but someone did more or less what the OP did and as a result he became very defensive and appeared more and more aggressive although in fact he was just getting wound up and upset.

I think it's a hard one as so many times I have been a bit annoyed by well-meaning strangers! I fainted once and was surrounded by kindness, which was very sweet but after a while I felt obliged to get up and walk away even though I felt like I needed to stay put for a moment or two just to get my breath. My Dad had a fall once and so many people yelled "OOO-OO-OOOHHH!" and rushed to him - he was absolutely fine but embarrassed.

Obviously I'm not saying anyone was wrong to help me when I fainted or my Dad when he fell but I do think some people get a bit addicted to the drama of it and enjoy seeing themselves as the hero who darted in and saved the day. It is very sweet, don't get me wrong, I thought they were nice but at the same time found myself thinking, "oh do go away now!" grin

Bettercallsaul1 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:47:18

Sorry, "step in*.

KitsVegetable Sat 11-Jan-14 19:51:18

Hopefully Bogeyface. I think it is worth keeping in mind these situations are complicated though, rather just launching into a raft of back patting.

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 19:51:52

Coco quote the whole sentence at least! Did say not in those words. The assistant was holding the child at arms length, horizontally, but head lower. I asked if she needed help and said it would be best to put him down and maybe rest his head on her knees. I just said to mum , heads always look worse than they are and bleed lots. Wasn't nasty or know it all but both were panicking and tot was frightened.

JapaneseMargaret Sat 11-Jan-14 19:51:52

Clearly she did need it spelling out, coco, since she was hanging her child upside down.

Foxsticks Sat 11-Jan-14 19:55:14

I got mullered on a website once for saying that I had got involved in a dv incident. We were eating in a restaurant when the guy on the table next to us threw his wine glass at his girlfriends head, it missed but smashed sending glass and drink all over me and his gf. The waiters moved all the other tables away but we stayed and tried to comfort her. He tried to justify his behaviour, got angry, then was begging us to understand why he had been like that. Eventually he left and then we got her in a taxi.

I couldn't leave her when she was sobbing and covered in glass while he screamed at her but I was told I should have kept out of it as we would have made things worse for her later sad

JapaneseMargaret Sat 11-Jan-14 19:56:23

Well, there's always a chance the person behaving inappropriately has special needs. Ater all, there was a thread on here yesterday where someone was trying to tell the OP that even though she felt scared and intimidated by a creepy guy on public transport, she should have been more understanding of him because he might have had SN.

And yes, perhaps more people should walk away and not step in to help people, because the person behaving like an arsehole might have special needs. And you might hurt his feelings.

Or, you know, you could take it as the more likely scenario, that the person actually is being an arsehole, and make sure the recipient of the arsehole behaviour is OK, taking into account your own safety.

Boreoff456 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:59:26

Is there a chance your dh doesn't see this situations as you did ?

Maybe, from his point of view, the toddler was being taken care of and you did come across as a 'know it all' rather than helpful?
And the same in the second?

Also it doesn't matter if you cross the street. It still could cause issues for you and provably her in the future.

I don't think you were wrong, nor do I think your dh is horrible. It's just each person view of the situations.

mrsjay Sat 11-Jan-14 20:00:26

why does he feel helping people is interfering you saw a child hurt a mum in a panic you went to help the same witht he couple although i think you were brave with the latter i would be scared of getting hit sometimes these arguements can bite you on the bum if you interfere

Thanks to a "busy body" a man with LD's is no longer being kept in a garage, beaten daily and used as a servant.

I was in a violent situation with my ex and was glad that someone, looking out of their window, got involved.

I agree that it is good to be mindful when to back off, or how far to take the help or advice, but we do need to look out for each other and be willing to get involved, or at least phone those who will.

I would only use the term "busy body" towards someone who gets involved, but is judgemental and who spreads other peoples business.

mumnosbest Sat 11-Jan-14 20:01:18

I can see both sides in the 2nd case I suppose but just couldn't ignore it in case they were hoping for someone to help. I hope I didn't make it worse. They did go their separate ways so fingers crossed he stays away or she realises it wasn't ok.

mrsjay Sat 11-Jan-14 20:04:14

you know with the 2nd thing I guess you need to judge the situation and you did the right thing

januarysunsetfire Sat 11-Jan-14 20:06:09

Japanese, I didn't suggest anywhere in my post "not stepping in."

I do however feel that, regardless of special needs or not, stepping in the way the OP did to somebody who is already angry and wound up would, most probably, result in them getting even more angry and wound up. I don't see that as necessarily being a good thing. And threatening to phone the police is a good idea in theory but in practice - how? Genuine question. I rang the police once as someone was trying to break in my house when I was sat in the lounge (I was terrified!) and was told "it's not an emergency, someone will be there in an hour or so!" confused

Then if the OP HAD rang the police, even if they'd got straight there I imagine the man probably plus partner would be long gone.

So I do think there were better ways of dealing with that latter scenario - none of which advocate ignoring it. But from what OP has said, she just served as a temporary distraction while the man mouthed off at her instead of his partner.

What would have happened once she'd gone?

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 20:27:17

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

YANBU at all.

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.

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

Justgirl - it's called the Bystander Effect.

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

The kindness of strangers is very important, IMO.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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 23:45:14

Oops, cross post with iggi...

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.)

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?

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

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