AIBU to think if you see someone fall you should do something?

(132 Posts)
SinkGirl Fri 30-Jul-21 08:58:21

I went to the local co-op this morning about 7am. It was a bit wet outside from rain overnight but not raining.

I literally walked in and went flying - my shoes were obviously a bit damp and their floor is ridiculously shiny. One of my feet just slipped out from under me and I went down on the other leg (have hurt my knee and skinned the front of my ankle).

I was sat on the floor for about 2 minutes trying to get up, because it was embarrassing but it really bloody hurt - no staff in sight, but there was a woman doing self checkout a few feet from me who saw me fall.

Just as I was struggling to get off the floor, she walked right past me and left. I understand not wanting to physically help someone up but wouldn’t you at least either ask if they’re okay or alert a member of staff if you saw someone slip and fall, especially if they didn’t immediately get up? I can’t imagine just walking past someone on the floor. I’ve always helped people who’ve fallen / hurt themselves any time I’ve been in that situation.

AIBU to think it’s weird to just ignore this, unless someone else is already helping?

OP’s posts: |
Raffles1981 Fri 30-Jul-21 09:09:29

Personally, I would have stopped what I was doing and come over to help. But that's me. She may have her reasons for not attending to you. Anxiety, shyness, just plain rude. I hope you are OK OP and I'm sorry you were left to it. flowers

Sparklingbrook Fri 30-Jul-21 09:12:39

I think it’s normal to want to help.

I think even if you don’t want to get close to someone to help them physically just a ‘are you ok?’ from a distance would be something.

Washimal Fri 30-Jul-21 09:14:10

YANBU. I can't imagine a situation where I would just walk past someone who had fallen and was struggling to get up. I hope you're ok, OP flowers

ComDummings Fri 30-Jul-21 09:14:32


Personally, I would have stopped what I was doing and come over to help. But that's me. She may have her reasons for not attending to you. Anxiety, shyness, just plain rude. I hope you are OK OP and I'm sorry you were left to it. flowers

I agree. Most people would have helped but there are reasons, I suppose, why someone would not. Hope you’re OK flowers

Jojoanna Fri 30-Jul-21 09:14:50

I have fallen a couple of times at the shops very clumsy , but people have always stopped and asked if I’m okay, do I need a hand a chair etc. I would always ask if I saw someone fall .

ChaToilLeam Fri 30-Jul-21 09:14:54

YANBU. I couldn’t just walk by if someone had fallen. Sometimes people don’t want help but at least you can ask. The only reason I would walk on is if that person was already being helped.


MrsN100 Fri 30-Jul-21 09:15:11

Yanbu. It's such a natural reaction to rush over to help, I can't imagine what would make her just breeze on past.

ChainJane Fri 30-Jul-21 09:15:26

I'd have said "are you OK" at least, assuming the person who's fallen doesn't look like they're drugged up or drunk or unhinged.

Years ago I fell over in the street in broad daylight, the couple walking behind me literally stepped over me as I lay on the ground. Genuinely, I think they didn't even notice me.

MadeOfStarStuff Fri 30-Jul-21 09:16:32


It’s normal to ask someone if they’re ok if they’ve fallen and not jumped straight back up, unless there was already someone helping

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 30-Jul-21 09:17:18

YANBU, it would be an instinctive reaction for me and for most people I know. Having said that, there could be a myriad reasons why that specific young woman at the self checkout didn't. In a situation with more people present I would expect someone would have offered you some help.

SpacePug Fri 30-Jul-21 09:18:17

I have social anxiety so if I tripped over i would prefer everyone around me to ignore the fact it happened and let me get up and carry on. It would help ease my anxiety/embarrassment. And in my head if I saw someone fall I wouldn't want to draw attention to the matter, if they seemed okay and got up by themself already I'd walk on and pretend it didn't happen (for their sake, in my mind). It would be different if it was an elderly or disabled person because id be worried they did actually need help so I would go straight over to check on them

Rubyupbeat Fri 30-Jul-21 09:20:06

I remember seeing something worse than this, a man fell, having an epileptic fit, in a large Tesco, he had a child with him, around 12 years old, I went over to see if I could do anything, as did a couple of other customers, the boy seemed very efficient in seeing to his Dad, when I took a look around , there were 4 staff huddled together laughing at him. I did confront them, they denied doing it, so I went to customer services and complained.
That poor boy must see this a lot, these were women in their 40s and 50s, terrible.

Papoy Fri 30-Jul-21 09:20:39

I once seen a child who fall down in between supermarket aisles .. no parents was there ... so i picked him up and asked him if he is ok....

His mother appeared and given me a dirty look and left me there while i was trying to explain "he fall down and I was helping him".... She made me feel like I was trying to kidnap him... So next time I would be carefully about helping kids ...

But for adults ... I would always help.... it is rude to walk away even if physical contact might be tricky for some people.... she can at least say "are you ok, do you want me to get help"...

Nobloat21 Fri 30-Jul-21 09:21:32

I think Covid has stopped people wanting to touch others, but yes it's bullshit. I have a friend who would have literally stood there laughing. It seems to trigger that response in her. At least you didn't get that. I hope you heal soon.

Sparklingbrook Fri 30-Jul-21 09:21:38

You can't really tell if a person is disabled if they've tripped over and are lying on the floor. Best to check on everyone.

Leafyhouse Fri 30-Jul-21 09:26:57

Depends how old you are. If you're younger and fitter than me (say a fit 20 year old) not much point me helping. I'd just make a mountain out of a molehill.

Clydesider Fri 30-Jul-21 09:29:22

Wow. What a heartless person to just ignore you like that.

I've had a few falls when I've ventured out of the house (I'm mobility impaired) and wouldn't be able to get up if strangers didn't help. I've been lucky, it seems.

I hope that you're alright, OP. The shock of a fall can be as bad as any physical pain.

Sparklingbrook Fri 30-Jul-21 09:29:37


Depends how old you are. If you're younger and fitter than me (say a fit 20 year old) not much point me helping. I'd just make a mountain out of a molehill.

You could ask if they're ok though and maybe alert a staff member if they're not.

lifeturnsonadime Fri 30-Jul-21 09:34:00

I slipped outdoors on pavement recently and broke my ankle, heel and shin. It was obvious that my injury was serious and people could not have been more helpful, both passers by and the staff in a restaurant that I was outside of at the time.

Perhaps it was obvious that whilst you'd taken a fall your injuries weren't serious? Perhaps they felt you'd be more embarrassed to be made a fuss of? Strange that they didn't even ask if you were ok though, I'd agree.

No point in overthinking it though really, these things happen. Be grateful you weren't seriously injured.

Beetlebrooker Fri 30-Jul-21 09:34:00

Jeez, what have we become if we can't even go to the aid of someone who has fallen.

I hope you're alright OP, I imagine the person who breezed past you thought you might be embarrassed and didn't want to draw attention to either you or herself. That or she was ignorant and lacking in any compassion whatsoever, but let's go with the former...!

I was once racing down the 17 flights of stairs at Bank tube station at rush hour, and a woman slipped on the wet floor and fell. So many people silently and immediately rushed to her assistance that she was virtually lifted back on to her feet before she even hit the floor, it was quite something to witness.

ittakes2 Fri 30-Jul-21 09:36:40

When I was walking in the city one of my heavily pregnant colleagues fainted at the train station and she said people just walked around her - not one person asked her if she was OK or offered to help her up (pre covid times). She was very clearly pregnant. Humans can be appauling.

TangoWhiskyAlphaTango Fri 30-Jul-21 09:39:19

I saw a woman go flying in Stratford upon Avon years ago right in front of me. As I tried to help her she very rudely told me to go away and that her husband would help her....maybe she was embarrassed but she was also very rude! I would always try and help somebody!

pilates Fri 30-Jul-21 09:42:56

It would be a natural reaction for me to go and help, even more so if I worked there.

plodalong12 Fri 30-Jul-21 09:43:48

You can never tell with people though. I saw someone fall over and rushed over to help. When I placed my hand on her arm she wrenched it away and shouted “GET THE F* OFF ME”. People turned to look and if they hadn’t seen her fall probably thought I was the one that pushed her over.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in