Have you ever witnessed a car accident and the subsequent crowd of on-lookers most of whom have whipped out their phone to take that all-important shot to post on social media, maybe even a selfie for added effect? That we usually assume someone has called for help.

Stepping in to help

In essence, the bystander effect is that when someone needs help, if others are around who could help, it discourages us as individuals from stepping in. Do not assume somebody has. It could help if you choose someone directly and ask them to call for help. Thus, avoiding everyone else thinking someone else will do it!

It reminds me of the story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody:

There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

 

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