In some circumstances where we witness an event happen to someone, for example in bullying or where discrimination takes place and where we fail to act or intervene then we maybe adding to the negative consequences of the event.
For someone who experiences bullying, when people standby without intervening, it can feel like the bullying behaviour is reinforced or normalised.
At the same time for bystanders witnessing something like bullying without acting can lead to several difficult feelings such as guilt , fear, feeling conflicted and others .
If we can put ourselves in the place of both someone who is being a bully and who is being bullied and try to understand the reasons for acting this way as well as what it is to experience being bullied this is a good place to start.
Even so sometimes people still feel unable to intervene or challenge the behaviour but there are some other strategies that can help.
These include interrupting or changing the subject and helping or showing kindness to the person who has been targeted.
In the video below it highlights research in the USA that shows where intervention takes place bullying stops within 10 seconds, 57% of the time, there are other helping strategies mentioned too.