The Bystander Effect

Photo by Oleg Magni on started off their article with the perfect introduction to their publication “What Is Bystander Effect?” which is as follows:

If you witnessed an emergency happening right before your eyes, you would certainly take some sort of action to help the person in trouble, right? While we might all like to believe that this is true, psychologists suggest that whether or not you intervene might depend upon the number of other witnesses present. (Kendra Cherry. What Is the Bystander Effect? Feburary 24, 2020.

Which is a disturbing thought to truly let sink in as it makes one think, “What if I am ever in trouble one day? Will I be lucky enough to be around the right number of witnesses to get the help that I need?” The grim reality is that you need to be luckier as you don’t know if those witnesses are lead by fear and hesitate in fear to help you in need. With COVID cases on the rise, the most significant excuse people will develop in this day in age, “What if I get COVID by helping this person.”

Passive bystanders are the key to stopping a situation from de-escalating a dangerous situation. Many bystanders hesitate to help due to the natural response that big picture thinking plays in. One of the theories I have developed in writing the book “Journey of an Unraveled Road” is that the reason why bystander effect occurs is due to the fear that subsides in the presence of an emergency. Which is why people don’t get the help that they need in a state of emergency. But we can’t shame those who don’t help those people in a state of emergency as many things go into those fearful in a situation such as this.

Along with my personal experience, before I started being the real-life Wonder Woman, according to one SAPD Detective, my name comes up as an active witness that has taken victims out of multiple emergencies in my local community, including sexual assault and domestic violence. But before this, I lived in fear. Where if I would see something happening right before my eyes. I started realizing I broke the fear when I saw a car flip over on an access road near 1604 and 281. Which is a split second that I ended hesitating, I ran to the scene. And although I couldn’t do much for the victim crushed in her vehicle. I ended up calming her down enough to have her cooperate with the ambulance five years ago. The motive for this action of action was seeing people gathering around and doing nothing, which had me, direct people to get away from her as she was starting to get even more panicked. And when ambulance team members came, I directed her calmness to the real heroes that could save her. Later that day, I found out she died.

One of the things that many people why people hesitate to help is because of traumatic triggers. If you think about it, it begins the one active moment when big picture thinking starts automatically. As the fear of the future is what many people struggle with these days in ages. Which way do you think people’s primary focus is on “the now.” Self-doubt and loss of hope are what makes it hard to think about this. But in a state of emergency, one of the common idealisms that comes is “what if I get penalized for helping someone.” Which if the tables were turned, they would end up having lost hope in humanity, especially when you are in dire need of help. Now I don’t suggest you immediately run into the call of duty if you haven’t resolved these issues as you can make people feel worst. As the long term effect of recovery is crucial to have hope. But at the same time, you have to realize that you can’t save everyone, which is a premeditative idealism. But the one thing that will haunt you is, “What if I couldn’t have done something.” Which when I talk about this with support groups, it triggers resentment along with sorrow. But one thing is that in a state of emergency, you can’t blame yourself if you were never are given the steps on how to handle the issue in fear. Here are some tips on how to handle these situations, according to Psychology Today


There are many ways to help someone in a state of emergency. Whether it be physically or inactively, you still become an active bystander. Where the fear that holds you back in helping someone in any way, shape, or form may come back to bite you in the butt one day. One of the things that I remember and why I feel I am so obliged to help those in a state of emergency is that in every state of crisis I have been in, I always was lucky enough to have an excellent samaritan help me in those situations. One of the things I will never forget is the young man who helped me escape a bad situation when the second public domestic violence situation occurs. Where if he wouldn’t have intervened. I wouldn’t be here today as I was meant to pass away that night, which at that moment, when staff lost hope, I fought. Which maybe that is why I am here. To share these stories and to show people the playful way of resolving these unresolved issues that enables fear. Because the truth is, you are not damaged or worthless if you experience trauma in your life. Because the truth is when you end up resolving these issues and let go of the fear that these situations bring, you become an unstoppable force. To some, a hero. As the hope that they lost is re-gained by someone who thought they would never get over the trauma that life brought. Hoping one day, they can aspire to be like you. Which is the most humble experience I have been blessed to experience.

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Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda Lopez is a Texas Native, born in the heart of San Antonio's West Side Community. Frieda attended Lanier High School and primarily attended Memorial High School where she graduated with the class of 2001. Raised in a blended family dynamic, Ms. Lopez gained her noble character from the women she admired and loved the most, her grandmothers. Frieda attended Alamo Community College where she majored in Liberal Arts primarily studying on biology, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and creative writing and shortly attended University of Incarnate Word. She gained a MBA from AIU and has actively participated in local fashion shows until she moved to Houston returning back August 2019. She began her career in healthcare, where she gained the skill of being able to not only resolve conflicts but reach out and engage in the community through her time serving as health care relations customer care and outreach representative. After being let go from her employer which she last served as a Customer Relations Representative for DentaQuest, she began her journey in retail where she came part of the leadership team a month of working as a part time representative for MarketSource and build a relationship with her local Target team. She later served five years with Amtel T-Mobile as a Store Manger after moving to Houston to pursue a management position with unfortunately ended in adversity which opened the opportunity of writing her first book "Journey of an Unraveled Road" will be releasing her second book a fiction based series titled "The Rideshare Chronicles" with the first book to the installment titled "Destination Destiny."

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