Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Fight or Flight?

I always find it quite funny when people throw up these hypothetical situations and either ask you who you would respond or tell you how you should respond. You know the type of thing - if someone comes up behind you and grabs you to elbow them in the stomach, if you hear someone in the house you call 999 etc etc.

The reason I find it funny is that you have absolutely no way of knowing how you're going to react because you will do whatever your natural response is in the heat of the moment. I believe it's called instinct. There might be a small voice in your head advising what it is you should be doing but this voice will be completely over-powered by your instinct which can make you do something that you would never have anticipated.

Take Saturday evening for instance...

The boyfriend and I live next door to a popular nightclub in Hull. Most of the time it isn't a problem, our bedrooms are at the back of the flat so we don't get woken up by people leaving and it usually just provides us with a great source of entertainment for laughing at people being generally drunk and foolish.

Our ears have become atuned to the various calls of drunk people now. We know when someone's screaming to get someone's attention and we now know the type of noise that indicates that something not so good is going down. This Saturday we heard that kind of noise. We looked at each other? Could we bothered to get up and look out of the window? The boyfriend went over (I'm far too lazy sometimes) and looked out.

"Uh-oh. Proper big fight."

Suddenly my laziness disappeared and I ran over to the window.

What happened next happened very quickly.

I saw a girl outside the flat crying her eyes out and a boy on the other side of the road on the phone and a boy and a girl in the middle of the road. This boy and girl had their arms around each other. No wait. She was holding him up. Suddenly a bloke ran over to the couple and starting hitting the girl.

No you didn't read that wrong. He was hitting the girl.

Before I knew it I was out of the door and running down the stairs and out of the front door. I have no idea what it was I thought I was going to do but luckily they'd disappeared by the time I got out of the front door. Luckily for them and me I should say.

Anyway the rest of the story is irrelevant. The police came, they took some statements and then they went off to look for the men that had attacked them.

When I got back inside though I thought to myself "What did you think you were doing? You're an idiot" Whilst I'm no whipper snapper and could have probably done some damage if I'd sat on him I don't know any self defence and I don't know how handy I am with my fists. Maybe I thought that the sight of me with my tracky pants on coming out of the building whooping like some kind of harridan would do the job but there's a serious chance it wouldn't have. This was a guy who was pretty ok with punching girls.

I shouldn't have done it. I should have stayed in the flat and watched what happened and come down and talked to the police when they came.

Hang on a minute. Rewind.

Watch what happened????

Nope. That's what the trouble for me is. I could never stand and watch what happened. I just know I couldn't. I will be the idiot that gets involved with something they shouldn't and probably puts themselves in danger (in fact I did once and I have the scars to prove it but that's a tale for another post) but all I can think is that if that was me who was in danger, what would I think of the person that just stood and watched and didn't try to help me?

Being stupid I can live with. Standing by and doing nothing I can't.

(I asked the boyfriend what he thought when I ran out of the flat like some kind of mental person. I assumed he'd say he was worried that being with someone like me would end up getting him in to trouble at some point. But he didn't. When I asked him if he thought I was stupid he said no, he thought I was incredibly brave and that he was doing the same as me, he was on his way down to bash some heads together and was just getting his shoes on. "Aaah you were getting your shoes? I was out there barefoot!" I replied. "Yeah good point. You are stupid."

He's lovely.)


Torie Jayne said...

You are very brave! My sister found herself on the tube, and a thug started hitting a random old guy, everyone in the carrage got up and moved including the thug, so my sis started chatting to the old guy to keep him company and check he was alright then the thug came back and hit my sis in the face for chatting to the old guy, so when the train stopped she got out and shouted for security to catch the thug, they did and he was sentenced, She was later taken to the hospital as they thought he had broken her jaw!I am so proud of her! If only more people were like the pair of you. Have a sweet day!

The Curious Cat said...

Aw I like this entry! Food for thought! Good on you! I don't know what I'd do. I have been in fights before when I was younger, I have reacted and taken action but it is difficult -it is about instinct and split decisions. If you'd been alive during the Nazi regime, your actions would have probably got you killed, they could still end disaterously for you in our modern times but sometimes I think if more people stood up for others then less of these kind of things would happen. It is just awful when you read in the papers about people rushing to help only to get killed themselves. And then there is that saying that if you are in danger of being raped - you should scream 'fire' because more people are likely to come running for a fire than rape -isn't that terrible?! Someone once told me that a girl got raped in Baron's Court right outside someone's doorstep. She knew they were in and she scream her lungs out but they never came to help her. Later, when it was long over, she went back, knocked on the door and they answered. She looked them dead in the eye and said 'If only you had opened your door...' Stories like this are terrible...Hmm...depressing...I think you did the right thing... xxx said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment too! I love your post. I am afraid to say that too many people turn the other way whaen a situation like this turns up. you didn't, your act of impulse shows the type of character that you have, a good one! Years ago, I was at a party and some guy started beating up another man, I acted on instinct and tryed to stop him, but got punched in the face myself! But I couldnt pretend I hadn't seen.
We need people to start caring more about each other like you did! Suzie. x