What would you do if someone called their wife a derogatory name while you were out socially?
This is the challenge I was asked about recently.
The individual in question was drunk and had been ‘joking’ in this vein with others in the group. One person in the group said something along the lines of ‘settle down’ but it was clear the wife was upset. The rest of the group ignored the behaviour.
It was repeated in other settings, but what was worse, the individual also told these people other stories which made it clear the wife was in an emotionally and psychologically abusive situation. Yet no one said anything to this person. Like many, they were concerned but flummoxed about what to do.
Here’s my take on this: there are times to be socially polite and there are times to sod that and stand up for what is right. This is such a situation.
Too many people worry about getting it wrong and messing up their social group – I say you should be more concerned about not speaking up and something terrible happening.
Please, if you are in a group and you notice this behaviour, confront it! Don’t pretend it’s not happening. Don’t tell yourself ‘I shouldn’t interfere’. Don’t put social convenience above helping someone who many be unable to help themselves.
Call out the behaviour and talk to the individual. If the situation is serious, report it.
Do something, but please, don’t sit back and do nothing.