Being an effective bystander

Why do I need bystander skills? Having the skills to address problems, reduce harm, and deal with concerning situations that we witness is a critical way to contribute to a positive culture on campus. These are skills that we can all use throughout our lifetime in almost any context.

People want to help

  • Helping is core to being human and most people are highly motivated to look out for each other.
  • We help for lots of different reasons like empathy, concern, social expectations, Karma, guilt, and moral obligation. At different times, in different situations, we might be motivated to help for different reasons.

You can reduce harm in the moment

  • It’s usually not possible to solve everything in a situation where someone needs help, but small actions can have a big impact.

People can get better at helping

  • You can expand your skills and develop more strategies for intervening that are both a good fit for the situation and a good fit for you.