Recently, the senior director of content at Lonely Planet, Laura Motta, shared a time when she was sitting alone at a bar and the bartender warned her about the man to her right. People throughout her comments section praised the bartender for speaking up and even shared their own stories of good Samaritans who saved them from creeps.
Was at a bar alone yesterday when the bartender said, “Hey, check out this text from my sister!” He showed me his phone and it said, “Do not, under any circumstances, get into a conversation with the guy sitting on your right.” Men, if you are in a position to do this, DO THIS.
So I asked the BuzzFeed Community if a stranger ever helped them out of an uncomfortable situation, and here's what y'all said:
1."I was having fun at a concert, and when the last performer came on, I went closer to the stage area. I found a pretty good spot in the crowd; I was dancing and singing along, as one does, when this random guy came up behind me and grabbed me aggressively."
"He was trying to make me freak-dance on him, and I wasn’t having it. I yelled at him to stop touching me and leave me alone, but he was out of his mind and wouldn’t stop. Whenever I managed to push him away, he would grab me again. These two girls in front of me heard and saw what was going on, and they physically separated me from him and managed to kick him out of our area. I spent the rest of the night enjoying the concert with those awesome ladies I’m forever thankful for!"
2."While working alone in a shop, I once had to slip a note to two female customers, asking them to please not leave until the creep who had been in the store left. They politely stayed and waited for security to show up."
3."My husband and I were on vacation in Key West with our kids. We were watching the sunset at Mallory Square, and he went to get us a drink. He was gone for longer than it should take to get us drinks, so the kids and I went to see what he was doing. The bar was outside, and as we approached, I saw him with his arm around another woman."
"He looked back at me and motioned to stay away, and then stared at the man next to him and then back at me. I immediately knew what was happening.
"He got the drinks and walked off with the woman, and I took the kids into a little gift shop. Turns out, he went to get our drinks and this guy was being extremely inappropriate and the woman was scared. My husband walked up to her and began talking to her as if they were together. I don’t know the specifics of what was said or how it was all handled, but it feels good to know that I’m married to one of the good ones."
4."I was shopping at a store and felt incredibly uncomfortable about this guy who seemed to be shopping in all the aisles I shopped in. To check, I went to look at tampons, and sure enough, he followed me closely. I found an employee and she radioed for security, and then they walked me to my car."
5."A guy was harassing his ex-girlfriend in a restaurant across from the high school I attended. Her friends kept trying to get him to leave. I walked up with 911 dialed on my phone and told him he had 30 seconds to leave before I called the cops. He left but waited outside the restaurant. I helped her get to her car while her friends distracted the guy. She hugged me before she left. I never got her name and she never got mine."
6."I was dancing at a bar in South Korea with a friend, and some guy tried to get up on us. A drunk girl came, pulled me away, and loudly shouted, ‘Nooo, he’s ugly as shit!!!!’ The guy looked embarrassed and quickly left with his friends. We danced with her and her girlfriends the rest of the night! The drunk girl sisterhood is international."
7."My car broke down at 3 a.m., so there weren't many people around. I called my boyfriend, but he was about 15 minutes away. This car with two guys pulled up asking if I needed help."
"Seemed nice enough, but still, a young woman in the middle of the night with a broken-down car and two random guys. As I’m telling them I’m fine and my boyfriend is on the way, a cop happens to drive by on patrol. He stops, asks if I’m okay, and tells the guys to leave and he will wait with me. So many ways that situation could have gone bad, but the universe was on my side."
8."I was in college and was going out to buy art supplies, and this guy just kept following me for blocks and blocks. Every time I’d cross the street, he would do the same, so I knew I wasn’t being paranoid. I ran into the first packed store I could find and told the clerk what was going on. Five kind people offered to walk me back to my dorm as a group, and I’ve never been more grateful!"
9."I was young and alone in Florence, Italy. A fortysomething guy was demanding that I go with him to his apartment. He had me against a bridge and I saw — very far away — two ladies. I told him I would go with him, and when he stopped pushing me, I ran toward them. In my very horrible English, I tried to explain my situation. They hugged me and took me to their hotel, and I called the police. Thank you to this Italian American woman and her daughter."
10."A guy was trying to get me to leave the elevator with him and go home with him. The elderly couple in the elevator with me pretended to be my grandparents and told him their granddaughter wasn't going anywhere with him."
11."I watched a drunk girl get in a random car asking, 'Are you Uber?' The bouncer chased down the car and pulled her out. There are a LOT of shitty people out there, but it's always nice to find a decent one."
12."I was alone at a diner, and these two drunk men kept trying to chat me up, asking me where I lived and where I worked. One sat on my side of the booth so I couldn’t leave. Once they finally wandered off, a waiter came over and said she’d been watching the whole time in case they got aggressive, and she watched out the window to make sure they actually left and weren’t waiting for me in the parking lot. I was so grateful to her, I almost cried."
13."When I was younger, I was at a gay bar, and there was this older guy we had seen around before, and he was a bit of a predator. Anyway, there was this new guy, about 19 years old, having a drink alone at the bar, and the old guy swooped in and was getting uncomfortably close and touching the younger guy."
"It was clear the younger guy did not want to be there. I walked over and said, 'OMG! Tim, I haven't seen you in ages! Come over here, I want you to meet all of my friends.' He hung out with us for the rest of the night, and we made sure we got him into a cab at the end of the night when he wanted to go home."
14."I'm a teacher at a language academy in Catalunya. I remember a few years back when I'd finished teaching for the day around 9 p.m. and was walking home when I saw one of my young, female students walking home alone."
"I was waiting at the light to cross, and she was already on the other side of the road. At this time, she was 14 years old. I saw a guy, at least 18, slide by her and start pawing her, to her obvious discomfort. I crossed the road and said to her, 'Maria [not her real name], I think you left your books in the school.' I escorted her back to the school, called her mum to come pick her up, and waited with her until she was in her mum's car. No idea what happened to the guy."
15."I was at a bar with some girls, and while the guy was harmless, he was plastered and would not leave me alone. Nothing creepy, just annoying as all hell. He kept trying to talk to me and dance with me. He would NOT STOP, even when my girls were trying to intervene."
"Finally, some very nice guy grabbed him and yelled, 'LEAVE HER ALONE!' Dude stumbled out, came back in, passed out by the jukebox, got kicked out. What a MESS. I bought my savior a drink and had a lovely dance with him, and he was very polite and a gentleman to boot."
16."I was on my way home from the city on St. Patrick's Day around 3 a.m. Cabs were limited, so I shared one with this random guy who kept insisting the driver drop me off first. The driver kicked him out of the cab and actually apologized to me, saying, 'I didn't want him knowing where you live.' Not all heroes wear capes."
17."I was jogging in my neighborhood in the middle of the day. A guy in front of me bent down, pretending to tie his shoe until I passed him, then followed me for three blocks and two turns."
"I was close to my apartment but didn’t want to show him where I lived, so I jogged past a crowded park and sat down with some moms at a picnic table. I quietly told them what was going on, and they gave me snacks and chatted with me while he stood at the corner of the park for almost 10 minutes before finally leaving. I never jogged alone again, and I’ll always be grateful to those mamas."
18."When I was 19, I was working in a coffee shop that stayed open late on weekends. The shop was surrounded by bars, and there was this one customer who would come in about every other week and harass me, so the supervisors and the rest of the night crew banded together to protect me from him."
"If anyone asked me to 'go get some caramel' after 8 p.m., it was code for 'Your stalker is coming; go hide.' I was always behind the espresso machine so I wouldn’t be visible from outside or from the entryway, and my colleagues always saw him before he saw me.
"Security for a nearby parking structure even started picking me up after my shift in their golf cart to drive me to my car so I couldn’t be followed. Between this team of like 20 people working together to keep me safe, they eventually managed to convince the guy that I had quit and he stopped coming around."
19."I had some girlfriends over to my apartment in college, and one asked to bring her new boyfriend. She had told us about some abusive language he’d used toward her at one point, but we told her he could come if he behaved himself. Not long after they arrived, he started berating her and calling her horrible names. I told him to leave and he refused, so I called the cops."
"They took a while to get there and he still refused to leave. He and I got into a major argument about his abusive behavior, and my roommate went outside to look for the cops. Next thing I knew, she came back with four or five huge guys. All they said was, 'You gotta go,' then picked him up and dragged him out the door. They lived next door and had asked my roommate what she was doing in the cold without a jacket at night, all alone. I’m forever grateful to those guys."
Has a stranger ever came to your defense in an uncomfortable situation? If you'd like, tell me about it in the comments.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.