It's the classic scene in any action movie.
Enter our protagonist, destined to fight for the causes of humanity, running for his life down a side alleyway. With one hand he brandishes a weapon. The weapon itself is not the most ideal for the situation he's in -but it is his most trusted accoutrement. (Every one of the "bad guys" currently chasing him knows that in a one-on-one fight they would surely be destroyed by it.) With his other hand he grasps a small locked box that must be delivered to a certain person at a certain time or else all of the people in a certain area will perish. As he rounds the corner, with his final destination in plain sight, his full-on sprint turns into an abrupt halt as he realizes that he is indeed surrounded by his pursuers. The camera zooms in for a close-up shot of our protagonist's face and with beads of sweat running down his forehead he says to himself, "If there were only two, or three I could take them. But this many? Not a chance."
All at once he realizes that he is outnumbered.
There aren't a lot of options for response when you are outnumbered.
In an action movie antagonists are never satisfied with simply outnumbering the protagonist. No, they want to battle it out in unison to insure total defeat. From the protagonist's point of view you either have to be a great negotiator or an even better fighter. There would be no action film if the screen faded to black and the credits began to roll the minute the audience realized the outnumbering had occurred. The audience demands an outcome. That's what they paid for.
For the longest time I've felt outnumbered. I am definitely not the hero type protagonist, but I can surely relate to being surrounded in a metaphorical alleyway. It's a stifling place. A place where the air is scarce and sometimes too heavy to breathe. Just simply panning around to get a clearer picture of all that outnumbers you can be a dizzying experience. All the eyeballs of your pursuers are on you. Passer-bys and on-lookers crowd in to see how you'll react.
When your outnumbered everybody watches.
We don't always respond like most action heroes. Sometimes we can't find the strength deep inside to triumph in the most unlikely of ways. There are no spin moves and backflips to help us narrowly escape our impending doom. We simply sit in our outnumbered-ness, which doesn't make for a good action movie.
I remember when my life transitioned from an action film into a real-life drama.