1. #1
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    Dealing with mouthy people.

    I had a situation where I allowed someone to get under my skin today after weeks of berating by this woman at college. (Another student) In any event she finally pushed my last button and I said something I shouldn't have and now I wish I just been more tactful or not said anything at all. I'm 27 an wish I had conducted myself in a more mature manner, but like I said, this has been going on for weeks and I've done absolutely NOTHING to provoke this woman.

    I'm 4 weeks away from taking a test to become a police officer and I know this will be a daily issue dealing with the public and all, so if any of you have any advice on growing a thicker skin and or just being mentally tougher to deal with stupid situations like that I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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    Well, you've taken the first step. it's an issue you may have to work on, but your post indicates the maturity to try. Good luck in your efforts.

  3. #3
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    You can't take a little woman talk but you want to be able to stand there while 5 people talk about when they get out they're going to rape and kill your entire family while you watch?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StudChris View Post
    You can't take a little woman talk but you want to be able to stand there while 5 people talk about when they get out they're going to rape and kill your entire family while you watch?

    I understand that is a very real aspect of the job Chris. And that's why I'm asking for your advice. How do you deal with this situation?

    I know there isn't any excuse for it, but she has been riding my *** for weeks and it just came to a head today I guess. I've kept my mouth shut, never said a thing to her ever.

  5. #5
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    I'd look real carefully at why it got under your skin this time.

    Were you physically tired, unwell, hungry? Self-care is important partly so one is not so vulnerable to reactive behavior.

    Is she someone you care about, or someone you wish cared about you? If it is someone you don't care about, it is easier to 'consider the source' and let it roll off your back-- but that can be hard to do with someone you've cared about.

    Are you deep down afraid what she said is true? When someone is clean off the mark with their insults it is easier to laugh it off, but if their barbs hit close to home, it's more difficult.

    Were you afraid others might believe her? That can make it more difficult, too.

    I'd think it over as carefully as possible, see if you can recognize what made this time different, and see if there is something to be learned from it.

    As for once you are a cop-- well, the more it happens, the more desensitized to it you'll get, I imagine. And when you see that they are attacking the uniform because they don't actually know the person wearing the uniform, that may help you get a thicker skin, too. At some point you realize you don't want to give jerks power to disturb your peace of mind, and that you can take that power back by not caring what they say. You detach by an act of your will.

    Edited to say: I am not a cop, and I just realized this is "Ask a Cop". Sorry!
    Last edited by Chaplain Keppy; 10-15-2009 at 05:28 PM.

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    If she's been riding you for weeks and youve said NOTHING in return, then this sounds like you just snapped from the pressure, (likes kids who flip out and kill a bully). The woman probably thought you would just take it since you have all the times in the past.

    I would think, knowing what youve written, that if you said something to her when this started weeks ago, it may have not gotten this far. Police will try to nip it in the bud in an attempt to not lose control of a situation or at least to shut the loud mouth up quickly.

    So, instead of letting someone talk to you/treat you poorly for weeks, just address it the first time it comes and hopefully that will be the end of it. They will see that you will "fight back" so to speak or at least not put up with it.

    The best way to get rid of a bully is to stand up to him/her immediately
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaplain Keppy View Post
    I'd look real carefully at why it got under your skin this time.

    Were you physically tired, unwell, hungry? Self-care is important partly so one is not so vulnerable to reactive behavior.

    Is she someone you care about, or someone you wish cared about you? If it is someone you don't care about, it is easier to 'consider the source' and let it roll off your back-- but that can be hard to do with someone you've cared about.

    Are you deep down afraid what she said is true? When someone is clean off the mark with their insults it is easier to laugh it off, but if their barbs hit close to home, it's more difficult.

    Were you afraid others might believe her? That can make it more difficult, too.

    I'd think it over as carefully as possible, see if you can recognize what made this time different, and see if there is something to be learned from it.

    As for once you are a cop-- well, the more it happens, the more desensitized to it you'll get, I imagine. And when you see that they are attacking the uniform because they don't actually know the person wearing the uniform, that may help you get a thicker skin, too. At some point you realize you don't want to give jerks power to disturb your peace of mind, and that you can take that power back by not caring what they say. You detach by an act of your will.

    Edited to say: I am not a cop, and I just realized this is "Ask a Cop". Sorry!

    Thank you for the reply Chaplain. Honestly I do feel like I deal with immediate exposures of ignorance like this quite well, but like I said, she has been riding my *** for weeks saying various things out of left field and today I just had it. It was a stupid comment that she made as well...something about me going bald. (which I am and it is a touchy subject) I know that's a very trivial thing to get upset over, and like I said, I normally deal well with these things, I just lost my temper today because of the constant bull **** from her. This is what I need help with...how to overcome constant exposure to situations like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crass cop View Post
    If she's been riding you for weeks and youve said NOTHING in return, then this sounds like you just snapped from the pressure, (likes kids who flip out and kill a bully). The woman probably thought you would just take it since you have all the times in the past.

    I would think, knowing what youve written, that if you said something to her when this started weeks ago, it may have not gotten this far. Police will try to nip it in the bud in an attempt to not lose control of a situation or at least to shut the loud mouth up quickly.

    So, instead of letting someone talk to you/treat you poorly for weeks, just address it the first time it comes and hopefully that will be the end of it. They will see that you will "fight back" so to speak or at least not put up with it.

    The best way to get rid of a bully is to stand up to him/her immediately
    I believe you are correct, the pressure just got to be too much. I suppose I did say something in the beginning, but my point was not heeded very well? So at that point I just tried to ignore her and it still didn't work. It's funny to think of her as a bully, but I suppose that really is what she is/was trying to do with me.

    This is exactly the type of information I was looking for. Thank you.

  9. #9
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    Mouthy people are part of the job. They're going to get under your skin once in a while, most of the time you just ignore them. There is a plus side though: mouthy, lippy, nasty people are so much fun to write tickets to.

    I had a guy this summer berate me during a V&T stop. Called me every name in the book, and my mother too! I came back and issued him 2 tickets, one for 90/65 and the other for an unrestrained child. He said "You could give me a warning if you wanted too! You have discretion don't you!?" and I replied "Yes sir, I do. And Im using it by issuing these tickets, please drive safely." I had an ear to ear grin as I walked back to my car.

    You just have to learn how to deal with people.

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    Ssssssssssssssllllllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaappppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

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    or ust suck it up and keep your mouth shut, remember,,,,,there will always be another time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by The State View Post
    Ssssssssssssssllllllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaappppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hahaha...I've always wondered when the proper time to hit someone was. Obviously not just because someone is running their mouth. But say if they were resisting and wouldn't put their hands behind their back. Is a punch in the head called for in that situation. I've seen officers do it, but never knew if that was appropriate or allowed? That's another question I suppose..

  13. #13
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    When it comes to dealing with mouthy subjects you really get to figure out if you should be in this career field or not.
    I'm not saying you shouldn't but it defines whether you will be able to handle this job or just be hired till the complaints against you get significant enough for them to fire you.

    When your dealing with someone who runs their mouth you ignore them. You conduct your business and ignore what they are saying. If you tell them to do something and they didn't hear it because they were running their mouth to bad. The next step is they get forced to do it first by soft hands, followed by hard hands, and eventually tased.

    When you ignore them they know they are dealing with a professional cop. After a while they give up because they realize it's not getting under your skin. This is also a good time to be recording so if you do have to go hands on there is proof of their behavior.

    As far as punching someone in the head....
    It is never a good time to do that. If you go to head blows it's a deadly situation and all bets are off, but you have to be able to articulate how your life was in danger.

    In other words, if I'm justified to punch someone in the head I'm also justified to shoot them.
    In reality, if I see or hear of a cop thats punching someone in the head I realize he has lost control and is not trained in how to effectively take a suspect down.
    When you punch you will most likely cause injury to your fist, unless your Chuck Norris..lol
    There are better, more effective ways to immediatly take someone down. It's just like shooting. You can spray and pray or you can deliver several well placed bullets that hit their mark.

    A lot of this won't make sense now but once you start working you'll understand.

    To summarize,
    A cop has to be deliberate and efficient with all his actions. You can't be reactionary. You have to anticipate whats going to happen and be ready for it. If your reacting your already on your heels at a disadvantage. Letting someone get under your skin is a reaction where the other person is controlling you....BAD.
    Last edited by leesrt; 10-15-2009 at 10:55 PM.

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    I have nothing but respect for everybody until they disrespect me. I won't curse at you, but I have no problem raising my voice to control the situation. You have a job to do. Just because somebody's parents never taught them manners does not mean you have to tuck tail and be a shy cop.

    As soon as they start the mouthing, stop them politely and advise them where the situation is going. If they continue, allow it to go there.

    It's not about letting people under you skin. It's about keeping your command presence. When conducting an investigation, you are in charge; not teenager tom who wants to show his friends that he can defy authority.

    As far as people threatening you and your family, do not put up with that. You have an obligation to protect what is yours and to come home every night to your loved ones. It's up to you how you want to deal with this issue.

  15. #15
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    Also it depends on where you are working. if you're in a smaller town you are probably gonna end up dealing with the same folks over and over. You losing your temper with one today may be the reason that same person is keeping important information from you a month down the road on an important case. I like it when the roles change. Had a female just go off on me during a traffic stop. I kept my cool and did what I was going to do, then I let her go. A week later her neighbor beats the crap out of her and i'm first on scene...she's the one asking me to save her and I did. You never know who you are going to run into later down the road.

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    i've just always tried to laugh it off. if someone mill-mouths to me, i just let it go on the wayside. i could care less what someone thinks about me, my badge, or my job title.

    you're gonna deal with it in LEO/Corrections, just grow thicker skin. i have been called plenty of names, and at first when i was a fish C/O i learned a bad reaction could lead to me getting my *** whooped. Verbal/Non-Verbal communication is your power in law enforcement, and learning to use it respectfully could save your life.

    not to say i haven't had my words with people, but i have just learned that if you joke with them, generally it calms them down. just my .02 on the subject.

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    I let it go in one ear and out the other. They are stupid and ignorant and I really don't give merit to thier statements.

  18. #18
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    I highly recommend once you become an LEO you attend CIT (Crisis Intervention Training). It's a 40 hour course on how to interact with people "in crisis" -- i.e. mentally ill, suicidal, drunk / high, or otherwise normal people who have lost their ability to cope.

    I thought it was going to be a week of touchy-feely crap, but I WAS SO WRONG. After taking the class I went 11 months without a single use of force, and that was while working in the DUI unit (i.e. dealing exclusively with drunk people).
    MAC

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    In this job, you will do most of the damage with your pen.

    Just relax, let them mouth off, and document document document.

    I had arrested a lady for DUI, and she was mouthing off throughout the whole process. At the jail she said a whole bunch of bad stuff about me, made fun of of my manhood and etc. She even said, of course im going to put it down to rated PG for the young fold around here, "yea im drunk as hell but this officer is to much of a homosexual that he likes to arrest pretty woman when they had to many drinks"

    I simply asked the corrections officer that had my arrest affidavit to give it right back and i just recorded everything she said.

    The judge definitely did not like her actions, she also made my DUI case stronger, and she had a very harsh court experience.

    Point is to not let the mouthing off get under your skin. Just record it because in the end they make themselves look bad and 99% of the time when they are mouthing off they are incriminating themselves.

    Sometimes, i even encourage them to keep mouthing or get louder, because impulsively they will confess to the crime i got them in handcuffs or more.

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    You'll find how you deal with them is situational dependent. Sometimes you just go on with your job, laugh at them, or otherwise blow them off.

    Other times all that mouthing is leading up to something more serious and you need to squash it immediately. If its interfering with you doing your job, like hearing a witness talk, its cuff time. If its a likely precursor to violence or inciting others to violence, its cuff time. If its just some cranky old guy wondering if you don't have anything better to do then write him a ticket for 55 in a school zone, you just picture him doing jazz hands and repeating "I'm a cranky old guy", put his tickets on his dash, and walk away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leesrt View Post
    As far as punching someone in the head....
    It is never a good time to do that. If you go to head blows it's a deadly situation and all bets are off, but you have to be able to articulate how your life was in danger.

    In other words, if I'm justified to punch someone in the head I'm also justified to shoot them..
    Is that your agencies' UOF policy, or your personal opinion?

    It is not even REMOTELY considered deadly force for us to punch someone ANYWHERE on their body with a fist, up to and including knocking teeth out, and/or breaking the orbital bones......smack them in the nugget with a Streamlight or a Sap? yes.......punch them, no.....use ANY 'personal weapon' IE: anything you were born with?....NOPE

    Are you more likely to do as much damage (or more) to your hand as you are to their head?....depending on where exactly you hit them in the head, YES
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by reils49 View Post
    Mouthy people are part of the job. They're going to get under your skin once in a while, most of the time you just ignore them. There is a plus side though: mouthy, lippy, nasty people are so much fun to write tickets to.

    I had a guy this summer berate me during a V&T stop. Called me every name in the book, and my mother too! I came back and issued him 2 tickets, one for 90/65 and the other for an unrestrained child. He said "You could give me a warning if you wanted too! You have discretion don't you!?" and I replied "Yes sir, I do. And Im using it by issuing these tickets, please drive safely." I had an ear to ear grin as I walked back to my car.

    You just have to learn how to deal with people.
    Mouthy people tend to have more lines filled out on my tickets also.

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    Thanks for all of the great advice! I will certainly be looking into the CIT training once I am on board with a dept. I believe that will help quite a bit throughout my career.

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