Sadly, coming across people who are anti-police and sometimes even friends and family who buy into this negative police rhetoric can happen. And for many in our community, it feels like it is happening more now than ever before.
For that reason, so many couples, spouses and officers feel like they can not openly share their pride and support for law enforcement. Due to the current climate and widespread media negativity, law enforcement seems to be a hot button topic and very politically driven.
Many like to dehumanize and demoralize law enforcement and lump every police officer into one category acting as if they are all “bad”.
Reports such as this make people more vocal about their thoughts regarding law enforcement and they feel the need to vocalize it to law enforcement, their families and supporters. Sadly, these comments come with not much merit and do not go beyond regurgitating a news headline.
They also generalize that nearly every cop is bad, racist, or worse and never treat them as the humans that they are.
So let’s talk about ways to deal with the haters as law enforcement families.
4 Ways to Deal with People who are Anti-Police as a Law Enforcement Spouse/Couple
My suggestions are going to depend on what type of situation you are in and who you are talking to.
If you are dealing with someone on the internet:
I am going to say this as nicely as possible. Block, delete, then ignore. You should not be giving anyone on the internet your time if you do not normally look to them for advice.
Chances are these are trolls or keyboard warriors feeling way too confident behind a computer screen or phone. I’d also venture to say that they wouldn’t dare say the words they are saying to you online to your face. Again, it is perfectly fine to block or unfollow someone on the internet and put up boundaries online.
If you are dealing with someone in person:
Co-worker or boss: Say “Since this is my place of employment this is not something I am willing to talk about. “
Friends and Family: We know everyone has their own opinion(s) and we can absolutely disagree with someone. We can also have conversations with people about things we disagree with but you have to personally decide whether this is a topic you are willing to have with others. Are they there to truly have open dialogue (where you both get to speak and listen) or are they there to argue and because they have a motive? If it is the latter, you need to remember that you do not need to accept toxic relationships into your life. Just because they are family or close friends does not give them a pass to cross your boundaries.
I do recommend if it is your spouses family-have him/her say something. If it is yours family then you have the conversation with them.
You can say:
“I respect your opinion but this is not a topic we are willing to go in to. It is too emotionally charged for us.”
If someone is not respecting your boundaries, then you need to re-evaluate that relationship and how much you invest in it.
You are in control of how much negativity you allow in your life.
Don’t question your beliefs
Remember that your beliefs are YOUR beliefs. People that aren’t pro-police will have strong opinions. Don’t ever question your beliefs because of someone else.
Sometimes when people make more controversial posts, such as anti-police posts, they are looking for an argument or heavy discussions. Getting in that argument or commenting back is only giving them the satisfaction they were hoping to gain. Don’t give that to them.
You do not owe anyone an explanation. Sometimes NO RESPONSE speaks greater volumes than actually saying something.
Focus on your family
More times than not, we can not change the opinions of others; on the internet or otherwise. So put your energy and time where it counts, and that is towards your immediate family. Continue to show them love and support. And stand your ground that you don’t take judgement from others.
Remember, that this is a THEM problem, not a YOU problem. Chances are, your spouse or loved one IS NOT one that did something wrong and is an amazing human being. You and the officer in your life IS NOT responsible for the way someone feels about law enforcement. It is not your job to make them feel better.
I know dealing with people who treat your loved ones horribly as if they are anti-human is a horrible feeling. But remember, it is not your job to change the minds of those who are anti-police. You’ve got this!
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