DEALING WITH NEGATIVISM
by Dr. Saxe-Clifford
Q: How can I help myself from becoming cynical and negative as a result of my experience in law enforcement?
A: Most police officers start off their careers idealistic and optimistic about the difference they hope to make. The reality of the job and exposure to more senior officers often quickly changes perspective. Police officers do not get calls to happy, healthy families without a problem. They tend to think the population they interact with is the population, and they may develop a cynical attitude partly as a defense against negative emotions. Most police officers work through this stage of their career on their own. However, a few tips may help avoid this phase. Keep focused on long-term goals and the "good" you will do over the course of your career. Do not look for daily reinforcement, but pay attention to the "normal life" around you as you work. Have outside interests and outside relationships. Let old friends and family give you feedback about any changes in your personality and pay attention to what they say.