I’ve noticed that when one of my partners is in a tough situation I can give him the most uplifting and positive advice. When I am in a tough spot, that same officer is going to give uplifting and positive advice right back in my direction.
there seems to be a common aspect to this exchange though. We both realize that the other isn’t going to take our advice. We even vocalize it, saying, “I know you’re not going to stop worrying about this, but…”. It’s a fact of life; we can dish it out, but we can’t receive it. I’m not talking about criticism, I’m talking about advice.
As officers, we are our own worst critic. It’s an undeniable truth. We sit here and we will “Monday morning quarterback” ourselves until the day is dark. We are the worst at expressing our feelings, we are the worst at taking advice when we are in a position of self-doubt. I can’t even count, in my very short career, how many times someone has given me advice that has proven to be 100% correct; however, I refuse to believe it as such. Yet, I can give solid advice to them, without fail. They will inevitably fail to put their trust in my advice, as it, also, proves to be true.
I am not sure what the solution to this problem is. I wish I did, for it would put an end to a lot of inner turmoil. It is possible that the first step to solving this issue is realizing that we are our own worst critic.
If we realize this and allow it to enter our conscious thought, we may begin a path to combat the refusal to follow the advice of the people with whom we work so close. In the end, who knows a cop better than a cop himself?