Emotional Intelligence in a Cop’s Life

Divorce Sucks!

So let’s talk…  Stress in any job adds to an unstable home life. Add the uncertainty in a cop’s day on the street, the physical stress, the long hours, the negative press that Officers are exposed to, and it multiplies things ten-fold.

Divorce happens when we stop communicating…

 No matter how you slice it, getting a divorce is not part of the plan. No one gets married thinking, “I can’t wait to put myself and my partner thru hell, and get a divorce!”
Learn to keep the lines of communication open, and you have a great shot at a long, healthy marriage. 

When Communication Breaks

Do you remember why you married your spouse? Did you talk for hours, trying to find out all you could about them? Think back to that time, and just remember how easy it was to be with them… Hopefully it makes you smile!

Now, fast forward 5 – 10 – 15 years, to where you are now, and what has changed? The years of stress as a police officer, can impact everything you do. A high stress job can add to lack of communication, disrupting a balanced home life.

  • It can make you irritable and on edge
  • You don’t want to talk about your day (or anything else for that matter)
  • You get angry at the most trivial things
  • Can often get headaches, back aches, and neck pain

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is learning to become aware of our emotions, and to acknowledge that emotions drive behavior that can impact others (positively and negatively). Learning to manage emotions, in the moment, is crucial.

Emotional Intelligence Strengthens Marriage

When we teach EI to law enforcement, most are surprised how easy it is to use, almost immediately.  Learning to say things differently, can and will effect how others feel, good and bad. If you’ve never worked on this before, this will be a great place for you to start. Once you become aware of how your emotions effect you, you can change how you react to others. Better communication starts with AWARENESS. When you become aware, you have the power to change anything.

 

4 Ways to Connect with Your Spouse

Leave the stress of the job, at the job.

As Sgt. Tina told us in class once, “I touch a tree in my yard before I walk in my house. I learned this a long time ago, and it has always helped me release the ugly stuff from my day. This is my way to release the stress of the job, so I don’t bring it in the house.”

Become an active listener to what your spouse is saying

Instead of listening, to quickly say what you think… listen with the intent to “just listen.” How do you become an active listener? One way is to answer your spouse with something like…

“So what you are saying is… you want me to take the kids to soccer practice, to help you once in a while… right?”

Plan a Date Night around your work schedule… in advance! 

Everyone needs to look forward to something, your spouse is no different. Take time to plan a special dinner, a movie, or even concert tickets. Seeing a date on the calendar sparks the excitement for the both of you.

 

Be spontaneous, let your spouse know you care and think about them

If you are on your phone a lot during the day… take one minute out to send your spouse a love thought, a picture of something that reminds you of them, a spontaneous call to say something that makes them smile…

“I was thinking about you and wanted to tell you I love you!”

 

RITE Training helps de-escalate 95% of calls. Unique cultural diversity with EI & SI improves communication, builds Career resiliency, and improves Department morale. See our EVENTS page for a training near you, or become a Host site! Contact us about TRAINING for your agency.

 

Interesting facts on divorce:

The national average for divorce across all occupations was 16.96 percent, compared to 14.47 percent for law enforcement careers. Interestingly, the data showed the divorce rate to be:

  • 15% for police and patrol officers
  • 12% for detectives and police supervisors
  • 19% for animal control officers
  • 26% for parking enforcement officers
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