Confronting your Best Friend



If your best friend is not himself or herself, you know it. They behave differently. They may be more quiet than usual, or they may be more hyper than usual. They may not hold a conversation very well, and they may seem somewhat distracted. They are just off...not themselves. You know this because you know them and understand them and how they normally behave. This normal behavior is their baseline, and you picked up that something is wrong. If you asked him, "Hey Joe, so seem a little off today, a little down. Is everything alright?" If Joe says, after a long pause and a stress-relieving sigh, "Yeah, everything's fine." You know Joe is not fine, and Joe actually lied to you about how he is truly feeling. So, what do you do? How would you respond to Joe? Do you confront him and yell, "Listen Joe, I know you are not fine so stop jerking me around and tell me the truth!" If Joe then starts talking and telling you again that everything's fine, do you stop him from talking and put your hand up and say, "I don't want to hear that Joe, I KNOW you are not fine, so don't feed me any of your bull!" Of course not. We wouldn't do that because how would Joe respond? He would likely stop talking or walk away and not want to be around you anymore. Your response would more likely be that you take Joe aside into a quiet place and let him know you can see something is wrong and you would like to talk with him about it. If he started saying he was fine, you would listen and ask questions. You would be compassionate, listen well, connect with him and let him know you care about him. With that approach, Joe would be more likely to talk with you and tell you the truth about what's bothering him. You wouldn't yell at him, stop him from talking, accuse him of lying, etc. So, why do so many police officers still interview in a confrontational manner? Rapport-based narrative interviewing is much more effective at obtaining truthful information from people, and many countries and police forces have prohibited aggressive, accusatory tactics within investigative interviews and criminal interrogations. The good news is that my travels and training throughout the country, I see the tide shifting to the more effective narrative-based interview which is a welcome change!


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