Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to come face to face with a cop and be nice. They are in a position of authority, they only talk to you when you are getting fined or punished in some way, and what’s more you know you could have done that same job but you wanted not to be a professional bully when you grew up. At least that’s how it feels when you are facing a ticket and a stern, immobile face. Citizen and cop relations have always been tense, but there are a few things you can keep in mind when dealing with police officers so that you don’t fly off the handle and get yourself into far more trouble than you were originally in.
You get what you give
Always remember that the first rule of making friends is to smile – even if it’s the last thing you want to do, just a friendly little upturning of the lips can unblock the first wall on the way to a tension-free existence between the cops and your own kind. It’s not as if you have to do it in the face of a ticket, but if you can first just manage a little smile when you see an officer walking past, dully checking the parking meters or doing other odd jobs that don’t involve you then you are closer to being in good standing with these authority figures.
Try not to blame them for every little thing
Sometimes in life, you will get a ticket. Or have your jacket searched, or see your friend patted down with no just cause. These things always happen and everyone will go through it at some point. The key is not to blame all of these occurrences on the police themselves, since of course they took the job based on the fact that they would follow orders and not do any interpretive thinking on any subject covered under local law. Let the small things go and if you aren’t able to act happy in the face of such irritations then at least don’t act angry.
Think about being a cop yourself
For a few minutes, imagine if it was you who dreamt of holstering that gun, putting on that hat or chasing down horrible criminals. This might not be you at all, but if you think about being in this position for a little while you can start to see all the things that might worry such a person, and that cops are facing an incredible amount of danger every day. Your sympathy could win over your natural hatred!
Know the law
Any altercations with the law might run a lot more smoothly if you knew your rights and responsibilities within the American law system. To know what is expected of you in different legal circumstances is to know where you and the police stand and what you owe them and what you do not. This means that you have done your best to earn the respect of those that stand in authority over you; a job not easily done.
When all else fails, think of them as robots
Let’s face it, cops are here to follow the letter of the law and most of the time that means there is no arguing with them: no amount of your own logic will penetrate that seemingly thick skull and therefore it is best not to waste your time. It’s easier to stay calm around a stubborn robot than it is a stubborn person because you know the robot doesn’t have the capacity to think past its current settings. If it helps, don’t think of the police as people and you won’t feel such a strong disliking for them!