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How to Tell Anyone Anything by Richard S. Gallagher

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CHAPTER 5

Normalize: It's OK, Really

I am going to share the plot with you of nearly every detective movie ever made. A bad guy does bad things. The police catch him. Once he is in custody, the Bad Cop comes in, furrows his or her brow, and says things like, “We caught you and now we're going to make you talk.” The perp responds defiantly. Then the Bad Cop goes away and the Good Cop comes in.

The Good Cop does not accuse the perp of anything. To the contrary, this officer is full of warmth and understanding. This cop says things like, “I can understand how you feel about that,” and “You're not the first person to be in this situation.” As they build a dialogue, eventually the Good Cop addresses the crime itself by saying something like, “Look, ...

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