Good cop, bad cop

Whenever I did something naughty as a kid, my mum would always say “Just wait until your father gets home!”.
I guess she didn’t want to be the one to punish me.

Equally, whenever I wanted something, my dad would say “Go ask your mum”.
I guess, he didn’t want to be the one to break my heart by saying NO.

When it came anything to with school work, my dad was the definitely the “bad cop”, expecting 200% of me.
Mum had more of a “leave the poor child alone” mentality.
I must admit that probably because of dad’s strict approach, I was able to finish my education.

However, any financial business, mum was the aggressive one.
She’d practically return back any box of chocolate to the store if it wasn’t up to her expectations.
Even though dad wouldn’t put in such effort, he admits that his brilliant wife saved us a lot of money.

This week at work, 3 of my colleagues and me are conducting technical interviews with a mayor focus on electrical safety.
“So”, my colleague initiated, “Who’s going to play good cop and bad top?”
“That’s a good cop for me”, I quickly confirmed.

Probably what everyone would expect from me.
Friendly. Sticking to the script. Not going to ask any additional tricky questions. They knew they would all pass if it were only up to me.
It made me think.
In the end, my signature will be on the nomination paper. Hence, my responsibility.

I changed my mind and played the role of “bad cop”.
I told them they can keep their notes during the interview.
But I also warned them: the more they would look on it, the  trickier my questions would become.

“You’re on fire today”, my
 colleagues grinned.
I felt like that. It was actually fun being the one who challenges people in a fair way.
Some of the shy technicians we interviewed actually came out of their shell.
They were proud to show they had all this additional knowledge.
It made all of us smile.

Sometimes, having a “bad cop” in your life, is not so bad.

How was the role of your parents? Who was the good cop?
Which role do you usually play, good or bad cop?

10 thoughts on “Good cop, bad cop

  1. My parents played both sides, I believe. There were times my dad would let certain things slide if I did something wrong but my mom would be the one with a stiff upper lip criticizing or reprimanding me for my behavior. In other situations, my dad was absent or took no part in parenting me and left it to my mom.

    I have never been in the position of interviewing anyone or having all cards in my hand, but I imagine if I did, I would rather be the good cop. I’m just too nice lol. I think it has to do with personally knowing what it feels like to be under pressure and I just can’t stand the idea that I made someone else that uncomfortable too. I’m too weak to press anyone’s buttons…


    1. It was uncomfortable in the beginning for me too, but once you realize you have a lot of knowledge of a particular topic, it’s less difficult.
      Beside, it is definitely a good idea to team up with someone why plays the nice one.
      I think it’s a good method 😀


  2. My parents were exactly the same like yours… My parents were not very strict but relatively my dad was a tad bit strict when it came to dealing with my eating habits and sometimes my demanding nature… Now, being a mother myself, I can understand what it was for them..😊🤗


  3. Dad bad cop, mom good cop.
    I am definitely the devil’s advocate (i.e. bad cop) by choice. However, I like to switch things up sometimes, and can adapt to being good cop when needed.


    1. Ah, by choice.
      Do you think you achieve more like that rather than playing nice and friendly?
      I think it also really depends on whom you tried the method on. I have often made the wrong decision to play good cop to someone who was terrible.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m always the bad cop because I’m the firm but fair one xD
    It does give me some grief because the bad cops get the short end of the stick when it comes to immediate affection, but I think in the end, there is gratitude to be earned from it… I’m expecting to be the bad cop as a parent and already stressed thinking about it, but some people were just born to play the part and take on that responsibility. That’s why I want a husband who is more easygoing and fun than I am, but I don’t want something that’s so out of balance! He will have to be firm and wise, too! I’m not going to be a martyr here.


    1. You’re a bad cop! Didn’t think you’d be!

      As a parent I would definitely be the bad cop as well. I think children need discipline.
      I had very limited freedom until I finished my education. No drinking, no boyfriends, no going out. My parents didn’t even allow me to work (expect for once a summer vacation job).

      I got the feeling I’d be that kind of parent too 😉 So the husband better more relaxed, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I agree that children need discipline. I would be a bad cop but I’d like to give my children freedom to figure out their own lives. I want to push them to try new things and put themselves out there and collect experiences. I might be looser on the leash, but I’m definitely a no-nonsense type with kind of rigid values. I would be against them drinking underage (unless I let them have a sip maybe) and would give curfews and have rules on computer/phone/etc. usage. I can def see myself being naggy and impatient with them ><! Yeah I worry about myself as a parent haha.


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