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Please Take me Back!
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 05/15/2017

Inmates-v



The following is an installment in "Operation Icebreaker: Shooting for Excellence", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.


In corrections, there are two constants:
  1. Trust, once broken, is hard to regain.
  2. Manipulative people with a certain determination will utilize a large variety of tactics to get their way.
This also applies to life outside of the bars and in personal relationships in particular. Recently, I listened to the sad breakup story of a friend of mine and her boyfriend. She told me that her boyfriend cheated on her. Once she found out about it and confronted him, the treacherous one utilized a variety of ways to restart the relationship. (A big shout out to “Trottier” for the inspiration.)

In the phrases below, imagine our scenario of a caught cheater whose strategy is to get his former girlfriend to forgive his transgressions and get back together with him. What tactics does he use? How would one repel that tactic?

For example:
  1. I miss you so much! My life is not the same without you!

    What tactics does he use?

    Appeal to ego, romance card

    How would one repel that tactic?
    Bring up the past – recall record of treacherous behavior

  2. My mom said that she is going to block your number. She is hurt that you would quit going out with me.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  3. Look at me. I am skin and bones. I lost thirty pounds since you left me!

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  4. You were texting other guys!

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  5. I did it because you spent so much time with your family. I never felt like I mattered in the relationship.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  6. How come you always hang out with your friends and leave me at home. I got bored and made a big mistake.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  7. I was kidding. I did not cheat. It just looked that way because I wanted to test your loyalty to this relationship.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  8. I am going to kill myself it you don’t take me back.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  9. Constant crying and incomprehensible babbling…

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?

  10. If you ever loved me, you will take me back and forgive me. Just give me a chance.

    What tactics does he use?
    How would one repel that tactic?
Ever distrustful are the treacherous, as Gandalf remarked of his fallen colleague, the traitor Saruman. It is up to each person to consider a cheater or liar as a cornered rat or a poor repentant. In the spirit of not getting fooled again, we in corrections owe it to ourselves to identify and combat the many styles of manipulation. Those are skills that level the playing field and enhance safety.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence". The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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