All right, truth telling time: I can’t Always take my own advice. Even I have been known to play the maniac back.
One time during a negotiation, I had a real hard case in a room with an old lady. On the phone, he started going off about what he was going to do to her, and at some point I just snapped back: “If you hurt one little gray hair on her head, I will be the one to ID your body in the morgue today.”
It was a completely emotional response; it was absolutely not what you’re trained to do. It’s not what I was trained to do, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as a way to introduce yourself.
But it did actually work. I had a moment of controlled craziness. And the hostage taker responded instantly with, “She’s okay. She’s sitting on the couch.” That was the last time he threatened her safety, and five hours later he released her unharmed.
I can justify it now: I had a feeling that if I just kept letting him spew the venom, he was going to talk himself into slitting her throat. It comes under the category of using your personality and your emotions, and in that way it complies with the rules, not breaks them.
Still, I was a bit of a psycho that moment.
See? Everybody’s a little crazy.