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A strategy for supporting and listening to others | Jeremy Brewer

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. As a police officer, Jeremy Brewer interacts with individuals experiencing trauma and loss on a daily basis. Giving us a peek into this little-discussed aspect of the job, Brewer shares thoughtful insights on why respecting people’s space is sometimes…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

As a police officer, Jeremy Brewer interacts with individuals experiencing trauma and loss on a daily basis. Giving us a peek into this little-discussed aspect of the job, Brewer shares thoughtful insights on why respecting people’s space is sometimes more important than trying to fix an unfixable moment — and explains how you can use this approach to support someone when they need you the most.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

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82 Comments

82 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Pookie Wookie

    January 15, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for your service 🙏🏽 Wonderful Talk 🇺🇸

  2. Avatar

    True Crime Queen TV

    January 15, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    LOVE THE CHANNEL! STAY SAFE EVERYONE 🙏

  3. Avatar

    Brent Dowland

    January 15, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Why do I get the feeling; he’s not listening to me?

  4. Avatar

    KIANA MCKNIGHT

    January 15, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    I just posted a vid on mary Vincent’s case if anyone wants to hear how much of a warrior she is

  5. Avatar

    John Gundaker

    January 15, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Wise and even needful talk, respect is such a big deal, thank you for sharing and caring.

  6. Avatar

    ES Sieg

    January 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you. This should be sent out to every police department. Respect space. Awareness of highly charged moments, the human experience.

    In the beginning of the pandemic, I was bombarded with abusive people, trying to reverse what happened. I couldn’t breathe.

    He looked me in the eye and said, “You Saved You” and told me to repeat after him. He saw I was non violent, and that they didn’t even know where I kept my medication or my dog’s name. He was one of maybe 6 officers as I was crying in the lobby with my dog in my arms trembling.

    They took me to the psych ward ER, where he explained to the nurse staff what was happening.

    I am still traumatized by this, but this one officer, stepping outside the box and staying with me . . . he had tears in his eyes
    He kept having me repeat “You saved you,” helping me breathe in and out. And one more thing he looked at me and said, “they’re doing this because they have to.” I got what he meant.

  7. Avatar

    Klinsman Lamare

    January 15, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Nice one

  8. Avatar

    Lucianst99

    January 15, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Interesting, where I live the Paramedics manage the patient care, death notification etc. Police Officers control the integrity of the scene for the Medical Examiner.

  9. Avatar

    Skylar Keyon

    January 15, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Woow woow 😍💋 💝💖❤️

  10. Avatar

    Whit

    January 15, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Physical touch is never the proper comfort unless you are RETURNING it.

    • Avatar

      Claire Broadway

      January 15, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Context is everything. I think touching family members and friends that you have a trusting relationship with to provide comfort is perfectly good and often welcome. And I say this as someone who is not very touchy feely.

  11. Avatar

    Gong Vikrampal

    January 15, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you!!!!! Fully agree!!!!! So much love

  12. Avatar

    Nguyễn Vũ

    January 15, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Nicely done , sir !

  13. Avatar

    MrZacchery

    January 15, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    This is so good.

  14. Avatar

    george kurgansky

    January 15, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    This is gut wrenching. I wish for more Policemen like him.

    • Avatar

      Hippity Hopotus

      January 15, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      Most police officers are like this man.

  15. Avatar

    Polandjl

    January 15, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    This officer, whether he knows it or not, makes THE argument for defending police. The calls he talks about responding to that destroyed him emotionally and that he didn’t know how to handle are calls that he should never have been forced to handle without frankly being a licensed therapist. This poor man has been traumatized by being made to respond to situations he was never trained for, and because of his lack of training, he has traumatized others accidentally. I believe he is a good man, based from the way he talks. A good man with responsibilities he could never be reasonably expected to live up to with his training and pay rate.

    • Avatar

      Claire Broadway

      January 15, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      It seems like there should be a licensed therapist that gets called in for these situations, or a police officer that is specifically trained and specialized so there is at least one on the scene. I’m not certain if it would be best served by another org that works directly with the police, or within the force itself, since I’m sure there are times when they can’t always anticipate someone will pass away, and it would be good to have someone that responded to the call that is already trained.

    • Avatar

      Eve

      January 15, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      True

    • Avatar

      Polandjl

      January 15, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      @Claire Broadway I could not have put it better myself. I totally agree. On calls in which someone is in distress, a licensed therapist should ALWAYS ride along. In my mind. That is the first step of defunding the police. The second step is trading the military gear and training that police officers receive for social programs which will, in the long term, result in many calls in which someone is in distress no longer coming in. It also means that our legal system is not burdened by the homeless, the mentally ill, the traumatized and the poor, because those people will all be receiving the help they need to stand on their own

    • Avatar

      Ваня Xuльko

      January 15, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      You mean defunding. We totally need more social care workers, and less police.

    • Avatar

      Eve

      January 15, 2021 at 9:09 pm

      @Ваня Xuльko yeah we do 🙂

    • Avatar

      Mai Britton

      January 16, 2021 at 10:17 am

      @Claire Broadway In some cities in northern California officers are accompanied with a therapist/social worker. Depends on the funding and citizens asking for what they think their city and “fellow man” needs.

  16. Avatar

    Rosamunda Dos

    January 15, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Gracias por los subtítulos. Muy buena lección. En relación a adaptarse a las situaciones, recomiendo Seis zapatos para la acción de Edward de Bono. Saludos

  17. Avatar

    gendule King Jr.

    January 15, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    I have I deal give opportunity to completely too and let’s world hearing about it couz I’m South Sudan boy

  18. Avatar

    Joe Mullings

    January 15, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for such a powerful message!

  19. Avatar

    Medicine today

    January 15, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    I’m medical student and i make scientific videos i only need your support

  20. Avatar

    Jade Choi - Million Dollar Challenge

    January 15, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Interesting. Never thought about this trauma. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Avatar

    The Mean Arena

    January 15, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Too late! The demoralization of American society is too deep.

  22. Avatar

    Karmen

    January 15, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Listening is all about being selfless and making your priority the person in front of you. He mentioned giving that lady a hug and having her retract out of discomfort, at that time he had not thought about the mourning process or asked her if she wanted a hug. So, please always ask questions and never assume.

    • Avatar

      Crypto love

      January 15, 2021 at 10:53 pm

      LOVE YOU GUYS ❤️❤️ WRIGHT MY BROKER VERN CALOSS ON WHAT SAPP TO MAKE GREAT RIO IN BTC

      His what Sapp
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  23. Avatar

    j k

    January 15, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I sincerely hope that he has someone just as compassionate, when he’s the one receiving the news of death.

  24. Avatar

    Terry Wheelock

    January 16, 2021 at 12:57 am

    If you are gonna help someone, “HELP THEM”, if you are gonna support someone, “SUPPORT THEM”, if you are gonna listen to someone, “LISTEN TO THEM”! It ain’t rocket science! 🤣

    This guy is JUST BLABBERING! 🤣

  25. Avatar

    0 0

    January 16, 2021 at 1:33 am

    Best ted talk in a while. Outstanding.

  26. Avatar

    0 0

    January 16, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Every one should watch this! Amazing

  27. Avatar

    Djaafar HAMIDI

    January 16, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Thanks for the video Honorable Policeman. It’s a great lesson

  28. Avatar

    Mathias Reippuert

    January 16, 2021 at 2:33 am

    I really love hearing these successful people talk!
    They seem so smart, and it’s fascinating that they have managed to build that kind of wealth.
    I’m really excited to get on the same journey, figure out what’s working, and hopefully find the key mechanisms so anyone can obtain that sort of success.
    As long as they are willing to follow those mechanisms.

    I’m an entreprenuer and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there, and to uncover the truths.
    if are interested in joining and following my journey, I would be very pleased and one day I will let you know excatly what actions you need to take, in order to succeed.

  29. Avatar

    Candace Dawn

    January 16, 2021 at 4:50 am

    I was told in nursing school that it was okay to cry so I did when I helped a patient deliver a stillborn baby.

    • Avatar

      Leigh Butterbrodt

      January 16, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      That was good advice. Losing a child has to be the worst pain, unimaginable.

    • Avatar

      Josh C

      January 17, 2021 at 12:15 am

      Was the baby…. still born 😈💅🏿

    • Avatar

      Bhoomi Gupta

      January 17, 2021 at 7:05 am

      wait
      how did it help deliver a baby?

  30. Avatar

    Mero Mohamed

    January 16, 2021 at 5:28 am

    About my misfortune with the men I loved him 3 times and none of them loved me, then I got married and had children, and we disagreed and the divorce was completed. A person appeared recently in my life who told me that I love you and I want to marry you and then came to me saying: I do not feel comfortable in that relationship and we have not talked about it much and we will be able to overcome it easily, I am very sad, because nothing or problem came from me, and since last night I have been I cry with grief for myself, my feelings, and my life that goes by without love or marriage, I am 30 years old

  31. Avatar

    Tabacchum Taba

    January 16, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Who love to learn English?

  32. Avatar

    Adventures with Frodo

    January 16, 2021 at 6:02 am

    Thanks

  33. Avatar

    Mai Britton

    January 16, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Respect space; I work with children and when they fall most of the time they look to me. All ages. Most to see my reaction and some it’s about ego in not crying. I will talk with them when they cry, tell them to breathe or gently rub their back. I empathize by telling them I know its scary when you fall. I respect their space. Its interesting how other co workers ask me how why I dont run to a child and touch them.

  34. Avatar

    Mai Britton

    January 16, 2021 at 6:38 am

    Respect space; COVID 19. When out in public if I am closer than 6 ft. I ask if it’s ok to enter their space. In the last 9 months I have only had 2 people move away from me while asking.

  35. Avatar

    Carmen Batchelor

    January 16, 2021 at 11:14 am

    👍🏼👍🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼✌🏼♥️♥️ love this!! Excellent…

  36. Avatar

    Lieve Leysen

    January 16, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    😊💖🙏🏻

  37. Avatar

    Sam Youngblood

    January 16, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Police work? They just wanna meet quotas, not help people! Toss em in the new jail system part of the prison industrial complex! Make innocent people into Bad people! Watch the Mike wood Jr. on Joe Rogan! We need police! But we need them to stand up for the people who need help, the few arrogant ones stop being vigilantes! Corrupt Policy has destroyed our nation! Taking a family’s last dollar to meet a quota. Falsify tickets-There needs to be reform! Not add to the drug epidemic! Walmart am McDonald’s never paid people the 15$ an hour people still mock today-yet Rent an Cost of living went up as if pay increased! People are losing everything! And you won’t understand till it’s you!

  38. Avatar

    Gaasuba Meskhenet

    January 16, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Defund the police

    • Avatar

      young gamer

      January 18, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      No

  39. Avatar

    Mr Un Veasna For New Headway

    January 17, 2021 at 2:33 am

    Hello teacher I am Veasna I am a boy I come from Cambodia 🇰🇭 And you?

  40. Avatar

    Bhoomi Gupta

    January 17, 2021 at 7:14 am

    ted talks make us learn so much from other people’s experiences

  41. Avatar

    Jenny C

    January 17, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Thank you.🙏❤️

  42. Avatar

    Sara Vecchiato Faisstnauer

    January 17, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I wish there were more versions of this according to the culture. I read comments about keeping eye-contact, but in some countries it doesn’t work at all, especially between different genres it can be misunderstood. In some countries people touch each other to signal they are talking to them.

  43. Avatar

    HOOP-X

    January 17, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    I hit the like button at 6:08

  44. Avatar

    Urjjo Bandyopadhyay

    January 17, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    All BS…All criminals should be gunned down without hesitation that’s how crime is cut….BLM is fake , ALM isn’t!!!

  45. Avatar

    mays qaoud

    January 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    woooow

  46. Avatar

    Natarajan AV

    January 17, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Good, but not worthy of TED

  47. Avatar

    R B

    January 17, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    thank you for sharing your story! what thoughts you got from it, applying different methods in future situations. I really needed to hear this. Great advice!

  48. Avatar

    Majed Alam

    January 17, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I wish the world had more police officers like you 👏🏽

  49. Avatar

    Ute Beate

    January 17, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Thank You so much, You deeply touched me. Love

  50. Avatar

    HeadshotCraft

    January 18, 2021 at 2:16 am

    who is TED?

  51. Avatar

    Royce Liam

    January 18, 2021 at 6:01 am

    Its no news that crypto exchangers actions has placed digital assets value at a tight space, bitcoin bulls is building up but meeting a stiff resistance and has gone way lower, It is not a time to start slowing down but to take hold of the moment and trade using well analysed signals and strategies. I have always fancied trading, but my inability to analyse the market technically has always limited my scope, but with assistance from experts and seminars i have improved even though am still not that good, One of such such experts i have always admired is James Hamilton, using his strategies and other added knowledge. whatspp (+1 9735246692) provides basic insights needed in understanding trading

  52. Avatar

    Adi Saputra

    January 18, 2021 at 7:02 am

    Yang Kesini cuma mau belajar bahasa Inggris like

  53. Avatar

    Pradeep Chandar

    January 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Title and video doesn’t match

  54. Avatar

    The Mental Health Trek

    January 18, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    We have two ears and one tongue, so that we can listen more and talk less.

    Feel free to also check out our great content.

  55. Avatar

    金诚

    January 19, 2021 at 5:35 am

    You totally right…people need people when they feel depress,but in China, Chinese police is very irresponsible who only care for murder case and pay no attention for someone psychological problems and family dispute

  56. Avatar

    61ueSat

    January 19, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    My English ability is low, so I sometimes miss it. But his way of speaking is very educational! I will do my best for my dreams!

  57. Avatar

    Gideon Aghahowa

    January 19, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    The ability to connect to people’s feelings at times most needed is more or less a must-have for all.

  58. Avatar

    つよぽん

    January 19, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    寝る前にみてます

  59. Avatar

    جستجوگر E

    January 19, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    لطفا فارسی زیرنویس کنید.

  60. Avatar

    ManGoDemon

    January 19, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    “ndak ngerti bahasa enggres”

  61. Avatar

    Gehad Mamdouh

    January 19, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    I have one question out of the converstion , i want to change the language of talker into Arbice could someone tell me how to do that please?!

    • Avatar

      Prisha Warikoo

      January 31, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Unfortunately there arent arabic captions up yet to this video, but if you check in there should be Arabic captions soon. I dont think theres an option to change the audio though.

  62. Avatar

    Vame Animations

    January 20, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    It’s one of these moments at TED Talks where I’m struggling with a like button as the only way to show my appreciation.
    But I can promote it by sharing it, thankfully!

  63. Avatar

    Ulises Merlos

    January 21, 2021 at 4:00 am

    message: they want to separate us for that the covid was invented

  64. Avatar

    Train Kinder - Simple Leadership Hacks

    January 21, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Respect personal space, be a better listener, and don’t victimize people for their suffering. Thank you so much for sharing the stories!

  65. Avatar

    Ralf Güntert

    January 22, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Many people say their actively listen, but very few do. It is exhausting and does not get easier. I try to repeat what I thought to be important for each person and sometimes make temporary notes. I am annoyed of most people too because when I talk about abuse, they relativize it or start talking about their issues. However, if another person comes to me talking about his or her problem, I do not speak much at all. Only try to focus on remembering what was said and summarize it. Anything short of remembering it in the first place is basically an insult as it took probably many days…hours to just share 5 minutes. Listening also means just that. What may sound trivial to me, could be much bigger for someone else. Everyone, including me, should just admit to be not a good active listener as it is in our nature to dump 80% of our input anyways…

  66. Avatar

    John Morgan

    January 24, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    this man is the spitting image of lance armstrong….
    lance armstrong is cool too

  67. Avatar

    B. Brown

    January 27, 2021 at 6:18 am

    The role of cops is still the same – catch the bad guys & chuck them in jail. Sane people still believe in this.
    Dumbasses who were coddled by single moomie still believe that the rest of the world is supposed to continue to coddle them from cradle to grave – enabling their psycho/sociopathic tendencies.

  68. Avatar

    Lori Garcia

    January 28, 2021 at 1:36 am

    Dear, community service worker. Thank you for your direct and to the point commentary. Unfortunately, I’ve been that person of “ shock and grief “ to many times. Have always been treated with respect (two way street),, your words of being there , just “BE THERE” how simple but impactual. Thank you sir.

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