Does Our Sacrifice Matter?

Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue in Your Law Enforcement Relationship


When you think back to the past year, how have YOU been?

What have you noticed about your thoughts?

Are the hopeful or more negative?

Are you isolating?

Your energy level?

Do you feel things the same?

How is your empathy level?

Is your give a shit meter pretty broken?

You might be thinking: “I feel SO burned out”

I’m here to tell you that it might be something a little more serious than Burnout.

It’s Not Just Burnout

Burnout is the feeling of being “worn out”.  By definition it is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

I think that everyone can connect to feeling burned out sometime in their life.  A job, with family stress, and especially with COVID.

You might think that burnout fits…  I want to introduce you to 2 other concepts.

Here are the 2 concepts you may not be familiar with: Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue

There was a research article that came out at the beginning of 2019.  It was about burnout in law enforcement.  This article has been the foundation of many of my talks and presentations lately simple because of the statistics given.

1 out of every 4 officers at that time was struggling with Compassion Satisfaction.

That is 25% of the workforce!  One out of every 4!!!  That is a lot.

The article went on to say that 1 out of every 10 was struggling with Compassion Fatigue.

That is 10%.

Compassion Satisfaction

Compassion satisfaction is the pleasure and satisfying feeling that comes from helping others. Many people enter these types of fields because they have empathetic attitudes for other’s difficulties as well as a strong desire to assist in alleviating the difficulties.

Phrases associated with this are:

“my sacrifice doesn’t matter”

“why do I do this… it doesn’t make a difference… no one appreciates it”

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue is emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others, often described as the negative cost of caring.  It is a result of listening to traumatic stories.  Compassion fatigue is not easily identified.

Feelings associate with compassion fatigue are:

Reduced ability to connect to empathy

Increased anger and irritability

Increase of numbing

Dread of certain situations

Diminished sense of enjoyment

Heighted anxiety

Hypersensitivity to emotional material

Difficulty separating work and personal life

Impairment in making decisions

Problems with intimacy

It is about being Afraid

Spouses and Families are Impacted by Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue

Spouses and family members are not immune to low Compassion Satisfaction and high Compassion Fatigue.  You are sacrificing along with the officer.  You may also be supporting not only your spouse but others in the community.

Tune into the podcast for more information as well as 10 tips to combat low compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue.


Does Our Sacrifice Matter?

Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue in Your Law Enforcement Relationship