The 6 Best Times to Break Bad News!
It’s never easy or pleasant breaking bad news to someone. But with a little ingenuity and a great deal of focus more on your awkwardness than the other person’s reaction, you can use the following times to better get the message across...
As You Are Leaving
Reason: Sure, revealing bad news just as you’re heading out the door—perhaps with leftovers—is beyond cowardly and reprehensible. But it does save you from dealing with the resulting emotions or having to answer any follow-up questions, many of which can be answered with “It was my fault.”
Potential Problem: There’s always the chance you left something behind, at which point you’ll have to sheepishly re-enter the room, mumbling, "Sorry… for interrupting your sobbing… and, you know, the other thing… that caused your sobbing."
Dancing at a Club
Reason: You can feel satisfied that you actually delivered the bad news with almost no fear that the other person ever heard what you said, given that they were screaming “WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?” the whole time while happily doing shots.
Potential Problem: You never know at what point the music may cut out, leaving you screaming some horrible piece of information as you continue to dance holding two drinks and what may be someone else’s top.
During a Funeral
Reason: Not only will the other person already be sad, but common decency dictates they can’t cry over their own problems when mourning the passing of someone, putting you in the emotional clear.
Potential Problem: Saying, "I know your uncle passed away but you need to know we’re no longer a couple and I’m bringing my new girlfriend to the wake" could result in a second coffin.
While Riding a Rollercoaster
Reason: Perfect place to deliver bad news without ever having to know if the other person is screaming over what you just said, over the three loops the rollercoaster just did, or over the obvious creaking and swaying of the tracks on every single turn.
Potential Problem: Person will probably still be screaming when the rollercoaster has come to a complete stop, when you lead them through the amusement park while startled children stare, and when you drop them off at the park’s nurse’s office, saying, "I’ll be back for him in a few hours, I still have like 12 tickets left to use."
While In a Convertible
Reason: You should never deliver bad news while in a car, bus, train, or even an elevator because you don’t know how long you might be trapped inside with the other person. But with a convertible you can simply relay the information and then leap out of the moving vehicle, hopefully onto some dirt or maybe into another convertible going in the opposite direction.
Potential Problem: If you don’t time your jump just right you may find yourself rolling in front of a speeding gasoline truck, off an overpass or mountainside, or only three feet from where the driver just parked.
Reason: Nothing solves a problem like never addressing a problem, a solution that has consistently worked throughout history, sometimes for up to three whole minutes.
Potential Problem: Eventually the person will find out about the bad news because people always find out such things. Then when they learn that you—their dearest friend—knew about it six months ago (especially since it was your fault to begin with), all you’ll be able to do is look down at the ground, gently kick a pebble, and say, "Well, it’s your fault for never being on a rollercoaster, in a convertible, or at a club."
How do you give out bad news? Let us know in the comments below!