Tell It Like It Is

No one wants to be the bearer of bad news. Whether you’re breaking off a romantic relationship, firing an employee or sharing some upsetting information, it’s hard to tell it like it is without telling someone off. Here are a few tips for making the conversation as painless as possible.

Be thoughtful
We’ve all heard stories of people being dumped over the phone, email and even instant messenger. But as tempting as it may be to avoid a face-to-face scene, it’s important to remember that the person you are confronting is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity.

While there’s never a good place to give bad news, you can avoid especially bad settings. Don’t ambush someone during a car ride (no graceful way to exit) or a public place (way too humiliating). Instead, opt for a location that offers privacy to talk through the issue, as well as an easy way to leave if the other person wants to be alone.

Be prepared
Once you’ve picked the spot, it’s time to think about exactly what it is you want to say. While you don’t want to sound like you’re reading off of a script, you want to break the bad news in a thoughtful way. Focus on your own feelings rather than projecting assumptions on the other person.

You also need to be ready for the other’s person’s reaction. If the person reacts with anger, try to respond as calmly as you can so as not to escalate the situation. Allow them to speak without interrupting and don’t crowd their physical space. If their anger seems to be getting out of control and you are afraid, calmly tell them you are leaving so that they can have time to cool off.

Be real
It’s important to couch any negativity with some positive, kind words – but be careful not to be too effusive with praise. It confuses the situation, give the other person false hope and undermines your ability to stick to your decision. You’ll also want to avoid too many compliments or clichéd platitudes like, “It’s not you, it’s me.” No one wants to be patronized – the truth is always best, no matter how much it hurts to hear.

Acknowledge how difficult the situation is and offer validating words that let them know you are hearing what they’re saying without agreeing or giving false hope.

Do you have bad news to break to someone you love? Call one of our caring psychics to help guide you through it. Call 1.800.573.4830 or click here now.

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