How to Tell Someone Bad News
If delivering bad news is a struggle, these tips will ease the stress.
You will need
- A private location
- A friend of family member (optional)
Step 1 Rehearse the bad news Practice saying the bad news and focus on words or phrases to use and ones to avoid.
Step 2 Meet in private Meet somewhere private where you can talk quietly without interruption, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or windowless office.
Bring a friend or family member along for comfort if you do not know the person you are talking to very well.
Step 3 Find out what they know Find out what the person knows to avoid repeating information and prolonging an uncomfortable situation.
Step 4 Get to the point Get right to the point and don’t ramble or make small talk. This delays the inevitable and can increase tension.
Be as clear as possible when delivering bad news. Avoid using metaphors or euphemisms.
Step 5 Comfort the person Comfort the person with a touch when appropriate, but be aware of social or cultural conventions that may make the situation worse.
Step 6 Answer questions Make time to answer questions and allow the person to grieve if necessary. Offer a tissue.
Positive thinking can lower stress, increase a person’s life span, boost their immune system, and reduce their risk of a heart attack.