Nobody likes to hear bad news. And nobody likes to bear bad news either because those who bring bad news are often hated for delivering them. Also, the burden of carrying the message and to see someone in misery is excruciating. If only they knew that there was an ideal time to share the bad news, the job of the news bearer will become somewhat less sucky, if not easier. Whatever the time of the day is, don’t forget that empathy is the key here.
Whenever we hear bad news, our body produces cortisol under stress situations. The hormone is responsible for the fight or flight response. It triggers the glucose in our bloodstream to burn into energy to prepare us for the reaction.
Scientists have found out from their studies that cortisol level in our body are high in the morning and low at night. This means that we are more relaxed in the evening.
So, if you want to break up with someone, do it at night. It may save you all the drama and the person on the receiving end can probably sleep it off in the night because sleep is the best stress buster.
Tips On How To Break Bad News
Doctors and HR professionals have to do this all the time. It is part of their profession. Whether it is about letting someone go or telling them that they have cancer, there is no escaping from it. However, there is a right way to deliver bad news.
1. No Surprises
Unlike good news, surprises don’t work well with bad news. The receiver is not expecting it, and hence, not prepared for it. So, as the news bearer, it is your duty to inform them ahead of time that they might expect something unfavorable.
2. Set up a time
Build a context or establish a setting instead of just springing the news out of the blue. Tell them “I need to talk to you about [the matter]”. This way, they will get time to be prepared for what is coming and meanwhile, you can prepare how to break the news to them.
3. Come to the point
Beating around the bush does not help in the case. The only thing it will do is agitate them and it will only aggravate the situation. The longer you keep it, the worse it gets.
4. Make them sit down
This will pacify the situation in two ways. The person won’t faint from hearing the new if it is tormenting. There’s also a lesser chance of things getting emotionally out of control. also, asking someone to sit down is a cue for a serious discussion.
5. Find the silver lining
Sometimes, there is no right way to deliver bad news. If you can reframe the situation in a better way, do that. Find a silver lining in the bad news and tell them. This way, the impact of the news will be less bad.
6. Offer alternatives
Don’t just deliver the bad news. If you can, show a willingness to resolve the situation. This way the focus is shifted from the problem to the solution. The bad result may not have to be the end of things.
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