How to Tell Bad News

Have there been times when you had to break bad news to others? How was their reaction or acceptance of the news?

If they accepted your news with negative feelings, probably the way you delivered the bad news was the possible cause.

Kindly bear in mind, words have a strong effect on the human body and mind. When we use negative words to converse or deliver bad news to others, they may accept the news with a negative feeling.

For example, “dislike” has a close meaning with “loathe,” but people will accept “dislike” in a better way rather than “loathe”.

Furthermore, we may assess ones’ character and personality from the words they use and the way they speak. In short, our words can say a lot about us.

Then, how to tell bad news to others in an appropriate manner?

The suggestions on how to tell bad news are as follows:

1. Use words with positive connotation

Avoid rude and negative words due to their harmful effect to human body and mind.

Language is the basis of human relationships. Choose appropriate words according to the circumstances.

For example:
Instead of saying, “You have a very terrible memory!”
Say, “Your memory would be better with a little bit of training.”

2. Temporary

Human emotion receives a bad news in a better way when it feels that the news is temporary and unimportant. You should put temporary and unimportant factors inside your bad news. In that way, your receiver will not be too anxious and sad.

For example:
Instead of saying, “You will have a painful stomach ache for the next 1 hour!”
Say, “Your stomach will feel unpleasant for a while.”

3. Comparison

A person will accept a bad news in a better way when they compare it with other worse news. Use comparisons while you deliver bad news in order to gain acceptance.

For example:
Instead of saying, “Our team has lost again!”
Say, “I feel we are getting closer to victory. Compared to the last match, we only lost by 2 points.”

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