How to Deliver Bad News Swiftly

No one likes being the bearer of bad news. If you are agonizing over letting someone down, give the sandwich method a try. Here's how to do it.

from Shocking Shortcuts

You’ve agonized for days about how to tell your loved ones that you won’t make it home for an important family event. The anxiety that it’s been causing you is really sapping your strength and time.

Delivering bad news is, well, bad news — but there is a right and wrong way to do it. The real “shortcut” here is, as most experts suggest, getting the unpleasant task over and done with as soon as possible. The wait and the reactions that you’re imagining are usually worse than what happens in reality, and it will only drive you crazy.

When you’re ready to deliver the news, use the “sandwich” method: Start with some good news, quickly add the bad news, then put some good news on top. When your mechanic tells you, “Your car is in really nice shape for its age. After we put the new clutch in, it should give you another 10 years of service,” he’s applying the sandwich theory.

See also:
How to Deal With Negative People Who Bring You Down
Gretchen Rubin on How to Get Happy
What Not to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed

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