This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Andrea.
“How do you break bad news to a good friend? It’s a friend that I’ve known for a long time. I’m unsure of whether I should be the one to do it or if I should turn the other cheek.”
Giving bad news to anyone is never easy. Especially to a good friend. I guess it would depend on the kind of bad news that you have to deliver. There are a few things that you have to consider.
Will giving the bad news hurt your relationship?
Is there a chance that your friend will blame you or get upset with you? Sometimes it is easier for another person to give the bad news. How will your friend benefit from being informed?
Depending on the nature of the bad news how do you think you will feel afterwards? If you will feel relieved and think that your friend will appreciate knowing sharing the news might be best.
Be strategic in your delivery. Depending on what kind of friend that you have will determine how you will deliver the news. There are some friends that might be able to handle bad news more easily than others.
Think about the types of friends that you have. You have those that are tough and can take it. There are those too that might feel shattered and lost once you tell them.
How would you handle bad news?
For myself it would depend. If a friend had to give me bad news say about their health deteriorating I would be devastated, but would also be glad in knowing. This would make it easier to help support them through their sickness.
If they had to tell me something that would hurt me I might not want to know. However, I would respect them whatever their decision might be. That is what friendship means sometimes. You are there for each other in the best way possible.
Write out the pros and cons to possible scenarios. How do you think your friend would react? Many times we think of all of the worst case scenarios when in fact it may not be that bad.
If it is bad news that you heard through another party think before telling. The resource that the bad news originated from has to be factual. Not all information based on what someone else thinks is bad news.
Be the friend that will be respected for doing the right thing. You never truly know how someone will react with bad news. Life comes with trials and tribulations at some point. It can be the best life that you try to live, but we all have hurdles that we must encounter at some point.
See how your friend is doing prior to your conversation and go with your gut instinct. You will know if you should give the bad news or not. Since you are questioning whether you should says to me that maybe you are reluctant to do so. That is okay too.
It says a lot about your friendship and how much you value what you have. Your friend is lucky to have you. I am the type of friend that likes to protect. I am a nurturer you could say.
If a friend is going to be hurt to the point of being miserable for days I don’t want to be that friend. If there is a way to avoiding that kind of misery for the greater good I would be willing to do that. We all have different kinds of friendships.
It is up to you to determine your next step. Hopefully, you will have more peace of mind with your decision. I wish you the best outcome with what you choose to do.
The main thing is remembering why you are friends in the first place. Take a good hard look at it and then take it from there. Don’t overthink it and be the great friend that you know you already are.
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