Dr Schomer: How to best deliver bad news to friends and family

As much as we prefer to give happy news, there are times when we have no choice but to relay messages of doom and gloom and quite often we would like a way to soften the blow.

At the age of 22 Africa Melane was tasked with delivering bad news to his cousin about the death of her mother who stayed in the Eastern Cape. He then asked his grandmother how to best execute the task. She advised him to write a note, take the note with him to visit the cousin. She then told him to talk about anything but the bad news. On his way out he should hand over the note and leave.

As he was about to get into his car he heard the loudest scream coming out of his cousin house. He says he then knew that was not the best way to deliver the news.

CapeTalk/702 presenter Africa Melane spoke to Dr Helgo Schomer about the appropriate way to deliver bad news.

When a person receives bad news they always have some kind of reaction, some cry, some get angry, some sit quietly in shock and some refuse to believe what they were told

Dr Helgo Schomer

There is no best way to deliver bad news but Dr Schomer gives these 5 principles as guidance:

  • Set the stage – find a place which will be suitable for both parties
  • Prepare yourself to feel bad as well as being emotional
  • Deliver the news clearly and unequivocally – don’t sugar-coat
  • Be there for the person who is receiving the bad news
  • Be polite

This article first appeared on 702 : Dr Schomer: How to best deliver bad news to friends and family


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Naked Scientist: How much water is too much water for your body a day?

Naked Scientist: How much water is too much water for your body a day?

Chris Smith explains why you need to replace what you are losing and how too much water can pose some health risks.

[LISTEN] 'Thina Sizwe' - the song the Freedom Front Plus want censored

[LISTEN] 'Thina Sizwe' - the song the Freedom Front Plus want censored

Eusebius Mckaiser takes on the Freedom Front Plus who say the singing of Thina Sizwe must be condemned.

[LISTEN] Absa customers not feeling the Africanicity and logo rebranding

[LISTEN] Absa customers not feeling the Africanicity and logo rebranding

Callers on the open line debate the Absa new logo and Absa's group marketing defends the rebranding.

What employees should understand about workplace absenteeism

What employees should understand about workplace absenteeism

Labour law expert Neil Searle explains why bosses need to have clear rules and procedures to follow in cases of absenteeism.

[LISTEN] Who delivered the best Mandela lecture? Barack Obama or Prof Lumumba

[LISTEN] Who delivered the best Mandela lecture? Barack Obama or Prof Lumumba

Eusebius McKaiser and callers on the open line discuss Professor Lumumba's Mandela lecture and the 67minutes for Mandela.

'Gag order' against Holomisa will not make bad publicity go away - Karyn Maughan

'Gag order' against Holomisa will not make bad publicity go away - Karyn Maughan

The court ordered Holomisa to stop repeating corruption claims implicating Lebashe Investment Group and other PIC associates.

Popular articles
Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

What are your sexual fantasies? Disclosure can bring sexual freedom, but it can also have downsides. A study lists the top trends.

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

Seven suspects were arrested in Limpopo in less than 24 hours after a cash-in-transit vehicle was blown up in the province.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

The story of amaBhungane (and how it’s digging up dung on the Guptas & friends)

The story of amaBhungane (and how it’s digging up dung on the Guptas & friends)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism Investigative Journalist Craig McKune.

Meet Elmar Conradie, CEO of low-cost FlySafair (world’s most on-time airline)

Meet Elmar Conradie, CEO of low-cost FlySafair (world’s most on-time airline)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Conradie for his “ShapeShifter” feature.

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.