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
What are you leaving behind? Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane on family legacy

What are you leaving behind? Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane on family legacy

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane discusses the power of family legacies and the heritage that many individual's pass down.

[LISTEN] 'Molewa was an activist in her own quiet way'

[LISTEN] 'Molewa was an activist in her own quiet way'

Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albi Modise pays tribute to Minister Edna Molewa who passed away on Saturday morning.

Does the public trust the media? This caller doesn't

Does the public trust the media? This caller doesn't

A caller on The Eusebius Mckaiser Show discusses whether they think SA media is credible or not.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

Naked Scientist, Chris Smith shares his insights on some of the risks associated with smoking marijuana.

Ramaphosa to reveal details of stimulus plan to give SA's economy urgent 'CPR'

Ramaphosa to reveal details of stimulus plan to give SA's economy urgent 'CPR'

A stimulus package is a package of economic measures put together by a government to stimulate a struggling economy.

Popular articles
Ramaphosa unveils statue of Madiba at UN headquarters

Ramaphosa unveils statue of Madiba at UN headquarters

The 1.9 metre statue is said to be a gift from South Africa to the international community.

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela confirmed that he was asked to hand over his devices but he says that he refused.

Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Land researcher Prof. Ruth Hall says the panel faces an exciting challenge to see how government can fix the land reform process.

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

Lecturer at TUT's Dept of Tourism, Unathi Henama says that the tourism sector is at the center of the economic policies in SA.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.