If you need to pass on some bad news to anyone do so directly and stop sugar-coating it.
A study by University of Alabama and Brigham Young University has confirmed that is the way to go. They suggest that a doctor should tell his patient he has cancer without rambling on. Or somebody’s death should be revealed without any beating around the bush.
However, for a breakup of a relationship should be tacked with a small buffer like “We need to talk” before actually saying “We need to break up”.
There is no point prolonging the agony and suspense. By using the direct approach, someone may feel stunned but eventually they will realise that truth.
So what do Punekars think about this ?
“I like things to be told to me directly. When my Mum passed away in Assam, I a got a phone call from my family and the death was confirmed,” said Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning Editor PR and Public Communications chief Barnalee Handique.
“I prefer people to be blunt. I am blunt too. By trying delaying tactics, we are not being fair to the other person.“Bad news is bad news, it must be told directly so that the person can digest it immediately,” she adds.
“I prefer the direct approach. Why prolong the agony when the truth is bound to come out at some point of time or another,” says Annapurna Sen, 33, a painter by profession.
“Whether it is a death or if you are getting fired from your job, it must be direct.
“The only problem which I see with the direct approach is when it comes to relationships. We cannot walk up to our partner and tell him “We are finished”.
“I feel that as human beings, we are still hopeful and it would better to ease into the truth,” she adds.
“I think it’s so difficult to tell your boyfriend that we are breaking up,” says Rosie D’Souza, 18, a second-year student at Fergusson College. “I have found that boys take longer than girls to make up their minds. They often ignore you if they want to break-up and sometimes they don’t talk to you.
“They think by such behaviour a strong message will be passed on. Even we girls know when such a thing is imminent.
“But who will bell the cat? And a direct “We need to break-up” would be too blunt. Sometimes these things die a natural death,” she adds.
“I believe in the direct approach. The opposite party has to face the impact of the news at some point. It is better to tell immediately and let the person gets over it,” says Mrinalani Deshpande, 39, a wildlife photographer.
“Sometimes the shock treatment gives the person more courage, particularly news about death. The full impact will only be felt later,” she adds.
“When I have to sack a person, I call him my office and tell him point blank. I don’t believe in giving 15 reasons and then telling him the truth,” says Mohnish Gadre, a businessman.
“As far as jobs are concerned, I would tell the person straight that he is in his last month,” says Sudeep Limaye, a professor.
“By going about it in a roundabout manner is of no use. The only thing is that the person should be given sufficient time to find himself another job,” he added.
Even those living abroad prefer the direct approach.
“I was in Dubai when my mother passed away. But I was told that she is very sick and I should come immediately,” says K Swaminathan, 49, a mechanical engineer.
“I had to endure the worst journey of my life. But what was even worse was that I was still hopeful that she would recover and at times also became positive that a miracle would happen. “It never did. If my relatives had used the direct approach, I would have been better prepared to deal with it.
“But life is like that….”