How to Deal With Bad News

At one time or another in your life, you will hear some bad news. Whether it's a break-up or a diagnosis, it is always incredibly hard to deal with. Read these next few steps to help you know how to cope.


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    Don't hold back your emotions. All bad news is devastating to hear, so pretending it doesn't matter or you aren't bothered is not going to help you. Instead of bottling up your emotions, say how you feel whether that's admitting you are scared or crying. Don't try to act brave, as the sadness will only catch up with you when you are alone -and it will feel ten times worse.
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    Don't feel guilty. Sometimes if you have been told you have a serious illness or you have found some other devastating news about yourself, you feel guilty. You don't want to see your relatives or friends faces when you tell them, you feel as though not only is the news ruining your life, you yourself are ruining all the people who care about you too; please don't. It is never going to be your fault, never say sorry. The people who care about you would rather know and be able to help you, then be in the dark. If it is someone else who is going through something and you've been told, you may also feel guilty.You want to help but can't and you could feel guilty for not being the one who is going through the problem. You should never feel like this.Life is unfair and very surprising, and things happen to people for no reason. So don't start feeling guilty, just support the other person and know that it is not your fault.
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    Look for the positives. It may feel like everything in your world has fallen apart, but with every terrible situation, there will always be some positives. Talk them through with someone else, or write them down. When you feel low you can glance at the list of positives and feel a little better. It may be hard to see clearly at this time, no matter how horrible the news is you will always be able to comfort yourself with the positives.
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    Distract yourself. It is sometimes easier said then done, but spending a few hours with your friends, shopping or doing a simple puzzle, without a mention of the bad news, will liberate you from the sadness you may be feeling. The problem may be at the back of your mind, but busying yourself for a while will give you a sense of normality and that the world hasn't stopped turning.
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    Understand what is going on. When you hear terrible news, ensure you don't jump to conclusions as these can make you feel worse than you need to. Find out all of the information that concerns the problem and then you will know how to feel and cope with the news. When you know what exactly is happening, you will be able to see the positives and know how to deal with what you have been told.
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    Talk the news through. Everyone knows that talking about it is one of the best ways to cope with bad news. Share you feelings with someone you can trust and know will give you the support you need, even if it's the person who the bad news is about(they will appreciate it, as they may want to talk about it themselves).Talk about your fears, your hopes, your feelings and your worries with someone, and you will feel a lot better.
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    Know that you are not alone. Life is never going to be easy. There are going to be points when you feel like everything has come crashing down around you and you are the only one still standing. You are not alone. Everyone will go through something horrible in their life, and will have felt like this. Maybe talking to people who are in or have been through a similar situation to you will let you know that. Just stay focused on getting through the problem, be strong but don't hold back your emotions and try to get on with life - because it isn't always going to be easy, but it's not always going to be this hard.


  • Find someone who you can talk to, who is trustworthy and supportive.
  • Let out your emotions.
  • Look for the positives.
  • Smile - even though it may be hard to do. Watch something that will make you laugh - it will make you feel a million times better.


  • Don't jump to conclusions, you never know what's going to happen.
  • Don't bottle everything up.

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Categories: Managing Conflict and Difficult Interactions