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Breaking bad news: The best way forward - Yim Lo

20 November 2019
Need to say something to those close to you but not sure how to go about? Here's a step by step guide.
Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 08.56.50

Yim Lo is both a story of great pain and incredible triumph. The show follows the lives of everyday South Africans as they embark on the seldom simple journey of disclosing their hidden truths to those who love them the most. From battling drug addictions, secret jobs and double lives, no stone is left unturned as these individuals seek to remove the weight of carry a dark secret on their shoulders. But do you do when its you who has something to share and you don't know how to do it.

For those who have been touched by the revelations on Yim Lo and are also seeking to finally live their truths, we've put together a brief guide on how you can break challenging news, hopefully with the least amount of hurt possible. Ultimately its always best to seek professional help and family support however there's a handful of steps you can embark on to start the journey.

Plan The Moment

The first key step in the process involves planning. Pick a day, time and suitable venue. This gives you room to prepare yourself mentally then also select a moment that will be suitable for everyone as you wouldn't want to spring the news on them while they are busy or their mind is occupied with something else. Time is everything. Planning also gives you space to reach out to a support network if you feel you don't want to go through the moment alone.

Get A Feel For The Mood

Once the time arrives, pay attention to the mood and current environment. At times you may have picked the perfect date and place but on the day something comes up and makes it inappropriate to break the news. At times you may find your family or friends aren't in the best of moods or burden by something else. The mood doesn't have to be perfect but it has to be welcoming.

Ask For Approval

As everyone gathers, ask for their approval to break the news. Explain that you're about to tell them serious and ask if they are ok with receiving the news now. This is because while you may have made and assessment of the mood, they may be going through their own things at that particular moment that you don't know about. Once the go ahead is given, prepare yourself to break the news.

Break The News

There's no easy way or magic formula to breaking 'bad' news so be direct, honest but considerate when the moment arrives. Tell them all the facts and give a clear timeline of events. It will likely be an emotional moment for everyone so take your time while also doing your best to give the full story and ideally try to not sugar coat.

Offer Comfort & Support

If emotions are high or charged, offer comfort where you can. You may not be in the wrong but no one likes seeing their family in distress so where its fair to offer your apologies, try do so. Sometimes words aren't even necessary. A warm embrace or simply placing your hand on their shoulder may be all they need as they process the news.

Share The Way Forwards

Lastly, everyone will likely be searching for answers in their head. Depending on the situation and what has been revealed, try give a way forward. This is where you can explain what you plan to do going forward and how they can help if need be. 

For those facing this tough hurdle we do hope this helps. You can also visit your local place of worship, counsellor or therapists in your area to seek the relevant support and additional advice.

Catch Yim Lo every Tuesday at 20:00 and join the conversation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with the hashtag #YimLo