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How To Break Bad News Gently

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Giving someone some bad news is rarely easy, as many of us know only too well. This story below is a good example of how to break bad news gently to someone, but not necessarily in the way that you, or they for that matter, might expect.

It’s early morning, the day is just breaking and the sun is slowly making it’s way above the horizon.

In a downtown penthouse, the telephone rings and a middle aged wealthy gentleman answers.

“Hello? Mr. Goldman? This is Agador, your country house caretaker”.

“Ah yes, Agador. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?”

“Well, I am just calling to advise you, sir, that your parrot died”

“My parrot? Dead? The one that won the competition?”

“That’s the one sir”.

“Oh damnation! That is such a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. Oh well. What did he die from?”

“From eating rotten meat sir”.

“Rotten meat? Who was so mean as to give him meat?”

“Nobody sir. He ate the meat of one of the dead horses”.

“Dead horses? What dead horses Agador?”

“Why those pure breed ones that you had, sir. They died from all that work pulling the water cart”.

“Are you insane man? What water cart?”

“The one we used to put out the fire, sir”.

“Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?”

“The one at your house, sir! A candle fell and then the curtain caught on fire”.

“What theā€¦..!!!”

There is a few minutes silence, while the master of the house is desperately trying to wake up and to digest all the news.

“But theres electricity at the house”, he says, “What was the candle for?”

“It was for the funeral, sir”.


“Your mother’s, sir! She showed up one night out of the blue and I thought she was a thief, so I shot her”.

And that, dear friends, is how you gently break bad news to someone. I’m not sure what happened next, but I believe Mr. Goldman collapsed on the floor.

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