Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dealing With Bad News

It's inevitable that we're all going to receive some bad news at some stage in our lives: we didn't get that promotion we were looking for; that girl we're interested in has a boyfriend; a relative isn't going to get better; that manuscript we submitted has been rejected. The list goes on and on and obviously some cases are worse than others. But we have to deal with it, or let it tear us apart from the inside out.

Dealing with rejection, I know, is obviously a hard thing. No one's going to say that it's easy to be turned out by a person or a company. The key is to not let it get to you.

There are some very simple things that can be done to help you deal with bad news, before actually doing whatever possible to sort it out - this isn't a quick fix blog.

  1. Take a deep breath. Yes, breathing helps. We need it to live, and it can help calm us down. So inhale, hold it, then exhale slowly. Do it a few times if you're particularly panicky.
  2. Get some personal space or find a friend. The reason there's an "or" in there is, basically, because people are different. Some people need to be alone with their thoughts or some music or the sounds that flutter about all around them. Sometimes I'm that sort of person. Other times, I'm the "find a friend" sort of person. Whether you want to talk about what's going on or not, finding someone to talk to can be of some benefit. I don't always tell people what's wrong, if they sense something's wrong. That's my personal choice. I'm lucky that I have some friends who are good for just talking to, or who will do all the talking. I tend to make phone calls rather than trek to the bus stop... or to Meath... It makes the whole situation like being alone but with someone there.
  3. Stop thinking about it and try move on. This can take some time. I mean, no one's going to expect you to be on your feet and ready to go within the space of a couple of hours, or right away after following steps one and two. But eventually you have to let go of that friend who wasn't who you thought they were, or that job you thought was perfect for you, and find something new to aim for. Find a new friend, work hard to get that next promotion, and let all that horrible stuff holding you back -  while you let your tears go - go. But you have to stop thinking about it, too, until you're emotionally ready to think about it and not get upset all over again.
Most importantly, if you're in a sort of never-ending cycle of darkness, talk to someone who you know can help. I don't mean a professional, if that's not what you're in to (though it would help, if your situation was that bad), but at least a friend. We all have one friend we can trust, and if you don't feel like you can trust someone, you need to change something about yourself. People aren't the problem then, you are. Trust... it's important, you know? Maybe you don't tell someone the whole truth, but you at least let them in on something about you so you don't feel so alone.

I'll finish there before this turns into a lecture. But whoever you are reading this, wherever you are, remember that bad news or bad moods can be overcome. As desperate as things seem now, they can always get better. I promise you that, so long as you make the effort.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thank you for this.