Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tactics in Breaking Bad News

When someone has been seeing someone who threatens suicide if there is a breakup, my advice, stolen from Tom Leykis, is to schedule a session with a licensed therapist with that other person, under the pretense of getting relationship counseling, or with the claim of needing therapy yourself and wanting them along for some of the sessions. Once they are in the session, the dumper needs to tell the therapist what the about-to-be dumped has said as far as harming themselves or others, tell the other person it is over, and walk out. Then the dumped person is legally and morally the responsibility of the therapist.

We (the wife and I) might have to break some bad news to her mother, which will almost certainly send her mother into a drunken rage. Who knows... I need to talk with my wife about it more - maybe there is no good reason to say anything.

But this got me thinking. Besides dumping a suicidal person in a therapy session, where and how are other good places to break bad news that is likely to bring a destructive response?

Well, thanks to the post-9/11 America, I'm thinking a long commercial flight might be a good place, at least for your own protection.

Let's say you're going to dump someone who has not threatened suicide, but threatened (or conducted) violence to you. Why not dump them during a flight? But only if you can remain totally calm. If they go into a rage on the flight, they'll likely commit federal crimes. They get arrested and taken away once the flight is over. You may end up held for questioning for a while, but you'll be protected.

What do you think?

I can imagine the TSA and flight attendants are thinking, No, please, don't let this become an increasing trend.

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