Sometimes, life hands you a big ol’ bucket of lemons. And
yeah, it totally stinks. Maybe your school district decided to cut funding for
your ultimate Frisbee team, or your best friend’s parents decided to move
across the country. Maybe Mom and Dad can’t pay for an expensive session at the
overnight camp you’ve been going to for years, or you’re gonna have to deal
with your least favorite cousin all winter break long. Whatever the sitch that
life sends your way, here’s how to handle ugh-inducing bad news with grace.
Step One – Take a
Seriously. Breath in, hold for a five count, breathe out,
hold for a five count. Don’t think, just breathe. OK, now that you’re no longer
in danger of passing out, school your expression (because let’s face it,
sometimes bursting into tears just isn’t the best response). Remember, you
don’t have all the facts yet, so don’t overreact. And keep breathing.
Step Two – Reassure
the person giving you the scoop
Your world might just be splitting in two…and the person
who’s delivering the breaking news knows that,
and is probably terrified that you are going to come apart out the seams. You
don’t have to be fake happy, but do reassure them by nodding as you taking in the
situation and moving forward.
Step Three – Ask for
Don’t dwell on the OMG-ness of it all. Instead, get as many
facts as you can. This is where reassuring the news-breaker comes in handy.
When they aren’t busy worrying about you, they can more coherently lay out the
details. Ask as many questions as you need to, and if the person you’re talking
to doesn’t know the answer, calmly ask who might and how you can get in touch
Step Four – Come up
with a game plan
So, whatcha gonna do about it? In a lot of cases, you
probably have two choices: You can either accept what’s happening and move on,
or you can come up with a plan of attack. Decide what makes the most sense,
given the situation, and stick with your choice. No matter which option you
select, carefully consider all sides of the situation, and realistically ask
yourself if your response is reasonable. If you need a some time to make a rational decision, don’t
be afraid to take a breather.
Step Five – Letting
There are things in this world that are completely out of
our control, from what the cafeteria serves for lunch on Thursday to what’s
going on in the Middle East. Sure, there are certain actions we can take to
influence certain events, but we can never guarantee that life is going to go
our way. And so it’s important to learn how to acknowledge that there’s nothing
more you can do, that you gave it your all and it’s time to focus your energies
on another project. Letting go isn’t a sign of defeat, so don’t feel guilty or
disappointed. Letting go when there is nothing more to be done is a smart
choice to make…and that one is
totally in your hands, chica.
BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 10/23/2012 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN get your act together guide, dealing with death, dealing with tragedy, kick a bad habit, advice, GL Charm School