Although being broken up with can be the worst, sometimes being the breaker upper is just as bad. Making the decision to end a relationship with someone you respect and care about can be incredibly emotionally taxing. Plus, you've got to figure out the best way to do it while minimizing the hurt you cause. It's a bloody nightmare, really.
New research (opens in new tab) from Brigham Young University in Utah looked into the scientifically best way to dump someone. Linguistic professor Alan Manning and Nicole Amare from the University of South Alabama found that when people receive bad news, they basically just want it straight up with no beating around the bush.
Science Daily (opens in new tab) reports Manning said, "An immediate 'I'm breaking up with you' might be too direct. But all you need is a 'we need to talk' buffer—just a couple of seconds for the other person to process that bad news is coming."
So the best way to break up with someone is just to get on with it really. Don't bother with a full five minutes of waffle leading into the conversation.
"If you're on the giving end, yeah, absolutely, it's probably more comfortable psychologically to pad it out—which explains why traditional advice is the way it is," Manning added. "But this survey is framed in terms of you imagining you're getting bad news and which version you find least objectionable. People on the receiving end would much rather get it this way."
While it may seem a little blunt to go in there all "We need to talk" and "I'm breaking up with you"s-a-blazing, science seems to say the person you're dumping will appreciate it. So whether it makes you feel better to cushion the blow with meaningless waffle, consider they probably just want it over and done with.
Paisley is sex & relationships editor at Cosmopolitan UK, and covers everything from sex toys, how to masturbate and sex positions, to all things LGBTQ. She definitely reveals too much about her personal life on the Internet.
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