Remember, everyone internalizes “bad news” differently.

It’s funny how you can sometimes find yourself on the other side of bad news. You can sometimes be the receiver, or in some cases, you end up being the messenger. In both cases, the “bad news” is going to suck, and inadvertently, someone is going to be hurt. Being the messenger comes with a price, and sometimes you have to ask yourself, “What is it worth?”

When you are the receiver, “bad news” catches you at by far the worst of times. You could be in the best space ever! Living your best life. Skin popping! Goals are hitting! Trip Traveling! Bae acting, right! Hell, all of that, then when you get that “bad news,” it hits you like a ton of bricks! It’s like your world just got tossed upside down. You have a million questions, and you don’t know where to begin? The first question is always, Why? Then followed by Who? Sometimes you even go as far as to say, “Repeat that again!” Cause you’re in total disbelief.

Once you regain your composure you begin asking the real questions, Why did this person tell me this? What was their intent? Was this necessary? Could I have gone on without this information? The questions don’t just stop there; you may even begin to question the source, the integrity of these people, and also that person’s loyalty. Trust me once “bad news” darkens your doorstep its no fun!

Now things are spinning out of control, and now your feelings are probably hurt. Hell, you don’t know whether to cry or punch a wall. All you know is that this huge weight has been placed on you and now you don’t even know what to do next.

But imagine for just one moment that you’re the messenger. Sometimes, we stumble upon news that isn’t the most forthcoming. This news could involve very close friends and even family members. It could be the worse news they ever want to hear. It could potentially cause problems for them and also rock them to their core. But as the messenger, sometimes you get so caught in “thinking you’re protecting” that person that you don’t stop and ask yourself some questions. For instance, are they in the right space to receive this? Will this change their current state of mind? Will this hurt them more knowing or not knowing? How will they feel towards me? Can I be as supportive as possible afterward?

Answering those questions can confirm what your next move should be. Sometimes as friends or family members, we think that telling the information is the best move, but sometimes it’s better to keep quiet. Like my grandma used to say, “Some stuff you gotta take to the grave.” The key to this is knowing that keeping this to yourself doesn’t make you less loyal, or even mean that you don’t care for them. What that says is you care enough not to ruin their good time, their mental space, or even break them to the point where you don’t know how to be there or can’t be there for them.

Remember, everyone internalizes “bad news” differently. You may never know how far this person has come from depression, suicide, or any trauma or abuse. As much as we may think we are helping, we may be pushing them back to a space where they worked hard not to be. So think about it, is this going to hurt the person more than help them? Remember, this isn’t about you; it’s about them, so don’t be the messenger.