Breaking someone's heart—there is no good way to do it, right? Trick question, there is: force them to dump you by being the most painful and problematic version of yourself. Double trick question: there is another option, and it doesn't involve decimating your own personal brand by forcing someone to tear apart the fabric of their own life.
The nice people at Brigham Young University in Utah have been looking into options beyond texting "ur stuff is on the curb." They found people preferred directness and candour over small talk and manners. "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," explains Nicole Amare, one of the study's co-authors and a communications professor at the university.
The researchers present 145 participants with two potential ways to deliver bad news about "social relationships". The examples crossed hypothetical visual, textual and verbal deliveries; participants were asked to rank how clear, considerate, direct, efficient, honest, specific and reasonable they perceived the news to be.
In general, the worse the news, the less words you should use to deliver it. AKA, just blurt it out. "If your house is on fire, you just want to know that and get out. Or if you have cancer, you'd just like to know that. You don't want the doctor to talk around it," Manning continued.
Now get off the internet and go directly and efficiently break some hearts.
Follow Wendy on Twitter.