Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Double-Edged Sword

How many times has someone said to you "I've got good news and I've got bad news. Which do you want first?"
I woke up with this on my mind and well, wanted to know other people's answers? Which do you want first? There is rationale for both.

Take the good news first, then when you hear the bad it's buffered by the good. Good news, if it's good enough, can change your perspective on the bad. For example if you boyfriend says to you "The good news is I want to marry you and spend the rst of my life with you. The bad news is I kinda drove your car into a tree." (I personally wouldn't give a shit about the car).

Take the bad news first because then the good seems even better. Also you get the ugly out of the way and can concentrate on the good. For example your boss says "The bad news is we're down-sizing and your whole department is axed. The good news is your severance is 3 years pay."

It's kinda a glass half emtpy/half full question, which I also dislike.

So what are your thoughts - Good news first or bad news first?

My answer: I'll take the good news and you can shove the bad up yer arse.


Joan said...

bad news first! i have to know what i'm dealing with, as soon as freaking well possible.

i suffer from this debilitating worldview that goes something like : the very best that the good could possibly be will never be as bad as the worst could possibly get.

meaning the range of good could be anywhere from zero to ten.. but bad goes all the way to a thousand.

man. and i wonder why people won't date me :)

Jennie said...

i'm a bad news first person too. i look at it like tasks i have to tackle - i do the stuff i REALLY don't want to do first then the stuff i REALLY do want to do is like a reward. like a tasty dessert after an awful dinner.

and i'm sure there's a study somewhere that says that the last thing you hear is the thing that will stay with you longer and have a stronger effect. i've never read it but i'm sure it's out there.