Breakups are rarely easy, regardless of which side of the conversation you’re on. If you’re the one ending things, it can be tough to figure out exactly how to broach the subject while causing the least amount of damage. Luckily, science has your back. A recent study by Brigham Young University linguistics professor Alan Manning and University of South Alabama professor Nicole Amare found people prefer directness when receiving bad news.
“An immediate ‘I’m breaking up with you’ might be too direct,” said Alan. “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.” He also added that while padding the conversation beforehand may make you feel more comfortable, the person you’re breaking up with would rather know right away.
So the next time you find yourself in this situation (or delivering any bad news), it’s better to just get it out.