up with someone is by definition an Alarming Change, it is only
simple linguistic courtesy to signal this by prominently placing
the talk word in your opening sentence. Back up your cue and give
the Other Person contextual congruence by intoning your 'we need
to talk' sentence quietly and seriously. This gives the Other Person
a chance to get alarmed, defensive, nervous, scared, and experience
their heart noticeably beating.
It also gives
them a chance to steel themselves against pain, which is very important
to them. Again, this is just courtesy. Don't fuck them up by getting
nervous and smiling or laughing while you are saying 'I really need
to talk to you about something.' If your throat is dry and you can
barely speak while you are attempting to get the 'talk' sentence
out, all the better as this will catch their attention and set off
their self-protective alarm buttons.
You can vary
the effect and intensity of your 'talk' sentence depending on how
you phrase it. By the way, you can use these techniques any time
you want to announce Alarming Changes to anyone. Like let's say
for example you want to tell your parents you're gay. Major 'talk'
situation. Talk situations don't always have to be bad. For example,
if your fiancee says 'we need to talk about the wedding', she may
very well mean 'let's make some Alarming Changes to the wedding
plans our parents apparently want us to have. We can make the Alarming
Changes together, if you'd like. Or I'll do it myself you unromantic
son-of-a-bitch! Boo hoo hoo!' (Well weddings are a special case.)
'We' need to
talk means - "I'm going to announce the need for some Alarming
Changes but I'll solicit your opinion on them after I'm done announcing
them and we can work together on implementing or modifying them."
'I think' we
need to talk means - "I'm going to announce some Alarming Changes
and I'm going to implement them whether you like it or not, which
I hope you're not too mad, but really I have to, and it's better
for everyone, don't you think? You're not too mad, are you? Okay,
Do 'you' want
to talk about something? means - "Apparently you feel the need
for some Alarming Changes, which pisses me off, but go ahead, spit
it out, I don't care, I'm anticipating it. Go ahead fucker, what
are your Alarming Changes asshole, I can take it!"
And so on. The
pronoun indicates whose Alarming Changes they are - mine, ours,
or yours. So analyze whose changes they are. Don't try to pull off
a 'we' if it's really an 'I'. If they're your Alarming Changes and
yours alone, suck it up and use the 'I' phrase.
'think' indicates that you are not really sure. You have some Alarming
Changes but you are willing to be talked out of them if it will
help keep you from getting killed or injured or yelled at. Don't
use 'think' if you really want to break up.
You can use
'I need' to talk or 'I want' to talk. You don't have to bray these
things - they're a little harsh since they indicate it doesn't matter
what the Other Person says or feels, Alarming Changes are going
to be implemented. But don't dig yourself into hole you can't get
out of by using 'I think' when you have every intention of implementing
the Alarming Changes regardless.
You can use
'I feel' like we need to talk instead of 'I think' or 'I want' as
a nice buffer between I'll Only Implement Alarming Changes If You
Let Me, and I'm Going to Stuff These Alarming Changes Down Your
Throat No Matter What You Say. Using the 'I feel' phrase indicates
you are putting the blame on yourself and not the Other Person but
still those Alarming Changes are going to happen.
'I feel' is
generally your best bet but some of you just can't use the 'feel'
word because you've been brought up to believe that only fairies
and dorks use it. So you're going to have to modify the language
to what's accepted in your environment. But consider this: it may
make you sound like a touchy-feely person, but you are breaking
up with them! What do you care if they think you are a touchy-feely
person, on some level you are lying to them anyway because all you
really want to do is get out of the relationship. As long as they
buy it and it makes you look better and tamps down their 'I'm Not
a Goddamn Alien Freak' Cycle what do you care. On the other hand,
if they aren't going to buy it, skip it.
Okay, now give
some serious, deep, cogitative thought to your opening 'talk' sentence.
Choose several and try them out. Pick the most promising and convincing
one and rehearse it. Steel yourself against the horrible reaction
you are anticipating. Make yourself so nervous doing this that you
feel sick. Practice, practice, practice. And then stop worrying
about it. You're going to forget it anyway under the pressure of
the moment. With any luck, it will come out of your mouth accidentally
in the middle of some other conversation because you couldn't get
up the courage to do it when you wanted to. And then you're off
Okay, now you
need to know exactly what the fuck to say after you've announced
that you're going to embark upon the dread process of 'talking'
to someone. So we'll tell you!