An acute challenge for those times when someone’s bugging you over some big decision they must make, and you don’t mind chiming in on what they should do–so long as it hurts them more than it hurts you.
George wrung his hands over how to break up with the woman he was dating (“Can’t I do it over the phone? I have no stomach for these things”), and the good Dr. Jerry was there–speaking from all of his medico-relational experience–to tell him how to do it.
This isn’t so much about mitigating pain as it is about making decisions–and decision-making is painful, when you think about it. Making up one’s mind means taking sides, which makes even a mere “Yes” or “No” a big deal. You’re not stepping into the fray with an “I don’t care” or “I don’t know.” But step out there with a good solid decision–say, an “I am breaking up with you“–and you’ll hear the impact from recipient (“That hurts”) and bystander (“That had to hurt”) alike.
So don’t be discouraged if the recipient of your Jerry-inspired advice doesn’t listen. Like a good doctor, you did what you could.
From “The Ex-Girlfriend”
Episode 1, Season 2
Seinfeld Volume 1, Disc 2
Timecode for the scene: 2:35