you have to be cruel to be kind

you have to be cruel to be kind

You must be blunt and honest with someone in order to help them realize something that may help them; it is sometimes necessary to hurt someone's feelings in order to tell them the truth. I'm not going to sit here and tell Judith that she's a shoo-in when she's clearly not ready for her audition. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
See also: cruel, have, kind, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

you have to be cruel to be kind

When people say you have to be cruel to be kind, they mean that sometimes if you are unkind to someone it will be the best thing for them. `I have to be cruel to be kind,' said Lindsay. `If I don't control his food, he will eat himself to death.'
See also: cruel, have, kind, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
See also:
Full browser ?