let someone down gently

let (one) down gently

To deliver bad news to someone in the kindest or least upsetting way possible. When you tell Ed that somebody already asked you to the dance, please let him down gently. I tried to let Susan down gently, but she burst into tears nonetheless.
See also: down, gently, let
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

let someone down gently

seek to give someone bad news in a way that avoids causing them too much distress or humiliation.
See also: down, gently, let, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
For weekly readings call 0903 658 2005 (75p/min + access charge) For weekly readings call 0903 658 2011 (75p/min + access charge) GEMINI MAY 22 - JUNE 21 SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 21 Your diary or schedule may be packed full this weekend, and you will have to try to let someone down gently. Diffi cult I know, but your sensitive nature you to do successfully.
Your diary or schedule may be packed full this weekend, and you will have to try to let someone down gently. Difficult I know, but you're sensitive nature will allow you to do this successfully.
For more call 0903 658 2031 75p/min + network access charge Sagittarius Nov 23 to Dec 21 Your diary or schedule may be packed full this weekend, and you will have to try to let someone down gently. Difficult I know, but you're sensitive nature will allow you to do this successfully.
our diary or schedule maybe packed full this weekend, and you will have to try to let someone down gently. Difcult I know, but you're sensitive nature will allow you to do this successfully.
This could see you needing to let someone down gently. Call for more advice...
But be prepared to let someone down gently. For more, please call me.
It's not easy to let someone down gently in that situation, and yet it must be done.