let down easy

let down easy  {v. phr.}
To refuse or say no to (someone) in a pleasant manner; to tell bad news about a refusal or disappointment in a kindly way.
The teacher had to tell George that he had failed his college examinations, but she tried to let him down easy.
The boss tried to let Jim down easy when he had to tell him he was too young for the job.
Categories: disappointment {v. phr.}