When depression and low self esteem is in the picture, suddenly telling someone that they’re actually performing below standards can demolish whatever little esteem has been built up. Especially if the assessor is someone they love or respect – and who has consistently been telling them that everything is good, to avoid “making them feel bad”. And then suddenly… It hasn’t been good enough *all along*.

Please be realistic – it is possible to be realistic, gentle, yet firm. Doing this tears down any trust the struggler has in you as a person, and makes them doubt all over again what is true… And whether their harsh inner critic and the voices of the past have been right all along.