Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

soften the blow

soften the blow
1) lessen the negative impact of something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • compensation softened the blow
  • Analysis
     A negative event is often referred to as a 'blow.' Something that softens it makes its impact less severe, but, crucially, does not make it disappear entirely. Therefore, 'soften the blow' should never be used in a context where a problem no longer exists. It is an expression that is common in both a social and professional environment.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I thought it would soften the blow if I told Anne the bad news instead of her hearing it from a stranger.
    2. There's no way of softening the blow. You're just going to have to come straight out and say it.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. The company offered a very generous redundancy package to soften the blow for the people who were being let go.
    2. I was disappointed not to get the job I interviewed for, but the fact that they are considering me for another position softened the blow.
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