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"Brutally" not only refers to the force applied during the conversation but also the lack of escalation in communicating the sentiment. There is a difference between being passive/aggressive or subtle and giving constructive criticism in an unemotional way. The former is easier and ineffective whereas the latter is an exercise in empathy and self-control.



"Brutally" may be one of the poorer choices for a modifier intended to communicate a lack of escalation.

Maybe "flatly honest" would be better?

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