We can’t control how people will take criticism or feedback. Any prescription for how we do it (directly, indirectly, gently, or abruptly) might work.
If we want our feedback to be heard and acted upon, though, there is one thing we can do. We can quietly affirm to ourselves our respect for and belief in the other person before we give our criticism. They will feel our caring intent and hear the critique. We will be shocked when they respond better than we otherwise might have hoped.
In your corner,