If you tell someone an important truth that he doesn’t want to hear, he may tell you that you could have phrased it more nicely. He’s probably being disingenuous. The truth is, it’s what you said, not how you said it, and he’s not honest enough to admit it. If you take such people at their word, you’ll end up being so vague that you fail to communicate at all. This is called “mitigated speech.”
How do you know? The first clue is he fails to make eye contact when he says this. You could challenge him to look you in the eye and say that, or if that seems too confrontational, ask him how you could have phrased it better.
If he has no answer to that question, you know he’s not being straight with you. You also know that he can’t handle the truth. Henceforth, deal with him accordingly. That means don’t bother confronting him anymore. Just figure out ways to get things done without involving him.
People who can’t handle the truth are best cut out of the loop. They are not problem solvers. They are not people an intelligent and rational person can relate to on an equal basis.
Tell someone the truth plainly – just once, to find out what sort of person you’re dealing with. If he responds badly, then you know. Never be upfront with him again. It accomplishes nothing and risks all sorts of problems.
Truth is a precious thing. Don’t waste it on those who can’t appreciate its value. Cast not your pearls before swine.