The Buddha speaks of four categories of communication and our responsibility regarding each category: saying something that is untrue and displeasing to hear (such as false accusations) should never be done; voicing something that is untrue but pleasing to hear (such as flattery) should also be withheld; saying something that is true but displeasing to hear (such as constructive criticism) should only be spoken when the person is receptive to what is being said; and finally, communicating something that is true and pleasing to hear (such as positive feedback) should also be withheld until the timing is suitable. The Buddha's words point out that for communication to have integrity and to be effective, we need to consider both the content and timing of that communication.

Matthew Flickstein, Swallowing the River Ganges