give him enough rope to hang himself

give him enough rope to hang himself

To give a man the opportunity to do something wrong or detrimental to himself, because he will usually do it. The saying expressess the belief that one does not need to interfere to bring about someone's downfall. Don't interrupt him with questions. Just let him keep talking and he'll incriminate himself. Give him enough rope to hang himself!
See also: enough, give, hang, himself, rope

give someone enough rope to hang themselves

or

give someone just enough rope to hang themselves

If you give someone enough rope to hang themselves or give someone just enough rope to hang themselves, you give them the freedom to do something in the way they want to, because you know that way they are likely to fail. I gave him enough rope to hang himself. I let him make the decision, knowing that it would be the wrong one, and then just watched the chaos that followed. Note: People sometimes use the shorter expression give someone enough rope or give someone just enough rope. I started to wonder if was all part of their great plan — give me just enough rope.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's doubtful filmmaker Ted Schillinger, in chronicling the crusade of pro-death-penalty "retributionalist" Robert Blecker, deliberately intended to give him enough rope to hang himself.