tie (oneself) in(to) knots(redirected from tied themselves into knots)
tie (oneself) in(to) knots
1. To make oneself confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset, as when trying to make a decision, come up with an idea, or resolve an issue. Now don't go tying yourself into knots over the details of your papers—at this point, all you need is a cohesive outline. We've tied ourselves in knots this past week trying to choose who to hire, but I think we've reached a decision.
2. To befuddle oneself while attempting to explain something (to someone). Primarily heard in UK. Jim's a smart guy, but for some reason, he always ties himself into knots whenever I ask him to explain something on the computer for me.
tie someone (up) in knots
Fig. to become anxious or upset. John tied himself in knots worrying about his wife during her operation. This waiting and worrying really ties me up in knots.