hold (one) at a distance(redirected from hold somebody at a distance)
hold (one) at a distance
To keep one away, either physically or figuratively, in order to afford a level of safety or security or to prevent intimacy. John always holds his friends at a distance, so that no one gets close enough to hurt his feelings. My daughter likes to watch me cook, but I make sure to hold her at a distance so she doesn't get close to anything hot.