keep (one) at arm's length

(redirected from keep us at arm's length)

keep (one) at arm's length

To keep one a certain distance away, either physical or figurative, in order to afford a level of safety or security or to prevent intimacy. John always keeps his friends at arm's length, so that no one gets close enough to hurt his feelings. My daughter likes to watch me cook, but I make sure to keep her at arm's length so she doesn't get close to anything hot.
See also: keep, length

keep someone at arm's length

If you keep someone at arm's length, you avoid being friendly with them or getting emotionally involved with them. Brian felt more guilt than grief. He'd tried to get close, but his father had kept him at arm's length.
See also: keep, length, someone

keep someone or something at arm's length

avoid intimacy or close contact with someone or something.

keep somebody at arm’s ˈlength

avoid becoming too friendly with somebody: He’s the kind of man who’s best kept at arm’s length.
See also: keep, length, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
"It's very disappointing that the energy and the effort that they put into the second half that they didn't get anything out of the game but Armagh were in pole position having the extra man, being able to play a full time sweeper and being able to pick off scores to keep us at arm's length.
He's a refreshing change from George Schroeder, who always seemed to keep us at arm's length. Keep up the good work, Austin.
He continued: "Guiseley defended deep and got bodies behind the ball to keep us at arm's length. At the end I think both teams were pleased not to have lost and now we can both look to move on and try to get to grips with Hyde.
The national German newspaper Bild has printed a list of resorts and hotels that would allow them to keep us at arm's length.
If our Assembly ever feels the need to hole themselves up in Cardiff Bay in this way, and keep us at arm's length, it will be a very sad day indeed
We kill someone when they try to communicate with us and we kill them when they keep us at arm's length.