let (one) stew

let (one) stew

To allow someone to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I let them stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just letting me stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: let, stew