let somebody stew

let (one) stew

To allow one 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

let somebody ˈstew (in their own ˈjuice)

(informal) leave somebody to worry and suffer the unpleasant effects of their own actions: We told her not to trust him but she wouldn’t listen — so let her stew in her own juice!
See also: let, somebody, stew