sit on your hands

sit on (one's) hands

To refrain from acting, intervening, or helping. They may not have broken the law themselves, but the CEOs certainly sat on their hands and allowed these illegal activities to happen unchecked. I feel so guilty for sitting on my hands while my son was going through such a difficult time in his life. Why don't you actually help us fix the issue, instead of just sitting on your hands and complaining?
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on your hands

COMMON
1. If you sit on your hands, you do not do something that you ought to be doing. The troops there are beginning to feel quite embarrassed about sitting on their hands while refugees stream through the lines with tales of horror. The pace of development in Formula One is so fast that if you sit on your hands you quickly regret it.
2. If you sit on your hands, you wait for the best time to take action rather than doing something too quickly. Force yourself to read the draft in its entirety. Sit on your hands. Give the draft a chance before you begin reworking it.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on your hands

take no action.
1998 Times The England selectors, historically, find reasons to sit on their hands.
See also: hand, on, sit