throw someone off balance

throw (one) off balance

1. To make one unsteady, such that one may fall. That dog threw me off balance when he knocked into my legs.
2. To confuse or upset one, typically by doing something unexpected. Jenny threw me off balance when she said she wanted to have a baby.
See also: balance, off, throw

throw someone off balance

COMMON If something that you are not expecting throws you off balance, it suddenly confuses or surprises you. His visit had thrown her off-balance. Her directness seemed designed to throw him off balance. Note: Verbs such as knock and catch are sometimes used instead of throw. Mullins knocked me off balance with his sudden change of subject.
See also: balance, off, someone, throw
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