tread on someone's toes

tread on (someone's) toes

To insult, offend, or upset someone, especially by involving oneself in that which is someone else's responsibility. I want to help Johnny out on his project, but I know he's very proud, and I don't want to tread on his toes in any way. Look, you're going to have to tread on a few peoples' toes if you want to get ahead in this business.
See also: on, toe, tread

tread (or step) on someone's toes

offend someone, especially by encroaching on their privileges.
See also: on, toe, tread
References in periodicals archive ?
If I have to go and tread on someone's toes to get a girl that I like or if I had to upset somebody, then I'd see that more as a sign that it's not meant to be."
If I have to tread on someone's toes to get a girl, I'd see that as a sign it's not meant to be."
You may have to tread on someone's toes to do it though.
To find out more 0901 6093141 TAURUS (April 21/May 21): Think carefully before issuing invitations for the weekend you may tread on someone's toes. Check how free certain folk are.