Is there an idiom or expression in English about being neutral in a fight, dispute or confrontation, trying not to offend either sides. In broad terms - to have a diplomatic attitude towards conflicting sides ; sometimes to get your way, having such an attitude. To make a statement or act in a way that will not offend involved parties.

1.Somehow he managed to gain favor with his new boss, at the same time, not upsetting his co-workers.

2. A representative from the hydroelectric power company made a speech about importance of building new hydro power plants in the area, claiming that they will reduce the country`s energy dependence ; however, to avoid angering the local population, he did not touch on the issue of resettlement.

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    Hello Beqa! Welcome to EL&U please take the tour and read through the help centre. As your question stands at the moment it is likely to be deleted because you haven't shown how it will be used, or any research you have done to find the answer. There is an idiomatic expression "To sit on the fence" which might be what you are looking for
    – bookmanu
    Aug 28, 2018 at 10:43
  • Why not just use "neutral" or "impartial"? Why do you need an idiom?
    – einpoklum
    Aug 28, 2018 at 10:52
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    @einpoklum Because there is an idiom in my mother tongue, so I am trying to find an equivalent expression in English.
    – Beqa
    Aug 28, 2018 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


If you want to please both sides:

"To run with the hare and hunt with the hounds"


  1. To support or attempt to placate both sides of a conflict or dispute. Many have criticized the government of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds regarding the territorial dispute between the two nations.

  2. To act duplicitously or hypocritically; to speak or act out against something while engaging or taking part in it. How can you be taken seriously as a reformer when you have continued to accept gifts? You can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, Senator.

If you want to not take sides:

"To sit on the fence"

Fig. not to take sides in a dispute; not to make a clear choice between two possibilities. (Fig. on the image of someone straddling a fence, representing indecision.) When Jane and Tom argue, it is best to sit on the fence and not make either of them angry. No one knows which of the candidates Joan will vote for. She's sitting on the fence.

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