shoot oneself in the foot
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- (idiomatic) To act against one's own interests; to unintentionally behave self-destructively.
- 1982 April, “Reagan shoots from the lip”, in Black Enterprise, volume 12, number 9, page 16:
- but as President he frequently shoots himself in the foot. Some of his erroneous public statements are dillies.
- 2007, Paul Collier, The bottom billion: why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it, page 85:
- The countries that stopped shooting themselves in the foot were able to break into new export markets
- 2009 August, SPIN, volume 25, number 8, page 62:
- "I've always been the guy who shoots himself in the foot and squanders every opportunity," he says. "Now it's like, 'Do I throw it all away — or just try?'"
- 2020 April 9, Gaby Hinsliff, “We used to moan about normal life, now our fear is we'll never get it back”, in The Guardian:
- The fear is that the economic aftermath of this crisis, like the virus itself, might be toughest on those with pre-existing conditions – including otherwise thriving western countries choosing this moment in history to shoot themselves in the foot.
to act against one's own interest
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