"to catch someone off-balance"
to surprise someone, especially in a way that makes the person feel confused or uncertain
Related words and phrases:
Two colleagues are talking ...
Colleague 1: I heard you were called on to lead the staff meeting yesterday.
Colleague 2: I was completely caught off-balance. I wasn't sure how to proceed.
Colleague 1: Not being given any time to prepare must have been unnerving.
Colleague 2: Not to mention embarrassing as I stumbled through the agenda. I am still not sure why the boss did that.
Two students are talking ...
Student 1: How did you do on Professor Smith's pop quiz this morning?
Student 2: That was the first time he has ever given a pop quiz.
Student 1: So it caught you a little off-balance?
Student 2: I'll say. I was totally unprepared and only scored 54%.
Student 1: Well, now we know pop quizzes can happen so you won't be surprised the next time.
Student 2: I will be careful to keep current with my studies in that class.
Catching the letter carrier off-balance by giving her a Christmas bonus, the letter carrier just stood dumbfounded.
1) It just kind of caught me off-balance because I've never been called up before, but it's pretty exciting.
2) The re-imagining caught me off-balance, crafting a unique, powerfully terrifying experience.
3) It kind of caught me off-balance, but I think after the surprise, I was quickly filled with excitement for ...
4) ... decision to retire had caught him off-balance. I was surprised when Gwen told me her plans for retirement, ...
5) It caught him off-balance, he wasn't a mind reader and when she straight up told him to ...
6) He said finding out his niece was a heroin user caught him off-balance.
7) It's incredible when life can completely surprise you and catch you off-balance.
8) ... irregular expenses into your budget from the start means they won't catch you off-balance or drain your emergency fund.
9) ... legitimately keeps the audience guessing what lies ahead and is guaranteed to catch you off-balance.
10) I wouldn't say he caught us off-balance, but he definitely stunned us a bit.
11) They came out blazing, and they kind of caught us off-balance, had us on our heels right away.
12) It kind of caught us off-balance. We were in shock I guess for about 30 seconds or so until we ...
13) One day, a lightning storm caught them off-balance, forcing them to pitch their tent near Leven Point.
14) ... not keep the conjoined twins any longer, the parent's plea caught them off-balance.
15) The timing of Stearns' death caught them off-balance. We were all heartbroken.
16) ... a very difficult and challenging thing to do, especially if it catches you off-balance.
17) ... this probably won't make much difference the next time a cockroach catches you off-balance. But hopefully it'll help you remain calm while you wait for the exterminator ...
18) ... avoid being dumped unceremoniously into the foaming water when a big wave catches you off-balance.
19) We just wanted to speed up the tempo of the game and catch them off-balance and it seemed to work.
20) This unexpected display of gratitude will catch them off-balance and brighten their spirits.