In Arabic, we have an expression that literally translates as

Close the door that allows (or would allow) the wind to pass through, and have peace of mind.

We use it as a metaphor for avoiding problematic situations or situations involving potential trouble. For example, if your friend's job is making him unhappy or involves extreme exertion, you could advise him to find another job using this expression. I'm looking for an English expression that's as literally close to this as possible.


3 Answers 3


Strange! In English, shutting or closing the door is mostly negative! I'm afraid whether you get a literal word/phrase that means closing the door and convey a positive message.

In English, all positive means are for opening the door. So, the closest I can think of is a phrase with little amendment.

If you are not comfortable with your job and if it's harming you mentally, I think you should open up another door.

We use 'open up the doors to new opportunities...' and the like.

The usage, in this context, would mean that your friend needs to switch the job and find some another company.

  • It's not that strange given that winds or gustsare perceived as a source of disturbance, i.e., bad stuff.
    – Sara
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 5:21
  • But then, it's a general use of closing the door, and not an idiom. As an idiomatic use, closing the doors would mostly find negative usage.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 5:27
  • 1
    You can use "shut/close the door" to mean "conclude" in a final way. I have seen "shut the door ON the devil" or "shut the door ON sin", so adding "on" can make shutting the door a positive thing if it's phrased as keeping out something bad.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 19:42

Here are two closely related and very popular English expressions that I think come very close to what you're looking for. Though, instead of the verb "close", they both use the verb "turn".

turn the page:

To make a transition to something else, especially a more positive period after a negative one; to move on.


After a stressful and chaotic tenure at that firm, I'm excited to turn the page and start in this new position.

turn over a new leaf:

To make a fresh start. (This expression alludes to turning the page of a book to a new page.)


I have made a mess of my life. I'll turn over a new leaf and hope to do better.


There's a saying attributed to Confucius, also related to buildings. It does have some traction in the English-speaking world. It begins

The way out is through the door.

but then goes on to ask why so few take this way out.

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