10 Polite Ways to Say 'Go to Hell'

Most people tend to avoid engaging in conflict, expressing negative opinions, or doing whatever needs to be done to escape the company of a horrible person. Fortunately, though, there are ways to tell a particularly unpleasant individual “You. Die. Now.” while still maintaining that much-needed air of civility and calmness…


“I’m sorry you feel that way.”

woman in glasses leaning her face against her hand looking very bored


If there is a more passive-aggressive yet effectively tactful way to say, “I don’t give a damn about what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, or frankly what happens to you” the English language has yet to create it.


“Well, it’s a free country.”

woman slightly shrugging her shoulders looking off with a skeptic expression


The patriotic way of responding, “You proudly follow your ignorance. And when your colossally moronic decision-making prowess leads to you being stuck in a serious jam or a wood chipper, just remember, my cell phone is usually turned off.”


“I never thought of it that way.”

man stroking his chin in black and white photo


A perfectly respectful remark that is almost always followed silently in one’s head by “That’s because I went to a good school. Or a school. Or at least have cracked open a book so I could never possibly come to the same asinine conclusion as you.”


“Well, I better let you go.”

close-up of end call button on iPhone screen


Whether we’ve heard it or said it over the phone the meaning of this seemingly thoughtful yet secretly selfish remark remains the same—“I’m tired of this conversation, completely bored by you, and my finger is already on the ‘End’ button.”


“I didn’t know you’d be here.”

close-up of man seated at table looking somewhat surprised


Translation: “CRAP!!! You’re the very last person I would ever want to run into at a party and now that you saw me I can’t possibly pivot and run right out the door for a good ten minutes without looking ashamed, cowardly, or that I owe you money.”


“I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.”

man looking out a window on a train


In other words, “Yes, I was standing right next to you. Yes, I saw your mouth moving. Yes, I willingly projected my mind somewhere else to avoid hearing whatever it was you were saying. Yes, your opinion, story, or perhaps frantic call for emergency assistance means nothing to me.”


“Let’s agree to disagree.”

teenage girl lying on bed looking bored at the camera


The seemingly diplomatic way of stating, “This conversation is over, nothing you can ever say will change my mind, and the slight frustration you hear in my tone is the realization I’ve spent the last ten minutes in the company of an idiot.”


“Oh. Hello.”

elderly couple not talking or looking at each other


The short version of “Well, that’s it. That’s the entirety of what I will be saying to you tonight. And even though we will be sitting right across the table from each other for the rest of the evening, I will spend all that time staring at my cell phone, pretending to look text messages, tweets, and emails I already read long ago.”



slightly annoyed woman listening on phone saying nothing


”I’ve tuned out…I no longer care about what you are saying…You could be screaming obscenities at me right now and I will agree without thinking just so I can reach the part where you finally pause or take a breath or start to choke so I can politely say, ‘Well, I better let you go.’”


Just stare at them.

woman seated and cradling face in both hands looking off with a bored expression


Sometimes saying nothing at all can speak volumes, especially if it is done without emotion, without sighs, without arching an eyebrow, and without any indication that the person standing right in front of you is still within your field of vision.


Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

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