Face to face conversations can be awful, especially if you are not interested in what the other party is saying. Phone conversations with people who don't want to let you off are also uncomfortable, but easier to handle. I face these dilemmas at least a few times a week , since one of my house mates is a know it all chatterbox, and I have very little patience on the phone. I find that these easy and polite steps give me all the power I need to cut the cord or leave a draining, one sided conversation!
Step 1: On the Phone
Identify what the person is saying- there are so many different circumstances! Here are some examples:
A) Relationship talker on the phone-YOUR EXCUSE- headache (be honest!)
B) The "Did you know?" stupid fact person-YOUR EXCUSE- That's great, but I need to go finish the laundry. Talk soon!
C) "Always need a favor" person-YOUR EXCUSE- Listen, then say," Oh (name) I just don't feel comfortable about this, I have to go. Okay talk soon, byyyyyyyye!"
D) Annoying boyfriend or girlfriend- YOUR EXCUSE- Hey baby, can I call you back later? I really just don't want to be on the phone right now. I love you (or I miss you).
Remember to always reassure the caller that you still like them or that you still respect them. Often times people feel bad that they kept you, gave you a headache or made you feel weird. If you reassure them with positive refrain "talk soon" "let's meet later" "I love you" it makes them feel like they do have importance in your life, just not at the moment. Avoid answering any questions and apologize if necessary.
Step 2: Face to Face
Eh, these are sort of tough. Here are some examples:
A) Annoying Room mate comes into the room, like a dummy, you ask how their day went- blah blah blah- WHAT TO DO-
"well (name) that sounds nuts! I'm going to go over here now, bye!" Later, you may want to just smile warmly at them so they don't feel like poo.
B) Uncomfortable situations such as someone crying for a stupid reason or asking you for something you don't want to lend, or again, the dreaded relationship gabber-WHAT TO DO-
They have no consideration for putting you through this situation. You have to be honest and get it out. Don't offer help if you don't want to, if you do then this advice is not for you. Just remember not to lie, because a friend will probably catch you, which is worse than ending a conversation rudely. Remeber to use positive reinforcements (smile, hug, let's talk later") all these things help someone know you don't hate them, you just don't want to talk anymore.
C) Total strangers in waiting rooms, elevators, lines at the supermarket, etc.-WHAT TO DO-the stranger probably started talking to you because you looked open to conversation. If you wanted to talk in line but don't want to continue any conversation outside of the circumstances, it's always nice to leave them with a," nice talking to you, have a good day!" then run...
Step 3: Remember
Sometimes, you can't avoid coming off a little rude. Reinforce positive thoughts with verbal cues" talk later, talk soon, byyyyyye!" will usually always help.
Time is precious, don't let people waste your time!
I advise you not to lie, but in extreme situations, if you have to, just say something that's in your character. Don't say, "I'm going to read now" if you don't read. That just sounds bad and is much more disrespectful to the other person.
I personally always say I have to go, because everyone I know also knows I'm a very busy and easily bored person. But they all know I love them... and that's the key!
Participated in the
Burning Questions: Round 5