Politely End a Conversation

Introduction: Politely End a Conversation

About: I'm like to sew because the way things come together with a few tricks is really amazing to me. I like to start new projects and would love to finish them too, if i can (usually not)! I dabble in acrylic ...

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!

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    8 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I run into this all the time. I find it sucks the life-force right out of me.
    I get extremely bored with banal conversation and internally find myself screaming "shut-up..." as the person drones on and on. The meat of the topic could have been conveyed in 5 concise sentences. People often repeat their issues several times, sometimes with slight variation in a single conversation.

    Please build on this Instructable: I need more tactics. I worked for a rude guy once who would say " is there an end to this story..." when he wanted to get out of a conversation. Harsh, but effective. I'm just not that rude. Yet :-)


    10 years ago on Step 1

    It can really be awkward, and if you let the answering machine pick up, you usually need to call back (unless it's a telemarketer.) I think by calling back, the person might assume you have a lot of time to talk. I try "Hi :0) I'm on the fly,things have been hectic, but I wanted to make sure you are o.k" This way I hope my friends know I really do care, but know I can't chat... I've also wondered about saying, "oh good to hear you" (and mean it) I've got 5 minutes before I have to... Let me put on the timer to remind myself. When the "ding" is audible to the caller, it's the "timer's" fault that you have to go and hopefully they won't be insulted. ;0)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I once claimed to a tele-sales person that I was suffering from bubonic plague and had to go as one of my pustules was starting to erupt. That did the trick.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    If you know a potentially-hazardous conversation is coming, leave yourself a trapdoor - a friend was going on a blind date, we arranged that I would text her about half an hour after they were supposed to meet - she could then either ignore it if things were going well, or pretend an emergency (puking dog) so she could bail without hurting the guy's feelings.

    I've helped my brother get an annoying friend to leave by asking when he was take me somewhere, a birthday party, for example. He told me before she got there that he might need me, and then sent a text when he did.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Hehehe...... Hang up the phone, or walk away and ignore them. they don't feel that bad. Or, you could always do the whole, cckkkkkk ckkkkkk we're br...ng .p