Not every conversation is pleasant, and there are some that just make us want to bolt. Here’s how you can get out of that sticky situation.
There are times when we talk non-stop, and we forget what time it is or that we were supposed to do something else, not just talk. The only possible reason we would remember that we talked too much will be our parched throats, because we never even paused to drink anything. That’s how much we probably liked the conversation with the person we were talking to. This is one of the many little pleasures of life.
On the other hand, what if it’s the exact opposite? What if you were stuck in a conversation with someone who simply won’t stop yammering on about something you’re not interested in? What if the person you’re talking to isn’t making sense? What if, horror of horrors, the person you’re talking to is being oblivious to the fact that he or she is being offensive?
How to get out of a conversation you don’t like
Sure, you can just slink away while they’re not looking. But that’s usually frowned upon. Instead, you can try these 10 techniques.
#1 Thank the universe for your bladder or bowel. Whatever the scenario you created will be, nobody can say no if you need to use the toilet. Will they try to stop you if you need to go?
If you will be using this excuse, make sure that you do go to the toilet. Sometimes, the people that you are talking to might also use the same excuse and will even go with you to the toilet. If this happens, stay way longer in the cubicle and tell them to go ahead and not wait for you. Then that could be your exit strategy.
#2 Your stomach is growling like a tiger that hasn’t been fed in weeks. You can tell the people that you are chatting with that you need to grab a bite. You cannot sit and chat if you’re hungry. This is if you aren’t inside a restaurant attending a dinner party.
If you are already eating with your friends and you find the conversation utterly boring, you can ask to be excused, because you would like to check the menu as you want to order something else. You can then focus on your food, instead of the boring conversation that’s going on around you.
#3 The noisy mobile phone. Everyone does this, and if you haven’t done it yet, it seems that you enjoy the company you keep, or the people that you talk to. Pretending to receive a call or a message that urgently needs your attention can save you from any annoying conversation.
But this is a bit tricky. You need to get your phone to vibrate or ring. If you can manage to do that without being too obvious then do so, otherwise the person that you’re talking to might get seriously offended by this. Don’t worry, though, there are tons of apps that allow you to time a fake call or text.
#4 The bulging social calendar. This excuse is a bit difficult to pull, but if you can act really well, then this is perfect. When the conversation starts to get dry and really boring, start looking at the time. Hopefully, the person that you are talking to will see this, and if they ask why you are checking the time, tell them you have an appointment in a bit.
If they don’t realize you are checking the time, the next time you check, you can say that you need to be somewhere in 15 minutes, and that the conversation was going so well that you forgot you needed to be somewhere else soon.
#5 The fifth vital sign cannot be ignored. Who can say no to you when you are in pain? Although you might need to really act it out. It could be a toothache, a headache, or any bodily pain that you can think of. Once you’ve decided on which kind of pain to act out, you can choose to say that you need to buy pain meds, or that you need to go home and rest. Either way, it’s a great exit strategy that no one can refuse.
#6 Errant errands. Errands are a great excuse, and they’d make for even better excuses if you subtly hint that it’s urgent. You can tell the person that you need to get some stuff for the house, or for your roommates, and it’s imperative that you do it right away. If they insist on accompanying you, stress that the place you’re going to is incredibly inconvenient for them and that you appreciate the offer.
#7 Who wants to be in the way of earning money? Another excuse you can give if you want to get out of a boring conversation is that you have work to do. You can say that this is the only time that you can check and respond to e-mails. Or perhaps you have a deadline that you need to catch or a Skype meeting with some overseas correspondents.
Either way, work can never be denied the time that it needs. Tell the person you are talking to that this is really urgent, and that your boss will be hunting you down if you don’t turn it in.
#8 The cinema is calling. Or the play, whichever you want to pretend to be watching. Movies and plays have scheduled screenings that must be followed. You can tell your companion that you are about to miss the first part of the screening and that you need to go. You can even pretend that you need to drive somewhere, so it’s going to take time. Just be consistent about it. Don’t forget to watch the movie or the play later on, if this friend of yours asks how it was.
#9 Alone time. If you’re having a boring or annoying conversation with someone you just met while you’re alone, you could always say that you would appreciate it if they let you enjoy your alone time. Though some people may not understand the concept of alone time, there are still some who are sensitive enough to know that this basically means, “back off!”
#10 Sometimes, the best way is, to be honest. Why don’t you tell the person that you are not interested in the topic or that you are getting annoyed? Sure, it’s straightforward, but brutal honesty can usually get the job done. They can, in turn, change the topic to something else, or they can scurry away to annoy someone else.
Also, be careful about the person’s feelings. Check if this person is sensitive and cannot take this straightforwardness. If they cannot take frank comments, then how about you steer the conversation to a different topic? Surely, there are more topics that you can both talk about that will not annoy you.
Leaving a conversation, especially when the other party seems to be having the time of their life, can be tricky. But with a little acting, an arsenal of excuses or the bluntness to just make them go away, you can be sure that your conversation will soon come to an end.