Monday - Jul 26, 2021

How to Exit a Conversation Without Hurting Someone

Boring conversation_final

You may have been stuck in a conversation that is boring or one that you absolutely do not want to be part of. Many people have been there; standing or sitting before this new friend who is telling you how great they are or what good is happening in their life and they do not give you a chance to voice your opinion. You really want to break this conversation but you do want to do it rudely-after all he/she has done you no wrong- they may not know they are boring you to death. How do you get out of this talk, and gracefully? It is pretty difficult but here are some helpful ways to help you bow out of such conversation.

  • Invite others to the conversation- it is unbearable to just sit there and listen to something that you care less about. Should you just walk away? No, you can stay but you need to change the game to your favor. Invite one of your friends to join you. Let it be someone whom your new friend would be interested to meet. If they share some sporting interest then you are better bringing them together. Make the introductions and stay for a while longer as a new conversation begins. If you are still not interested, then make an excuse and walk away. Nobody will notice your shrewdness.
  • Kindly ask for a friend’s rescue- you remember those body codes you used to send to your sibling or friend when your parents were present and you did not want them to know? This is a time you can use them to signal your friend to come and rescue you from that unending conversation. Pass the signal that you need to get out of that talk. Let your friend come and make an excuse that there is something urgent the two of you need to attend to. Give apologies to the friend you want to escape and make the exit. Promise to get back if you could (it does not mean you have to come back, you are just being polite).
  • Ask them to introduce you to someone else- it does not have to be you bringing on someone else to your table. You can ask him/her to introduce you to one of their friends. The introduced friend may break the monotony or be someone you may like to talk to. If at one time they seem to be talking together, this is the opportune moment to make an excuse and leave.
  • Propose to fetch a drink or a snack- “I am very thirsty, may I get you something to drink or bite too?” this is how you may make the request. Chances are, your friend will say no. If they do, you could go for your drink and not come back. If he/she says ‘Yes’ then go for the drink and come with a friend to join the conversation. From there it is easy to work on an exit plan.
  • Request him/her to give a hand in doing something- what if you ask the person to join in doing something you had to do? If they are not willing, you have a very genuine reason to walk away and do your other ‘something’ (you must have an idea of something in case they oblige to your request). If the person is willing to join you, then it means you will have little time to continue with the same conversation. Try to take charge of things this time round.
  • Make an excuse to use the bathroom- the bathroom has been there but you have not thought of using it. This is the time you can make an excuse to use it. Just gesture or point towards that direction for it may be hard to say, “I have to pee”. The other person will understand and let you go. Make sure you actually go inside the washrooms and take sometime. It will be disastrous to make that excuse and go somewhere else.
  • Your phone is a potential excuse- You must have seen guys making ‘fake calls’ to leave a room and it works magically. If you do not wish to go to this level of sneakiness, simply tell the other party that you have to make a call to your parents or spouse. You will be excused in good faith and have no reason to come back.
  • Use body language to your advantage- body clues are used to send codes of different emotions. You can bring on body language and gracefully pass the message that you want to leave. You may tilt your face a little bit from that person and back away from the conversation. Play the inattentive listener and he/she will be able to see that you have had enough. You can then make an excuse to leave.
  • End the conversation in the conventional physical ways- you may have noticed that the other person is repeating things already discussed. This is the time you should make a point of shaking their hand or patting their back to signal the chapter is closed. You should start with an excuse to leave, then follow it up with a handshake or a pat.
  • Take advantage of pauses in the conversation- the other person may be an avid speaker but a time will come when they pause. Once the pauses become frequent you will know he/she is running out of talk topics. Take the chance and make an excuse in one of those pauses. Say you have to get back to work or see someone else in the other side of town. They will not have a reason to delay you, say  goodbye and make an exit.


Word of wisdom: Always try to do whatever you used as an excuse- all these may be lies but you do not need them exposed. Make an effort to do what you said you are going to do when you made the excuse to leave.

You never know when you will need the person in future. That is why you need to leave in style and still remain friends.