Rousing conversation is one of the most gratifying experiences in life. But there are times when the conversation is going nowhere, or even more dire, we need it to go somewhere.” It could very well be a person you like and usually enjoy their conversation. Picture yourself at a party or networking event looking forward to making new contacts but find yourself immobilized by just one fellow. This person doesn’t have to be someone you dislike, more than likely it’ll be someone you like and have enjoyed good conversation with before. But you’ve scouted others mingling and networking, achieving their objectives, having a good time and you begin to wonder or seethe about what might you’re missing out on. Or in a less urgent narrative, perhaps you genuinely need to get something done and you just don’t have time for the conversation to carry on. To the point, how is it possible to end a conversation without making it overly awkward or offending the other person?
Good news, it is possible to withdraw from a conversation in a smooth and honorable way. Done correctly your friends, co-workers, or new acquaintances won’t feel insulted or minimized. In fact, by the end of it you’ll have shored up rapport with them, and ensured the possibility of a comfortable future re-connection.
Instead of a long detailed response try to respond in as few of words as possible. Also, be sure to not end your response with a question. If this is a contact or friend you’d actually like to follow-up with, submit definite plans as quickly as possible. For example, “could I call you in one hour” or “we should meet for drinks and discuss this at 6:30 on Wednesday at Tipsy’s.”
Emit Visual Cues
Do try to at least look busy. Glance down on your phone, scribble some notes, if in front of a computer try to type and respond without looking up too much.
Make An Introduction
Introduce the person the someone else. Even better introduce them to someone that could be a friend or useful resource.
Take a Bow
As tempting as it is to not be truthful, it’s always best to be honest. If all other attempts fail simply tell the person why you are busy and why you need to exit the conversation. Even better describe your exit as a means to not monopolize all their time.
No matter which method you use to end a conversation try to be as appreciative and gracious as possible. Recap the conversation in a pleasant matter, thank the person for their time, and most importantly be sincere.