1) Lie Like A Rug
The uncomfortable silence or the constant rambling can make you grasp for a reprieve, in any way possible. Sure, you would rather get back to your friends or finish your dinner or anything other than continuing the painful conversation. Fumbling for an explanation, you are suddenly allergic to green peas or you just saw your ex in the booth next to you and must go, now! Instead, explain that you need to excuse yourself and leave it that. It’s easy for others to see through the growing nose of a lie, making your conversation partner feel uneasy or unwanted. A simple conclusion works best to avoid rambling and searching for the next white lie.
2) Rude Dude
Scanning the room looking for a quick out or a better conversation to join? Are you yawning or tapping your fingers because you are disinterested in the subject matter and want to jump ship? There is no reason to be unseemly, even if you are trying to slide out of a boring or unappealing dialogue. Show your conversational counterpart some respect and you’ll have a much smoother exit. Explain that it has been nice meeting him/her and now you must move along.
3) Make Up A Break-Up
Lamenting about Grams being in the hospital? Or your dog just broke his hip? Give more credit to your acquaintance, as they are fairly likely to see through your tall tales or fake emergencies. Instead, give a more practical explanation. Excuse yourself for a phone call or even a refill on the chips and dip. With a reasonable plea, you will have less chance of riling the semi-stranger, or more importantly, embarrassing yourself.
4) Indirect Evidence
An ambiguous segue to snub your conversation partner will get you nowhere fast. It can be uncomfortable to stick with a discussion that will bear no fruit, but darting eyes and half-hearted nods are not the way to go. To avoid the roundabout of awkwardness, try to be upfront and direct. End the conversation as soon as it becomes apparent that it’s not jiving. Politely transition to the positive parting comment to skirt any discomfort for the both of you.
5) Adding Insult to Injury
Things aren’t going well and you are done with this obligatory conversation. Perhaps you are looking for another seat, ignoring your new acquaintance or have harrumphed your way through this bore. A sarcastic slight will only make the interaction uncomfortable and memorable, and not it a good way. Substitute your discourteous behavior with a compliment to make your dialogue worthwhile. Bring up something that has been discussed, wish them luck and thank them for the conversation. Pardon yourself to the restroom or step outside for a bit. Just because this meeting is not the best use of your time does not warrant a cutting quip or an obvious move as far away as possible.
Although you may have pondered endless ways to start a conversation, you may rarely worry about how to end one. The object is to be kind, thank the person for their time and move along. Even if the conversation has lost its spark, you never know if this meeting may be beneficial in the future. Perhaps you learned something new, garnered a new business contact or just practiced a little patience. Regardless, bowing out of a conversation with grace requires a little, well, grace.