Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations.

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Another day of work, it has been quite a stressful and packed day.

Your only goal for now is to get home in order to relax and forget about work for the evening.

You’re about to leave and then your colleague approaches you. You start getting into a conversation with them, in reality all you want to do right now is to get home. You start to notice, time is passing by whilst they waffle on about people you don’t know (and have little importance to you), and events you weren’t at.

After some time, you start to get more and more nervous and impatient. You check your watch and realize that it has already been more than 20 minutes since you last said a word. Since you’re speaking to a colleague, with whom you haven’t talked too much, you don’t want to interrupt them. At the same time, you’re desperate to end the conversation.

You start wondering how you might be able to end the conversation without coming across as rude but it seems too awkward. ‘I’m too polite’ you think to yourself- this kind of thing happens frequently. There was aunt Doris blocking you from talking to that attractive girl at that wedding last month, you couldn’t seem to excuse yourself and once you had done- the opportunity had past.

Because you do not want to end the conversation in a negative way, and they are a person with whom you have to cooperate with, situations similar to this will probably occur often. So, what do you say when you want to excuse yourself?

In this article we will show you 5 Scripts to Politely End a Tiresome Conversation with Someone Who Doesn’t Know When to Stop Talking:

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

Script 1 | Postpone the Conversation     

 

Sorry [Insert Name] I really have to go home now, but should we finish up the conversation tomorrow?

With this method you will evoke sympathy towards the person you are talking to. They’ll be okay with finishing off the conversation. From our experience people really love it when you give them an offer.

By giving the person that you are talking to your number, they’ll will clearly see you as a very nice and positive person. At the same time, you will be able to escape a conversation that you didn’t want to have.

This is why this strategy is so effective, especially if it was a person that you would have to get along with you would not want to risk anything. If you are not careful enough it might happen to you, that you make the person angry.

Therefore, with this way of ending the conversation you are on the safe side.

But if you repeat this tactic over time your colleague would finally understand that you’re trying to establish boundaries.

Script 2 | Let them Give You their Details     

 

Excuse me [Insert Name] but I am really in a rush, do you have a number/ email etc.?

This method will definitely work the best if you are stuck in a conversation where chances are really high that you are not going to see the person again.

If you were actually in a time rush and thought the conversation was interesting you would still have the option to continue the conversation later on by just simply calling or contacting the person. In case you just thought the conversation was a waste of time and you wanted to simply escape, then it is still a really good way to dodge a conversation without a fight.

By letting them give your contact you will make them feel appreciated, at the same time they will be willing to quit the conversation with the thought of being able to continue the talk later. But now you even have the choice if you want to continue talking.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Script 3 | Being Spontaneous But Honest  

 

Thanks for the talk [Insert Name]. But I just randomly spotted a really good friend of mine. But it was a pleasure getting to know you!

Especially if you are in an area filled with multiple people, it might be a good Idea to just be aware of your environment. It might often be the case, that you can spot a friend or a person related to you. In situations like this it is not beneficial to lie; instead you can just be honest and say that you haven’t talked to this person.

If you can’t find a friend but you really have the urgency to quit the conversation it can also be a great Idea to just give them your reason why you have to quit the conversation.

There could be various reasons like you having an appointment or you really looking forward to seeing your children which you haven’t seen for a while.

By being honest chances are very high that the conversation might just find an end naturally. Don’t force yourself to explain yourself too extensive because explanations often can be seen as plea of guilty.

 

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the following video course from LinkedIn Learning. Check out the preview below:

Click here for full access to "Common Meeting Problems" On LinkedIn Learning
If you're finding your meetings ineffective, you're running out of time without completing the agenda or your attendees seem dissatisfied trainer Chris Croft is here to find a solution. In this course trainer outlines the top 10 meeting problems and explains how to manage each one. He covers meetings that aren't necessary; noises and other distractions that throw meetings off track; attendees showing up late; disruptive behavior; lack of focus; meetings that take too long; lack of progress; and lack of participation. Plus, get tips for eliminating some of the most common technology issues that occur during virtual meetings.

Script 4 | Introduce Them To Somebody Else

 

Oh thats really cool I wasn’t aware that You knew [Insert Name] do you think you could introduce me to them?

With this method you are actually able to add another person to the conversation.

This is good tactic for when you’re at a point where you are tired of listening to the same person over and over again. Especially if you see another person that you barely know, it can be a great opportunity to get to know another person and at the same time spicing up your conversation. If you are very lucky you might even get to know a future friend.

In case you don’t know anybody’s name in the room you could just try to direct the conversation towards another person. Just start talking about another person’s appearance or behavior. Then ask the person whose conversation you are trying to escape if they know the person. This strategy will easily make any conversation that you are trying to escape a lot more interesting.

Script 5 | Finish The Conversation by Being Equally Annoying    

 

That sounds pretty interesting what you just said. It kind of reminds me of my previous Vacation in Hawaii…

The aim is to keep steering the conversation on to topics the other person can’t really relate to or doesn’t care about.

Think about something that relates well in your mind to the thing that you just heard. The best example could be something that recently happened that only your closest friends know about. Or you could also try to start talking about a friend of you that they don’t know which will likely make them quiet.

Asking questions over and over again is also a great way to disengage the other person. Imitating their lack of conversational skills in a natural way (like how we imitate someone we’re trying to built rapport with) will likely highlight to the other person that just maybe they talk a little too much. If like many of us, they are blind to their own annoying behaviors at the very least, they’ll likely shut up.

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the following video course from LinkedIn Learning. Check out the preview below:

Click here for full access to "Managing Office Politics" On LinkedIn Learning
Dorie Clark explains the value of creating goodwill in the workplace, and in this course she shares how to genuinely connect with people at work in a way that is professional and productive. Dorie discusses how strengthening your relationships is important to your success and she provides strategies you can implement, including building social proof, clarifying your goals, bringing people together, and helping people recognize your abilities. She also helps you learn to identify what really matters to you and your organization so you can align your plans.

Situations where you get stuck in a conversation that you really don’t care about happens. In most cases, you have the option to end the conversation without causing awkwardness.

It can be difficult to excuse yourself but even if you can’t make the conversation end you usually have the option to bring in another person with some of the scripts we’ve talked about. If you can’t find someone to save you, it might be a good idea to just turn the tables, this will naturally end the conversation or give it more value.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.  

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

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