People Explain How To Politely End A Conversation With Someone Who Won't Stop Talking
eliza28diamonds/Pixabay

People who don't know when to stop talking can be the cause of much stress, especially for people who experience social anxiety. The internal dialog in these situations often goes something like this:

"Is it just that they can't figure out I'm not interested? How do I escape from this conversation? I could just tell them, but I don't want to be rude. I guess I'll just sit here and nod along until they're done."

It gets even more complicated if the talker is a customer or your boss.


In search of a way to disentangle themselves from these unending conversations, Reddit user u/unusuql_alien asked:

"How does someone politely end a conversation with a person who won't stop talking?"

If you, too, suffer through long conversations you would like nothing more than to escape from, you might find the perfect advice below.

10.

Mental health worker here. I see patients every day who will talk forever if you don't stop them. You simply have to interrupt and redirect/or end the conversation. I always politely tell them, "let me stop you there" or "Let me jump in there". Sometimes you have to be abrupt or else you will be held hostage by the one sided conversation.

-DeadSharkEyes

9.

Giphy

I don't mean to interrupt but--

It's got to be done, so just do it. They need a break anyway.

-p1um5mu991er

This is the right answer. You simply need to interrupt them, apologize for doing so and let them know you need to do something else.

-Tzpike05

8.

I used to work on a team with a guy who had aspergers and some related issues processing social cues. He would get started on a subject and just talk at people for 30 mins plus without pausing for breath. He didn't get the cues that people were losing interest and would continue indefinitely unless you directly interrupted and told him to stop. He wouldn't be offended and generally appreciated being told he should have stopped.

It was almost a rite of passage in the office to endure an extended one way lecture about his choice of bathroom tiles or the benefits of all weather road tires over winter tires etc.

-Wind_Yer_Neck_In

7.

We have a great line that we use in Ireland. I haven't heard it used abroad but it could well be used all over for all I know.

The person is rabbiting on and is showing no sign of stopping. You clearly and firmly say "I'll let you go". Then with the confidence of a person doing them a favour you turn on your heel and stride away.

This has the effect of making them think you are the one wanting to avoid wasting their time. If they figure it out they can't call you out on it because to do so would be to admit (at least to themselves) that they are wasting your time. In fact most people never allow themselves to think it might be them who is holding you up so they accept the "offer" of your leaving in order for them to get on with their important work.

In general if someone says "I'll let you go" to me (rare but it has happened), I smile and say bye and end the conversation. It is a social convention and I abide by it. They want out. No ego. Let them go and the best of luck to them. People appreciate that I imagine.

-Nuffsaid98

6.

I read one of those mildly interesting newspaper features recently with an 'etiquette expert', their advice was rather than make an excuse, you should be more direct that you are ending the conversation and say something like "I've really enjoyed talking with you, I'm going to circulate around the room now" as it's less likely to create an expectation you might come back. It does work too!

-BoelyingBass

5.

So this method is contextual but I have found it works in a lot of situations...especially in an office location...or more generally in a location where the offending talker has a place to go back to...so this is how it works...

Usually someone will come into my office and stand in the door way and start talking...I listen politely for a bit and then if they don't get the cues to leave..I do some obvious things...like start working on my computer...and then playing on my phone...just some physical social cues to let them know that this is over...BUT...some ppl dont get that...so in those cases where its happening...I casually stand up, let them continue the conversation, and sometimes I give them an uh-huh or yeah...and while walking out of my office...I walk to their office...and then...almost all of the time, they will go into their office first...and then they will sit down...that then gives me the ability to politely say something and leave their office.

I call this method the "Walking them home" method....again, it can work anywhere, if a sibling is annoying you in your room...stand up and walk them towards their room, and they will migrate to their space...and then you leave...if you are at work...walk them to their space and let them settle, and then you leave.

I use this method at least 3 times a week with some folks...and they LITERALLY have no idea.

-Speaker4therest

4.

If you know them well enough, a hand on the arm or shoulder will get someone to stop talking long enough for you to make your exit. Not needed though. "It's been so great talking to you but I'm late for something something"

-ptrelas

3.

Giphy

It depends on the context, like most things. Who is the person to you?

Random person on the street? Just tell them you're busy and walk away.

Coworker? Politely explain that they need to stop talking so you can work.

Dude at the gym? Tell him you're going to do your set. If he still doesn't stop talking, just put your headphones on and start lifting.

Generally if it's someone you aren't going to see often, whether they think you're rude or not isn't really important. Just tell them you're busy and just walk away or continue what it is you were doing.

If it's someone you see often/can't avoid (friend, coworker, classmate etc) tell them that they need to stop talking so you can do what you're meant to be doing. They probably aren't aware that they could be annoying people. They'd probably appreciate the wake up call.

-_MyAnonAccount_

2.

I had a friend who I used to talk on the phone with a lot, before texting became more popular. When one of us got tired of talking, we'd say "Welp, I'm gonna let me go now." It should work with someone you're friendly with, or a coworker (if you say it with a smile). If it's a stranger and they think you're rude for saying it, what does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, not that rude.

-jerusha16

1.

Fake a phone call. First, pm someone to call you. Then as your phone rings, just politely apologize and make your exit.

-teachermichael

Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.

The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.

Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,

"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
Keep reading...Show less
People Share The Most Life-Changing Purchases They've Made That Were Worth Every Penny
Annika Erickson/GettyImages

Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.

Keep reading...Show less

You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.

Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.

But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,

"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
Keep reading...Show less
People Break Down Which Professions Hollywood Gets Completely Wrong
Photo by Danial Igdery on Unsplash

More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.

Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.

But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.

Only, how accurate are they?

Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:

"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
Keep reading...Show less