Have you ever been in a conversation where it hits a lull, and both people just disappear from the conversation and walk away? Ending a conversation can sometimes be awkward.
Or maybe it’s a situation where you need to go, but the other person just doesn’t get it. They keep talking and talking, and you want to leave, but you need to do it in a graceful way.
It doesn’t have to be awkward. Here are a few tips on exiting a conversation gracefully.
The Basic Exit
It doesn’t take much to exit. You could say something like:
It was nice to meet you. Thanks for chatting.
I’ve got to go. Talk to you later.
Something along those lines can work. Depending on who it is and the conversation, that can be an easy way to exit the conversation.
Give a Reason
You can also give a reason why you need to go.
It was nice talking with you. I’m going to/need to go mingle a bit/meet some other people/get some snacks/go to the bathroom/check out some of the other exhibits/(and the list goes on). Talk to you later.
One factor in giving a reason to exit a conversation is that it needs to be legitimate and you actually need to do it. Otherwise, the other person may feel like you lied to them and feel hurt or jilted.
Another way to exit a conversation is to express appreciation for something that the other person said or did.
I appreciate you helping understand “X”. I’ve got to go, though. Talk to you later.
Thanks for sharing that story with me. I need to go find Bob. Talk to you later.
Thanks for the encouraging word. I really need it. I need to go now, though. See ya.
Give a Positive Remark or Reflection
You can also give a positive remark or reflection from the conversation to exit.
It was really nice to meet you. I enjoyed hearing about the story with the cat. Haha, hilarious. Talk to you soon!
That was awesome hearing about your story of your mountain climbing experience. I need to go, though. Talk to you later.
Good luck in the competition tomorrow. I’m sure you will do great. I need to head. Let me know how it goes!
Exchange info (if appropriate)
If it’s someone you just met and would like to talk to again, you can exchange info as part of your exit.
Thanks for the conversation. I need to go though, Could I get your contact info and chat later?
I enjoyed talking with you. Could I get your number and talk with you later?
I’ve got to go, but if you give me your email address, I’ll hit you up later.
Suggest a future meeting (if appropriate)
You can also suggest meeting in the future.
Hey, I’ve got to go, but I would love to hear more about your experience. Maybe we could meet up sometime next week?
It was nice talking with you, but I’ve got to head out. A group of us are meeting at the coffee shop next week. Want to join us?
When someone won’t get the hint
Sometimes people are dominating and won’t let you go, and other times people are just lonely and hate to lose a listening ear. Either way, there are times when someone won’t let you go. You can still exit gracefully and well.
When the person keeps talking or says, “one more thing”, be firm. Tell them again that you really have to go.
Normally it’s not good to interrupt. But in this case, it is ok. If the person keeps talking, you may interrupt them again and say something like “I really have to go. Talk to you later”.
Use the right body language
Make sure that everything in your body language says that the conversation is over and you have to go. When the person won’t get the hint, point your body and feet away from the person as if to walk off.
Just say excuse me and walk away
If they still don’t get the hint and you’ve told them you have to go multiple times, you may just have to leave. Look at the person, say excuse me, and then walk away.
You: It was nice talking to you, but I’ve got to go talk to Frank. See you later.
Person: Wait, I didnt tell you about the time that I went to the park and..
You: I would love to hear it another time, but I really need to go talk to Frank. I’ll catch you later.
Person: It was amazing, I saw this giant elephant that..
You (pointing body away from the person, maybe even looking at where you want to go some): I’ve got to go, see you.
Person: No wait, there was this red balloon that was looping around..
You: Excuse me (and walk off).
It doesn’t have to be hard
Exiting a conversation doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow these principles, whether you choose to just go basic, give a reason, express appreciation or a positive remark, or ask to exchange info or for a future meeting, you can exit well and gracefully.
Do you have any other tips for exiting a conversation gracefully?