5 awful ways to end a conversation

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Ending a conversation with someone you don’t know very well can be tricky. But, if your plan is to get to know them better, you’ll want to leave them with a positive lasting impression.  Sometimes though, when you’ve got somewhere else to be or you’re running out of chat you might want to end the conversation. Here are 5 ways you definitely shouldn’t end it – especially if you want to see them again.

1.    Liar, liar pants on fire
An uncomfortable silence can make the best of us stoop to desperate levels. And sometimes those levels include pretending a friend in need is calling you – ‘Really? Your dog is trapped in a well? I’d better come quickly!’ – or even faking a family emergency. The problem is, while you may think you’re a pretty good liar, these types of excuses are usually pretty transparent. Simply excuse yourself and leave, don’t create an elaborate lie that is probably going to make the person you’re escaping from feel uncomfortable or unwanted.

2.    Distractions
There’s not much worse than talking to someone who is completely disengaged with the conversation. Maybe they’re glancing around the room, tapping their fingers, or even worse, eyeing up the opposite sex. Just because you’re finding someone uninteresting doesn’t mean they deserve your disdain – maybe your lack of engagement in the conversation isn’t helping. Have some common courtesy and excuse yourself saying it’s been nice speaking to them

3.    Conversation, interrupted
Sometimes the person you’re talking to is on a roll. You’ve struck on a topic they seem to know a lot about, and you’re not getting a word in – and you’re not finding them very interesting either. Out of sheer desperation you might decide to cut them off and leave the conversation. We sympathise, we really do, but this is one of the most obvious ways to make your conversation partner know you think they’re a crashing bore. Employ some tact and wait for a lull in the conversation to explain you really should go and speak to some other people but that it was lovely to meet them.

4.    Mmm…yeah…sure
Another way to really make your date or conversation partner feel bad is to make it clear you’ve zoned out the conversation. Uttering the odd ‘mm’ and ‘ah’ doesn’t count as participating in a conversation. If it’s clear you don’t have much to talk about, end things quickly and smoothly. Try and say something positive as your parting comment to ease any tension over your clear lack of spark.

5.    Bad manners
Just because you don’t find your conversation partner interesting doesn’t mean no one else would. Don’t have the arrogance to believe you’re the last word in what’s cool or interesting, conversation wise. If you’re tempted to make some kind of snarky parting shot – don’t. You were brought up better than that, what would your mother say?

Starting a conversation may feel like the important part but, as we said right at the start, how you end a conversation is crucial too. It’ll leave a lasting impression on the person you were talking to, and whether you’re keen to get to know them or not, it’s always good practice to be well thought of. After all, what if they know the ‘perfect person’ for you or have a great career opportunity to offer? You’ll want them to pass on how great you are.


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