Have you ever felt trapped in a conversation? Perhaps you are tired. For example, you are at a conference and your brain is so full you can’t bear another moment of banter, but for some reason you don’t know how to exit the conversation. Or perhaps you are at a meeting and the long-winded associate has you held captive and she just took another breath before starting yet another story? Here are some easy ways to leave a conversation while keeping the relationship in tact.
Give clear messages. Don’t encourage them by nodding, smiling and asking questions if you want to move on. Take a deep breath and say, “I’ve enjoyed meeting you. There are a few people I need to go speak with before I leave.”
Make a Connection. (This is a good plan to keep in your back pocket.) Introduce them to someone else and after you have included them in another conversation you can gracefully walk away, or sometimes they will make the exit.
Avoid making excuses. Often at state or national conferences you might be cornered by someone who suggests going to get coffee or having an extended visit. Simply say “Thanks, but I want to unwind in my room before the next session.”
Be true to yourself. If they are persistent about meeting you later simply say, “I promised myself that I wasn’t going to create a schedule or deadlines. Perhaps we will run into each other, but I want to keep my promise to myself.
Become self-aware. Self-awareness increases the likelihood that you will engage in mutually rewarding communications without boring one person and trying to escape from another.