Friday, September 12, 2014

We Have a Stage-Four Talker

I've spent 44 years on this Earth. 44 years of learning and growing. Yet there's one skill that still eludes me. It's the art of getting out of a conversation.



It isn't so bad now that I work from home. In a cubicle, it's the worst feeling ever. In my 20s, I worked with a woman who came into my office every day to tell me how much weight she'd lost.



I once used the bathroom as an excuse to get away from a guy who would sit in my guest chair, talking for hours about football, despite my repeated attempts to tell him I knew NOTHING about football.



I've seen people who can gracefully get out of any conversation. I'm not one of them. Someone once told me if you want a conversation to end, stop talking. Eventually they'll run out of things to say.

Yeah...that doesn't work.



I had a friend who would pretend his phone was buzzing. He always left it on silent at work, so people believed him. He'd just grab his phone (on his belt) and say, "Sorry. I have to take this call." It worked every time.



How do you get out of a conversation that won't end?

And now for a little Friday fun. If you've never seen this video, you  have to watch it. It's HILARIOUS!



59 comments:

  1. Sorry, can only watch the video!
    I rarely get cornered in my office anymore because people just know when I don't want to be bugged - I have on my headphones. They can yap, but I can't hear them. But if I'm in a hall or something, I just slowly start backing up. (Hard to carry on a conversation when you're ten feet away.) And if those tactics don't work, I just tell them I have things to do - bye!

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  2. My parents used to use the term 'Diarrhea of the mouth.'

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  3. I have used a fair amount of these excuses so I didn't have to keep a conversation up...

    I tend to talk a lot myself but I also try to take my queue from people if they don't feel like talking to just move one... We all need a break from time to time :)

    Have a great weekend Stephaine :)

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    Replies
    1. Stephanie... thank you for the comment... I look forward to the day that I don't think about him when I wake up... or go to sleep...

      Half a day without thoughts of him would be heaven... I hold out hope that will happen down the road...

      It's been nearly a year since things changed... maybe I'll get there soon....

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  4. Ugg, yeah some people just won't shut up. There is one woman at work who has to go to every single office and tell every single person the exact same thing, usually about the weather or her kid, just like shut up already. I mumble and walk the other way, seems to work

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  5. I always have to do something unlike myself--pretend I have a phone call, pretend I have to go to the bathroom, etc. If I'm at work, I continue working at my desk, barely looking at the person, and they'll go away. Yesterday I loudly smacked gum to drive someone away since I knew it annoyed her. This was after a painful half hour conversation I didn't know how to get out of. There's no time to deal with these people who won't stop talking. If someone's busy or not in a good mood, I can tell when to stop...but some people ignore all the signs.

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  6. I love to say nothing which creates awkward silence and then they know I'm not interested in what they sell LOL

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  7. I learnt from the master: my father. Mind you, he doesn't do it on purpose, he's just flaky. LOL But, I've watched him walk away from people mid-conversation without a goodbye, and laughed at the other person's baffled look. Now, I do the same, or ungracefully announce "Welp, I have somewhere else I gotta be, later." It's horribly rude, but peeps have come to expect it from me, so I easily get away with it now without them thinking poorly of me. Hehe Plus, if they know my dad it certainly helps.

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  8. A great subject.....
    I'm not a talker and I get right to the point when I have something to say. I'm not a chit chatter type.

    It can be awkward depending who is doing the talking. I have 0 tolerance for gossip and idle talk and I don't like to lie either. I just excuse myself and say I have to go and I think to myself ( I have to go for my sanity).

    It all depends on the situation how I handle it.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  9. It just happened to me last week at Target. It was the worst hour ever!! I was backtracking down the aisle with the women following me. I excused myself 3x nicely saying I really have to get going. GAH!!!

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  10. there are people who would talk for hours to a wall if the wall would listen.

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  11. oh yes...I am the absolute worst at smoothly extricating myself from a convo and I'm one of those people that always winds up getting talked at by people who have no interest in me but only love hearing themselves talk...I've just gotten a bit tougher over the years and I'll smile politely and just say I have to go. Drives me absolutely crazy!

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  12. Ha! I won't name names, but I go through this quite often with someone that I know. They don't understand that a conversation is supposed to be a two-way thing and pretty much just talks at you for 45 minutes straight. I've learned to lift one finger up, cutting them off mid-sentence, and say, "Hold on," and just leave the room. Or, depending on my mood, I'll say, "Oooh, girl. You sure can talk!" And busy myself doing something else. Don't worry about being rude. Just walk away. They'll eventually find someone else and talk them to death.

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  13. You are too nice! There is a lady I work with who is also so nice and now she has this guy come down 3 times to look for mail (he knows when it comes) just so he can talk to her. She has literally hid in the closet. My friend is such a sweetheart...i'm not-lol. I have used excuses before but I often just say I have to go now or I just walk away. I have been caught with clients who don't shut up and , at times, I picture sewing their mouth shut. Now I just say I don't have time, have a nice day and bye bye:)

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  14. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a conversation with a stranger you don't want to have.
    We went to a dinner last winner for the holidays, it was full of people I didn't know and the woman sitting next to me not only was a talker but she has such a thick accent that half the time I wasn't quite sure what she was saying. Talk about awkward and there was no way to get away from her. At the end of the night she even ended up asking me for my phone number so she could call me!! Gah! It was so awful. :(

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  15. This is awful, but I've set the timer on my phone to go off and then pretend I have something to do and that was my reminder. ;)

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  16. I usually say I'm running late for an appointment, but that only works if I'm able to leave the area!

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  17. When I worked in an office, we had more than one serial "visitor" who would stop by and say, "Do you have a minute?"

    It was never a minute...and it was rarely beneficial to my work.

    My pat answer was, "No - I have three minutes, and they're all yours. After that, I have to get back on this project."

    It worked pretty well. Frequently, I heard others stealing my line. :-)

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  18. i had a friend for a long time. she'd call long distance and keep me on the phone for several hours every time. after an hour of being polite with 'uh huh's and responses, i'd just go quiet. it would take another hour for her to rattle on about something mundane. two hours or so into it, she'd finally ask, 'so, how are you?' by then i was exhausted and ready to move on. i finally stopped taking her calls, not answering her letters. i couldn't tell her why. i just let the relationship die.

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  19. Not a skill I've developed either. And its made worse that given I'm either on crutches or in Madge (my wheelchair) I'm not able to get away quickly or easily.

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  20. As you get older you have less concern about people who are chewing up your limited time on the planet.

    "I'm sorry, you don't mind if I ignore you do you?"

    If that doesn't work, just tell them to STFU, obviously they don't care about your feelings so...

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  21. I can't either, it's weird. Mainly when it comes to one side of my family who are so freaking annoying. It's always about them, they don't ask you how you've been, what you've been doing, just come in, sit down, chat your ear off all about them. I just sit there, pretend to listen, while I sing lyrics in my head so I don't say anything I don't regret, it's bad, haha.

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  22. I love this post, Stephanie!

    Those people you had to deal with sound like four-alarm losers! I've had people try and talk sports with me and I just shrug.

    I don't follow sports, but they can't seem to accept that.

    Then there's the guy I worked for who could talk both of your ears off. It was tough bailing on him because he's management. But I do love the silent phone trick--I'll have to try that one!

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  23. Loved the video and yes there are these folks that you just can't get a word in edgewise. Bless their hearts. I just get up and walk away. No excuse...just get up and walk away.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  24. I'm usually upfront. Even when they stop by my house and stay forever.

    At work, I say, well I'd love to chat with you more, but I've got to get these piles of paper done.

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  25. I'm with you on this one. Apparently I have a face that encourages people to keep talking, no matter what I say. I've tried the stop talking thing, but then there's that awkward silence that drags on and people just end up staring at me. Maybe that would be the best time for me to disappear. But like you, I would also choose the bathroom excuse to get away. Sometimes people really freak me out.

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  26. I don't think I could gracefully get out of a conversation either. I'd probably just sit there. Or be like, "You know, I think one of my kids needs me."

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  27. Like you, Stephanie, I find it hard to hide from conversations... or end them more importantly. I must have "talk to me" or "I really care" beaming from my forehead.
    I wish I was a bit more forward with ending them but I feel bad, lol. I guess I'm just too nice!

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  28. Hi Stephanie! Love that song. Love the video too, I've never seen it before.
    My husband gets so mad at me because I'll just let someone talk and talk...of course he does it himself, he just can't see it. I am very bad at the exit strategy too...I need to read these comments!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  29. Hahaha! The best way to get out of a conversation.

    "Do you have about an hour? I need to tell you about my grandmother's onion garden and how she started it way back in the 80s."

    "Sorry, I have to go."

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

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  30. I'm afraid I'm just like you. I can't escape. And I can't hurt someone's feelings. And I'm empathetic off the chart...so all I can think is...what if I had no one else to talk to?...There is a famous (among my friends) night when I'd had a few too many cocktails where I said to someone "I through talking to you now!" and dismissed him with a wave of my hand...poor thing. Now THERE'S a way to end a conversation!

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  31. There's someone close to me that talks ALL THE TIME. She NEVER STOPS TALKING. And getting out of conversations with her is nearly impossible.

    The worst part? I'm positive that 90% of what she says isn't even true.

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  32. I tell them I have to use the restroom. Works every time!

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  33. If someone comes to the door or calls on the phone, I have a great excuse if it is a work day. After a few minutes, I excuse myself saying I'm working and I work production so if I'm not actually working, I won't get paid. People pretty much respect that. Otherwise, I use the excuse of the dog if we are out and about some place "got to get home to the dog." Works most times :)

    betty

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  34. One day I was in Target (buying a birthday gift for a nephew) when a guy started talking to me. About my blouse, if I remember correctly (it wasn't creepy, although it sounds creepy--the guy seemed to be lonely and just wanted someone to talk to). The conversation went on and on. How do I get cornered into these?

    So, I don't have any help for you, but I do know how you feel.

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  35. Thanks! Not being a fan of country western I hadn't heard the song or seen the video! Loved them both!
    I used to work with a girl who would just stand at my cube and babble no matter what I did. One day I asked her to go work and leave me alone and she explained she was just going to stand there and there was nothing I could do about it. And there really wasn't!

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  36. I have a hard time getting out of a conversation too! People don't seem to get the drift when I am not listening or when I want to get back to work. I would love to get this skill. I know so many people that can either get out gracefully or they don't care about the awkward silence. So jealous!

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  37. I can't remember who brought this up, but where I worked In TX someone suggested that when we had a squatter by our desk, that we should just say, "Oh, I can't wait to hear about that, but I have so much work to do....Can we possibly talk about it at lunch?" And it worked! Sometimes it's the direct approach that's needed.

    Yes, my grandson LOVED seeing all that snow in July. He doesn't see much since we are here in the desert.

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  38. That was a funny video.

    You know, I used to be timid when I was in my teens and 20's. I'm also 44 years old and I just don't care what people think anymore. if I get annoyed, I let others know it. If you are bothering me, you're going to know it. If I want you to be quiet, I'll tell you. If I have to tell you that I have things to do and you have to leave, I will. I just don't have patience for it any longer.

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  39. One of my husband's favorite songs! He even sings along when it comes on the radio. I can't figure out why...

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  40. Nothing more boring than getting cornered by a chatty person. When in my own house and a talker lingers, I usually get up and walk toward the door and open it with a smile. They usually get the hint. My aunt, when caught in a long phone conversation, just hangs up. No goodby. Ha

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  41. I'm only semi-skilled at getting out of bad conversations. I will try and summarize where I think they're going and quickly agree, but if they take the reigns back, then I'm screwed.

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  42. I say something intelligent, such as "hmmm," and turn back to my work.

    Love,
    Janie

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  43. I am notorious for just kinda walking away lol
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  44. I suck at getting out of conversations, but I suck at getting into ones as well. I'm really shy, and don't talk much to people I don't know, so I don't usually have this problem haha.

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  45. Earlier, I was really bad at getting out of boring conversations. But, not so now. Nowadays, I just walk away with some or the other excuse depending on where I am.

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  46. I hate being in that predicament. Usually, I just fake a phone call or a meeting I need to rush to. Doesn't sound fair at times, but nothing's fair when only one gets a voice in a conversation, right?

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  47. I usually just clam up...doesn't take 'em too much time to realize I'm not a talker. A listener, yes, but I usually don't participate.

    I think the phone trick is awesome. Will have to remember that.

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  48. Oh my gosh....this is so awesome. Was wondering the same thing myself. In other words, I have no advice, but know of what you speak!

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  49. Oh how I empathize. I can never extricate myself from these situations. I only make things worse by asking leading questions--I really am interested in what makes somebody else tick--but then when they talk for 90 minutes straight and forget to ask back...I don't know how to get out of it or insert myself into it. This happens a lot. I am maybe part of the problem?

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  50. There's nothing worse than trying to get out of a conversation that just won't end. But if pushed, I'd go the same way as Dezmond (above) - say nothing which creates an awkward silence. Then again I hate those silences too!

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  51. 44 years... you too? I thought I was the only one. When people talk too much I tell them I need to go to the men's room.

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  52. 44 years as of Friday--but I went ahead and posted it as 44, since it's so close and this will linger out there under recent posts for a while!

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  53. Being from the south, I too hate to be rude and hurt some feelings, but sometimes you have to be creative.
    R

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  54. I've used the bathroom excuse. I once had to sneak out of a party when a woman wouldn't leave me alone.

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  55. OMG - Loved this post! I think that song will be stuck in my head the rest of the day. Back when I lived in the states and worked for someone else, I used to set my pager to go off in the middle of meetings so I had an excuse to leave.

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  56. If I'm really feeling cheeky, I say: Oh, you're still talking?

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  57. I like the idea to pretend that a cell phone is buzzing. I'm going to use that :-)

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  58. LOL. I suppose this goes along with your "Nice" post you had today. If I'm at work, I'll just end the conversation by saying, "I'm sorry, but I need to do some work, so I'll probably start ignoring you here in a second. Feel free to keep on talking, if you really want to. Just know, I probably won't hear it."

    At home, I don't have much of a problem with it. Family is one of those few outlets people have, so I'm more than happy to listen to rambling. And family also asks how my day went, giving me the opportunity to ramble back at them. :)

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