My Roman Catholic friend jokes that:
“…when church is over—people burn rubber getting out of the parking lot.”
Lutherans would do this too if we didn’t talk so slowly. By the time we’ve mulled what we
truly wanted to say through 15 filters—so it’s not offensive, flamboyant, or overly pigheaded—it’s lunchtime and we’re ready to get in our cars and forget about it until the next time we meet.
Except for me….
My family says it takes a good 20 minutes for me to get from the pew to the car because I talk to everybody—even the church mice. Well…I’ve got stories to collect and another book to write…but if you truly want to escape…then….
How To End a Conversation
Here are some tips for ending a conversation with me or someone like me who’s flapping their jaws.
STRATEGY 1: Make a positive ending comment. This is the UNIVERSAL signal for wrapping up.
- DOs: “I’m glad we talked.”
- “You’ve given me some things to think about.”
- “I enjoyed our conversation.”
- DON’Ts: “Kris…isn’t that your husband…driving out of the parking lot?
STRATEGY 2: Review and Plan. Again, this is another signal indicating you’ve heard the person and the conversation has come to a close.
- DO: “Thanks for letting me know the details. (The review of the conversation). “I’ll get back to you and let you know.” (The plan.)
- DON’T: “Kris!!! My eyes are rolling in the sockets with all these details. (The Review). Just e-mail me (so I can delete it as soon as I get it.)” (The Plan)
STRATEGY 3: The Excuse AND Reason.
You’re allegedly ending the conversation NOT because the other person is making your brain go to sleep and you want to run away, pulling at your ears and screaming, but because you have something else that MUST be done.
The excuse and reason must be used together...as you see in this bad example.
- POOR EXAMPLE: ”Hi…can’t talk. Gotta go.”
This response doesn’t work as my kiddos will attest. Without an excuse, it makes the other person feel unimportant. (And adding a wave, while walking away doesn’t make it any better…are you kids listening?)
- BETTER EXAMPLE: “Sorry, Kris. Gotta go. I’m late for a meeting.”
HINT: If you’re using the Excuse Strategy, at least make your reasons believable.
- “I’ve got to wash the chickens.”
- “Clean out the fridge before the milk expires.” or
- “I’m late for a meeting that we didn’t invite you to.”
Are not acceptable excuses. Put on your thinking cap or another mouth filter.
So…there you have it!!
Of course, the best time to escape is when there’s a lull in the conversation; but if you’re visiting with someone like me, who can talk as I breathe both in and out, you’ll have to interrupt. I know …I know….you hate to do it. But believe me, it’s quite helpful. I appreciate it every time I’m interrupted with:
“Sorry, Barb. I’ve got to let you go. Your husband is driving out of the parking lot.”
amadabslater, :Mollypop, Thirdculturejb