8 ways to bail out of a boring conversation (because your time is too valuable)
Personally, I love networking. It’s a blast to meet new people, learn their stories and make connections that I had been missing before. But I understand why so many people dread the awkward conversation. Most networking events involve lots of boring banter that are simply a waste of time. You’re there to find people that you see having in your life whether it be for personal or professional reasons and your time is valuable. You’re not going to bond with everyone so it’s best to have some exit strategies for when it’s time to abandon ship. Here are 8 ways to bail out of a boring conversation:
No. 1: Excuse yourself and shake their hand.
Keep it simple and simply excuse yourself. Say something along the lines of “It was a pleasure to meet you but I must excuse myself.” Shaking their hand physically shows the conversation is over. Don’t feel obligated to justify your exit, just do it.
No. 2: Exchange cards.
Ready to move on to the next conversation but would maybe like to stay in touch? Exchange business cards. If you’d like to find another time to meet, offer that you’ll be reaching out to them to schedule an appointment. Don’t do that if you don’t mean it.
No. 3: Offer a way for them to reach you.
If you don’t foresee wanting to meet with them but you don’t want to leave without promoting yourself, offer a way for them to see your work or get in touch. Mention your website or a mutual acquaintance. This way you’re not making any false promises.
No. 4: Kindly mention you can’t help them.
If they’ve mentioned areas of help needed and you can’t or choose not to help them, be honest and kindly mention “I wish I could be of assistance but I’m afraid I cannot help you resolve your issue. I wish you the best of luck.” Then walk away.
No. 5: Introduce them to someone else.
If they’re chewing your ear off and you can’t get away, introduce them to someone else. Avoid sending your friends into the pit and try finding someone floating solo or another jabber.
No. 6: “Rescue” a friend.
If you see a friend nearby, or even if you don’t, you can mention that you can see they need saving and you must go help them.
No. 7: Time is of the essence.
Networking events are only so long and there are people to meet. Mention that you’re running out of time and there are others you must connect with. Play it up like it’s a favor to them by saying something like “look, I don’t want to steal all your time. There are lots of people to talk to tonight, I’ll leave you to it.”
No. 8: Bathroom/drink break.
If all else fails, excuse yourself because nature calls or you’re parched. Hopefully they won’t follow you.
Just do your best to be honest and kind while using any of these methods, they’re just trying their best to hold a conversation.
Got any other methods for bailing out of boring conversations? Let us know in the comments below!