Ending or Changing The Topic of Conversation
Ending a conversation is never an easy thing. Most of us find ourselves in long-drawn-out (just another way to say ‘a very long time’) conversations that are boring, uncomfortable and have no real substance. Many times we choose not to end them because we do not want to be rude. A good way to end a conversation is to just say ‘goodbye’ or ‘I have to go now.’ . Below are some phrases that one can use to end or change the topic of conversation.
Ending a Conversation:
“It was nice meeting you.”
“I have to go now, but it was nice talking to you.”
“Have a good day. Bye.”
“I have an appointment, so I’ve got to go.”
“I’ve got some work to do.”
“Talk to you later.”
“We will continue this (conversation) later.”
“Could we change the topic (of conversation)?”
“This is not the best topic of conversation.”
“I am not comfortable having this conversation with you.”
“I would prefer not to discuss this (topic) with you.”
“Why don’t you call me later?”
“I have a lot on my plate right now. Maybe we can continue this later.”
“Let’s pick up this conversation later/after breakfast/tomorrow/in a hour…”
“Sorry to cut you off, but…”
Sam is waiting at the bus stop for a bus when an old lady approaches…
Old lady: Excuse me young man. Do you know when the next bus is?
Sam: Yes. In about 5 minutes.
Old lady: Thank you. (Pause). Nice day isn’t it?
Sam: Yes it is. It’s supposed to get hotter tomorrow.
Old lady: Is that so? Oh…
Sam: Well, here comes the bus. It was nice talking to you.
Old lady: You too. Thanks.
Create your own dialog for the two situations presented below. You can role play with a family member or a friend.
You are in a taxi cab and the taxi driver is talking about his day and not paying attention to the road. How would you handle it? Use the phrases above to help you.
You are at the movie theater with a friend and the person sitting next to you is talking about the premise of the movie you are about to watch. How would you respond?
Use the phrases above to help you.
Below are a list of different scenarios. Choose the best way to end the conversation. The answers are posted at the bottom of the page.
1. You are shopping for a Christmas gifts at the Gap store and a fellow shopper starts complaining to you about how they hate to shop for Christmas presents. You are focused on getting some shopping done, because you have a busy schedule. What do you think is the best response?
a. “I know. Christmas shopping is expensive! I hate it
b. “I agree. Shopping for gifts can be overwhelming.”
c. “I don’t like it either. However, there isno way around it. I am sorry, but I have a lot of shopping to do. Have a good day.”
d. “I know. There is always a large crowd. Blah, blah, blah…”
2. You are on the train reading a good book and the person sitting next to you ask you for the time. You give her the time and she continues to talk about her day; however, you would really love to get back to reading your book. How would you respond?
a. Continue listening and just nod in agreement to show that you are listening.
b. “Sounds like you had a busy day.” Then continue to listen.
c. Ignore her and return to reading your book. d. “I hope your evening gets better, but I was hoping to finish this chapter.”
3. Your friend calls you on the phone because he or she is bored, but you were in the middle of watching your favorite t.v. sitcom, Friends. How would you respond?
a. “Call me back later or I will call you back later. I am in the middle of something.”
b. “Would like to get together and do something fun? Then you can tell me everything”
c. “I am sorry to hear that you are bored and I hope you feel better, but I am busy right
d. “Ha! Ha! Ha!! Phoebe is so funny. Sorry. What were you saying?”
4. Your spouse is in the other room reading to the children. Therefore, you decided that it’s a good time to video Skype your friend, Donna, in France. In the middle of your conversation your son runs out crying and demands your attention. You respond by saying…
a. “I am so sorry Donna, but my son is upset. Just a minute.” Then find out what’s wrong, resolve the matter and return to your video conference.
b. You tell him to go see his dad, because you’re in the middle of a conversation.
c. Continue talking and ignore your son.
d. Say,”Excuse me Donna.” Then find out what’s going on with your son. Once you’ve found out what’s wrong with your son, end the phone conversation with your friend Donna.
Great job today!
Answers: c, d, a, a/d