What is your preferred method for removing yourself from a conversation you do not want to be a part of?
James: I wish I had a good answer to this as I have often found myself in precarious conversations which I do not want to participate in. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer to this one. I typically suffer until an opportunity to change the subject or speak to someone in close proximity presents itself…
Jesse: It’s tough to choose just one method. Any true veteran of these encounters knows that you need to have as many tools as possible to avoid overuse of any one. Options like the Irish goodbye, the bathroom break, and the getting another drink are classics, but my preferred method is a mix between getting out of a conversation you don’t want to be a part of AND leaving an everlasting positive impression. I am, of course, talking about the Goosebumps Walkaway (Youtube it). The Goosebumps walkaway is tough to master, but has the biggest payoff…and if it doesn’t work people think you are weird and just leave you alone, WIN-WIN.
Also, I haven’t seen Sandeep’s answer yet, but his preferred method should be discussing alternate reality theory as it is super effective at making others walk away from him.
Sandeep: “Excuse me.” *walk away* – life’s too short for anything else. This doesn’t mean the second you feel uncomfortable, bored or some other negative feeling you use this strategy. Give people a chance. But sometimes it becomes abundantly clear super quick. When that happens, get out of there.
Example from a recent conversation: it was an unusually warm winter day so I was hanging outdoors. We had a pretty big group together and a bunch of new faces (to me). In the background I see blurry, smiling faces. Those faces are blurry because I’m focused on the person in front of me. I just met him. He’s the only one not smiling. In fact, he’s telling me he can’t, in good conscience, enjoy this warm weather because it reminds him of the devastating impact global warming is having on the Earth. Then he tells me about the various social justice initiatives he’s a part of. Now we’re back on environmental issues. Listen, I feel you. Global warming is pretty fucked up. Social justice is great too. But if it hits 60 in January… I’m hooping in the park. Republicans can’t be the only folks that get to enjoy this weather.
“Excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom real quick. I’ll be right back!”