Contributed by Dr. Marta Adelsman
You’re at a social event and someone corners you, talking at length about something in which you have no interest. Most hesitation to end conversations like this comes from a belief that 1) you will hurt his/her feelings, and 2) you are responsible for how he/she feels.
Rid yourself of the notion that either of these is true. Then —
Don’t ask permission to leave the conversation.
Politely inform the person you are doing so.
For example, “Please excuse me. I’ve enjoyed talking with you, and I also want to catch up with several others. Enjoy the rest of the party!” Then move away because the conversation is now over.
If the other person doesn’t get the message, state it more directly: “I’m sorry for cutting you off. I’m going to talk with others now.”
Remember it’s not your responsibility how the other person feels. He or she has a choice to accept your action graciously or to go into drama about it. That’s not your concern. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself and what you need. You actually do both yourself and the other person a favor by telling the truth.
Dr. Marta Adelsman earned her doctorate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 1996. Four years later, she began her studies with The Institute for Global Listening and Communication. She became certified in 2001 by Dr. Carol McCall, the Institute’s founder, to teach the Listening and Communication Tools, which she incorporates into her workshops and classes. Dr. Marta also trained with the Institute to become a Life Coach in Communication. For more information about upcoming workshops, click here to contact Marta.