It happens to the best of us. You head over to the coffee machine in the office breakroom to get your morning fix when you run into your coworker Martha. You exchange hellos and in an effort to be sociable with your coworkers, you ask how was her weekend. Big fuckin mistake pal! She had a great weekend and she wants to tell you all about it. But of course, her “exciting” is nothing compared to the alcohol infused shit show you experienced over the weekend, so anything she has to say will not be entertaining. You need to get out of this conversation, but how do you do that without being an asshole? Well, we’re here to help. Here’s some things you can try next time you want to make your escape.
1. The Back Stepper
Body language is the number one sign you’re ready to bounce. Facing your body away from the conversation should be a clear indicator you’re not fully engaged. But if the rambler doesn’t pick up on it, then it’s time to take a step back. One step at a time, slowly so as not to be too obvious. After about 3 steps back, you should be far enough from the conversation that it’s clear you’re ready to turn and walk away. If the other person is a decent human being, then they’ll understand that the conversation has run it’s course. But if not and they persist, hit em with the ol “sorry I gotta run” and then leave. At least you tried right?
2. The Fast and Furious
This move takes a little anticipation. If you know you’re going to see someone ready to chew your ear off, then you need to set the tone from the start. Act like you’re in a rush, maybe a bit out of breath, and move really fast. If you mutter something like “ugh what a morning” or “Mondays am I right?” then they’ll be convinced your having a busy ass day at work and need to be left alone. You may get some Dr. Phil asking about your problems but just end it with a “sorry I gotta run, so much to do, we’ll catch up later though.” It’s work, no one can get mad at you for being busy. Best case, you make them think they should be busier and you motivate the office to work harder. Who’s the office hero now?
3. Haha Nice
People love telling funny stories and when it comes to the office environment, everyone is a comedian. It may be a one liner or a full on Shakespearean play, but play into either and they’ll go on all day. It’s absolutely heartbreaking when no one laughs at your jokes, so we’re not going for destruction here. Give them a little laugh to make them feel good about themselves, and then end with a “Nice!” so they know they shouldn’t quit their day job.
4. Alright Alright Alright
The more words you add the longer the conversation will continue, that’s why you have to keep it short on your end. Think about all the times you texted someone and no matter what novel you typed, they would respond with “k”. Same concept here, but in real life. One word answers are a clear sign you’re not interested, so after a few “Alright”s or “yeah”s they should get tired of carrying the conversation and agree to part ways.
5. Silent but Deadly
This definitely isn’t the best way to exit a conversation, but it’s something I’ve put into practice for a while. I’d love to tell you that’s because I’m a master of conversations, but really it’s because I’m the most awkward person in the office. This method is the equivalent of leaving someone on read. Almost as if you would if you were texting a friend. You don’t say goodbye or see ya later. You just decide that you’ve said all you want to say and that the conversation is done for the day. For this method, after exchanging a few sentences back and forth, you just simply smile, put your head down, and walk away. Seems dickish if intentional, but honestly people think it’s awkward so it’s normally excused.