How to End a Conversation Like a Man

Many people have a tendency to end conversations with their exes. Some of these include:
– “I’m not that into you anymore.”
– “Maybe we should just be friends.”
– “It was great while it lasted, but I think this is over now.” ֽthe list goes on and on. These are all common ways in which men will try to close the conversation down before moving onto another woman who may potentially like them more than their current girlfriend does or vice versa. But what if there were other ways for men to end conversations? That would make things much easier! Luckily, there are indeed other options for how guys can say goodbye without actually saying goodbye; here’s how…

The “ways to end a conversation texting” is a blog post that discusses how to end conversations in text. The author of the article has some suggestions on how to do so.

Vintage businessmen talking conversation stern look.

We’ve chosen to reprint a vintage essay each Sunday to assist our younger readers discover some of the greatest, evergreen jewels from the past, with our archives currently totaling over 3,500 items. This piece was first published in March of 2013.

We’ve written numerous articles on the Art of Manliness that cover everything from the dos and don’ts of conversation to how to make small chat and avoid the feared scourge of conversational narcissism.

“This is fantastic,” was a common response to each of those postings. But, um, what’s the best way to conclude a conversation?”

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I understand. One of life’s greatest pleasures might be a warm, fascinating chat. But, regrettably, not every dialogue is made equal. Some do more harm than good. Maybe you try to avoid conversational narcissism yourself, but you’re stuck talking to someone who uses the conversation-as-monologue approach to perfection. Perhaps you’re constantly interrupted by an obnoxious coworker or neighbor whining about the new cafeteria costs or waxing lyrical about the benefits of owning a Kia. It’s also possible that you don’t like or appreciate the person’s company. You may attend a party or networking event wanting to meet a variety of people but end up being captivated by one individual for an extended period of time. He’s kind enough, but you see folks having a wonderful time elsewhere in the house and wonder what you’re missing out on. Or you may just have something pressing to attend to, and you simply don’t have time for the talk right now, even though you wish you did.

Striking for more face-to-face talks, taking the time to listen to people, and trying our best to contribute to the back and forth of our everyday contacts will benefit us all. However, there are occasions when the discourse is actually stalled and/or we need to move on. So, inevitably, the issue arises: how can you finish a discussion without being too uncomfortable or insulting the other person?

It isn’t simple. Approaching someone might be nerve-wracking, but it is totally made up of good behaviors: going over, smiling, and initiating small chat. Exiting a discussion, on the other hand, is characterized by negative actions such as ceasing to speak and withdrawing. Even if your intentions are good, the other may believe you are rejecting them. This isn’t a huge concern if you’ll never see the person again, but if you will, you don’t want to make things uncomfortable (and you never know if you’ll meet someone again, so why burn any bridges?). And if the individual is someone you’d want to see in the future but don’t have the opportunity to chat to them in depth right now, you’ll want to reinforce your bond and end things on a good note.


There’s no secret formula for leaving that ensures the individual won’t be offended. However, there are various things you can do to depart in the smoothest, most respectful manner possible, including reducing discomfort, sparing the person’s emotions as much as possible, and strengthening your relationship with someone with whom you wish to reconnect again.

Depending on your scenario, you may employ these recommendations together or independently. Many of these are applicable to both face-to-face and phone talks.

Make sure you have a clear goal in mind. Have a plan in mind for what you want to achieve whether you’re going to a party, a networking event, or just the restroom. Do you wish to meet a beautiful woman? Make contact with someone that can assist you with your website redesign? Do you need to relieve your pounding bladder? You’re caught between not wanting to hurt someone’s emotions by moving on and wanting to do something else whenever you’re stuck in a discussion. You’ll be more motivated to select the latter if you have a clear goal in mind for what you want to accomplish. It also provides you with some simple departure lines, which we’ll go over later.

Wait for the discussion to come to a halt. “Well.” “Okay.” “Anyway.” “So.” When a dialogue has come to a halt, such words arise. It’s at these occasions when a new subject might be presented or the discussion can come to an end. As a result, they’re the ideal time to start disengaging. “So,” the speaker will begin, with an upward lilt in his voice, optimistic that the discussion will continue. “So,” you respond with a more melancholy finality. After that, you swiftly move into your escape line. “So, listen, it’s been a lot of fun catching up with you…”

Bring up the reason you met in the first place in the discussion. This ensures a flawless finish wherever feasible. Did you start the discussion by asking for a suggestion for a class to take? “Well, I appreciate the tip,” you might say in the end. I’ll make every effort to enroll in that class during the registration period.” Did someone ask you to take care of an issue at work to start it? “So I appreciate you bringing this to my notice,” concludes the conversation. This afternoon, I’ll write Jim an email to find out what’s going on.”

Make use of an exit line. This is where having a plan, such as the one stated above, comes in handy. When it comes to choosing an exit phrase, first and foremost, be truthful. It’s tempting to make up explanations, but it might seem dishonest in the moment and lead to greater difficulties later if the truth is revealed. Second, concentrate on what you need to do. This makes your leave seem less like a condemnation of the other person – it’s not about them, it’s about you. Here are some instances of departure lines (which will almost always be preceded by a “Well…”):


  • Before the movie begins, I need to find a seat and use the restroom.
  • Before he goes, I’d want to ask the speaker a question.
  • I need to return to work. I have a deadline that I must fulfill before noon.
  • I want to make a point of greeting everyone here.
  • I need to get inside and begin preparing supper for the kids.
  • Before it ends, I’m hoping to view the Romantic art show.

If you started the discussion but now want to stop it, and there’s nothing specific you’re aiming to accomplish, consider a sentence that implies you’ve checked something off your list (“just” is your friend here):

  • So, I just wanted to double-check that everything was in order.
  • Well, I just wanted to check how things were doing with the new job.

If the other person started the discussion and was seeking assistance or advice, wrap it up by asking:

  • Is there anything more I can do to assist you?
  • Is there anything else I can help you with?

If the aforementioned departure lines aren’t applicable, just wait for a conversational turning point and say something along the lines of:

  • It was wonderful catching up with you.
  • Regardless, it was great to see you again.

In such lines, using the past tense signals to the other person that the dialogue is over.

Another example of a general-purpose escape line is:

  • In any case, I don’t want to take up all of your time.
  • I don’t want to prevent you from doing your job.

However, I’d only use the above phrases if your discussion partner seems to be wanting to leave or if you’re at a loss for words. They might come seem as arrogant – after all, aren’t they capable of expressing their displeasure with you taking your time? You also risk them stepping in and saying, “Oh no, I don’t mind at all!” and the discussion going on. Finally, when you hear such statements from someone, they usually come off as a desperate effort to flee.

Introduce the individual to another person. Try introducing your discussion partner to someone else if one of the aforementioned departure lines doesn’t work. “It was a pleasure speaking with you, Paul.” I’d want to introduce you to someone else. Sam, one of my friends over here, works in software design as well.” Call your buddy or go over to your chat companion. “I’ll let you guys discuss,” you say. Now, you should only use this strategy if you are certain that both parties would benefit from the relationship. You don’t want to pass off an excessively dull or psychotic individual on someone else merely to get out of it.

Request that the individual introduce you to someone else. This is an excellent strategy for networking events. Inquire whether the individual knows somebody who can assist you with a problem:


  • Do you know anybody who has worked with the guys?
  • What piques my attention the most is ? Do you know anybody who has done anything similar?
  • What’s the best way to get started with ? Do you know anybody who has done anything like that?
  • Can you recommend someone who could assist with ?

If your discussion partner knows someone who can assist you with your request, they will most likely introduce you to him or her. “Well, I really need to locate someone who can assist me with this,” you may say if they don’t. I’m going to reach out to a few more folks.” In any case, you’ve simply gracefully exited the discussion.

Invite the individual to participate in an activity with you. This enables you to make a potential exit/continue on to what you meant to accomplish without abandoning your discussion partner and keeping them feeling desired. Say anything along the lines of:

  • I’m going to make an attempt to communicate with the speaker. Do you want to join us?
  • I’m ready for another alcoholic beverage. Do you want to join me in the bar?
  • I’d want to see the Picasso exhibit. Are you interested in seeing it?
  • Let’s have a look at the buffet.
  • Mike, one of my friends, has just entered the room. Let’s go introduce ourselves to him.

If the individual refuses your invitation, your interaction with them is officially over. If they accept the invitation, you can connect with some additional individuals to spice things up, and you can stick to your original agenda/purpose before being drawn into the discussion.

When others join the discussion, take a step back. This is an established, tried-and-true technique. You fade away once other people enter the chat circle and things between your former partner(s) start underway.

Finally, express gratitude. Conclude the discussion with gratitude, regardless of which of the three approaches you choose to end it. Debra Fine, a small conversation specialist, describes appreciation as “a complement with closure.” Recap the discussion positively, thank the person for their time, expertise, or just being interesting to learn about, and be real – only say it if you mean it. Use their name as well to establish a final level of trust (and it helps solidify their name in your memory if you just met them). This kind of farewell assures that you leave on a positive note, with warm sentiments between you.

  • Sean, thank you for sharing your insights about law school. It was quite beneficial in assisting me in making my selection.
  • Sarah, it was great catching up with you. In a long time, I haven’t laughed that hard.
  • Dan, I appreciate you sharing your opinions on the subject. I’ll take care of it as quickly as I can.

If you didn’t like the discussion and don’t want to encourage the person to start one the next time you see them, just stop it with one of the exit lines listed above, followed by a simple “OK, take care,” or something similar.


Make arrangements, smile, and shake hands. Give them a grin and a handshake before you go. It adds a touch of personal warmth and rapport-building to your leave, just like saying their name. Once you’ve shaken hands, begin to physically pull away from the other person to prevent the discussion resuming.

Tell them you’d want to meet them again and ask for their phone number, email address, or business card. Make precise arrangements for when you’ll talk/meet up again if you believe things went well despite your desire to bounce early.

Make a deliberate effort to reach your target. “The cardinal law of the departure,” according to Fine, “is that when you go, you do what you said you were going to do.” Your jilted conversation partner will know you lied and ditched them if you claim you need to locate a seat before class begins but then move 10 feet and start chatting to someone else. Similarly, if you pretend you need to speak to someone else but then show up at the party roaming around and appearing confused, she would be offended. People will notice movement since our eyes are drawn to it. Accomplish what you claimed you needed to do with purposeful purpose.

If all else fails, follow the lead of writer George Plimpton, who was known for always carrying two beers to gatherings. If he became embroiled in an unwelcome topic, he would gracefully excuse himself by stating that he had to bring the second drink!

At the end of the day, using the tactics outlined above may help you avoid embarrassing situations and damaged emotions, as well as improve a relationship you plan to return in the future. If being nice doesn’t work, you may always be aggressive, tell the individual good day, and walk away. Would you allow someone to stand there and pick your pockets? Time is significantly more valuable than money. Don’t let them take it away from you.

Listen to our podcast with Debra Fine for additional advice on how to conclude a conversation and the art of small chat in general:



Debra Fine’s The Fine Art of Small Talk

Catherine Blyth’s The Art of Conversation

Big Results from Small Talk Diane Windingland is the author of this piece.



The “how to end conversation on chat” is a guide that will teach you how to end a conversation like a man. The article will show you how men typically leave conversations, and what you can do to follow in their footsteps.

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