How do you know when to end a conversation?

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OddballBen
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04 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Someone initiates a conversation with me. I repeat every question he asks after I answer it myself, to keep up my part of the conversation. So if this is going on for a while, how do I know when to end it? Or when the other person wants to end it? This has happened a few times to me recently and I always feel really awkward after, because I assume the other person was trying to escape from the conversation. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.



Warsie
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04 Sep 2008, 12:19 am

IIRC ....depending on the convo they would say 'have to go' or something...also when people are wanting to leave their feet might go in the direction that they want to go to and/or their eyes dart in that direction of their 'posture' points into that direction..

maybe their tone of voice changes...I had a book on body language I d/led off thepiratebay...ehh,,,


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tomamil
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04 Sep 2008, 12:22 am

ah yes, i would like to know.

i have exactly the same problem. i am trying to be polite so i also ask questions, and then i suspect that the conversation might be too long for the other side, but why should it be me to end it? if the other side doesnt know how and also keeps asking guestions out of politeness then why to feel awkward? it's not only your fault then.

what i do sometimes is that i ask, 'ok, what/where are you going to do now?', 'what are your plans for today?' it ends the current topic and gives the other person chance to escape.


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04 Sep 2008, 9:42 am

I think a good general rule is always set up the conversation with a general end-time in mind, an "out". Drop something in like mentioning you are on your way somewhere, answer a couple of questions, ask a couple of questions, as soon as your genuine interest wanes, remind them of your previous engagement....

I'm a fan of the say what you mean strategy. Meaning, I personally try not to blame myself if the conversation is awkward. If there is a strange or uncomfortable vibe that I cannot interpret, it means the other person probably isn't saying something and their feelings are going out into the ethers; what I sense is the inconsistency. Someone (usually not me) is not being completely honest. And if that is the case, it is not your fault. When did it become important for everyone to be a mind reader? I excuse myself and go. "Well, it's time to get on to my meeting/doctor appointment/phone call/animal feeding time". I guess the thing I pick up on as the "uncomfortable vibe" is my cue to leave.

I think I have lost a lot of potential friends because if I feel uncomfortable at all I will excuse myself this way. And it is possible that I overgeneralize the feeling. Time spent in a conversation wthout clear signals either way is directly propertional to the length of that relationship. In other words, the longer you have known me, the longer you have to put up with me. There are other factors, like my interest level in the conversation. If it's not clear, I'll usually bolt at the firrst sign of a conversational lull, relying on the "out" I planted at the beginning of the conversation....