Looking for exit strategies from difficult or boring conversations? Here are 5 sneaky ways.
1) Excuse yourself to make a pit stop. When you return from the restroom, immediately begin a new topic.
2) Focus in on a specific word said and link that word to a more interesting topic. For example, if someone is boring you with their abundant shoe collection, immediately refer to your favorite sneakers that you wear to the gym. Then you can segue to speaking about health and fitness.
3) Raise your voice slightly and make eye contact with others in the room. Say something to get them involved in your conversation. They will usually add new or different input in the conversation, making it easier to completely change the subject.
4) When someone is hot and argumentative, flatter them on their knowledge of the topic. More often than not, the squabbler will calm down significantly and possibly redirect their rhetoric to good experiences in attaining their knowledge.
5) Use “What’s important to remember is…” This is somewhat bold, but the idea is to transition to a higher principle, standard or concept than any unsophisticated point being made.
Michelle Crouch, “5 Ways to Subtly Change the Topic”, Real Simple, June 2012
Photo: pongaparty (flickr)