How To Get Out Of A Conversation With Someone Who Won't Shut The Hell Up

ConversationThis is a guide which should help you get out of unwanted conversations. It is recommended reading for those who are verbally harrased by chatty coworkers, relatives, or friends who just can't seem to recognize when you're trying to break away from a conversation.

It is divided into sections. The mildest escape methods come first, and with each subsequent section they will become more and more drastic. Personally, I would suggest trying the ones at the beginning first and then escalating as needed from there. But hey, I guess if you feel like using "Leap From a Moving Vehicle", right away, you can go right ahead. I won't tell you how to live your life.

 

LEVEL 1 - Subtle Psychological Games

Casually Litter

LitterSometimes, it's worth trying something simple like this if someone who annoys you is trying to have a conversation with you. If I'm outside and this type of person won't stop talking to me, I'll take a wrapper or plastic bottle and just sort of casually toss it onto the ground. Most of the time they'll get all indignant and say "Hey! You can't do that! That's littering! " I'll use this as my chance to escape, saying "I always do it." while walking away quickly. Sometime they'll get so offended by your "antisocial" behavior that they won't even want to hang around with you anymore. Which is too bad, really...
 

Leave After Providing Preposterous Excuse

Sometimes if the person talking to you is a stranger (or at least someone you've only just met) the easiest way to get out of an unwanted conversation is to tell an obvious lie and leave. And while it's true that you could tell a BELIEVABLE lie (I have to pick up my kid, I have to get to work, etc.)what you want to do is send a message to the person that their conversation is not wanted. That's why I enjoy the preposterous excuse, it's very disrespectful. You can head for the door while explaining, "well, I had better get down to the post office before it closes and send out this package..." and they'll say, "But it's 3AM in a Sunday!" and you can just nonchalantly sweep your scarf over your shoulder and say "Is it?" and walk out.
 

The Fake Faint

Fake FaintLet's say some guy insists on talking to you about football, but you can't stand football. In fact you hate it. And no matter how many times you say "Actually man, I really don't know anything about sports, I'm really not interested." he keeps it up. I'd say now is as good a time as any to try out the fake faint.
 
Now you might be thinking "A fake faint? You mean put the back of my hand to my head, go "ooohhh!" and fall to the floor?" No, of course not. That's ridiculous; nobody faints that way in real life. You have to make it look real. The best way is to start from a seated position, stand up quickly, and then stagger a bit while saying "whoa." Then half-sit, half-fall back down into your chair while clutching your head. The football guy should be going "Are you OK? Are you alright?" at this point. Give it a bit, and then you can say, "Yikes, sorry man, I got a little lightheaded there. I think I need to go lie down for a while." He will look concerned, and agree. Your escape is successful.

Note: If this does not occur, you should escalate to LEVEL 2 at this point.
 
 

LEVEL 2 - Unexplainable Behaviors

Read Nonexistent Email; Become Inexplicably Enraged

EnragedIf someone won't stop bugging you when you're on the computer, this is a good way to get out of it. Pretend to be browsing through your emails, stopping on one and pretending to read it. Then, contorting your face into a mask of rage, scream "WHAAAAT?!" and slam your fist on the desk as hard as you can. Jump out of your chair (preferably knocking it over) and start yelling stuff like "GODDAMMIT!" or "You BASTARDS, you FUCKING BAAAAASTARDS! "
 
Usually at this point the chatterer will be too startled and frightened to continue, and you can just storm out of the room while they're sitting there stunned. But if not, you can always get angrier until you scare them enough so they leave (punch walls, throw office supplies, overturn the desk, do whatever you have to do). If, instead of running out to call the police, they ask you what's wrong, you can just say "YEAAAARRRRGGGG!" while pulling at your hair. Then put your head in their lap and begin to sob.

Overturn Garbage Receptacle

This is a more drastic (and substantially funnier) version of "Casually Litter" from LEVEL 1. It works like this: You're walking along, talking casually, nothing out of the ordinary, and as you pass by a garbage can you reach over and tip it towards you so that it spills out on onto the area of carpet (or sidewalk, etc.) you just passed. The talker will usually stop, look back and say something like "What the hell was that?!" and you can reply with, "The wind blew it over" or "it was probably haunted" while continuing to walk. Occasionally they'll stop to pick up the trash (at which point you can duck around the nearest corner and run), and sometimes they'll just keep walking and talking. All you have to do if this happens is keep tipping more and more trashcans until they take notice.
 
This also works with dumpsters (albeit in a slightly different way). Simply open the lid, climb up INTO the dumpster, and begin tossing trash out onto the ground. No sane person would be able to continue to carry on a conversation with someone who is behaving in such a strange and terrible way. Again, if this doesn't work, I would consider escalating to LEVEL 3.

Pretend You Have To Go To The Bathroom

This works best with someone of the opposite sex (they can't follow you in). However, if the person is the SAME sex, this poses a problem. If they're dedicated to annoying you, they'll just follow you in and keep talking to you, even if you go into a stall. What I recommend is heading into the opposite sex bathroom (as in, go into the women's room if you're a guy). When the person says "Wait, that's the women's room. Simply look at them and say "I know" and enter. They won't know what to think, but they're certainly not going to follow you.
 
And sure, if there are women in there you might get in some trouble, but as far as I see it getting arrested is far more desirable than listening to some old guy talk to you daily about the traffic conditions on his commute.
 

Climb Into Nearby Car

CarHere's another one that really only works outside in a city. If you're walking along with a friend who's chattering your ear off, all you need to do is wait until you get to an intersection where the cars are stopped at a red light. Then, while continuing to say "Mmm-hmm, mm-hmm, yeah, great." and looking at the person, simply walk up to one of the cars and climb inside. Since most people drive with their doors unlocked, this is almost guaranteed to work.
 
Sometimes the driver won't notice and will drive off, but if they say something like "Hey! What the! Who the hell are you?!" play it cool. Stare straight ahead, say "Just drive." and then sit with your arms folded. They'll probably do it (especially if you're wearing sunglasses).
 

LEVEL 3 - Near-Insanity 

Begin Going To The Bathroom Right There

Instead of pretending you have to go to the bathroom, why not simply do your business right then and there? As they're talking, continue nodding as if you're listening, then slowly turn your head to face them. Now you can begin. Defecating works best, but urination is also a perfectly valid option (provided you're wearing light-colored clothes in which these sorts of stains would be readily visible). It'd probably be best to squint or bite your lip while moaning (or at least going "Uhhn" or something) so they get the idea. The more fuss you make, the more quickly the conversation will be over.

Pour Hot Beverage Onto Crotch

CrotchShrewish Insane Woman: YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: Alright, I should be going.

Shrewish Insane Woman: YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: OK, that's great, gotta go now.

Shrewish Insane Woman: YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: (turning away) Bye.

Shrewish Insane Woman: (following) YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: Talk to you later, I gotta get to work now!

Shrewish Insane Woman: YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: (running) GOOD-BYE CAROL I AM LEAVING NOW BECAUSE I HATE YOU!

Carol: (running alongside) YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW YAW!

You: (grabbing searing hot cup of coffee from nearby tray and dumping onto lap) YEAAAAAAAARRRGGGGHHH MY INNER THIGHS ABDOMEN AND GENITALS!!!

Carol: Oh my god! Somebody call 911!

You: (Hobbling away, impotent)

 

Leap From a Moving Vehicle

Leap VehicleIf you become trapped in a car, bus, or aeroplane with someone who simply will not shut up, ever, sometimes this is your only recourse. It may seem drastic, but you've got to weigh the options. Here's a little test I've worked up to help you.

Situation #1

Would You Prefer...
A. Listening to some withered old crone
OR
B. Hurtling out the door of a taxicab and and into the center lane of the Santa Monica freeway during rush hour.
 

Situation #2

Would You Prefer...
A. Listening to a guy who smells like chicken soup explain the entire story arc of Dr. Who (1963 to Modern Day) to you in detail
OR
B. Smashing the window of a city bus while it is in motion, diving out, and having your lower body mangled up and crushed in the wheel well of the passing semi tractor-trailer.
 

Situation #3

Woman

Would You Prefer...
A. Having an elderly coworker read "humorous" forwarded emails he has received to you throughout the entirety of a 26 hour flight to Bangladesh
OR
B. Wrestle the pistol away from the air marshall, brandish it while shouting threats, pop open the exterior hatch, and leap out, giggling maniacally as you hurtle towards the ground with tremendous speed.
 

Obviously, if you chose B for any of these, you would probably be a good cantidate for "Leap From a Moving Vehicle". So might as well try it. What's the worst that could happen?


I hope this this exercise cleared things up for you, and I wish you best of luck on your travels.  
Warmest Regards,
- Stacy Wingum, Hyatt Regency



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