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

This
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.

This
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

Photo Credits:

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[4]
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