Have you ever been trapped in a conversation you desperately wanted to get out of? Have you ever needed to get away for an urgent reason, but kept engaging in small talk for fear that you might offend or otherwise upset someone?

If you’ve ever found yourself at the wrong end of this situation and have no idea how to handle it, then stick around . . . because today, we’re going to be talking about one simple shift in thought that will free you from that feeling of obligation so that you can get back to being the one in control of your time.

When you don’t feel confident about how to exit a conversation gracefully—especially “small talk”—it can feel like a real chore.

The last thing you want from a social interaction is to leave feeling drained.

So often, this is the reason that many of my clients believe that they’re introverted or antisocial, when that’s not really the case. In reality, they’re just playing by too many rules.

Imagine for a moment if there were no rules of engagement when it came to social interaction. Sure, we need some rules, otherwise things would probably get inappropriate pretty quickly. But what if you didn’t have to be “nice”? What if, for example, you could just decide to walk away from someone midsentence? What if you could just end a conversation that you weren’t enjoying without being afraid of any consequences?

Well . . . YOU CAN.

Ok, in truth, I’m not going to tell you to rudely turn your back on a conversation without any word whatsoever. BUT there is no rule that says you need to do some long, drawn-out goodbye every time you end a conversation.

The best example I have for this is my son. He loves to FaceTime me from his mother’s phone—but like any young kid, he’s switches gears at the drop of a hat. So, he’ll call me very animatedly and tell me all about his day . . . and the next thing you know, he just blurts out, “Ok, bye, Daddy!”

Imagine it: he simply decides that he’s done with the conversation, and that’s that.

Now, obviously, as adults, we’ve got to have a little tact . . . but not much more than that.

“Hey, it’s been great talking with you, but I have to run! Can we continue this later?”

“Listen, I just saw someone I’ve been wanting to catch up with for months. I’ll see you in a bit!”

Just one simple, short phrase is all you need to give you complete and total permission to end the conversation. It’s so simple, but you’ll be amazed at the way this tiny shift in your frame of mind can free you up.

And that’s not all! You can use this same tactic to help let someone know that you need to leave, even when they’re talking non-stop:

“I am SO sorry to interrupt you, but I really need to check on something. Please excuse me for a moment.”

Now, if you feel as though you need more guidance on conversing and other social interaction topics, you should take a moment and check out my program, Confidence University. This is a fantastic resource for developing your social mastery, which will ultimately give you that sense of freedom to be who you truly are across all areas of your life and learn to connect with people more naturally. You can find that and several other helpful resources at my website, SocialConfidenceCenter.com.

I am truly a proponent of learning from experience (even the experiences of others!). So, please share your thoughts, concerns, and experiences with this work below! What struggles do you have with getting out of conversations? What adjustments to your mindset or behavior have worked for you? I love reading what you have to say, so be generous with your wisdom, and let us all know how it’s going for you.

Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.