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How to End a Conversation

Feeling like you don't want to talk to someone anymore can feel stressful because you don't know how to end the conversation. We'll help you find the best approach.

Sharon Riley By Sharon Riley Reviewed by Albert Brown

Ending a conversation can bring about a mix of emotions, such as stress, anxiety, relief, or even a sense of productivity. If you’re considering ending a conversation, it’s likely because you’re no longer interested in talking to the person, or maybe you want to prevent the conversation from becoming dull, so it’s best to stop while things are still interesting.

Two Ways to End a Conversation

The first step in learning how to end a conversation is deciding which approach to take. There are two options: a permanent ending and a momentary ending.

  1. Permanent ending to a conversation. A permanent ending is when you no longer wish to speak to the person, at least not in the near future.
  2. Momentary ending to a conversation. A momentary ending is when you want to end the conversation for the time being and in the near future, but you intend to talk to them again.

The Importance of Properly Ending Conversations

It’s important to know how to properly end a conversation because when you’re ready to wrap things up, you want to do it smoothly and on a positive note. Continuing a conversation that no longer interests you can lead to discomfort, and you may come across as uninterested or bored.

By knowing how to end a conversation gracefully before it becomes uncomfortable, you can save yourself from potential trouble.

  • Permanently ending the conversation: When it comes to permanently ending a conversation, it’s crucial to consider how you do it, as it can determine the quality of your relationship with the other person. Ending the conversation on a good note is always preferable because you don’t want to risk leaving any negative feelings.
  • Momentarily ending the conversation: If you only want to end the conversation momentarily, it’s essential to do so in a way that ensures the next conversation starts and goes smoothly.

When Should You End a Conversation?

When to end a conversation.
When to end a conversation.

Knowing when to end a conversation is crucial for ending it well, and timing is key. If you end a conversation too soon, you might miss out on important parts of it. If you end it too late, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, or it might become increasingly difficult to end the conversation because too much time has passed.

  • When the thought of ending the conversation crosses your mind, it’s time to start considering ending it.
  • Maybe you’re having a great conversation, but even good things need balance. Keeping things interesting and continuing the conversation another day is always an option.
  • Timing is everything, and confrontation may occur from the other party. If you’re ending a conversation permanently, be prepared for the possibility of having a conversation about your reasons for ending the conversation. Closure may be required, so it’s a good idea to end the conversation when you have some time to talk about things afterward, just in case the other person wants to clear things up immediately.

Things to Keep in Mind When Ending a Conversation

Things to keep in mind when ending a conversation.
Things to keep in mind when ending a conversation.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when ending a conversation, whether it’s a permanent or temporary end.

  • Be straightforward. If you want to permanently end a conversation, don’t beat around the bush. This will prevent any drama or misunderstandings.
  • End with closure. Especially when permanently ending a conversation, provide closure. This will ensure that it’s the end and prevent the need for any future conversations. If you don’t provide closure, the other person may feel the need to continue the conversation.
  • Go into it with a clear idea of what you will say. Practice what you will say to the other person before saying it. If you are ending a text conversation, maybe write out the message you will send and make sure you are getting your point across and being to the point before you send it.
  • Be considerate of how the other person may be feeling. Being considerate is very important if this is a permanent ending to the conversation. You never want to make anyone feel bad, so choosing your words wisely and having a good conversation is a big deal.
  • Always be polite. It is always important to be polite and kind to others, whether it’s a permanent or temporary ending to a conversation. If you’re only looking to end the conversation temporarily, doing so in a sweet way will ensure that you can continue the conversation later. Being rude when saying goodbye will only make others not want to talk to you again. Even if it is a permanent ending, it’s still essential to give your best in any situation.

How to End a Conversation in Person

When it comes to ending a conversation in person, it can be challenging, especially if your goal is to stop talking to the person permanently. However, if your intention is to end the conversation temporarily, it’s not.

Permanently Ending a Conversation in Person.

  • Be calm and collected. Keeping your cool is key.
  • Practice what you are going to say. This will help things go smoother.
  • Be clear and concise. Perhaps state the reason you no longer wish to speak to the person.
  • Find an excuse to leave. Maybe it’s getting late, or you rather visit the restroom. Come up with an excuse to have to leave the conversation.
  • Choose a neutral place. Ideally, somewhere where either of you could easily leave if you wanted to.

Temporarily Ending a Conversation in Person.

  • Be inviting to talk again. Since you only want to end the conversation for the time being.
  • Be clear and concise. It is still important to be straightforward because you don’t want the other person to think you never want to speak to them again.
  • Being in a neutral place is a perk. Being in a neutral place is good, but you are likely ending the conversation on good terms, so if it happens to be at the other person’s place, the corresponding person can peacefully leave, no biggy.

How to End a Conversation Over Text

Ending a conversation over text is much easier than ending a conversation in person. Worst-case scenario, after making it clear you want to end the conversation, you can block the person, temporarily mute their notifications, or simply ignore them.

Permanently Ending a Conversation Over Text.

  • Try to keep the message to the point. You don’t want to send a super long text.
  • Keep things brief. While keeping things brief, also make sure to get your point across.

Temporarily Ending a Conversation Over Text.

  • Maybe there doesn’t have to be a grand goodbye since you’ll be speaking again. If the conversation is dying down, find a window of opportunity to stop responding without appearing to be rude.
  • You can always end the conversation by saying, “I look forward to speaking to you in the future,” or “It was nice chatting, we should talk again sometime,” or “I’ll be busy in the near future, but will reach out again when things die down.”.

Key Things to Say When Ending a Conversation

Here are a few ideas of what you can say and things you definitely want to mention during the last conversation you are having with the other person.

Things to Say to Permanently End a Conversation.

It’s important to mention these things, so you create the expectation that you are ending the conversation permanently without having to say “I never want to speak to you ever again,” because let’s be honest, no one really wants to hear that, and you’re going to come off as rude.

  • Nicely, mention that you would appreciate them not reaching out again.
  • Tell them you will likely be distancing yourself.

Things to Say to Temporarily End a Conversation.

Some ideas for temporarily ending a conversation were previously mentioned in the section before. Those are great things to say during a text conversation, phone conversation, or in-person conversation, but here are a few things you should definitely keep in mind.

  • Be welcoming of a follow-up conversation/to talk again soon.
  • Mention why you need to end the conversation for the time being.

Differences Between Ending a Conversation and Ghosting Someone

Hopefully, by now, you have a good understanding of ending a conversation and things to keep in mind when doing so. It’s also important to realize there is a difference between properly ending a conversation and ghosting someone. You really don’t want to be the person ghosting someone, and it just isn’t nice.

And you definitely wouldn’t want to be the one being ghosted, so try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and end the conversation the way you would want someone to end a conversation with you.

Ending a conversation permanently or temporarily:

  • You are providing closure for both parties involved.
  • You are upfront about the situation.

Ghosting someone:

  • You are essentially running away from a situation instead of facing it.
  • It comes off as rude, and as we have established, even if you never want to speak to the other person again, you don’t need to be rude.

In conclusion, you should determine the kind of ending you would like for the conversation, whether it’s permanent or temporary. Once you have that established, determine the appropriate time to end the conversation, so it doesn’t continue unnecessarily. Remember to be direct, considerate, and polite when ending the conversation.

Try to express your thoughts clearly while keeping things to the point. Although some conversations may naturally come to a close, make sure to end the conversation appropriately rather than abruptly disappearing.

About the Author

Sharon Riley Image

Sharon Riley is a talented junior content writer, bringing her brilliant topic ideas and exceptional writing skills to our readers. Currently studying Communications at the University of San Francisco, Sharon is passionate about researching and writing relationship-related content in her free time. When not in class or writing, she enjoys listening to music, rollerblading, and browsing her social media feed.