Dear ladies and gentlemen, previously we saw how to start talking to groups of people you don’t know. Now you would like to leave this person / this group smoothly. How to do it politely? If you were in a 1 to 1 discussion, what should you do with the other person? 

You are in a group discussion

This is the easiest case. Your departure wouldn’t cause too many damages as no one will stay alone. Act simply: when there is a little silence or break in the discussion, apologise, tell you need to go, and that you are looking forward to seeing them again.

In this situation, you may give a reason for leaving but this is not mandatory.

Rules for leaving single people discussion

It’s pretty simple. In a social event:

  • if you leave a conversation you shouldn’t leave your interlocutor alone. Especially when you are a man, you will not leave a lady alone.
  • It’s the same for a lady, excepting if you are a lady discussing with a man much more senior / older than you: you may let him alone.

Now we come to the excuses for leaving someone. I share you mine, but feel free to give me yours.

What are the proper excuses?

Yes, we all know we are not supposed to talk together until the end of time. But we should still save face when leaving each other. Give sincere apologies, and then you may pretend:

  • You have just seen someoneyou need to greet
  • It is getting late / you have other appointments; you need to leave the event (you need to leave for real then)
  • You would like to go take a drink / a plate of food if there is a buffet
  • Ask where are the toilets

And now, what will you do with the other person?

What to do with the other person?

Here again, several options.

  • You introduce him or her to someone else you know in the room, and you leave.
  • You propose to the person to come with you for the drink, for leaving, for all the reasons we mentioned above

If he / she refuses, then you are fine! You may leave each other with a smile. You did what you have to do.

But how to do the if he comes with you and keeps following you? The situation may become critical. 

How to finally leave someone?

Hopefully he or she will understand the need to leave you alone at some point. But if not, you don’t have many solutions.

  • If there is a crowd, go inside, he may not dare following you
  • Start talking to someone else without introducing your follower. He may understand you have important matters to handle.
  • If you prefer, you may simply tell him now you will continue by yourself, and that you both may have the chance to talk again later.

Do you see any other solutions? If yes, please share them with us.

I hope this advice will be useful for you. Actually it is mostly by practicing it will become easier for you. Good luck!