Easy Ways to Exit Awkward Situations
Learn how to gracefully and painlessly remove yourself from sticky social scenarios.
A Dull Conversation at a Party"Politeness requires seven or eight minutes" of conversation, says Letitia Baldrige, a former social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and the author of Taste: Acquiring What Money Can't Buy (Truman Talley Books, $25, amazon.com). After that, you can say good-bye to the bore.
At a cocktail party (assuming you haven't made the mistake of sitting down with the person), it's fine to excuse yourself to get a drink or food, help the hostess, or make a phone call. (If you did sit down, employ the same tactics. It's just a little more awkward having to get up.) To avoid an embarrassing getaway "gotcha," be sure to follow through on your excuse―that is, get the drink, help the hostess, make a call.
Another tried-and-true tactic? Introduce the bore to someone else, excuse yourself, and scram. This way, you avoid leaving the bore stranded, and he becomes someone else's problem. Who knows? They may hit it off.
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