How to Be Polite in a Boring Conversation

Two Methods:Staying Polite in a Boring ConversationGetting Out of a Boring Conversation Politely

Sometimes you might find yourself trapped in a boring conversation. It’s always nice to be polite in these situations, but you can try to subtly change the subject or bring the conversation to an end. You don’t have to be rude, but you don’t have to endure an endless boring conversation either.

Method 1
Staying Polite in a Boring Conversation

  1. Image titled Be a Good Listener Step 10
    Remain attentive. Even if you are completely uninterested in the topic of a conversation, you should think about your body language and try not to look bored. No-one wants to bore anybody else, and you will make the person you are talking to feel bad if you are visible not paying any attention. Be sure you are facing the person and keep some eye contact.

    • Don’t slouch or fidget. This kind of body language shows that you are bored and looking for a way to escape.[1]
    • Crossing your arms across your chest will make you look disinterested, and of course looking at your watch or checking your phone is a clear signal that your mind is elsewhere.[2]
  2. Image titled Be a Great Conversationalist Step 2
    Try to contribute. Try not to just respond with monosyllabic noises, such as “yeahs,” “umms,” “ahhs.” Make an effort to engage more meaningfully in the conversation and you might find that it becomes a lot less boring. When you do try and get involved in the conversation, try to avoid relying on simple questions that betray your lack of real interest in the topic.

    • Don’t just ask things like “Where did you go?” or “What happened next?”
    • Try to ask more complicated questions that might open up to the conversation to other topics, and allow you to steer it in a different direction. For example, try asking questions that ask "why," such as "Why do you think things happened that way?"[3]
    • By asking more complicated questions you are showing curiosity and interest that goes beyond simple politeness.[4]
  3. Image titled Come Up with Good Conversation Topics Step 7
    Don’t interrupt too abruptly. Measured interruptions can actually indicate that you are interested in the topic and have something to contribute, but don’t try to suddenly change the subject altogether. If you do this you will appear to be rudely dismissing what the other person has to say. [5]

    • For example, if your friend is talking at length about the latest baseball game they went to see, don’t blurt in with “So, how’s school?”
    • Try to intervene in a way which acknowledges the other person, but still enables you to subtly shift the conversation.
    • For example, you might say something like “Yeah, it was a great game. That reminds me, did you manage to get all that school work done beforehand?”
  4. Image titled Come Up with Good Conversation Topics Step 8
    Involve more people. One way to try to liven up a conversation is to bring more people into it. You can do this in a polite way if you are not too abrupt, and you keep in mind what the other person was talking about. For example, perhaps you are being told about cars and you really are not interested in them, but you know someone who is.

    • You might say “My friend John is really into cars, I’d be interested to hear what he thinks about it.” You can then bring the friend into the conversation.
    • This can be a way to excuse yourself, but it can also be a way to broaden the topic and take some pressure off yourself.
    • Generally, if there are more people involved in the conversation it won’t be such hard work for you.

Method 2
Getting Out of a Boring Conversation Politely

  1. Image titled Deal With Dumb People Step 9
    Excuse yourself. No matter how patient you are, sometimes you will have to try and work your way out of a boring conversation. This can be difficult and a bit awkward, but it’s always important to try to be polite and not hurt the other person’s feelings. You can politely excuse yourself by saying that you have another commitment, or that you had lost track of time. Depending on how you say it, and your body language, these excuses can seem genuine or forced. Examples of way to politely excuse yourself could include:

    • “Oh, I’m sorry. I completely lost track of time, I really have get going. It was great talking to you, though.”
    • “I’d love to keep chatting, but I have to go and meet my husband.”
    • “I’m really sorry, but I’m running late and have to go.”[6]
  2. Image titled Change the Subject in a Conversation Step 6
    Try to change the subject. If you find yourself stuck in a conversation about something you don't know about and aren't interested in, you could try to politely change the topic. You can make this clear to someone without sounding rude or impatient. Just point out that you don't really know much about the topic of conversation, and offer an alternative topic to discuss.
    • You might say "I'm not really an expert in this and it's kind of hard to for me to follow."
    • Perhaps you could say "Wow, you sound like a real expert on X! I don't really know a lot about X but I am really into Y. Do you like Y?"
    • You might find that the person talking to you isn't so interested in talking about this other topic and the conversation may come to a swifter end.
  3. Image titled Change the Subject in a Conversation Step 13
    Give the conversation an end-point. You can politely make it clear that you are only free to talk for a limited time, by referring to something you are doing which you will be finished with shortly. For example, if you are in the break room at work and a colleague starts talking to you, you can say that you are just making a quick cup of coffee. When the coffee is made you can excuse yourself without seeming rude. [7]
  4. Image titled Say Thank You Step 1
    End it positively. You can try to sugar the pill a little by ending with a positive note. You could show that you have been listening and plan to follow up on what you have been talking about, or say that you will pass on the information to someone you know. For example, if someone has been telling you about a film they really like, you might say “I’ll definitely watch it, thanks.”
    • Alternatively, you might say something like, “My girlfriend really loves horror movies, I’ll tell her about it. It sounds like she’ll love it.”
    • You can point out that you have learned something from the conversation, and thank the person you were talking to.
    • You might say, “I’d never really thought about it like that, thanks.”[8]
  5. Image titled End a Conversation Without Being Rude Step 2
    Say goodbye. However boring the conversation might have been, it’s polite to say a warm and friendly goodbye. Walking off without saying goodbye is rude and unnecessary in any situation, after all the person you were talking to didn’t bore you on purpose. Saying goodbye with a positive and upbeat tone will help both you of leave the conversation without feeling awkward or uncomfortable [9]
    • A simple and positive goodbye could just be “nice talking to you, take care.”
    • A friendly and casual goodbye could be “I’ve got to run, take it easy.”[10]

Article Info

Categories: Conversation Skills | Manners