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20 of the Best Ways to Avoid Conversation When You Don’t Want to Talk

20 of the Best Ways to Avoid Conversation When You Don’t Want to Talk

We all have good days, bad days and days that fall in between. While you’re dealing with whatever caused that, the last thing that should be on your mind is what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone.

Sometimes, the reason for your unsocial behavior can be due to the pressures of work or school bearing down on you and putting you in a bad mood. Other times when you don’t want to talk to someone, it can be due to strains in your personal relationships or your everyday life.

When you don’t want to talk to someone and the conversation is forced, it can really show.

Instead of making that person feel like they’re the problem, be considerate of what to say at the time.

We all need our space, but you don’t want to make the person feel bad or offended. As you navigate your feelings, use these examples of what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone to avoid conversation:


What to say when you don’t want to talk to someone: 7 kind but effective ways of stopping these conversations before they even begin

No one wants to have a conversation where they’re the only one interested or actively engaging. It can be extremely awkward and even embarrassing for everyone involved.
The best way to handle this type of situation is to stop the conversation before it even begins.
To do this, you’ll need a reason for being unable to converse without seeming dismissive or uninterested in the conversation.
These are examples of what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone because you’re preoccupied:

01“It’s so good to see you, but I’m in a bit of a rush.”
Use this when someone tries to stop you to have a conversation. Even if you don’t have anything to do, saying you’re in a rush lets the person know you can’t stop to talk.


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02“I’m trying to [insert errand] before the store closes. See you later!”
Use this when you have to do something time-sensitive, like trying to catch a store or office at the end of work/school, which is right around closing time.


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03“I’m late for a [insert event] but I’m sure we can catch up another time.”
This is good to use when you’re late to get to something scheduled, like a baby shower or funeral. It says you don’t mind talking, but now’s not a good time because you already committed to something else.


04“My wife/husband needs me at home right now.”
Say this when you have a family emergency or when your significant other already requests your presence. The good thing about this excuse is that it doesn’t even need to be true. The needs of a spouse or partner trump anything else and the person will just have to accept it.


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05“Today has been exhausting. I just want to take a nap and replenish my body. Let’s set up a time to meet next week.”
It is good to use this when you are unable to have the conversation because of exhaustion or stress. It says the only thing on your mind is rest, but you don’t mind having the conversation at another time. If you actually want to talk, you can reach out to them later, and if you don’t, you can always pretend you were waiting on the other person to reach out to you.


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06“You look great. It was so nice seeing you.”
Use this when you see someone and they say hi to you. Insert this before they have the chance to spark a conversation.


07“Look at the time! I’ve got to bolt. [insert event/person] awaits.”
Use this when you have something else to do at that same time, so now is not a good time to talk.



What to say when you don’t want to talk to someone: 7 ways to politely let someone know that now isn’t the best time for a chat

The worst thing that can happen when you want to have a conversation with someone is feeling like you are the only one interested. It can feel like talking to your shadow or talking to a brick wall.
Your job is to make it clear that the issue is on your end. In other words, express that you’re not in the frame of mind for a conversation at the moment.
The purpose of this is to ensure that the other person does not feel slighted or offended by your unwillingness or inability to participate. You wouldn’t want someone you care about taking this the wrong way.
Here’s what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone because you’re not in the mood:

08“I can tell you’re really excited about this, and I feel horrible about cutting you off, but I’m just not in the headspace for this right now. Maybe later.”
It is good to use this when you are busy dealing with other things in your life, for example, stressing over an exam, or if you’re introverted. It says you understand that the person is happy to talk to you, but you can’t right now


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09“This isn’t a good day for me. I need some space.”
This is good to use when you’re upset or irritated. It serves as a warning to let the person know that no meaningful conversation can happen while you’re in that state, so it’s best to leave you alone.


10“Things have been rough lately and I don’t want to bring you down. I’ll hit you up when I’m feeling chatty again.”
This is a good way to end a conversation when the person is way too energetic or upbeat for your current mood. It says you’re dealing with things that have dampened your mood and you’d much rather go your separate ways than burden the person with your problems.


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11“Now isn’t a good time. I’ve been dealing with a lot and I’m not the best.”
This lets the person know outright that their timing for bringing up the topic is off because you aren’t able to engage in the way you’d like to.


12“I’m not feeling particularly chatty right now. I hope that’s okay with you.”
Use this when you don’t want the person to think you’re annoyed at them. It says you hope this is clear and there are no hard feelings.



13“My head isn’t here right now. I can’t give this my full attention.”
This example of what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone says you’re preoccupied with something else, and you’re too distracted to give the person the attention the conversation demands.


huge workload nice smart handsome businessman exhausted
Photo by YAKOBCHUK VIAC on shutterstock


14“Honestly, I’m not in the mood for this, no offense to you. I need some time to get my mind right.”
Use this when you have tried to keep up the conversation, but you’re obviously failing at pretending to be alright. This moment of honesty makes it clear the other person is not to blame, and you’re not blowing them off for some unknown reason.


What to say when you don’t want to talk to someone: 6 polite responses when people don’t quite understand your point of view and insist on talking

Some people just don’t know when to stop, especially when trying to make a point. A fair argument involves both parties presenting their case, not one person talking over the other.
Not every discussion or argument will end up with all parties sharing the same point of view, and that’s completely fine. Agreeing to disagree is the most logical way to move forward in these types of situations, but unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in every instance.
Some people will keep talking in an attempt to force you to agree, even when you’re clearly done talking. This is what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone who insists on prolonging an argument:

15“It’s clear that we can’t agree to disagree on this one. Let’s leave it as it is.”
This says the discussion is going nowhere. Instead of continuing to push your point, this comment should stick a pin in it. If the person continues to speak, your next move is to stop responding or walk away.


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16“I don’t think this is going anywhere, wouldn’t you agree?”
It is good to use this when you’re both passionate, but don’t have the energy to get into it right now. It’s a way to level with the person and ask them to behave rationally.


17“If you’re going to talk over me the whole time, then this isn’t a conversation I’m interested in.”
This is a stern way to respond to someone who won’t let you get a word in or continues to argue their point. It’s a straightforward way to say you don’t want to talk to them.


mother talking daughter not listening annoyed

Photo by fizkes on shutterstock


18“Okay, I’m gonna let you have this one.”
This example of what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone says you’re retiring from the conversation. In other words, you’re letting the person win, because that’s clearly what’s important, and not the facts or truth.


19“You’re right, and now, please excuse me.”
Even if you don’t agree, this will let the person feel like he/she won and no longer has a reason to defend their argument. Letting them have this may be the only way to escape the conversion without it escalating.


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20“You have an interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it with me.”
This is good to use to dead the conversation in a civil way when it’s going nowhere. It’s neutral and is unlikely to cause the person to keep blabbering on.



You’re not required to engage in every single conversation presented to you, especially when you’re in a bad mood or when you don’t have the time. And, if you’re like a lot of people who are introverted or shy, you’d much rather spend your time alone to unwind, relax and do the things that interest you.
Use these examples of what to say when you don’t want to talk to someone to navigate these situations properly. The best approach is to be polite so you don’t offend anyone.
And, if that doesn’t work, you have a choice to make. Either you stick around to appease the other person or walk away, but hopefully, it doesn’t come to that and they get the point.