Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment and Therapy Social Skills How to Leave a Conversation When You Have Social Anxiety By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." Learn about our editorial process Updated on April 16, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Medically reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images There is a subtle art to ending a conversation politely, just as there is to starting one and joining one. If you have social anxiety, extricating yourself from a never-ending conversation can seem like an impossible task. You don’t want to seem rude or uninterested. What do you do? Here are a few tips on exiting a conversation gracefully. How To Socialize if You Have SAD Distance yourself Distance yourself physically from the group or individual. Turn yourself partially away and begin to pull back while still listening to what is being said. Stand up if you have been sitting down and start to use shorter responses to what is being said. Summarize the discussion "Sounds like you had an amazing trip! Wish we could talk more, but I need to run." To more easily transition into leaving, you can summarize what has just been said before you mention that you are leaving. Go to the restroom "I am just going to excuse myself to use the restroom. Maybe we can chat later?" Wait for a break in the conversation and then give your reason for leaving. A trip to the bathroom or to get another drink are good excuses if you don't have another reason to leave. Grab a drink “I’m going to grab a drink, do you want me to bring you one?” Chances are, the person you're talking to will say no. On the off chance they say yes, get them a drink and say, “well, it was nice meeting you!” Let them get back to what they were doing "Well, I'll let you get back to your shopping. Take care!" This is a great way to end the conversation if you've been talking to someone who was in the middle of an activity. Ask who else you should meet "I promised myself I would meet two new people. Who would you suggest I talk to next?" This is the best of all worlds. It's a great conversation ender and gives you the opportunity to meet someone new. While talking with a good friend could go on for hours, most conversations with people you don't know will last less than 10 minutes. Don't feel bad about moving on. Introduce them to someone else Or, if you've mingled already, consider introducing your conversation partner to someone else. When they start hitting it off, you can say, "I'll let you guys talk," and be on your way. This gives you the opportunity to excuse yourself without leaving them standing alone. Plan a get-together "I have to head out right now, but I've really enjoyed chatting with you. Let's exchange contact info. Maybe we can meet for coffee next week?" When the other person seems like a valuable contact, or a potential friend, make sure to exchange information before you part. You can even suggest you get together in the near future. Quietly slip out Sometimes, it is okay to "ghost" or just leave a conversation quietly without saying anything. This works in a group setting with a large number of people. A Word From Verywell Ending a conversation may give you some momentary relief, but it can come at a cost to you. Avoiding conversations or cutting them short only reinforces your social insecurities, and increases your anxiety for next time. Instead of trying to escape conversations when they make you anxious, try actively listening to what the other person is saying. Ask follow-up questions. Find common ground and tell related stories about yourself. So what if you don’t “sound smart” or impress everyone in every social situation. Neither does anyone else. Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Mein C, Fay N, Page AC. Deficits in joint action explain why socially anxious individuals are less well liked. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 2015;6(50):147-151. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.07.001 By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Social Anxiety Disorder Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.