During a recent etiquette seminar a few participants commented they would like to hear more information on ending conversations. They each affirmed that “Sometimes it just feels rude when a conversation ends.”
Certain situations call for a need to end a conversation before both parties feel ready. But how do you avoid having these abrupt endings come across as rude?
When you end a conversation leaving the person you are speaking with looking surprised, stuttering a goodbye, or displaying awkward body language, you’ve probably left a negative impression.
However, that impression likely began well before you chose to leave. Perhaps some or all of the following happened:
Although the negative impression you left was unintended, it happened because you appeared uninterested, or you were rushed and may have come across as abrasive.
It’s helpful to remember that a rude conversation ending is determined by your mindfulness of where you are, who you are with, and what your intentions are.
Regardless of how short your conversation is, the most important thing is to demonstrate that you value the person in front of you! The best way to do this is to make that individual the most important person in the room – because he is the person to whom you are speaking and listening.
Other ways you might make someone feel valued during a conversation are:
Your conversation, however brief, will always remain a friendly exchange when someone feels they were valued during the time you spoke with them.
Rudeness is relative and is determined by how you make someone feel. If you make them feel they have been treated abruptly, as an inconvenience, or that you don’t care in some way, you will be labeled as rude in that person’s mind.
But when that person feels valued, regardless of the length of your conversation, a positive perception is created. In addition to making someone feel valued as you speak to him, there are other steps you can take to avoid rude conversation endings.
Your etiquette-ful observance of what other people might be experiencing on the other side of you can be a part of your personal adventure. Interactions are sometimes unpredictable, but are always an opportunity to practice mindful communication.