Excusing Yourself from Conversation When You’re Running Late


Never is it more likely you will run into 11 people you know than when you’re already in a hurry and/or running late for something. It happens to all of us. We don’t see anyone we know out and about for months at a time, but the one time we have to be somewhere at a specific time and we’re already rushed and harried and running late we see everyone. And they want to talk (and talk and talk and talk). It leaves you feeling unsure what to do. You’re in a hurry, so you want them to know that while you’d love to stay and chat, you don’t have time. So how do you handle conversations when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to chat?

Be Polite

Whatever you do, don’t lose your patience with people when you’re in a hurry. Sometimes it’s difficult, but just take a deep breath and remain polite while speaking to them. It’s okay to politely interrupt with a gentle excuse me and an apology along with a very quick explanation as to why you simply cannot stay (you have a doctor’s appointment, you have to pick your daughter up from school in five minutes,  you have an obligation…) and chat when you’re in a hurry. Almost everyone will understand completely and let you go without becoming offended.

Check Your Watch

It’s a subtle way of letting people know you’re in a hurry. If you do this as soon as they start talking to you, you’ll let them know subtly that you’re in a hurry. Followed by a quick explanation about how much you hate running late and how quickly you have to run, most people aren’t going to find you rude or feel as if you’re trying to avoid them in any way.

Make a Date

Another method you can try – this works particularly well with people you’re a little closer to more so than casual acquaintances – is to make a date with the person you ran into while you’re in a hurry. This lets them know that even though you haven’t time to chat just now, you would like to make time for it in the future.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


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