If you find yourself in the middle of a conversation that has become awkward, frustrating, or they just won't stop talking, escape is necessary. Excusing yourself while inviting them along can give you an exit opportunity without being rude.
Photo by rachaelvoorhees
Sometimes you find yourself in a conversation that is downright bad and you need to make an exit without hurting a personal or professional relationship. Kim Eisenberg at Careerealism suggests you excuse yourself, but keep things open-ended:
Wait for a tiny pause in conversation and say something like, "Excuse me, I'm going to get a drink/load up on free shrimp at the buffet table." I love inviting the person to come get food or drinks with me. More often than not, as we move across the room or land at a new station, we each strike up conversations with other people and our conversation comes to a natural end.
With a strategy like this, you can walk away and slowly but surely wiggle your way out of their grasp. Your escape will seem natural and not like you're trying to get away from them as fast as possible. Just be sure to gradually disengage them by talking to others and giving your attention to other things, otherwise you'll find yourself with a permanent buddy.
Awkward! How to Get Out of a Bad Conversation [Careerealism]