If you’ve ever been on a horrible first date but felt obligated to stick it out to the end, this tip is for you.
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It’s hard to get a good sense of who someone is with just one encounter, but sometimes you can tell they’re not “the one” almost immediately. Maybe they said something offensive. Maybe they seem overly aggressive. Or maybe they just reek of serial killer. Whatever it may be, you don’t need to stick it out and waste both of your time if you don’t want to.
Admittedly, this is difficult to do. One on hand, you don’t want to be rude. On the other, you don’t want to trigger some angry, entitled behaviour from them. In a way, you feel like this person’s hostage. So, Chris Voss, former lead kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, shares some advice in an episode of MarketWatch’s “Everyday Hostages”. Start with an apology, since that braces them for bad news and makes them curious, so they listen more closely:
I’m sorry. I’m sure this is going to make you feel like I’m a bad person, and I’m going to seem self-centred and self-absorbed. But I’m afraid I’m gonna have to go, and I’m going to need you to let me go.
Saying that you need them to let you go makes them feel a little more in control and empowered. And when they “give” you the go-ahead — not that you actually need it — they will believe they did the right thing, which makes them feel a little better about themselves. Then, give another apology if you feel the need, and make your getaway.
Of course, if this seems a little too forward for you to try, you can always pretend to go to the bathroom, or have a friend call you pretending to be someone important. But, if they seem nice enough, consider giving it to them straight. Who knows? Maybe they’re dying to get out of there too.