Classifieds: Urgent requirement for phone call endings…

I’ve got some nerve writing this.

It's not that I want to hang up....I kinda have to

It wasn’t long ago when I made a fuss about email etiquette in my post ‘Save the brain-insects with your email etiquette’. Now, I have a little confession of my own – I don’t know how to effectively end a phone call. Maybe it’s always been like this. When I was a teenager, my dad got fed up of my constant telephone presence and (according to him) the ‘boys’ that would call then hang up when they heard his voice. He was so tired of it that he did the unthinkable – he got me my own number and phone in my bedroom. I know! I know! OUTRAGEOUS. Especially if you know my dad.

I’ll tell you how it starts. I want to call a friend then I think about all the stuff we have to catch up on and I just don’t make the call. Why?

Well, because I usually have a maximum of 10-15 minutes before I have to get on to the next ‘thing’. The ‘thing’ could be getting to work, cooking, bathing the kids, going to church, knitting, blogging, studying e.t.c. Often, I KNOW the conversation will run up to the best part of an hour. My main worry is: How do I end the call? It seems simple, right? Not for me. I worry that I’ll cut off a great discussion or that I’ll hurt someone’s feelings. I’ve tried, ‘Eh, let me run and catch you later’, and I’ve tried, ‘Let me let you go’….(reverse psychology). But it’s predictable and I’m sure my friends are on to me. This has caused me to be behind on goings-on. There’s only so much that can be said on text before the phone sends cheeky advice of its own (e.g. SEND AN EMAIL, DEARIE!). It’s worse when I need to end a call that I didn’t make to begin with because I think I’m being a little rude. Argh!

What I do now is make a list of folks I need to call on the weekend but….I’d still need to end the call…!! So now that I’ve confessed that somehow in the last fifteen years or so I’ve never truely acquired much needed call-ending skills, my father should be the most annoyed (as per his initial investment e.t.c).

Any sound advice on how to end a long conversation and come out smelling roses? I have money.


  1. instead of phone calls: maybe it’s better to write for the blog?


  2. I have the same problem you do. I quick chat turns into an epic call that can last hours. And like you, I tend to continue the conversation because there’s that “great discussion” just waiting to happen. You can always use the excuse of a dropped call if you use your cell phone, then text a quick sorry and go on with your day. Maybe there isn’t an easy way to end the conversation and still smell like a rose. Ending conversations is much like breaking up … if you initiate the end, there’s the relief … and the guilt.


    • Hey there, you don’t know what a relief it is to read your words. *Relief* ;). Maybe my days of smelling like roses will never really come, as far as call endings are concerned. I’m gearing up to live with that. Thanks for stopping!


  3. Simple hun, just say the truth and it shall set ‘Ye’ free! Seriously, any sane person would understand how much of a juggling task it is when you’re a mum to two young kids and doing half the things you do. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you feel really guilty, a short text saying you’re thinking about the person goes a long way.


  4. I find it helps when you say something that makes the other person feel good about the call and then make sure the person knows that you want to call them again….”well….it’s been really great catching up with you. Let’s talk again soon! OK? OK…buh-bye.” (I would end it “buh-bye, doll…but I’m from NY)


  5. It is tough sometimes, I know what you mean. How about, “Well, gotta go , my kids are growing up without me. ” or “Mmm, hang on, what’s that smell. Aaargh my lasagne ! ” …. 🙂


  6. The easy way to do it is to say to the friend, “I’ve been dying to talk to you but have been so busy that I only have 15 minutes to chat. Would you be willing to give me the highlights, then we can talk later about the details? I hate to do this, but it’s either this or we can’t talk for a week, because I’m just so booked up!”

    Be honest. It works better than hinting, I’ve found.


  7. lyricalhealer says:

    I love this you can do things.
    1. Abusively interrupt the conversation and make an excuse. (going out or I have another call coming through)
    2. Stand up when talking to the person as it helps you to have a more commanding spirit and energy.
    Then politely say that you need to get back to work and can we finish our coverstaion another time?

    I hope this helps.


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