Tips on How to (Politely) Tell Others to Leave You Alone

How to (Politely) Tell Others to Leave You Alone

Photo by Armin Rimoldi on

If you’re like me, then talking to people can be particularly draining after awhile. It can extend to taking a toll on your creativity. If you’re not like me, then you may enjoy talking to other people extensively. However, you may find that it starts to creep into your time to be productive. At some point, you need to know how to tell people to leave you alone, so you can start working on your creative project or regular work project. Here are a few tips you can use. 

1. Master the Segue

One way to politely tell other people to leave you alone is to master segueing. How is this helpful? You can abruptly end a conversation that’s starting to drain you in a slightly humorous way. Segues are, at the very heart, a form of humor that is light-hearted and silly. It’s the kind of humor that you can’t help but roll your eyes at.

When you use this to politely exit a conversation, you leave the other participant in a bemused state. They may not particularly enjoy that the conversation is ending, but you’re not leaving them feeling as though you’re being rude or that they did something to make you leave. 

2. Reward System

It can be especially difficult to tell children that you need them to go leave you alone for a bit. One way that you can tell them to entertain themselves and leave you to your new worlds and work projects is to begin a reward system with them. By allowing you to work uninterrupted, they can receive a special reward when that time is over.

That reward may be as simple as an extra helping of dessert or it may be something even more special like spending the weekend doing something they love for a few hours. By exchanging some of their hours for your hours, you can have the time to get your work done and still give them plenty of attention and rewards when that slotted time is over. 

This works for adults as well. You can grab a movie or some game time with the friends later. Those who are working on campaigns can promise even greater quests if your players allow you to have the time to develop them. 

3. Make Them Feel Valued

The final tip is to ensure that when you’re informing the other person that you need to go that they still feel as though they’re valued. It can be difficult for some people not to feel like they’re a priority in your life. To ensure that they still feel that way, you can remark on how pleasant the conversation with them was or how nice it was to spend some time with them. You can even throw in a white lie and suggest that you wish you didn’t have to go “work” and instead spend more time with them. 

As long as you can walk away from the conversation with them feeling valued and as though you’re looking forward to re-engaging them, then they won’t take your departure or needs poorly. 

Of course, this can be down in a straight-forward manner as well. You can simply tell them that you need to get something done. That while you appreciate their time and attention, it’s time for you to get some work finished. Just make sure you end with them knowing that you want to speak with them or hang out with them again later. 

Get Back to Work!

Abruptly telling people that I need to leave or go to work is something I always struggle with. By using the tips above, I successfully leave my friends and family feeling positively about the time we’ve spent together instead of guilty that I need to disengage and go work on a passion project or some actual work. If you have any tips on how to tell people to leave you alone, then go ahead and put them in the comments! Fellow introverts (or extremely busy people) unite!

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