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How To Get Off the Phone With Someone Who Just Won’t Shut Up

Are you too kind to phone gabbers? Save yourself headaches and reclaim your precious time.


  • Step 1: Begin a sentence that indicates the call is ending. Say, “Before we hang up in a minute, I want to tell you...”
  • Step 2: Explain that you have things to do. Interrupt with a straightforward message that requires recognition.
  • FACT: A 2007 study found that men and women are equally talkative, though women focus more on relationships and men on numbers.
  • Step 3: Ring your own doorbell or pretend someone is calling you from another room. Children provide a convenient excuse.
  • Step 4: Ask your caller to talk with you in person. Address the problem of their long-windedness and suggest e-mailing or speaking at times when you can listen without distraction.
  • Step 5: Don’t encourage more talk by asking questions or inviting tangents.
  • Step 6: Demonstrate your resolve with telemarketers by stating, “Take me off the call list.”
  • TIP: Have fun with telemarketers. Talk their ears off by listing your aches, pains, woes, complaints, fears, desires, and frustrations.
  • Step 7: Explain honestly, without being rude, that you don’t feel like talking on the phone. Repeat if they haven’t listened.

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