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Excuse yourself

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Closing the conversation > Excuse yourself

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Give some excuse and leave.

This does not have to be valid or even particularly sensible. Just saying that you must go is

You can tag on a question to ask permission, if you like, although this is generally rhetorical.

Giving a reason often helps, although again it does not have to make sense.

Example

Excuse me, but I have to go now.

I have to get off now. Is that ok?

I must leave because I have to go now.

Discussion

People give excuses all the time. It is a social ritual that demands acquiescence from the other person. To refuse a simple excuse request is itself considered much ruder than excusing yourself.

When giving a reason, all you need to do is to sound rational. Research by Ellen Langer on pushing into queues (for using a photocopier in the experiment) showed if you give a reason, then people are more likely to let you in. What was most curious was that even when the reason did not make sense, it still worked.

See also

Logic principle

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