Ending a Conversation on the Phone


When you’re trying to end a conversation with someone you don’t know but you had to talk to them for a specific reason (so, like, you rang them to ask them a question about an application, or they were ringing you to follow-up some administrative issue with your job or something) and you have this chat with them, how do you end it? There seems to be some confusing mix of thank yous and have a good days and repeating of thank yous and also some pretended emotional connection that more intense than is deserved for what you actually just did with this person that you will never speak again. I’ve discovered the phrase “no worries” which was really helpful instead of just saying variants on “thanks” but it just seem quite protracted sometimes.


I find this difficult too. I sometimes say ‘Well, I’ll let you get back to work’ or ‘I better get on with [this thing]’.


I’m so glad this post is here! I also have this problem: I can start a conversation (sort of), but always find it awkward ending it. Face-to-Face is also strange. The only thing I’ve known is to just soldier on through it. It would be nice to know what others do.


Am I allowed to reply as a neurodiverse cousin? Well, I will anyway and you can delete it if not!

I tend to find once all of the things I needed to ask in the phonecall have been answered, one of two things will happen:

  1. They will say ‘anything else I can help you with?’ or some variant, to which you can reply ‘no, that’s perfect thanks - thanks for your help and take care!’ to which they should reply ‘okay, you too, bye!’ and you say bye and put the phone down.

  2. There will be a weird silence at which point you can say ‘well, I’d best be off - thanks so much, that was really helpful’. They will probably say ‘no worries, lovely to speak with you/take care/thanks’. And you can say bye and put the phone down.

It is really weird though and lots of people have developed this habit of saying ‘okay bye bye bye bye bye bye-bye-bye-bye’ as they put the phone down which literally makes my skin crawl. Also in my experience people any younger than me (28) are SO BAD with phonecalls because they grew up in an era where everyone had a mobile so they never really learnt how to make a phonecall, whereas I remember my mum teaching me ‘this is how you answer a phone’ etc.