How to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them?

It can be exhausting to think of ways of how to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them. Also, it can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to move on from a relationship or toxic friendship. 

We want to make it easy for you so you don’t have to think too hard about this. We have tips and informal scripts you can use or get ideas from if you’re wondering how to approach such a challenging social conversation. 

Keep in mind, you have every right to tell someone you need space, especially if you’re feeling stressed, distracted, or just having a bad day. It doesn’t have to be awkward, and you don’t need anyone’s permission, however a good idea to communicate what you’re feeling, which is healthy for you. 

Also, we know there are many different situations where you’re trying to think of how to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them. So we’re going to dive into that too!

Here’s the summary of how to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them and more:

 

  • 50 ways how to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them
  • How to avoid talking to people you don’t want to talk to
  • What other people are saying and what to do
  • The next steps after you tell someone you don’t want to talk to them

Before we get into the deeper ideas of the topic, remember you shouldn’t be afraid of your partner, friend, or even someone you just met.

You should be able to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them. This can be done in a person, through a text message, or phone call. 

In the next part of the post, we’ll give you tips on what to say, such as scripts, quotes, and ideas so you don’t have to think as much.

Here are some straightforward and effective ways to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them, or it’s just not a great time to talk right now.

When telling someone you don’t want to talk to them, try to be as polite as possible. 

How to tell your partner you need some space

tell your partner you don't want to talk

1. When talking with your partner, you can say, I need space because I need to figure out…/rest/collect my thoughts/work/see friends/etc.

2. I need some space for about an hour. Thanks for understanding.

3. I need some space for about an hour. I know that might be frustrating and you need to talk right now, but I need to collect myself and breathe. Thanks for understanding.

4. Hey, I’m feeling a little stressed and need some space for an hour. Let’s talk about this in an hour.

5. I’m feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with everything at work and home. I really could use some alone time

6. Thanks for those videos. I can’t wait to watch those videos you sent me, but I need to get some work done first.

7. I love you, but I was just about to take a nap. I’ll make sure to come back to this conversation when I wake up!

8. Hey! I was just thinking of you, but I’m busy at work and it’s not a great time to chat. Let me get back to you within a few hours.

9. I can be more present with this conversation in 30 minutes. Giving you my energy right now is hard because I’m a bit distracted from other things. Can we come back to this in an hour?

10. I’d like to talk more about this later, I just don’t have the energy to talk right now. But, I want to come back to this later though.

How to tell a friend you don’t want to talk right now

tell a friend you don't want to talk

1. Hey, I’m really sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but I’m swamped with work today. Let’s catch up later?

2. I’m trying to catch up on personal stuff today. If I don’t text you back it’s because I’m super focused on other things. Let’s chat later tonight? 

3. It’s hard to chat on the phone right now, can we talk later?

4. Today is a weird day. I’m not feeling well right now. Let’s talk later?

5. I’m feeling so lazy today and I want to just lay here for a few hours. Let’s talk later when we see each other?

6. Hey, so good to see you. I really want to chat about the weekend. Can you grab lunch around 1pm?

7. Do you mind texting me instead? I’m having a hard time talking on the phone. 

8. Hey, do you mind if we talk in person later tonight? I’m having a hard time texting and need to run some personal errands.  

9. It’s so good to see you. I’m running to finish up some work, can you chat later today? We can get a coffee. 

10. Sorry, but this is a bad time, especially since I’m trying to get work and some personal stuff done. Let’s catch up later? Hope you’re well. 

How to tell people you can’t hang out or you’re busy.

telling someone you can't talk

 

1. Hey, do you mind if we catch up later?

2. It’s a bad time right now. I’ll message you as soon as I’m free today.

3. Work is so busy today and can’t chat right now. Let’s chat tonight? 

4. Hey, I’m out with friends, I’ll call you later. 

5. I’m feeling moody today, so if I don’t text you back, please don’t take it personally.

6. Sorry, I’m right in the middle of something. Let’s talk tomorrow.

7. Hey, I see your message. Give me a few hours and I’ll be free.

8. I’d love to meet up for drinks, but, next week works better. How does that sound?

9. It’s great seeing you, but I need to concentrate if I’m going to get this project done in time for work. I’ll call you later tonight when I’m on a break. 

10. I’m feeling less social today. Let’s chat tomorrow. 

setting boundaries with people

When to be straight forward with someone you don’t want to talk with anymore.

 

1. I’m not free to talk right now. I’ll call you when I’m free. 

2. Hey, I can’t talk today. I’ll call you this week.

3. I’m not interested in hanging out anymore. Please stop texting me.

4. I’d prefer we meet next week. Sound good?

5. I just need some space and don’t want to talk right now. 

6. I’m not free right now, let’s talk later. 

7. Sorry, I can’t talk today. 

8. I don’t think we’re the right fit. 

9. I’m feeling like we’re not compatible. 

10. I don’t want to be friends anymore. 

moving on from someone

When you don’t want to talk to someone you dated

 

1. Hey, I had a really great time with you, but I’m just not available for this relationship right now.

2. I want to be very honest with you; I’m seeing other people right now and don’t think this relationship between you and me feels right.

3. Thanks for the message, but I’ve decided to take some me-time for me right now.

4. This relationship isn’t working for me and you deserve someone who will give you want you to need. I want to move on.  

5. You have a lot to offer, but I don’t feel you and I are the right fit.

6. I liked going on dates with you but I don’t feel we’re compatible and I want to move on.

7. I’m not very happy anymore and I want to move on and see other people. 

8. Hey, I’m not feeling a connection, but I appreciate you meeting with me. 

9. I’m just not interested in dating you.

10. I really like hanging out with you, and I want to continue to spend time with you, but I see you as a friend instead of being in a romantic relationship with you. If you’re interested in that let me know.

6 ways to move on, avoid, and manage people you don’t want to talk to?

move on from people

#1. Make sure you feel comfortable in the environment you’re in

 

Sometimes we can’t avoid people altogether and they might be in the same building, class, group, or city. So, it’s important to remind yourself you’re entitled to your space and boundaries. Next, focus on what you want and try not to give any energy to the other person. Spend time around people who feel safe, compatible, make you feel comfortable.

Protip: Your thoughts contribute to your mood, and even your actions, and will help you to attract other positive people into your life. 

#2. Engage in activities you enjoy 

Doing activities you enjoy will help surround you with people you are comfortable talking with. Doing something you like will give you confidence and then allow you to meet different people. Most importantly, it will give you a way to stay busy and avoid eople you don’t want to talk to. 

#3. Be polite, calm, and keep the interaction short. 

 

You won’t always be able to completely avoid someone you don’t want to talk to. However, you can minimize your interactions with this person by keeping a polite poker face.

  • Pause, and take a deep breath. End this interaction as quickly as possible.
  • Excuse yourself from the conversation. 
  • Don’t get pulled into any arguments
  • Stay as calm as possible
  • Make up something such as you have meet a friend or have an appointment, so you can leave the situation.

#4. Continue to set boundaries with yourself and the other person

  • You should know what you are willing to tolerate. 
  • Stand your ground and stick to the expectations of the boundaries. 
  • You have a right to your personal space and it’s ok to be clear about what that space means to you.
  • Be clear about how/when you’re willing to interact with this person and don’t be afraid to be blunt.
  • Simply tell this person to give you more space physically. Also, you can inform tell someone you prefer to communicate only in certain ways such as text or email.

#5. Ignore this person all together if you can

If you’ve tried more upfront methods and that hasn’t worked, simply ignore this person. 

Relationships don’t work out and if you have made attempts to create space but it hasn’t worked, simply ignore this person.

#6. Ask for help 

If you really don’t want to interact with someone but are having a hard time avoiding this person, ask people for help. You can get help from your friends, parents, your boss, or a counselor.

  • If you find that you can’t avoid this person, consider talking to someone who can help like your boss or a counselor.
  • Calmly explain why you can’t be around this person. 
  • Tell an authority figure why you need to be removed from situations where you interact with this person.

What other people are saying about how to tell someone they’re not interested in talking

quora conversation
conversations with quora
conversation with reddit

After telling someone you don’t want to talk to them

Sticking to your decision

Cutting yourself free of someone is a big thing and can take a lot of your energy. Once you’ve made the big decision, accept it. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you’re breaking free, and try not to look back.

Be assertive while keeping a level head

Breakups or goodbyes are not easy, especially permanent ones. There might be potential for emotional outbursts, sobbing, and screaming. Keep a level head through this process.

Choosing yourself

It’s never wrong to choose yourself and to walk away from someone. Choose happiness, even at the cost of a relationship. You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness.

How to set boundaries and tell someone no?

 

Don’t give an explanation

Giving someone an excuse may seem like a polite way to say no, but it sets you up for the possibility of someone invalidating your reasoning. 

Try to plan your “No” ahead of time

It can be difficult to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them anymore in the moment. So, if you struggle to say no and fear facing disappointment, try to plan it before you meet with them. Preparing will help significantly.

Use an alternative way to tell someone “No”

It’s not required or mandatory for you to meet someone in person to set a strong boundary. Sending a text, a phone call and even writing a letter is a good way to say, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” This gives you more control in the situation. 

 

What else can you do right now?

If you feel like your social skills keep getting worse, or feeling depressed, talk to a close friend or a professional counselor about the feelings you have.

Or, you can prepare more when you go out to socialize. Joining our community and Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more)

Check out our course, Next Level Conversation.

We think if you join our community, take our course, or just read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “How to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them?”, but you’ll feel more confident, learn a few more social techniques, and be ok with moving on. 

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