It’s hard to say goodbye.
Sometimes it’s because you don’t want to.
Usually it’s because the other person is a jerk.
Engaging in phone calls in the modern era involves negotiating the end of conversations. Sometimes with those you know well, you both understand the moment a conversation is done. Or perhaps like an old friend of mine you have an understanding with your parents – ‘we don’t say goodbye, we just hang up’. Lucky bastard. Short of saying ‘shut up‘ or ‘I’m hanging up now‘ we need to learn to live with those who make saying goodbye painful, awkward or simply very very long.
Culprit: The Clueless Big Talker
When you try to end the conversation subtly they simply don’t pick up on your cues. No amount of “ok then” or “It’s been great talking to you” or “Let’s talk soon yeah?” will let them know that this conversation should die. They’ll continue to give it CPR – constant prattering rubbish – until you want to throttle them.
The Solution: Fake bad reception.
You’re going to have to do the fake-bad-reception bit “Hey….sorry I’m getting….bad ….here. I think….reception…pineapple….talk later ok….gruffle….bye!” Then simply hang up.
Culprit: The Last-Worders
Goodbye means something different to these people. For most of us it means the conversation is done. For them it means it’s time for the final massive Shakespearean third act. This involves throwing together hopes for another conversation, lamenting the end of this conversation, things you must do when you both have another conversation and even well wishes they want you take to other people for future conversations. Never engage these people while standing up because your legs may fall off.
The Solution: Kill the drama.
They fear thoust may never speaketh again. Tell them ‘I have to go, I’ll call you back’ and they’ll back off the speeches. Of course unbeknownst to them you’ll call them back next week, or maybe next year.
Culprit: The Awkward Guy
These people will say goodbye, they simply don’t know how to do it cleanly. They’re just so happy to finally have someone talk to they usually fumble the hang up with 4 or 5 different farewells or one “um…bye..ok…see you…yep…bye bye”. Meanwhile you feel so bad ending the conversation, as it’s clearly the highlight of their week, that it takes you 30 seconds to remove the phone from your ear as you strain to keep up with their continuing farewells.
The Solution: Clean and Jerk.
You say “I’d better let you go” to make it look like it’s you that’s taking up their time and you hang up as quick as you can.
I hope that helped.