- Interrupt yourself, not them.
- Smile warmly, tell them what a pleasure it’s been to talk to them about [fill in the blank… whatever it was you were talking about], and that you could just monopolize their time all night.
- Say, “But if you’ll excuse me, I need to…” And then offer an excuse. Try: Catch up with my friend from college over there. Grab a bite to eat; those cookies are calling my name. Go help my husband take care of the kid. Go thank the hostess.
- You may also want to offer your hand for a handshake, which most people understand to mean, “It was nice meeting you, good-bye.”
The point is to leave a conversation knowing that you made someone feel better because they’ve talked to you. Making it clear that you were paying attention, enjoyed the conversation, and are leaving for a reason (rather than because the person is boring) all help.