How do you cut short a conversation, in a kind way, when a person is going on and on? I have a few friends who appreciate my listening, so they feel free to talk about their problems. But honestly, sometimes they get so wrapped up in what they're saying, repeating themselves, getting more and more whipped up and upset -- I feel like I could be a wall and it wouldn't matter to them.
Recently with one friend, I just got so unable to listen any longer that I felt I NEEDED to get off the phone with her or else I was going to explode. So here's what I did:
1. told her I had to go in a few minutes (made up some excuse).
2. complimented her on how she was handling the situation.
3. tried to sound very happy, not like I was annoyed so she wouldn't feel bad.
4. gave some brief comments about something else fairly neutral.
5. wished her a good night!
Would you do anything else? or anything different? I have a hard time cutting people off when they're obviously talking about something sensitive and deep (though not life-and-death), but it really was too, too much. I think she talked for a half-hour straight!