Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
This kind of stuff never happens to me on the phone.
Usually, at some point before the conversation gets really negative, I say something like: "I need to go and pee now, I will talk to you again some other time" and I hang up the phone.
At work, I say something like this: "I can see that you're feeling upset. When you're calm again, give me a call and I'm sure we will be able to come up with a solution" and once again I hang up the phone.
The key is to cut off the conversation before it spirals into an irretrievable downward tailspin. You cut it off, and you can always resume the conversation the next day, or the next week.
I wish I could handle it that way. My dad gets more mad the less you talk to him. So if I did that, our conversations would be over the minute they start and then he would get more upset that I waited a week to call him and then only talked for 10 seconds. He doesn't even say "hello", his first words out of his mouth were, "Oh you still live in this town!?" (But he didn't say it to be funny, he said it to give me a guilt trip for not calling sooner). He never sees arguments as his fault, it's always the other person's fault, so if somebody were to hang up on him, he would blame them for not wanting to talk to him and then next time you talk to him he would still be mad about it.