Off the top of your head, can you think about that one person that loves being the center of attention, and always seems to mold the conversation to talk about themselves? How does that make you feel? Well, with a little conscious effort, you can make sure that person isn’t you.
Talk about others first, and once you make a habit of it, you will naturally begin to have better conversations, and as a result, relationships. It’s about having the personal expectation that sets you up for success incorporating this tip.
It might seem unnatural at first, but there are easy ways to practice directing the conversation toward other people. First, is the way that you respond to messages. Over text and email, oftentimes, there is a lot of content covered, addressing different questions and points. My suggestion is that you respond in this order by following up on the point about that affects their life the most first, and then last about yourself.
Responding this way is effective because it frames your whole communication in a way that optimizes their interest. It is human nature to love talking and sharing about yourself, so when you make “them” the center of attention by talking about them first, they will be more likely to view the communication positively, and will be more inclined to invest more in their response and their relationship with you.
It’s a little trickier in person, because if someone asks a targeted question about you, it can come off as rude to deflect it and redirect the conversation about them. So, in this case, I’d say best practice is to just follow up while the conversation is transitioning and ask them about something to speak on the same topic. This is the classic “enough about my family, how if your family doing?” response.
In short, by talking about others first, you emphasize that they are the center of attention, and in turn they will be more invested in their interaction with you. Start in your text messages and go from there.