Human beings are inherently self-centered; in fact, most of the time, we only think about ourselves. To avoid looking selfish in the eyes of others, read on.
"It is better to be silent and pass for an idiot than to talk and dispel all doubts." ~ Abraham Lincoln
Step 1. Count the number of times you use the words "I" or "me" in a sentence
Step 2. Answer the questions of others without bringing attention to yourself
If they were to ask you "Did you see the Island of the Famous last night?"
- "Yes! I never miss an episode; in fact my wife and I watch The Island of the Famous, Talent Show and Dancing with the Stars. Did you see how well Natalia Titova danced?" You will also have answered the question, but you have shifted attention to yourself.
- "I missed it; how did it go?" A simple answer to an equally direct question. They asked you about the program they like, not about yourself.
Step 3. Don't rant as the conversation turns to you again
Step 4. Talk about a topic you know your interlocutor is interested in
You could make some interesting discoveries concerning him and you will shift the attention from you to him
Step 5. Don't change the subject to talk about yourself
You will be able to do this after you have finished talking about the current topic
Step 6. Pay attention:
waiting for your interlocutor to finish speaking to have your say does not mean listening.
Step 7. Be an active listener
People need someone to listen to them, not to offer them unsolicited advice. Participating actively in the conversation while listening to your interlocutor will help you stay focused on the topic. Some techniques for putting this tip into practice include:
- The use of body language, such as nodding your head and saying "yes".
- Paraphrase what the other said to verify that you understand.
Step 8. Give credit to whoever earned it
- Wrong: "Did you know that my girlfriend, Elisa, won the marathon today? I'm so glad I watched the show from the front row; do you know I handed her her bottle of water? I always told her she was able to make it! I'm so proud of her! That's my girlfriend! Next year I'll be racing too!"
- Correct: "Did you hear that Elisa won the local marathon today? You know, she worked very hard to get there and went through a lot of difficulties to get there. She really deserved her moment of glory!"
Step 9. Try to control yourself
We are used to drooling over things we have said or done; however, we are the only ones who get so excited.
Step 10. Don't use a conversation to try to fuel your ego
- Think about what you are going to say before doing it.
- If you're not talking about you, don't talk about yourself.
- Do not manipulate the conversation in order to achieve your goals (unless this is your true intention) and throw off your interlocutor.
- If you think back to the conversation feeling proud of yourself, you must have used the opportunity to show off your sense of humor and your knowledge.