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Text messages are now the most common form of communication between human beings in many countries.

In other words, if you want to learn to communicate better and have better relationships, you really need to learn how to write a good text message and communicate well through texting.

Here are the 8 ways to write better text messages:

1. Write Clearly

You must write clearly in a text because it’s very easy to misinterpret written words, especially when your writing contains typos, grammatical errors, or misused words.

While texting puns and meme gifs can be a great way to bond with someone, you’re not actually communicating much beyond, “I’m funny, let’s play a fun game together.”

But texting puns and memes will only get you so far. When it comes to building meaningful human relationships, you need more than a funny gif. You need to communicate some kind of action or intention.

To do that, you must write with concrete language and speak your intentions clearly.

Bad text example:

Want to get together sometime?

Good text example:

Want to join me for brunch at XYZ restaurant this Sunday around 10?

2. Just Be Yourself

There’s a great quote I learned in sales,

“You can’t say the right thing to the wrong person, or the wrong thing to the right person.”

This is especially true when it comes to sending text messages. If you make a mistake or text something ridiculous or even a little offensive, people who like you and care about you will give you the benefit of the doubt.

If you think you have to “write a perfect text message” to build a relationship with someone, you’re dead wrong. And if someone doesn’t want to be your friend or date you because your text messages weren’t perfect, they’re obviously not the kind of person who would be a good friend or partner for you anyway.

So just be yourself. Write from the heart, and don’t worry about how the other person will respond to the real you. Just be the real you, and you’ll be able to find your real friends and build meaningful relationships faster than you would by faking it.

Bad text example:

I love badminton too!

(When you really don’t like it)

Good text example:

Oh that’s cool. I never really got into badminton, but I do love playing racquetball!

3. Be Direct

Write what you really want to write. Don’t try to “warm someone up” or get around to it after texting back-and-forth.

People have shorter attention spans today than ever before because of overstimulation from social media, texting, email, and more—so you need to get to the point right away.

If you want to ask someone on a date, do it right away.

If you want to plan a trip overseas, start talking about your plans.

Don’t try to chit-chat via texting if what you really want to do is plan a real-world activity together.

Bad text example:

So how have you been?

What’s new with you?

How was that concert?

(When what you really want to do is make a plan to get together with that person)

Good text example:

I really want to go to that Taylor Swift concert on Aug. 13. You in if I can find us tickets?

4. Double Check

Double check every text message before you send it.

Lots of people end up making common texting mistakes simply because they failed to actually double check their work:

  • Sending a text to the wrong person
  • Sending a text with typos or errors
  • Sending a text with autocorrect errors
  • Sending a completely inappropriate text because you were too emotional when you wrote it and you didn’t take a moment to think about it first

Always take a second to pause and reread your text before you send it.

5. Follow Up If You Don’t Hear Back

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After sending your messages to someone, make sure to follow up if you don’t hear back within 1-7 days depending on the situation.

There are lots of reasons why you may not get a timely response: they’re too busy, they forgot, they’re not sure what to write back, or they didn’t see your message (yeah, it happens sometimes).

You don’t have to get upset when you don’t hear back. Just follow up if there’s something you need or want to talk about.

6. Be Careful With Speech to Text

Speech to Text makes writing text messages easy and quick, but they can be full of errors, so make sure to double check the message before you send it.

7. Autocorrect Errors

Autocorrect can be a lifesaver when it comes to writing faster, but it can also come up with some really ridiculous errors. Again, make sure to double check your text for autocorrect errors before you send it.

8. Write Out Words, Not Emojis

Be careful with emojis. If you’re writing to someone you’ve texted with many times before, then do what’s been working for your relationship, but be careful sending texts full of emojis to someone you don’t know very well. Not everyone wants to get a text full of emojis. Many people still appreciate well-written texts.

9. Respond Promptly

Don’t try to “time” your response to a text. Just write back when you get it or at a time that’s convenient for you.

Putting someone off for a few days or hours isn’t going to make them want to talk to you more, and it’s only going to cause you a bunch of unnecessary anxiety. If you’ve been worrying about the right time to send a text message, you can learn to stop that bad habit and just communicate when the timing works for you.

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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.

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