Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Alexander Burgemeester
If you want to stop being a dry texter, try to be more engaging, thoughtful, and expressive in your messages.
This includes sharing personal stories, asking open-ended questions, using humor, emojis or GIFs to convey emotions, and showing genuine interest in the other person.
Also, try to match the tone and energy of their messages and respond in a timely fashion.
Taking breaks from texting and cultivating your own interests and hobbies can help enrich your conversations and provide interesting topics to discuss.
Dry texting is one of the fastest ways to annoy or confuse someone. If you chronically dry text, you risk the other person losing interest.
But just like any social skill, you can take steps to improve how you communicate with others. It just takes practice, effort, and intention. Here are the key tips.
22 Tips to Stop Dry Texting and Become a Better Texter
A dry texter refers to a boring, disengaged texter. These people are famous for their one-word responses, late messages, or leaving people on read.
If you’re trying to build or improve a relationship with someone, dry texting is basically a conversation killer.
The other person feels like they need to put in some (or all) of the effort to encourage you to open up. This work becomes inevitably frustrating, and most people respond by simply pulling away.
You may be a dry texter without realizing it. Look back through your most recent text conversations. Are you guilty of:
- Taking several hours or days to respond (without necessarily being all that busy)
- Responding with just one word or a short phrase like haha, yea, or k?
- Leaving people on read even if they ask important questions
- Only answering questions without asking any yourself
- Never being the first person to initiate a conversation
If you resonate with these statements, there’s a good chance that your texting behaviors negatively affect others (whether they mention it or not). But awareness is the first step to successful change. Here is what you need to do next.
#1 Consider What the Other Person Needs
Texting is a bid for connection, and that applies even if you’re just coordinating schedules or relaying basic information.
Regardless of the situation, try to place yourself in the other person’s position. How might they feel when they text you? What do you think they need from you at that moment?
Trying to consider things from their vantage point can remind you of the importance of a meaningful conversation.
#2 Get In The Habit of Responding Promptly
Sure, we’re all busy, but how busy are you, really? Texting provides an incredibly accessible way to communicate with anyone in the world- all with a few taps of the finger.
If the other person is important to you, you absolutely need to prioritize giving them your attention. That means trying to read and reply to their messages quickly- especially if you two are having a more serious discussion.
And if you happen to be busy? Just let them know- it’s much more polite than avoiding them or responding days later as if nothing happened. Simply say, Hey, I’m swamped right now. I’ll get back to you about this later tonight!
#3 Share Your Texting Preferences
You’re allowed to have communication boundaries, and that rule applies to your text conversations. For example, if you don’t like texting when you’re around family, that’s okay!
Or if your work is so demanding that it requires your full attention, that’s also okay!
Boundaries can also apply to the type of content shared when texting. For instance, maybe you feel more comfortable talking about highly sensitive topics in person. Or you don’t like arguing over text (which is a good thing!).
The important part about boundaries is communicating them to other people. Don’t assume someone else can read your mind or that they inherently understand what’s going on.
#4 Cut the Short Responses
It’s time to delete haha, ok, yeah, sounds good, and idk from your texting vocabulary.
In almost all cases, people dread receiving one or two-word responses. Even if it isn’t intentional, these replies often come across as cold and even dismissive.
Even if there isn’t much to add, consider throwing in an emoji or turning one word into a fuller sentence. Haha becomes Haha! That’s great! Sounds good turns into Sounds good- I’m really looking forward to it!
#5 Initiate Asking Questions
It’s one thing to be more descriptive in your responses. But to genuinely break out of a dry texting spell requires you to take a proactive initiative.
One of the best ways to do this is by simply asking thought-provoking questions yourself. There are, of course, limitless questions you can ask, but the idea is to show a genuine interest in the other person’s life.
#6 Try to Avoid Always Asking Generic Questions
Sometimes, generic questions are necessary, especially if you’re trying to coordinate plans or if you need to find out specific information.
But if you always ask the same types of questions, your conversation will go stale quickly. Try to mix it up with a combination of playful, serious, and even random questions.
And don’t be afraid to preface these questions with a disclaimer like, Ok, I have something random to ask you, or, You may not know the answer to this yet, but I’m wondering…
#7 Ask Follow-Up Questions
In addition to initiating unique questions, you should also ask follow-up questions when someone asks you something.
For example, if the other person asks you, what are you up to this weekend, consider responding by saying, I have to run a bunch of errands and pick my mom up at the airport. What about you? Anything fun going on?
#8 Highlight Emotion
Do you notice the difference between these two responses:
Looking forward to it versus I’m really looking forward to it!
Even though the sentences are similar, the emotion behind them is dramatically different. Use adjectives and punctuation to emphasize your point. These small changes show that you’re invested in the conversation!
#9 Try Opening Up More
While it’s important to ask the other person questions, you don’t want it to feel like this one-sided interview, either.
The best text conversations feel balanced. Ideally, each of you feels comfortable sharing details about your lives.
If this type of disclosure makes you feel uncomfortable, remember that practice makes perfect. Try just talking more about the sequence of your day.
Or share general observations about what’s happening in your life. If the other person cares about you, they’ll be excited to learn whatever they can.
#10 Use Emojis
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that cliche probably also rings true for emojis.
Emojis can signal practically anything: the kiss emoji often signifies being flirty; the heart shows a sense of love or affection; the upside-down smiley can convey a sense of playfulness or sarcasm.
The key here lies in the nonverbal cues. Emojis, when used appropriately, deepen a conversation and can foster more connection.
#11 Use GIFs
GIFs can add even more life to your texting conversation. They’re like enhanced emojis, and they can be beneficial when validating someone or highlighting humor.
Just don’t overdo it. With GIFs, less can certainly be more because nobody wants to feel like they’re having a one-sided conversation with pictures!
#12 Send Memes
Memes have become a universal language for connection. They also help lighten the mood, and when used appropriately, they’ll make the other person smile.
Consider sending a meme with no context at first. This will usually generate some kind of positive response, whether it’s them liking the image or telling you how funny it is.
#13 Send the First Text
Keep in mind that most women prefer when a man texts them first. So, if you’re interested in someone, try to hype yourself up to make that bold move. Ideally, you should do it within the first 24 hours of her giving you her number.
Don’t overthink this! You can keep things extremely simple by sending something like, Hey. It’s ___. How is your day going?
#14 Make Observations
If you already feel like you’re grilling someone with questions, you can switch the tempo by focusing more on general observations.
These can sound like:
- It seems like you really like your job!
- Your friend seems like such a good support to you.
- You have a lot going on this week!
These observations show that you’re paying attention to the other person. It also gives them a chance to elaborate on the situation.
#15 Maintain a Positive Attitude
Nobody likes a chronic complainer, but some dry texters are notorious for coming across as pessimistic or dull. Take a look at some of your past texts to evaluate your own cynicism. Do you complain too much? Do you have a negative spin on everything?
There’s nothing wrong with occasionally venting- or being honest about your feelings- but try to infuse optimism whenever possible. If you’re always in a bad mood, that mindset will turn other people off.
#16 Don’t Shy Away From Flirting
Texting is a great medium for flirting. You have time to think about your responses, which means the conversation often feels more comfortable.
Remember that flirting is a balance of being who you are while also subtly pushing the envelope. You also want to focus on praising the other person and letting it be known that you’re into them!
#17 Reference Things They Told You
If you want to increase how often you text, you can start by bringing up things that the other person discussed in the past.
For example, if you know they had a big meeting at work, consider sending a text that afternoon saying, How did the meeting end up going today?
Of course, don’t feel the need to follow up on everything! Overdoing it can come across as intrusive or stalkerish, so pick and choose what seems important to ask.
#18 Let Them Know You’re Thinking About Them
When in doubt, almost everyone appreciates being acknowledged. So, let the other person know how much you miss them!
Consider sending these types of texts at random:
- Hey, just wanted to know you’re on my mind! I hope you’re having a great day!
- Thinking about you right now. Miss you!
- I love you so much. Just wanted you to know that.
#19 Commit to the Process
Sometimes people dry text because they fear intimacy or vulnerability. They worry about the possibility of rejection, and that reinforces them to keep others at a safe distance.
While this mentality is valid, it also keeps you in a cycle of never really feeling close to others. In a sense, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because people likely reject you because you won’t let them in.
Remind yourself this: all relationships require an inherent sense of risk. We can’t fully mitigate the potential chances of getting hurt. But the reward can be extraordinary, so keep pushing through your fears.
#20 Be Careful of Overcompensating
If you recognize that you dry text, you may feel overly eager to change your ways. Change is great but be balanced with it.
Try to resist the urge to swing too far in the opposite direction. You don’t want to overwhelm the other person by your sudden shift in habits.
That also comes across as suspicious- they might be wondering why you’re now deciding to give them so much attention.
#21 Be Honest About What’s Going On
If you notice yourself continuously pulling away from someone, evaluate the situation. Why do you think you’re withdrawing? What is it about this dynamic that affects you?
You may be scared of getting close to someone. That’s reasonable. But you might also just not be that into them. That’s also reasonable.
What matters here is being honest with yourself. It isn’t fair for you to lead someone on, and it inevitably hurts the other person, too.
So if your dry texting is a sign that you want to move on, be as assertive and respectful as possible. People don’t want to play unfair games.
#22 Be Patient With Yourself
Changing your texting patterns may take some time, and it can feel awkward at first. But texting definitely isn’t going anywhere, and if you want to build deeper relationships, you need to invest in having high-quality conversations.
Remember that it takes practice, so be patient with yourself!
Before You Go,
If you use these tips or even only a few of them, dry texting should be a thing of the past.
If you still need some more help on this topic, I can recommend the following articles: