From this Metafilter thread on “Have you learned to be less condescending? Help me do that.“
Learn to listen. It’s not an innate skill…. Not just active listening, which everyone has heard of, but listening with empathy and&emdash;this is the one weird trick&emdash;a communal spirit of goodwill as if you and the speaker are on the same team. Imagine that your job is NOT to challenge, but to raise up (non-condescendingly). Not to be the most right, but to learn more about things from other people who have other perspectives.
Step one to listening more is clapping your trap. Second step is engage as a conversational partner and not a debate opponent, not to display what you know but to find out more about what they know.
[O]ne of the basic building blocks of being an Actual Good Guy is rediscovering some joy and curiosity and wonder that I know is beaten out of you at an early age, but is worth trying to re-attain. Not everything is a competition. There are so many things to learn from other people. It feels nice to engage instead of debate. The thing you’re asking to do is difficult but not unpleasant, there is value and warmth in learning to see and appreciate other people exactly where they are.How to be Less Condescending