I’ve never been a hard-core emoji enthusiast and, tangentially, have been accused of coming off as cold or indifferent via text message. This has proved to make texting the partners I’ve had a pretty bland experience. But perhaps these are all related factors? When a recent study surfaced revealing that people who use more emojis in their texts have more recurrent sex and more first dates, I’m not going to lie: I was quite intrigued and willing to experiment with the little icons in my own romantic endeavors.
Maybe you’re thinking that a flirtatious winky face or a doting heart icon couldn’t hold that much weight in sprucing up digital communication between you and your partner. But hear me out: The psychology of emojis is a lot more significant than it might be given credit for. I reached out to two psychologists to confirm the theory, and as it turns out, the little icons really can help facilitate better communication, especially within romantic relationships.
Why people use emojis.
“Most people use emojis in their digital conversations because they’re fun, you can get creative, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words,” Ashleigh Edelstein, M.A., LMFT, a psychotherapist based in Austin, Texas, tells mbg. Moreover, in our fast-paced world, a simple thumbs-up emoji requires less effort than typing out “Sounds good” or “That works for me,” she explains.
Clinical psychologist and holistic psychotherapist Carla Manly, Ph.D., concurs, saying that since text communications have become increasingly common—and as they sometimes replace voice-to-voice and face-to-face contact—emojis give people (and especially romantic or sexual partners) the opportunity to connect above and beyond the bland realm of digital words.
How emojis might help facilitate better communication.
“Although emojis are small and might even be dismissed by some as unimportant, they are bonding and connective in nature,” Manly explains. “And—as couples who feel more connected are likely to be more intimate on many levels (including sexually), it’s no surprise that emoji-loving couples might be more inclined to enjoy more sexual intimacy.”
Fundamentally, communication is a vital pillar of any healthy partnership, and when it goes awry, it can lead to misinterpretation and misalignment. This is especially pertinent over text, since it’s impossible to include body language or facial expressions, making it difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to convey emotion through text.
“Many of my clients have misinterpreted texts from their partners or friends because there’s no tone or inflection,” says Edelstein. “Compare the difference between ‘That’s fine’ and ‘That’s fine :)’—The first leaves room for all kinds of interpretation, most likely negative, while the second clearly conveys that everything is indeed fine.”
According to Edelstein, adding that teeny little smiley face can make all the difference in getting your mood or tone across to your partner. Emojis, she says, are a quick and easy way to convey emotions in an emotionless medium.
No wonder I’ve historically been misinterpreted as torturously indifferent due to my neglect of the consecrated icons.
an in-your-face emoticon fan and, digressively, have been blamed for putting on a show of being cold or impassive by means of instant message. This has demonstrated to make messaging the accomplices I’ve had an entirely insipid encounter. In any case, maybe these are altogether related components? At the point when an ongoing report surfaced uncovering that individuals who utilize more emoticons in their writings have progressively intermittent sex and all the more first dates, I’m not going to mislead anybody: I was very fascinated and willing to explore different avenues regarding the little symbols in my own sentimental undertakings.
Possibly you’re feeling that a coy winky face or a hovering heart symbol couldn’t hold that much weight in tidying up computerized correspondence among you and your accomplice. Be that as it may, listen to me: The brain science of emoticons is much more critical than it may be given kudos for. I contacted two therapists to affirm the hypothesis, and things being what they are, the little symbols truly can help encourage better correspondence, particularly inside sentimental connections.
Why individuals use emoticons.
“A great many people use emoticons in their advanced discussions since they’re fun, you can get innovative, and as it’s been said, words usually can’t do a picture justice,” Ashleigh Edelstein, M.A., LMFT, a psychotherapist situated in Austin, Texas, tells mbg. Additionally, in our quick paced world, a basic approval emoticon requires less exertion than composing “Sounds great” or “That works for me,” she clarifies.
Clinical analyst and comprehensive psychotherapist Carla Manly, Ph.D., agrees, saying that since content correspondences have turned out to be progressively normal—and as they here and there supplant voice-to-voice and eye to eye contact—emoticons give individuals (and particularly sentimental or sexual accomplices) the chance to interface well beyond the dull domain of computerized words.
How emoticons may help encourage better correspondence.
“In spite of the fact that emoticons are little and may even be rejected by some as insignificant, they are holding and connective in nature,” Manly clarifies. “Furthermore, as couples who feel increasingly associated are probably going to be progressively close on numerous levels (counting explicitly), it’s nothing unexpected that emoticon adoring couples may be increasingly disposed to appreciate increasingly sexual closeness.”
Generally, correspondence is a fundamental mainstay of any solid association, and when it goes amiss, it can prompt error and misalignment. This is particularly appropriate over content, since it’s difficult to incorporate non-verbal communication or outward appearances, making it troublesome, if not some of the time inconceivable, to pass on feeling through content.
“A significant number of my customers have confounded writings from their accomplices or companions on the grounds that there’s no tone or expression,” says Edelstein. “Think about the distinction between ‘That is fine’ and ‘That is fine :)’— The main leaves space for a wide range of understanding, in all likelihood negative, while the second plainly passes on that everything is in reality fine.”
As per Edelstein, including that minuscule little smiley face can have a significant effect in getting your state of mind or tone crosswise over to your accomplice. Emoticons, she says, are a brisk and simple approach to pass on feelings in an unfeeling medium.
No big surprise I’ve generally been confounded as unbearably apathetic because of my disregard of the sanctified symbols.