Friday, August 16, 2013

How to Use Emoticons and Exclamation Points Effectively

You tend to become overwhelmed and flustered in person-to-person confrontations.  

You leave the discussion feeling like a chump, defeated and resentful, rehearsing what you woulda, coulda and shoulda said. 

The next time you decide to send an e-mail. Now you can say what you mean! 

Unfortunately, you overcompensate.  You are too direct, and now you have someone plotting to have you run over by a speeding bus. 

What to do?!

A direct, yet sensitive missive is possible with the use of emoticons and exclamation points!  These trendy darlings of the punctuation world allow you to be blunt, but with a little hug!

Let the following outline show you how to use emoticons and exclamation points professionally – really and truly LIKE A BOSS!

Paragraph #1: Remind the recipient how much you like him or her.  Be sure to exaggerate.  Note a specific time you spent together.

You know I think you are the best thing since boxed wine!  We have had oil tankers full of fun! Our conversation about alternative household uses for contraceptive sponges was one of the best times I’ve had without the aid of rubber cement! :-)

Paragraph #2:  Communicate a spirit of mutual goodwill.  Discuss your feelings and what you hope to avoid. 

You are a tremendous assistant!! I would never scold or patronize you :-)  I hate, however, to let things fester!!  I had a roommate who shied away from confrontation, but then would become very passive-aggressive:-(  She slapped me Dynasty-style when I dared to dip my spoon in the vat of pasta salad she kept in our living room :-(  I know!! So uncool!!

Paragraph #3:  Humbly state your grievance.

Because I prefer not to send an email without someone checking it over, you regularly proofread and “correct” my writing :-)  I can’t help noticing, however, that you might be more than a little spelling challenged :-) :-( !!  On several occasions you changed my work, and inserted the WRONG homophone :-( :-( !!!  This was a huge issue for our clients, Da Rhodz Skolaz, who are sticklers for good writing :-(  :-)  Upon receipt of a message stating, “I’m sorry your throat is soar. Please stay home so it can heel,” Mista Sock Rateez questioned whether I had passed kindergarten!!!! This hurt deeply:-(   He knows I went to Yale!!!!!!!!!

Paragraph #4:  Using I statements, declare your feelings and defend yourself. 

I am concerned that I will be blamed for losing DRS, clients of the highest value, when I, in fact, speak their language!!!  At their last visit, we talked for hours about Christian symbolism on Jersey Shore.  I AM capable of producing a very well written letter!!! Did I mention I went to Yale  :-) :-) :-)?

Closing Paragraph:  Summary.  Statement of future goals.

It is my sincere hope that I was not unduly harsh :-(  I merely wanted to be honest and forthcoming  :-) !!  I think you are a queen of a co-worker!!!  With a little focus you’ll attain the writing skills of that kindergartner in no time! 


Just imagine the above letter without the emoticons and exclamation points!


These days, with emails and texts taking the place of face-to-face, or even phone conversations, the ability to write compassionately is key. 

Isn’t this the sensitive, yet honest message you would love to send to someone who upset you?

If you had offended someone, wouldn’t you feel not only relief, but comfort, upon receiving such a considerate message?

Isn't this the boss you'd like to have, if not the boss you'd like to be?

You tell me :-) :-) !!!!!


  1. Gurl, you crack me up. I especially love the wink or smiley face after a nasty comment. Newsflash, the wink does not negate the nasty.

  2. "These days, with emails and texts taking the place of face-to-face, or even phone conversations, the ability to write compassionately is key." Love this. So true, and something so lacking.

  3. I, just last week, called a friend a bitch on FB and added a smiley. I immediately hated myself.

  4. I am SO guilty of over-smiley facing! You wrote this just for me, didn't you? *Resists the urge to put a winky face*


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