How to Respond to Emoji Texts

Chatting is easier than ever these days with your friends, family, and that special someone only a click away! Texting can get complicated, though, especially when someone sends you a slew of emojis or a even a single emoji as a reply. What do they mean and how do you respond? No need to worry because we’ve compiled a list of great ways you can respond to a variety of emoji texts.This article is based on an interview with our professional dating coach and licensed social worker, Julianne Cantarella. Check out the full interview here.

Send a few emojis back.

This is a great way to be playful, flirty, or funny.

Mirror the sender’s message with your own string of emojis to express your thoughts and feelings. Toss in some humor and be lighthearted with your response—as long as you’re comfortable of course! Check out the meaning of these common emojis and pick one that fits your mood:

  • 😃 (Grinning face with big eyes): “I’m really happy for you!”
  • 😂 (Face with tears of joy): “That’s hilarious!”
  • 😕 (Confused face): “Uhhh, what?”
  • 🥺 (Pleading face): “Aww, pwetty pwease?”
  • 🙃 (Upside-down face): “Whoops” or “Yikes!”
  • 😑 (Expressionless face): “Alright, I’ve had enough.”

Let them know their emoji made you smile.

If you like what they’re sending, let them know!

Maybe their emojis made you chuckle, blush, or frankly turned you on. Be quick witted and a little flirtatious if that’s where the conversation’s headed.

  • “Stop! You’re making me blush!”
  • “Aren’t you cheeky? 😏 (Smirking face)”
  • “Haha! Very clever!”

Send a GIF in response to a silly emoji.

The only thing better than an emoji is a funny moving graphic!

Play along with their flirtatious banter or “😂 (Face with tears of joy)” by sending your own version of the emoji back. Find a GIF or even a meme that conveys your reaction to their emoji. But beware because after sending you may start a hilarious text thread of nothing but GIFs, memes, and emojis!

Reply with “LOL” if you’re amused.

This is an easy way to respond to a flirty or humorous emoji.

Maybe you don’t have anything clever to say back because the conversation’s dying, you’re not entirely interested in their message, or you’re actually laughing out loud. Either way, this is a simple response that can be passive aggressive or genuine.

  • If you just want the conversation to end, respond with “LOL” and let the conversation die there.
  • If you’re actually laughing out loud, pair “LOL” with a “😂 (Face with tears of joy).”

Send an “OMG” for a shocked response.

Did they send you a stream of intense emojis to make a sentence?

The sender may have done this to tell you something wild that happened that they just can’t explain in words. Respond with a classic “OMG” if you’re shocked, bewildered, or excited.

  • Pair “OMG” with “🤯 (Exploding head),” “😱 (Face screaming in fear),” or “😵 (Face with crossed-out eyes)” to bring your shock to the next level.

Flirt back with a frisky emoji of your own.

A flirtatious response could be your next move.

When you’re having a flirtatious conversation you’re comfortable with, the best way to respond is with a mirror tone that’s quick witted, and obviously flirtatious. Have fun and see where the conversation goes! Here are some flirtatious emojis and their meanings:

  • 😉 (Winking face): The winky face is just like a wink IRL—they’re flirting!
  • 😏 (Smirking face): Implying an innuendo or something sexual.
  • 😜 (Winking face with tongue): A wink with a little more spice.
  • 🍑 (Peach): This is usually a sexual innuendo. It can also mean a booty call.
  • If you’re uncomfortable in any way while texting, make it known by responding with, “That’s making me feel uncomfortable,” or, “I feel like I need to get to know you better before we start talking like that.”

Ask them to elaborate.

A single emoji can be dismissive, and that’s totally not cool!

Maybe you sent them a long text about everything that went wrong in your day, or you asked them how they’re doing. No matter the situation, a single emoji text can come across as rude. Let them know you want an actual answer that leaves no room for misinterpretation by being upfront about it. Try responding with these open-ended questions:

  • “What do you mean by that? ”
  • “Can you tell me what that means?”
  • If you’re annoyed by their response, that’s understandable! Simply ignore the text if you don’t even want to ask.

Be honest if you don’t understand.

There’s no shame in asking for an explanation.

Everyone has different meanings for emojis, so some things can get lost in translation and that’s okay! Ask them what they mean so you can both be on the same page. The best thing you can do is ask, and who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something new! Here are some emojis with more explicit meanings:

  • 😏 (Smirking face): A risque wink.
  • 😈 (Smiling face with horns): “Let’s get dirty.”
  • 🦴 (Bone): “Do you want to…?”
  • 🌶️ (Hot pepper): “It’s getting hot in here!”
  • If the meaning behind the emoji makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know that. Be soft but direct when telling them you’re uncomfortable.

Let the conversation end if there’s nothing more to say.

Sometimes an emoji can be a good ending point to your conversation.

An emoji could mean that they don’t know what else to say. Take the hint and let the conversation end. You can always pick back up tomorrow with a new topic! For example, you don’t need to text them back if:

  • They respond with a “😊 (Smiling face with smiling eyes)” after you sent them a thinking-of-you text.
  • They send a “😂 (Face with tears of joy)” after you sent them a funny picture or story.
  • They send “👍🏽 (Thumbs up)” after a long text chain.

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