January 29, 2020

Shrug Emoji 101 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Q. How to type shrug emoji?

A. The easiest way to type a shoulder shrug text emoji will be to copy it from down here:


Emojis have been around for a while now. Their invention has made communication easier and more expressive. Emojis first appeared on Japanese mobile phones in 1997 and took over the world of messaging in 2010s. Emojis have become quite popular and a conversation without these little expressive icons feels empty and lacking.

Initially, there were limited number of emojis available but with the passage of time, more and more emojis have been created and included in software worldwide. New emojis are developed after a pressing need for their existence is felt. This is exactly the reason why an emoji called ‘Shrug Emoji’ came into existence.

What is A Shrug Emoji?

A ‘Shrug Emoji’ is represented by a person raising their hands and shoulders with arms lying flat for a brief moment. Sometimes, the shrugging person may have a droopy mouth and closed eyes to represent a sad shrug and at others, it may have raised eyebrows and a frowning expression. A Shrug emoji may also include facial expressions conveying ‘I don’t care’ attitude.

Shrug Emoji was introduced in the world of emojis in 2016. It can be made by using the shortcode “:man_shrugging:”. A shrugging emoji is often referred to as an emblem. This means it includes non-verbal cues and gestures which can be used in place of words to convey a message in many cultures.

Shrug emoji was created to express a multitude of feelings. From indifference to ignorance, the shrugging gesture implies that the person making it either is not aware of the details of matters or simply lacks interest. It may also imply feelings of total shock.

When & How to Use a Shrug Emoji?

In order to gain a better understanding of this emoji, let’s have a closer look at how this emoji can be used to express one’s feelings in various circumstances.

When You Feel Annoyed

You may use this emoji when you feel annoyed by someone or feel a need to distance yourself from them. You could simply type in this emoji in place of any words in response to their queries or texts. Making this emoji in place of any words will give them the message ‘Yeah, Whatever!’.

They will know your lack of interest by you making this emoji. Even though this comes off as a little bit rude but this is exactly how it is used to convey one’s annoyance in the world of emojis and messaging. However, when expressing your annoyance, you may want to use the frowning expression in combination with the general ‘raised arms, shoulders and flat hands’ shrugging gesture.

When You Feel Indifferent

A shrug emoji can also be used when you feel indifferent towards a situation. It is also a way of saying ‘Does it look like I care?’. Again this expression comes off as a little impolite but then this is the message youth conveys by using this emoji. However, when conveying your indifference your facial expressions would neither be merry nor frowning. They would be ‘indifferent’ too. Thus, when you use the shrug emoji, select the one that actually comes off as indifferent.

When You Feel Ignorant

This is one of the most popular situations where people use the shrugging icon. When someone asks you a question or talks to you about a particular subject and you feel point-blank ignorant of it, you may use this emoji. It will help you express your ignorance and lack of knowledge with just a gesture. Using a shrug emoji, in this case, helps people read the ‘I have no idea bro/sis’ message without typing a single word.

When You Feel Helpless

People may also use shrugging emoji to express their helplessness in certain situations. For example, you might come to cross a person ranting about their life and wanting a response from you. After giving them a considerable amount of time, you realize your friend/acquaintance has no intention of getting over their issues and ending the venting session. You feel helpless and think to yourself ‘I can’t think of anything else to help her with her problems.’ This is exactly the moment you can type in the helplessly shrugging emoji to convey your sentiments to the other person. You are telling them that ‘I realize your struggles but I cannot really help you with them.’

When you are Unable to Understand Something

When a person is unable to understand a situation or a point being made, they can simply use the shrugging emoji to express their lack of understanding. A shrug emoji used in such a case will let the other part know ‘I don’t get it’.

When You want to Express Your Dismay

You can use shrugging to express your concern too. There are situations in which a person just shrugs and lets the other person know that ‘Whatever happened was a bad thing and shouldn’t have taken place in the first place’.

When You are Unable to Express Yourself

A shrug emoji is used when a person fails to express themselves in a situation. This inability of expression may either stem from them feeling overwhelmed and at loss of words or genuine lack of sentiments.

Other Uses

Other places where a shrugging emoji could be used include when acting passive-aggressively towards a person. So there’s a person you dislike but you can never really assert them. Therefore, you decide to reply to their conversations with a shrugging emoji as if to say ‘I’m not interested anyway’.

Apart from this, a shrugging emoji can also be used to express self-acceptance. It is interesting that while this emoji, in most instances, is used to express dissociation. In this particular case, it is used to express acceptance, association, and inclination towards one’s own ideas and beliefs. It is a good way of expressing ‘I don’t care what others think’.

Lastly, a shrugging emoji can also be used to express doubts and uncertainty. It can be used as if to say ‘Who knows what might happen next?’.

The shrugging emoji has evolved a lot over years, from being the simple man shrugging option to the inclusion of both genders and all skin colors. No wonder it has gained so much popularity among users and is used widely on all devices and across all social media platforms.


Boy Shrug Emoji png Girl Shrug Emoji png Boy Shrug Emoji

Girl Shrug Emoji

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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