How people choose to express themselves when communicating says a lot about their emotional state, whether the conversation takes place in-person or in writing. To get a better handle on the hidden meanings behind e-mails, pay attention to how the message is phrased, Steve Tobak writes. Short messages can indicate annoyance, while longer ones generally show contentment, for example. "People who write with genuine humor and humility are usually relatively straightforward people you can trust," he notes.

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