Handwriting Analysis and the Secrets of Graphology

What does your handwriting reveal about you, your friends, dates, and family members?

By observing some handwriting basics like size, slant, and letter formations, this basic guide will allow you to begin analyzing other peoples’ hand writings immediately.

Handwriting analysis is a useful tool for teachers, counselors, bosses, and anyone who works with people. Parents can watch their children’s handwriting for signs of drug or alcohol abuse or serious depression.

Handwriting is referred to as “brain-writing” because it requires full attention. Try talking about something unrelated while handwriting. Writing is as individualized as finger prints.

Start with a good writing sample. It should contain several sentences written in pencil or fountain pen on unlined paper. Ball point pens and felt-tipped pens lose the “shadings” of writing, but they can still be analyzed.

The lengthier the sample, the better. Postcards, grocery lists, sticky notes, and envelopes are trickier and require more experience in analyzing. Writers may start out consciously trying to “create” a “good” sample, which is a bit artificial. The more natural, the better.

Most Americans learned to write a certain way in elementary school: from left to right on the page. People in other countries write from right to left; some are taught a much more angular style.

Personality traits are based on the variations from the norm. You cannot tell whether a person is male or female from handwriting, but you can note masculine or feminine traits.

People’s writings change from day to day, according to moods, but they should not change too much or something else may be going on, like drugs or depression. Handwriting reveals character traits, which should stay fairly consistent.

You need to know what “normal” is before you can analyze abnormal.

Extremes in writing denote exaggerations of the traits indicated. An untrained person can look at another person’s writing and often tell something about that person. This is no mystery.

The way you place your thoughts on paper is similar to how you think about Life in general.

SIZE: A shy person doesn’t write large letters. Large-script writers live large: They are outgoing, ongoing, bored with details, sometimes restless and impatient.

Detail-oriented people write small letters in a controlled script. They are in concentration mode; they have patience, and they are observant.

Scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and, hopefully, students often write small script.

The medium-sized writer describes an average person who must be defined by other tell-tale traits.

Overly large writing can denote arrogance and a wish to dominate others. In fact, excessively large writing can denote mental illness.

Very small: these people want to disappear into the shadows, and they can be stingy besides.

An exaggeration of any trait is often undesirable.

BASELINES: We tend to write in straight lines across the page. A person who writes uphill is generally an optimist who sees the glass half full. They are hopeful, energetic people. Downhill is the pessimist. Extreme downhill can be suicidal.

Even lines = even-tempered, steady. Up and down can be quick-changing moods. Watch for exaggerations or changes from day to day.

Personalities should be stable. You are not an introvert one day and an extrovert the next; generous one day and stingy the next. Well, maybe, if a big bill is coming due, and you get your spending under control. Moods and self-control change from day to day but, overall, one’s personality doesn’t.

Again, compare a sample to “normal,” and compare the same person’s writings over a period of time to look for pattern changes. Don’t expect to become a graphologist overnight or become an armchair psychologist after reading this.

It takes a few weeks or months of seriously studying differences in writing before you can pick up on individual traits. But handwriting can be a genuinely useful tool in understanding how others are thinking or feeling.

SLANT = emotions: heart vs. head. Americans were taught to slightly lean their writing forward in school-book style. Right slant = heart-felt, sensitive, emotional natures.

Left-slant = repression; inhibition. Be aware that some left-handed writers learned to use a left slant to avoid smearing their writing. Note that some teen-agers think this style looks cool and do it on purpose.

Vertical writers = good reasoning powers, good judgment, self-reliance. Too vertical = cold; arrogant; insecure.

CONNECTIONS between words = logical vs. intuitive. The more connected, the more reasoning power used, the more logical, but they are less creative and have fewer hunches. Separated = more intuitive; imaginative. Good for writers and artists.

People who print are often quite artistic; they need high quality form to show the degree of their artistry and whether they are expressing it. Sometimes mathematicians, engineers and people of certain other professions find this style the easiest to read, and they use it to get their points across c-l-e-a-r-l-y.

SPACING between words and lines shows the degree of organization of thoughts. Overlapping lines shows confusion or jumbled thoughts.

MARGINS show the ability to plan and follow through on thoughts. Wide left margins = generosity of spirit. No margins = stingy hoarders and sometimes overly busy. Writing all over the page and adding after-thoughts into all margins can show someone who is confused, over-extended, or at a breaking point.

ZONES = height of tall letters like h’s and l’s = height of aspiration and goals or downward strokes (below lines) of y’s and g’s dip into materialism and sexuality. The middle zone represents everyday life and practicality. The 3 zones should be balanced. An imbalance shows a stronger emphasis is put on that area: (high) = spirituality, ideals, and dreams vs. (middle) = inhibitions and guilt vs. (low) = hearty appetites (eating, drinking, and sexual) and a desire for material security.

SHAPE = angular writers (like pointy m’s) are aggressive, independent, strong-willed; rounded letter forms show writers who are passive, dependent, gentle, peace-loving.

PRESSURE on paper enough to leave indentations on back side of paper = intensity of emotion. Heavy = self-confident, forceful, emotionally intense vs. lightweights = more spiritual-minded, gentle, sensitive natures.

SPEED = how quickly one thinks and acts. Can be tied to a level of intelligence. Slow shows self-control, methodical. Too slow can be lazy or dull witted. Fast = spontaneous, hasty, maybe rash. When letters are drawn too fast, with poorly formed letters, speed denotes anxiety. If script contains a lot of errors and corrections, it can mean mental instability.

LOOPS = height shows how high we reach; depth shows physical activity and the material nature. Width of loops shows a degree of “how much” is involved. Wide, high tops shows imagination, sensitivity, spiritual nature, musical ability. Long and low = strong sexual nature, materialistic nature, great physical energy. If long and low and wide, that trait is exaggerated.

CAPITALS show how we feel about authority, personal pride, and tastes. Large = great pride and elaborate tastes. Small = modest, cooperative, simple tastes.

The capital “I” can tell a lot about a person. This represents the self and may be used in different forms throughout one sample. “I’s” can show simple tastes, conceit, caution, loyalty, one who demands attention, rebelliousness, modesty, and connectedness to the male and female parent (among other things).

T-BARS show temper, spirit, drive, will power, and how one deals with situations. How it is balanced on the t-base and whether it is pointed or blunted shows if one is well-balanced, quick-tempered, sensitive, obstinate, has guilt feelings, is sharp-tongued, snobbish, has high ambitions, is a daydreamer, or has brutal tendencies.

Small letters, t-strokes, i-dots, and letter endings should reinforce the overall personality traits you find in other parts of an analysis. These are often written unconsciously. Even if someone is trying to “fool you” on an analysis – if these signs are consistent with other traits in the writing – you are probably fairly accurate about the person.

The SIGNATURE shows what a person wants you to see; how that person wants to be seen by the world. If it is at odds with what the writing reveals about the true nature of that person, you may know them better than they do themselves.

Negative signs: DISHONESTY. This requires a combination of negative traits seen in writing. If at least 4 of the following signs are present, the person is probably untrustworthy. If letters are opened at the base (try this; this is hard to do); the letters differ in size and thickness; the pressure is noticeably uneven; letter endings (or tails) look snake-like and fat on a wavy baseline of writing; vertical strokes overlap; there are little curls in the beginning and ending strokes; the writing is exaggerated or artificial looking; first strokes are repeated; left slant in capitals and finals; omitted letters in common words; writing with many corrections; and/or knots in the small letters.

MENTAL ILLNESS is shown by overlapping letter forms, uneven writing, changes in size and shape of letter forms, changes in pressure throughout the same sample, variations in the same letter throughout the sample, disconnected letter forms, muddied pressure. Obviously, signs of confusion, secretiveness, arrogance, hypocrisy, etc. add up to problems.

Handwriting analysis is a genuine tool for knowing the real people behind the “masks” you meet.

Pick up a simple “Dell” purse-sized booklet on “Handwriting Analysis” (at the checkout counters of many stores) for less than $3 and start studying every sample of writing you can get your hands on. You can “graduate” into volumes of works as you get intrigued by the possibilities.

Handwriting analysis is fun and studying it can put you on the inside track of knowing who’s who.