While we are all taught how to form and shape basic letters when we learn how to write, over time we develop unique characteristics in our handwriting. And for those who can read the nuances of our handwriting, certain information about our personalities is notable. These people are called Graphologists.
Graphology (or handwriting analysis) is a blend of art and science. It is a science because it measures the structure and movement of the written forms – slants, angles, spacing and pressure are accurately calculated and observed. And it is an art because the graphologist constantly keeps in mind the total context in which the writing is taking place: the ‘gestalt’ of the writing as a whole.
According to Elaine Quigley, Chairman of The British Institute of Graphologists and with over 40 years’ experience: ‘Writing is “brainwriting” and the script and its placing on the page express the unique impulses of the individual, as the brain sends signals along the muscles to the writing implement they control.’ So, our writing is one of the ways we display or project ourselves into the world.
Movement, space and form
Writing consists of three things – movement, spacing and form. A graphologist studies these variations as they occur in each of these aspects of writing and attaches psychological interpretations to them.
While aspects such as size, slant and loops are examined in handwriting analysis, there are also other considerations, such as: pressure, upper zone, lower zone, middle zone, word spacing, line spacing, page margins, arcade, garland, thread, wavyline… just to name a few!
Graphologists often like to use samples of cursive handwriting to analyse. Cursive writing includes strokes that move upwards and downwards and connect with each other through angles and curves and expresses the emotions of the writer. It is modified according to states of mind and stages of maturity.
Try writing the phrase “She sells seashells on the seashore” in cursive and then have a look at the following examples. These are some of the various traits that graphologists look for when analysing a sample of writing.
If Your Writing Slants…
To the right: You are open to the world around you and like to socialize with other people.
To the left: You generally like to work alone or behind the scenes. If you are right-handed and your handwriting slants to the left, you may be expressing rebellion.
Not at all: You tend to be logical and practical. You are guarded with your emotions.
If the Size of Your Letters Is…
Large: You have a big personality. Many celebrities have large handwriting. It may suggest that you are outgoing and like the limelight.
Small: You are focused and can concentrate easily. You tend to be introspective and shy.
Average: You are well-adjusted and adaptable.
If Your Loops Are…
Closed for L (meaning the upstroke overlaps the downstroke): Feeling tense? This implies you are restricting yourself in some way.
Full for L: You are spontaneous and relaxed and find it easy to express yourself.
Closed for E: You tend to be sceptical and are unswayed by emotional arguments.
Full for E: You have an open mind and enjoy trying new things.
If Your S’s Are…
Round: You are a people-pleaser and seek compromise. You avoid confrontation.
Pointy: You are intellectually probing and like to study new things. The higher and pointier the peaks, the more ambitious you are.
Open at the bottom: You might not be following your heart. For example, you always wanted to be an artist, but you have a career in finance.
Printed: You are versatile.
Were you able to identify any of these characteristics in your writing style? Did you find them accurate?
If you’re curious to learn more about Graphology, explore the resources at The British Institute of Graphologists website.