Try your hand at writing analysis

Molly Cahill

If crime dramas like “Law and Order” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” are to be believed, then our handwriting can identify us almost as certainly as the fingerprints left behind on a murder weapon. Unlike fingerprints, it is said that our personality and the way we think can be seen through how we write.

“For honesty you look to the closing of S’s, if the S’s are closed that indicates honesty. If the S’s are open it can indicate anything from ‘I’m capable of getting through the loopholes’ to ‘I’m somebody who commits dishonest acts, I go out and rob banks,’” said handwriting analyst Paul Dau.

The people who study this field professionally are called graphologists. They are taught to recognize the minutia of our signatures and handwriting styles that may prove we are, who we say we are or even that we possess a tightly wound narcissistic personality.

Handwriting analysis is a process of comparison, part science and part intuition.

“People ask whether it’s scientific, and my answer to that is yes to some degree it has to be, it’s a little bit different from tea leaves and psychics, we actually base it on something which is the difference between how you write now and how you wrote when you learned to write. All the people in the United States are pretty much taught the same system of writing, there hasn’t been a change in it for 90 years,” Dau said.

Nearly anyone could learn to understand how to do it, at least to some extent, if given a few days.

“You learn things as you go, and it’s not immediately out there nor can I give you all of the information of what I look at, but generally people could learn it in a few days of just sitting and talking with somebody who does it,” Dau said.

Here are a few examples of what graphologists, like Dau, look at when analyzing handwriting samples.

The large style of handwriting indicates that she likes to be noticed and stands out in a crowd. She has a broad perspective and makes an impression on people. She is also bold, ego driven and action oriented. She may not be given to detail and could be egocentric.

The upward slant to the baseline of her handwriting shows that at the time she was writing she had an optimistic, upbeat and positive can-do attitude. It emphasizes a view that she is feeling ambitious and hopeful. A downward slant on the other hand would indicate a tired, overwhelmed or pessimistic outlook, a person who is not feeling hopeful and sees more of a chance for failure than success.

The general slant of her letters is to the right, which indicates that she is a social and responsive person who is interested in others. She has a good coping ability, is an extroverted, outgoing and friendly person. She also has a future directed personality. A stronger slant to the right would indicate a person that is impulsive and has a need to relate to others. They would also be future directed but would let their emotions rule them as they tend toward spontaneity and impulsiveness. A stronger rightward slant would also indicate an enthusiastic and demonstrative personality.

The small size of her writing indicates she is an introspective person who does not seek out attention. She is modest and pays attention to detail. She has good concentration and is generally humble. She may also be self-actualized. A person with very small writing would indicate a private person who tries to stay out of the limelight. They would be introverted and would also have good concentration, would also be precise and cerebral. They would have a low-key personality but would also be selective.

Medium-sized handwriting indicates that she is an adaptable person and can fit into crowds. It also indicates she is balanced, practical and realistic about things. she would work well both in groups and on her own.

“You [are] persistent and fairly non-aggressive but when you get into something you go after it. That’s all within your T-crossings. The longer these T-crossings the more persistent you tend to be. If T-crossings start behind the line, the farther back they are the less aggressive you are. Most of your T-crossings start fairly far back behind the line but they continue well beyond the line and that says there’s a persistency. If they start at the line and move forward there’s aggressiveness.”

“I look at individual letters to see if things are written up above the line or below the line or kind of where they fall. You do a lot up into the upper realm and that says intellectual capability or that [you] tend to look at things in a more intellectual or logical way. More emotional will come down below the line and you would see that even though most of the letter tend to be those that are higher like the L’s and H’s and that type of thing. If you are highly emotional those letters will come on down into that lower level.”

“You also have some tightness in your shoulders or neck; you tend to carry the weight of the world there.”

“It’s by the heaviness in your letters in the upper area of the letter, that this S has a little bit of extra in it, this L has a little bit of heavier shadow.”

“Your stomach bothers you, especially in situations that are new or it can cause you some anxiety and the butterflies go off in the stomach area.“

“This inside of here, this is basically inside the middle of the B is the stomach area and you can see that there’s an effect there, it could say that there’s pain in there now, but it would generally tell me especially if it’s only in one letter that it’s not there all the time but anxiety can cause it or create it.”

“Generally writing from one side of the page to the other side as you do indicates you are kind of open and expansive. It also indicates that especially if at the end of the line you’re trying to fit some word in, it says that I’m overloaded with stuff, I tend to do or put into my day too much, and I don’t have enough time to get it all done. The shorter that line the more controlled a person is the more they like to be in charge of what’s going on they like to know exactly what’s going to happen and those are the people who are more likely to take on committee chairmanships or presidencies or that kind of thing. They want to know exactly what’s going to happen so they want to handle it.”

“Notice the difference in your writing between your handwritten signature and your printing as you go through it. The handwriting says basically to me through the difference I can see that you would be very capable of teaching somebody.”

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