Your handwriting is more than just letters on a page — it can reveal a number of personality traits and characteristics about yourself that you might not have ever really considered. We recently spoke with some incredibly interesting experts about the fascinating subject of handwriting analysis, so grab a paper and pen, and keep reading to see what you might discover!
What is graphology?
Graphology is dedicated to the analysis of handwriting and studies individual strokes to help determine someone's character and personality traits. "Handwriting is a neurological function — as you write, your brain sends messages through the nervous system into the movements of your hands and fingers," explains Elaine Charal, certified handwriting analyst. "Since no one else has the exact same neurological make-up as you do, your handwriting is as much a part of your true identity as your fingerprints." It's important to note that of course the traits revealed through your handwriting isn't a full picture of your personality.
"The uniqueness of each person depends on their physical, emotional and mental attributes, along with the person's genetics, culture, circumstances, health, etc." says Jane O'Brien, Certified Graphologist and Treasurer of AAHA (American Association of Handwriting Analysts). "Additionally, a number of other factors come into play with handwriting analysis like how a person is feeling; what hand they use; what they're writing about; the purpose of the writing, the pen, paper, or card they're using; and the space and position they're in as they write."
Tell me more...
Charal kindly offered to analyze my own handwriting, and after returning a handwriting sample form to her which included a few sentences and my signature, she sent back several in-depth paragraphs highlighting a multitude of personality traits. For example, she told me, "Your writing indicates you're a strong person in a soft way.
This is seen in the dominant area in your writing being your lower-case letters (as opposed to your upper or lower loops). These large lower-case letters indicate you can be strong minded when you want something: when you want something, you have a high percentage of being able to achieve!" She also pointed out many additional traits I felt to be very accurate from a good sense of humor to a tendency to take care of others first.
Keep scrolling to uncover what your handwriting might say about you:
Size of Letters
Michelle Dresbold, nationally recognized handwriting expert, author of Sex, Lies and Handwriting, speaker and artist, tells Lively that people who write in large letters tend to have big personalities, like attention, and may have a hard time sitting still, while alternatively, those who prefer small handwriting are often a bit more introverted and have a strong attention to detail.
If you write with a slant toward the right, Angela Burrage, certified handwriting analyst and member of AAHA, notes you might be quite extroverted. "These writers are often willing to share experiences and thoughts, and are seen as outgoing, friendly and forthright," she says.
On the other hand, she points out that left slanters tend to be introverted and it might take time for you to get close to people, but once this happens, you're a good friend for life. Lastly, if you notice that your writing has no slant, Burrage says you might be dominated by reason and have a good sense of self-control and restraint.
The amount of pressure you put into your handwriting can also reveal some interesting character traits. Dresbold says if you write with heavy pressure, you may have an intense and driven personality, as well as potential difficulty letting things go. A soft pen pressure could mean you're a bit less intense, quite a spiritual person, and much more likely to easily forgive.
Burrage tells Lively that the amount of space left between words can be an indication of the writer's feeling of closeness or distance between themselves and others. "If there are wide spaces, the writer prefers a distance in their interactions with others, and narrow spacing can mean the person craves companionship and is fearful of loneliness."
According to Charal, the closer the "i" dots are to the stem, the more detail-oriented that person will be. Dresbold adds if you dot your "i's" with an open circle, you might like attention and creating things (think arts and crafts); if you use a heart, you could be a bit of a romantic; and if you have a tendency to dot your "i's" with a slash, it could equate to impatience and a temper.
Consider The Letter "T"
Charal explains that the way you cross your "t's" can be telling. "The higher the bar is on the stem, the higher the person's goals, and the more they will want to stretch their talents and abilities," she says.
If you don't dot your "i's" or cross your "t's," and it looks like the writing is well-integrated (i.e. the letters appear to "belong together" in a rhythmic fashion), Charal says it's called "executive writing," and suggests you may rather delegate.
Open and closed "O's"
If you typically close your "o's," Dresbold points out you may prefer to keep to yourself, while left open "o's" can suggest you're a bit on the chattier side and enjoy communicating with others. Page margins "The margins are more important than you would think," notes Burrage.
"The chosen margin can indicate the writer's attitude toward society, as well as the extent to which writer is held back in life by past experiences." If you use the left margins, Burrage says you may be thrifty and have a preference for family and established routines, whereas writers who favor the right margin have a tendency to be goal-oriented, strive for achievement and enjoy interacting with others.
Shape of Letters
If you notice your letters are typically rounded, Burrage says you may be quite kind and welcoming. If your letters are very loopy, she points out you could be emotional and creative. A tendency to connect letters may correspond with a "logical, sequential mind and an ability to go step-by-step through a problem until a conclusion is reached," notes Charal. She adds that pointed letters, like needle points on 'm's' and 'n's,'" suggest sharp, comprehensive thinking.
Clarity Of Writing
Finally, take a look at the clarity of your writing. "Someone whose text is messy or unreadable is projecting that they don't want their thoughts to be known to others, while overly neat writing can indicate a desire for perfection," says Charal.
"Neat writing with a rigid baseline can indicate 'ruler writing' where the individual is so concerned with being out of control, they need to only show their writing done with a ruler to others lest they appear out of control." She adds that if a writer's handwriting was neat and suddenly becomes sloppy, this can indicate the person's hand was getting tired, or perhaps their mood shifted as they were in the middle of writing.