Your writing can say a lot about you, but it’s not just the words you commit to paper that happen to be telling—it’s the way you write them.
Dr. Annette Poizner, author of Clinical Graphology: An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners, describes graphology, or handwriting analysis, as the process of “seeing handwriting as a metaphor.” Working off of the principle that “people are so expressive that they express themselves in virtually everything they do,” otherwise known as projective psychology, graphologists are able to infer certain likely behavioral traits from someone’s handwriting, Dr. Poizner explains.
While Poizner cautions that she typically views handwriting within the scope of a patient’s other modes of expression—such as drawings, jokes, or stories—she nonetheless affirms that one’s way of putting pen to paper can often reveal significant parts of a personality that may otherwise be latent. If, she says, after doing so, the same “behavioral maneuvers” inferred from the handwriting are also found elsewhere in someone’s life, “then you’re probably onto something.” So, before you commit your words to paper again, make sure you know what your handwriting says about you.
You abbreviate your first name: You seek privacy.
“Since the first name represents the private self,” says Poizner—as opposed to the surname used in titles in public life—a choice to abbreviate this name indicates the writer is “using caution when self-disclosing.” In addition, she says, they are likely “more prone to being discreet” about matters of all kinds.
Your words have severe angles: You’re feeling dominant.
A highly angular signature, says Poizner—like one in which it seems as if the words had been blown by a strong wind—indicates the writer has “strong analytical skills.” It also indicates a more “controlling, dominant type of personality,” and one that is often less socially-savvy than its peers.
You draw circles everywhere: You’re feeling defensive.
Big circles within a signature or in words, says Poizner, point to a “defensive posture” and an orientation toward “self-protection.” Just like the smaller letters hiding with these circles, she explains, the writer “may be withholding secrets” or experiencing a “certain insecurity.”
You use all-caps: You have an independent streak.
If someone tends to write in all caps, says Poizner, that likely means they are “independent minded” and “defiant.” As an example, she points to the all-caps signature of Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and a rebellious personality if ever there was one.
You write in an irregular style: You’re sensing chaos.
If someone’s writing style is irregular—mixing in different sizes, fonts, and tilts—that may indicate they have difficulties with “emotional modulation,” says Poizner. In addition, she explains, it may point to difficulties maintaining a healthy blood sugar level or even sustaining a productive work ethic.
You use varied I’s: You have a weak sense of self.
If a writer uses many different forms of the letter “I” throughout their work—some block, some cursive, some just a straight line—that indicates, says Poizner, that the writer “lacks a stable sense of self-identity.” After all, if they don’t know themselves, how are they supposed to project a stable image into the page?
Your words are contracted: You’re under pressure.
If someone’s writing appears contracted—as if squeezed from both sides like an accordion—says Poizner, it likely indicates they are feeling “pressurized.” Whether it’s internal or external, she says, the pressure one feels inevitably ends up being placed on their words, resulting in what appears to be a compressed handwriting.
You use light pressure: You’re feeling sensitive.
If someone places very light pressure on the page—leaving marks that seem more like pencil than pen—says Poizner, that likely points to an “emotional sensitivity” or “emotional issues.” You can almost hear their pen saying: “Don’t push me, ‘cause I’m close to the edge.”
Your letters are rounded: You’re in touch with your community.
Highly rounded letters, says Poizner, show that the writer is more “expressive, emotional, and warm-hearted.” So maybe next time you go on a date, bring some forms for your partner to fill out—you’ll get a good idea of what kind of emotional connection they’re capable of.
You create large spaces: You’re feeling distant.
Extra wide spaces between words, says Poizner—defining “extra wide” as larger than one character width—indicate “somebody who is distant.” Just like their letters, she says, they may “have difficulty making contact.”
Your letters are tiny: You’re introverted.
Tiny handwriting, according to Poizner, shows that the writer possesses “strong concentration skills.” Much like their hard-to-see words, however, they’re also often difficult to understand: they tend to be “introverted,” she says, and “rather private.”
Your words are large: You desire attention.
Unsurprisingly, those who write the largest, says Poizner, have a “desire to stand out.” The expansiveness of their writing, she explains, is yet another manifestation of their desire for expansiveness in the real world.
Your writing has small spaces: You crave close contact.
When a writer places their words very close together, causing a cramped appearance, Poizner says it indicates that they are craving “inappropriately close contact.” Inasmuch as they want their words to get to know each other a little too much—blurring the line between one word and the next—so goes their experience with others.
Your words have perfect style: You’re a conventional person.
Having a perfect textbook writing style indicates that the author is “conforming” and “conventional,” says Poizner. As opposed to those who write in all caps—the rebellious ones, if you’ll recall—this person has clearly been following directions closely since they first learned to write.
You have a unique signature: You have very different public and private lives.
If a writer uses a signature which is radically different in style than the rest of their writings, says Poizner, this may indicate that the person has “a public image that contrasts with his or her self-perception.” Just as their writing appears to come from two separate people, she says, they themselves may feel as if they occupy two different selves.
Your signature has entwined names: You’re close with your family.
If in their signature a person’s first name and surname tend to overlap, says Poizner, this likely indicates a “close involvement” with whomever they received that surname from, whether it be a parent or a spouse. In certain cases, she warns, it may even point to a “dependence” or an “over-involvement” with that person.
You carefully cross T’s and dot I’s: You’re a highly detailed person.
No surprise here: people who carefully “cross their T’s and dot their I’s” do, in fact, tend to cross their T’s and dot their I’s. They also tend to be conscientious, says Poizner, refusing to leave behind even the smallest of markings.
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