Can one successfully analyse any type of writing?

All systems have their limitations and since handwriting analysis is a form of body-language reading, it has the same limitations as this latter skill.

Any respected expert in assessing personality from body-language will tell you that the amount of information they can derive depends upon the expressiveness of the person they are reading. Some people, like master poker players, have very few ‘tells’, and very little information can be derived from their ‘body-language’, whereas others are like an ‘open book’ and can be ‘read’ in an instant. Indeed, nearly everyone has experienced meeting people with voice characteristics, facial expressions, and gesticulations that clearly broadcast who they are and how they feeling.

And exactly the same scenario applies to handwriting analysis! Some samples of writing are so expressive and revealing, that a keen amateur graphologist could potentially produce a reasonably accurate and interesting profile with little effort. But not uncommonly, one can also come across a ‘poker faced’ sample of writing that is so inexpressive that even an expert will find difficulty in providing a useful analysis, and often the result of such reports will contain general statements which, though ‘accurate’, could easily apply to a wide variety of randomly chosen individuals.

So if you are a student of graphology and come across a very inexpressive handwriting sample that provides little information about someone, then I strongly suggest that either you refuse to analyse it on that basis, or if the client insists that you "have a go", and you decide to oblige them, it is advisable that you warn them that the report will be highly limited and largely superficial for the above reasons.

Is messy writing ‘bad writing’ and neat, nice-looking writing ‘good writing’?

Deviating from the way one was originally taught (e.g. copybook style) can potentially be a sign of higher than average intelligence, individuality, spontaneity and originality in the personality. So messy writing can actually reveal highly positive traits.

Successful artists, musicians and other highly creative people often have very messy writing. However, messy writing can also belong to people suffering from extreme stress and/or psychological and emotional instability and a lack of control over negative impulses. Other factors in the writing have to be examined to determine which characteristics apply. Neat, precise writing that deviates very little from copybook can have many positive qualities, depending upon other graphological indicators present in the sample. However, this style also belongs to people who generally feel obliged to conform – to follow strictly the rules and regulations made by those in authority over them. Broadly speaking, under a benevolent regime which respects human rights, these types are likely to be regarded as model citizens, displaying admirable social-minded behaviour patterns. But those with this same writing style living under a malevolent regime (e.g. dictatorial fascism or communism) are far more likely than messy writers to closely adhere to the rules and regulations of this regime without offering any resistance. However, other indicators in the writing need to be taken into account – for instance, a person of high intelligence with copybook style would be far less likely to conform to rules that are a breach of human rights.

Can anyone learn how to analyse handwriting?

Most normal, reasonably intelligent, healthy individuals can learn how to analyse writing. But just as a normal healthy adult can learn to sprint a full 100 metres without pause, but some have the potential to reach an elite level, whereas others could train many hours a day for years and still come last when racing against average 12-year-olds, the same sort of thing applies to graphology. Most people, with hard work, can develop at least mediocre skills in handwriting analysis – and there are ‘professionals’ who fall into this category. But to become a highly proficient professional in the field requires an incisive logial intellect that combined with an innate talent for the subject. Also, to compile a first-class graphological personality profile, it is essential to have a solid background knowledge and understanding of human psychology.

But my handwriting changes all the time depending on what I am writing and when I am writing ... what does this mean?

A good question, because some people question the validity of graphology for this very reason.

In the same way that your body language reflects your emotions and current state of mind, and the particular demands of any given moment, so too does your handwriting.

In the case of some people, these external influences, and their accompanying internal responses, have a very noticeable effect on the appearance of the writing, whereas in other cases the writing is far more resistant to change and maintains roughly the same appearance.

Each person’s writing, however, has a ‘core’ group of handwriting features that reveal the dominant forces and characteristics in the personality, and this remains largely the same irrespective of the degree of change in the appearance of the writing.

To give an analogy: sometimes the sea is very stormy, and then it looks completely different from when the weather is calm. However, even during a violent storm, the water deep below the surface remains largely unchanged. Similarly - (except in extremely rare cases when individuals are suffering from psychiatric personality disorders such as intermittent schizophrenia) - the periodic changes you notice in your own or other people’s writing which appear and disappear from the writing as mental focus, emotions and stress levels alter, usually represent only very insignificant changes in terms of how they affect the interpretation of personality . For instance, you can expect noticeable changes in the appearance of someone’s writing if they become temporarily depressed, fearful, angry or perhaps deeply absorbed in a particular activity.

So handwriting in general is in a constant state of flux, to a greater or lesser extent. However, although some believe that this means handwriting merely reflects the present moment, in fact, it is fundamentally shaped by the sum total of all past experiences – pleasant and unpleasant – which have made a deep impression on us. This is why, even if a person’s writing seems to alter very noticeably from day to day, or even moment to moment, it is only superficial temporary elements of the personality that are shifting and changing, because the core features of the handwriting, which are formed by the past, remain unaltered, and it is these which provide the expert graphologist with all the essential information pertaining to our fundamental nature. In this sense, a graphological profile is a window through which we can look at the effect on our personality and behaviour that has been exerted by the various events in our life that have conditioned who we have become today.

Can you tell the writer’s sex from a sample of handwriting?

The psychologist Carl Jung correctly observed that the human psyche is a blend of female (anima) and male (animus) characteristics, a mix of so-called ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ traits, and Freud spoke of ‘the great enigma of the biological fact of the duality of the sexes’. Every human secretes both male and female hormones – androgens and oestrogens, respectively. So it is no surprise that most writing has a mix of feminine and masculine traits.

But although there is a tendency for male writing to have more "typically male" characteristics, and vice versa with females, the difference in the proportional distribution of male and female traits is rarely sufficient to predict with a significant degree of accuracy, the sex of the writer. However, a competent graphologist may be able to achieve a higher score than a complete amateur if given the task of predicting the sex of a person from their writing, but that is only because predominantly masculine writings tend to belong to men and highly feminine writings tend to belong to women.

Does writing change with age?

Body appearance and body language alter with age, so it should come as no surprise to learn that writing also does. And just as some old people look, move and act as if they are 20 or more years younger than their actual age, and some young people look and behave as though they are much older than they are, the same applies to writing – which in some cases may look as if it belongs to a much younger person or, conversely, to a much older person.

Can a person intentionally alter their writing to fool a graphologist?

If a person has a good knowledge of graphology, and especially if they possess calligraphic skills, then most certainly, they could potentially fool even a highly skilled professional graphologist (though many such individuals might prefer not to admit this fact) and under such circumstances, the graphological report will not represent who they really are. However, if someone with zero knowledge of the principles used in graphological interpretation tried to disguise their writing for this purpose, it is likely that they would still leave in the altered handwriting style, sufficient information for a competent graphologist to detect accurately the core features of their nature.

I write my letter ‘g’ in a variety of different ways, and sometimes my writing slopes rightward and at other times it leans leftward ... what does this mean?

When there are style changes – such as changes in the slope or size of the writing – or there are different ways in which individual letters are written, the personality characteristics attributed to each expression are active at different times. For instance, when the writing is sloping forwards the person is in a more sociable state of mind, and when it shifts rearwards, they feel more need for solitude and thus are more likely to reduce social contact. And the same applies for the varying meanings attributed to each letter shape. It is the job of the graphologist to work out – from other aspects of the writing – which of the different personality characteristics are dominant and which are only temporary surface changes in the psyche.

Can the potential for violence be seen in handwriting?

If the graphological signs for violence are strongly present in a writing, then you can be almost certain that violence will sooner or later be exhibited in that person’s behaviour, unless they have undergone effective therapy to treat the problem. However, the absence of graphological signs of violence in no way guarantees an absence of violent behaviour.

Exactly the same applies in the field of body language reading: violent body language invariably reveals a violent person, though some people with zero body language indicators of violence may also turn out to be violent.

As a general rule, in graphology: if you see a particular sign, then the personality characteristic or behaviour it indicates will invariably be present, but the absence of this same sign does not always mean the behaviour is not present.

Do all the letters of the alphabet provide information about personality and behaviour?

Yes, but not all letters are ‘born equal’. Some letters reveal far more information about a person than others, and a graphologist will examine these first, especially if they are short of time. The most important small letters are the ‘a’, ‘d’, ‘g’, ‘m’ and ‘t’, because taken together, these can disclose many aspects of behaviour that enable one to build up a rapid mini-profile of someone’s personality.

How does a graphologist work?

I operate differently from many graphologists who go to great lengths to comment on every personality trait they can detect in a handwriting, however small. Over many years of studious research, I have noted that although a human being has an abundance of different characteristics which add together to form the total personality, it is only the really strong dominant characteristics which significantly influence behaviour, and these are few in number. So in a piece of handwriting containing, say, 60 identifiable writing features, only a few dominant ones, perhaps five or six, will play an essential role in revealing the vast majority of that person’s actual behaviour and personality. Often, I will ignore all the remaining ‘minor’ features due to their insignificant influence over the individual’s life, because I feel that to include them creates a misleading sense of a person’s fundamental nature, and detracts from the formation of a clear personality portrait.

Can you tell what kind of work the writer has from his/her handwriting?

Rarely. However, there are some obvious exceptions to this rule: to give an example, if you noticed musical notes decorating a person’s writing, you could deduce that they certainly have a strong interest in music and so if you chose to hazard a "guess" and say that the person is a professional musician, there is a fair chance you might be correct. Or if you see block capitals written in a manner that reveals excellent manual dexterity and you see the doodle of a car alongside the writing, then you might suggest the person is a car mechanic, and there is a far higher than average probability that you will turn out to be right.

Can handwriting analysis reveal the future?

It depends upon what you mean by this. If a writing reveals excellent health, and high energy, motivation and persistence that combines with a focused mind and an exceptionally versatile intelligence that is well adapted to performing at a high level in both the arts and sciences, then you could potentially ‘predict’ the future by saying: “This person is very likely to be highly successful in their life in whatever area they choose. If they choose to become a lawyer, then they will become a top lawyer. If they choose to become a doctor, then they will be a first-class doctor, etc etc.” So in this sense, graphology can potentially accurately ‘reveal’ or "predict" a person’s future.

Similarly, with regards to the area of relationship, if you see writing signs of extreme tyranny, violence, laziness and complete lack of self-discipline, then you can predict with a high degree of accuracy that in the future all this person’s relationships will be a disaster.

What if the analysis highlights characteristics that I feel sure can’t be right?

You may at times uncover a personality characteristic that you feel can’t be right because you can see no outward sign of it. There are several possible explanations for this. Perhaps you do not know the person sufficiently well to judge? Or maybe you have poor instinct for assessing human nature. Alternatively, the trait might be a latent potential that the person themselves is not even aware of. Sometimes, however, if a person becomes aware of an undesirable trait, they may have chosen to inhibit its expression – a human being can potentially free themselves from the influence of most behaviour patterns, if the wish to change is strong enough. Alternatively, the characteristic may exist but is concealed from everyone with the exception of those who are exceptionally close to them.

Also, you should take into account the fact that personalities are complex, so one particular characteristic may manifest itself in different ways, depending upon the person with whom that person is interacting. Also, someone obsessed with money might not display the expected handwriting signs, but instead, they may display traits that reveal a love of attention – for them, money is not an end in itself, merely a means chosen to achieve ‘celebrity status’. To give other examples: someone who is a good mechanic might not have the corresponding graphological features that indicate this, but instead they have a sharp analytical mind that has allowed them effectively to learn a skill that might not be an innate potential. And someone known to be jealous may not show up as that, but as ‘fault-finding’.

Can graphologists analyse block capitals and printscript?

Yes. However, honest graphologists will admit that the amount of information theycan glean from writing that is written solely in block capitals is usually (though admittedly, not always) significantly less than in the case of those who write in normal cursive writing. Analysing printed writing presents more of a challenge than cursive script but, using the basic principles of graphology, slant, layout, pressure, etc, you can still often derive a wealth of information from this type of script.