What is graphology?

Handwriting analysis, also known as ‘graphology’, is the assessment of personality, behaviour and general psychological state of the writer, derived from analysing the physical characteristics of handwriting.

MRIs, cardiograms and encephalograms let you know what is happening inside your body, heart and brain, and, similarly, your handwriting is like a ‘scan’ of your psyche that reveals your physical nature, emotions and way of thinking, which are determined by individual genetic tendencies interacting with, and shaped by, your life experiences.

The knowledge and principles it uses are the result of decades of empirical research, and its accuracy has been statistically verified by numerous large corporations (but only in the case of corporations who have been fortunate enough to employ competent practitioners of this system!)

It reveals a person’s values, beliefs, personality traits, talents and abilities, providing an accurate picture of the personality in general. It does not reveal gender, race, religion, age, or handedness, so it is non-discriminatory.

Graphology satisfies a deeply rooted genetic need in human beings. When we meet someone for the first time, especially if future social contact is being considered, or is unavoidable, we may shake hands and exchange polite verbal formalities, but underneath this visible ritual a more primal process is taking place. Human beings automatically size one another up and classify each other according to their own systems of measurement, part of a ‘survival’ response bent on assessing factors such as possible future friendships, potential adversaries, survivally beneficial connections or even the opportunity to dominate – a genetic behaviour pattern that extends throughout most of the animal kingdom.

Graphology is an invaluable means for satisfying this natural desire, because it can reveal even personality traits and potential behaviour patterns that have been skilfully hidden. The social ‘mask’ that others adopt will no longer hide them from your view and this will allow you to truly know and understand your friends, family and work associates at far deeper levels than ever before. Even the personality of deceased relatives, whom you barely remember or never met, no longer need to remain a mystery, provided that you have a piece of their handwriting.

In addition, you will be in a position, potentially, to achieve a deeper understanding of yourself and your real potentials which can assist you in making wiser choices in your life. Most important of all, however, graphology can let you know in advance – long before you become emotionally involved – what a prospective partner is really going to be like to live or work with. Any relationship can prove difficult, but a significant contributing factor is the mutual "behaviour censorship" or even intentional deception, that typically characterizes the early stages of most relationships.

For when we meet someone with whom we want to start a relationship, what we like about them is frequently the censored version of that person, the ‘costume’ they don to play their chosen role. They also fall into the same trap about us. After a while the real selves emerge and may be totally incompatible, though the personalities of the original roles may have been perfectly suited. With the assistance of handwriting analysis, such mistakes can be avoided.

Some people question the validity of graphology, because they point out that examples written at different times can look very different from one another. This observation is indeed accurate, but these changes (except in extremely rare cases where individuals are suffering from psychiatric personality disorders such as intermittent schizophrenia) usually represent only very insignificant, temporary aspects of the personality which appear and disappear from the writing, whenever mental focus, emotions and stress levels change. For instance, you can expect noticeable changes in the appearance of someone’s writing if they suddenly become depressed, fearful, angry or perhaps deeply absorbed in a particular activity.

So it is true, that writing is in a constant state of flux, to a greater or lesser extent. However, although from this perspective, handwriting seems merely to reflect 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 generally only the superficial temporary elements of the personality that are shifting and changing, because the core features of the handwriting, which are formed by significant events from our past, tend to remain unaltered, and it is these which can provide the expert graphologist with all the essential information pertaining to the core aspects of our 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.

The word ‘graphology’ was coined from the Greek words ‘graphein’, meaning writing or drawing, and ‘ology’, meaning ‘the study of’ – so graphology means literally ‘the study of writing or drawing’. However, it would be more accurate to say that graphology is also the study of all graphic movement, not merely handwriting, because a proficient graphologist also derives a great deal of information about a person from their doodles, drawings or paintings.

How can handwriting possibly reveal so much about a person?

Handwriting is a form of ‘body language’. Psychologists, as well as others in professions such as the police and personnel recruitment, have long recognised that people demonstrate many aspects of personality through the silent yet expressive language of the body, which can potentially tell us a great deal about hidden thoughts and emotions.

This is because we’re hard-wired with ‘mirror neurons’ that usually enable us to read other people’s emotions and intents, (but not if their face is concealed behind a veil!), which is an evolutionary advantage that enhances our chances of survival, because if, for example, we see someone expressing the emotion of fear or homicidal rage, we can take rapid, evasive action if necessary.

Consequently, whenever we interact with others in our daily lives, on unconscious and conscious levels, we are continually reacting and responding to non-verbal communications transmitted by the tone of voice, hand gestures and other far more subtle muscular motions. Indeed, it is this fact that causes so many people to censor and contrive their posture, expressions and gesticulations in an attempt to appear ‘cool’ in order to impress and attract the opposite sex.

However, it is the subtle movements that are usually the most revealing. The tiny, hardly noticeable motions of the eyes and facial features, which are exceptionally difficult to control, often shed considerably more light on a person’s personality than the words they speak. For instance, a minute shifting of someone’s facial features, accompanying their spoken words, can make it clear to the trained observer that a person is not telling the truth, or that they have malicious intent.

So, generally speaking, the smaller the body movement, the more reliable it is as a source of information.

Handwriting is perhaps the most intricate and, precisely for this reason, the most revealing of all body language, since the act of writing comprises hundreds of extremely tiny, subtle expressive body motions – and, for a graphologist, this ‘chain of gestures’ is a visible and clear expression of an individual’s emotions, inner attitudes, physical nature and behaviour patterns.

Moreover, since writing is an expression of ‘frozen movement’ it offers the most practical means for interpreting human expressive gestures, since it captures and holds, in visible form, even the slightest and most subtle motions which can then be studied and interpreted long after the movements have been produced, allowing much that is hidden, latent or suppressed in the personality to come to light on a single sheet of paper.

But if graphology is such an effective means of detecting human nature, why has there not been considerably more scientific research into this system? Why has it taken so long for it to gain any real recognition?

The answer is clear: before this century only the most educated people in society could read and write; the average person was invariably illiterate, so there was little motivation to study a means of assessing personality that could only be used on an extremely limited portion of the population.

Learn more about the historical evolution of graphology here.