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Reading the manuscript has the reputation of being somewhere between coffee grounds and moving around daily horoscopes, i.e. being esoteric instead of science. It is true that the corresponding teaching, graphology, is not a recognized science.
However, the impression is wrong that the analysis of manual writings would be esoteric belief in the irrational. In this respect, it has nothing to do with lead casting or homeopathy: writing is an activity of our second nature, the culture that we learn individually. Our handwriting is not just individual, it is shaped by our experience and personality. This can be seen, at least in outline, in the respective script.
Abbe Jean Hippolyte Michon (1806-1881) coined the term graphology. He linked the Greek words for writing and teaching, so it is the teaching of writing. The German universal scholar Alexander von Humboldt also recognized a connection between the individual personality and the handwriting.
How does a graphologist work?
Graphologists start out differently and use different methods for writing analysis. First you look at the overall picture of a typeface and then you check certain characteristics such as the size of the letters, the distance to the edge of the page, the spacing of the words, and create a mosaic of the personality of the writer.
To do this, he needs to know some external circumstances such as the age, gender or profession of the writer and consider influences such as intoxicating substances, diseases or handicaps.
The order of the words
The experts examine the spatial image, the shape and the movement image of a font. The middle position of these denotes the boundaries without ascenders or descenders. According to a graphological approach, the feelings of the writer are shown here. The upper part, on the other hand, shows goals, wishes and ideals. The lower part refers to material dependencies and everyday life, as well as the drives. It remains to be seen whether this is a vulgar transmission of Freud's model of superego and me.
A font is considered to be strongly connected, in which five or more letters are connected without spaces, three to five are considered to be medium connected and less than three to be unconnected. A closely connected typeface refers to someone who logically connects, and at the same time to someone who adheres closely to regulations and allows little individual freedom. Those who think extremely systematically should separate their words into syllables.
An unconnected script, on the other hand, points to a person who lets his thoughts stand for themselves and does not logically line them up, or turns them in a positive way, to a creative spirit bubbling with ideas.
Word beginnings and word endings
Now the word starts and word endings are added. The emphasis on the beginning should indicate the self-image, while the emphasis on the end should show the relationship to the environment. An overemphasized beginning, for example with particularly large letters at the beginning of a sentence and with individual nouns, is intended to indicate vanity, lower case capital letters at the beginning of words but to be reluctant to be yourself.
Graphologists pay particular attention to how these beginnings differ in writing from the standard taught in school, provided the writer has learned it. Capital letters that begin at the bottom (N, A, K, etc.) are supposed to indicate action based on gut feeling, while a start in the middle suggests indecisiveness.
A clearly marked end of the word, on the other hand, should be a sign of ambition, aggressiveness and know-it-all. On the other hand, anyone who underlines the end of the word should reveal himself as a person for whom the purely factual consideration of an object counts, but who may also have problems in expressing his or her own opinion. Anyone who inserts unnecessary long dashes in punctuation now shows that they want to keep their distance from other people.
If these end strokes bend downwards, then this indicates a lack of stability, but if they pull upwards steeply, this leads one to assume a careless person.
The first glimpse into the interpretation of word ends and word beginnings, letter combinations and middle position already shows that it is a highly interpretive terrain, which not least also includes psychological knowledge and sensitivity for the other person. Many variables in turn raise questions and it seems problematic to design a fixed picture, even if the interpreter has adopted the interpretation scheme.
A person's signature is clearer, because it is an expression of one's own identity by means of writing - in it a person shows how he wants to be. Not only the shape, size or spacing of the letters are decisive here, but also the return of the same.
A person whose signature is always the same in all essential points indicates that this person largely "always remains himself", that is, he is at peace with himself. His name belongs to him, he does not want to demonstrate with him what he is not and shows himself the way he is.
Our public presentation is a signature, everyone can, everyone should see it - and it must be visible on documents. Roughly speaking, our first name stands for our private life, the family name for our official identity. Consequently, a lowercase first name should mean that we do not like to be exposed in public or that we prefer to keep the childish part of ourselves to ourselves. Such a person should be characterized by a strong sense of duty and at the same time strictly separate leisure and work.
A first name, which the person concerned always writes larger than the surname, indicates a strong emphasis on the child's self and also on the individual personality: I am Dieter and then Dieter Müller.
Illegible signatures should stand for someone who thinks (too?) Quickly, but very legible signatures for someone who is open and honest. If the letters are clearly recognizable, this should also point to someone who is uncomplicated in social interaction and who is concerned with expressing themselves in a way that is clearly understandable to avoid misunderstandings.
If someone writes the capital letters particularly emphasized in the first name, then this shows a pronounced self-confidence, in general, large and curved letters stand for self-confidence and extraversion.
Loops in the signature demonstrate determination, someone underlines his signature, then he emphasizes that he (too?) Takes care of himself.
If someone omits the point above the I, he demonstrates that he is not interested in details.
A twist to the left suggests reluctance, a twist to the right a person who "drives it forward", who can be progressive but also erratic. However, if the letters do not tilt, but are arranged like trees in a monoculture, this indicates a person for whom rationality is decisive. A jagged signature looks aggressive, one with a clear end point shows: I make the decisions.
Signatures leading upwards mark future thinkers, people falling downwards who are afraid of change.
Who writes out his full name signals security about himself, who writes the first and last name in different lines suggests that he is in contradiction and has not found his middle.
Those who omit or abbreviate their first names could reveal that there are events in their past that they want to suppress, those who only write their initials could even show that they carry a strong sense of guilt with them.
If I capitalize my name, I show that I want to be taken care of, if I write it, I probably want to remain undetected.
A signature changes in the course of life, and these changes are related to the change in people.
The easier, the more confident
When we try out signatures, we often think that a particularly striking variant suggests particular self-confidence. But the graphologists agree: Self-confident people mostly use simple but clear signatures.
Enclosing one's name with lines is a sign of dependency. Such people are presumably internally bound to the mother even in advanced age, are afraid of independence and hide. They enclose their signature in a protective cover that corresponds to the mother's care for the child.
Signatures in which people cross out their own names also appear dramatic. Such people could unconsciously build protection against their parents; they are afraid of being hurt. Their lives are subject to "self-imposed" constraints, and they strive for perfection to become unassailable - because they are deeply hurt.
Illegible names can only be "scratched" out of sloppiness, but this scribble can also indicate a reluctance to stand up for who you are. In this case there is a feeling of inferiority.
Effect on others
However, it is not quite that simple with the signatures. A person not only expresses his "unconscious" with it, but the signatures also have an effect on other people. This in turn means: They can be manipulated, they can mark a status and also a territory - just like a dog pees on a tree.
Graphologists therefore advise managers and managers to always write their names in large and clear letters to show: I am the master of the house. A signature is like a hand pressure, and its type is understood in exactly the same way by employees, subordinates, business partners and colleagues.
And you can learn that: For example, if you spell out a long first and last name, you are showing that you appreciate the addressees - you are trying hard. On the other hand, anyone who only leaves the initials of their last name in a personal letter, whether from a school management to parents or from an authority to a customer, suggests that it is a mere compulsory exercise and is not interested in the content of the letter.
If you capitalize the first letters and drag out the words at the end, you take up space and show your importance. Anyone who is connected, leans to the right and fluently writes his signature shows the recipient: I feel like writing. Who writes small and connected shows that he is an emotional person.
The I point and the T line
The vernacular says: This is the icing on the cake. What is meant is the last detail that completes a project, rounds off a story or makes a dish tasty. Without this "icing on the cake", the stale feeling "something is missing" remains.
Anyone who sets the point high and swings up is considered an optimist by graphologists; For those who present the icing on the cake, I don't really care about objectivity.
Anyone who places the dot to the right of the I demonstrates that he is hasty, to the left of it indicates inhibitions.
Those who set their I points too strongly as lines may have concerns that are expressed in aggressions; Those who barely indicate the dots may be shy, those who like to put themselves in the spotlight tend to oversize pork tails.
Much can also be demonstrated with the T-dash. A very high T-line stands for the will to exercise power over others, especially if they are pressed firmly into the paper and jagged - a low one, however, indicates little urge to rule over others. If the line is knotted, there is a strong self-will in it, it pulls out to the right and even towers over the whole word, which should represent a dreamer, but also a visionary.
Round and angular
If you write the letters round and soft, graphologists are entitled to considerate behavior and emotionality - a person who is concerned with living in peace with his fellow human beings. A very soft font also shows a lack of willpower, and such people are so diplomatic that they can easily be controlled by others.
However, the more angular it is, the more the writer, according to the experts, tries to fight his way through. Resistance does not slow him down, but incites him. The expressed will to fight can also be an inner struggle, the jagged writing a signal not to consider one's own feelings.
People who are unstable in their moods and / or exceptionally emotional are characterized by an irregular font. If you are under pressure, your writing is pressed, if you feel relaxed, then the letters become more expansive. The more self-control a person has, the more similar his writing looks.
Mental condition and external circumstances
Manuscripts also change according to the daily rhythm and occasion. We have a "house font" and an "official font". For example, we pay less attention to entries in the calendar than to public concerns. This becomes clear to people who write little when they write public texts (for example, for teachers): their targeted "fine writing" shows little individual handwriting, but is like "one should write".
The art of reading a manuscript not only means recognizing personality traits at intervals, squiggles and connections, it also enables a skilled writer to be distinguished from an amateur. Many people have not really developed their own typeface because writing for them is like painting by numbers.
A graphologist should therefore hold back as much as possible with psychological overinterpretations. A poorly legible or bad handwriting does not necessarily indicate fears or weaknesses in the character, but rather first a cramped hand position when writing - in other words, that a person has never trained writing professionally.
The first advice to a person with such cramped writing is: Write slower and take breaks, then the typeface will already relax. To do this, move your fingers from time to time, drum with them on the table top, for example, or pretend to be a cat that stretches out its claws.
To improve manual writing, it makes sense to ask an exercise therapist for advice.
Spaces between words and letters can say a lot: A person who presses the words close together could be afraid of being alone in other life. On the other hand, if you leave large spaces between the words, you are probably someone who loves his freedom and independence and likes to be alone with us and his thoughts.
If you leave a large distance on the left edge, you may be hanging on your past, but if you leave the wide edge on the right side, you are looking to the future. And someone who fills the whole page? Such a person probably has a lot of thoughts in his head and doesn't know how to implement them all.
The individual letters
We can write in German in different ways and develop our own style, which in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about people.
Wide loops in the small e, for example, indicate an open character, narrow loops, on the other hand, indicate a closed one, a round small s indicates addiction to harmony, a jagged one indicates aggressiveness and ambition.
In general, people who prefer curved letters are considered imaginative and associative, writers with points and edges as aggressive with intelligent calculation.
People who put a lot of pressure on writing are considered methodical and serious, but those who let their writing flit there have a reputation for being as compassionate as they are sensitive. Please also note the circumstances here: If you have an almost empty ballpoint pen, you have to press hard to bring any color onto the paper.
Differences in writing
Doodles in an otherwise legible typeface? Strong right-hand twist of letters against sections in which they rise like towers?
What would Sherlock Holmes say? The writer appears to associate aspects of this section with feelings that trigger a different script. Or a spontaneous idea came to him. Now it is a matter of looking at the different sections and examining what the content is.
Garlands, angles and arcades
Garland writers often write an n like a u, they have a reputation for seeking contact with other people. The angle pen, on the other hand, marks m, n or z in brute zigzag. He is considered determined and bossy. Thread recorders in turn let m, n or u run out into threads. They are considered chameleons.
What can be read from a manuscript?
A manuscript viewed from the outside only allows rough conclusions on the writer. For example, a graphologist can tell whether this person is extroverted or introverted, exposed to fluctuating moods, pushing himself into the foreground or holding back. At the latest when asked why people behave like this, manual writing alone says little.
However, handwriting does not filter out special talents, and something can only be said about a person's development if we examine how it has changed over a longer period of time.
In order to explore other people's handwriting, you should be able to think analytically, be patient and have an eye for small details. The openness to questioning your own results again and again is essential. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Heinz Dirks: The Manuscript - Interpretation and Assessment, Orbis Verlag, 2000
- Herbert Steigrad: The Great Book of Graphology, Bassermann Verlag, 1999