Lessons >>> Lesson 20
The study of interpreting handwriting is known as handwriting analysis. Those who specialize in graphology, the practice of handwriting analysis, believe your penmanship harbors more than the power of self-expression; they believe it bears the unique imprint of your personality.
Handwriting reveals hundreds of elements of the person's "personality and character" which includes glimpses into the subconscious mind, intellect, energy, fears, motivations, imagination, integrity, aptitudes, etc. There are over 100 individual traits revealed and an unlimited number of combinations.
The activity dates back many centuries, having originally (as far as we can tell) been taken from Southern India to China and from there to Greece, circa 2,000 BC. Aristotle claimed that he could define a person’s soul from studying his handwriting. The Roman historian Suetonius claimed that Emperor Augustus did not separate his words which led him to conclude that the Emperor did not pay attention to detail in forming a picture of the whole situation.
In 1622, the first known published book on graphology emerged. The book "How to recognize from a letter the nature and quality of a writer" was written by Camillo Baldi, an Italian doctor of medicine and philosophy (and professor at the University of Bologna).
It wasn't until much later though, that the word "graphology" appeared. In 1870 French monk named Jean Hippolyte Michon coined the phrase "Graphology" (from the Greek: "Graph" meaning, 'To write' or 'I write', and "Logos" meaning 'doctrine' or 'theory'), believed the brain, and not the hand, controlled handwriting. He broke handwriting down into a series of strokes, assigning a personality trait to each stroke.
Although graphology is scorned by many scientists due to a shortage of supporting empirical evidence, the technique is widely used in both unofficial and official capacities around the world - from working with learning disadvantaged children to employee screening or helping people find the most compatible mate.
In the courtroom, trained graphologists (so-called forensic document examiners) are hired to examine "questioned documents" in cases involving issues such as contested wills or allegations of forgery.
Graphologists examine strokes, pressure, slants, heights, loops, letter spacing, dotted "i's" and crossed "t's," etc. When analyzing writing style, first look at the handwriting in general, much like you would a painting. Make mental notes of the most outstanding traits and try to get a general feeling of the writer. Then, determine the emotional energy of the writer. This is the most important factor of the personality of the writer. The emotional energy has a direct impact on every other trait displayed in the handwriting.
The stroke depicts life force, energy flow. The stroke's pressure represents intellectual vitality, physiological energy, sexual passion, and emotional intensity. Pressure is defined by how much force you apply to the writing surface with the writing instrument and not the hand grip pressure. Pressure is how hard you press down on the paper. Pressure indicates the capacity for vigorous activities.
Writers with heavy pressure are usually highly successful. They have a lot of vitality and their emotional experiences last for a long time. Writers who write with average pressure are usually moderately successful and usually have enough energy to make it through the day. Those with light pressure try to avoid energy draining situations.
The slant is the second indicator to look for. The slant indicates the writer's emotional response to external forces. A right slant (////) signals one who responds strongly to emotional situations. They are caring, warm and outgoing - their heart rules their mind. A vertical slant (llll) writer tries to keep their emotions in check - mind rules their heart. A left slant writer (\\\\) will conceal their emotions and is observed as cold and indifferent.
The baseline is a real or imagined line where the small letters rest. Baseline is best determined if the sample is submitted on unlined paper to ensure that the writer does not follow the pre-printed lines. For best results, handwriting analysts always prefer samples written on unlined paper.
The baseline can be straight, wavy, erratic or sloped. A normal baseline should be slightly wavy. A person with a straight baseline is tense and over disciplined. A very wavy baseline signals a person who is on an emotional roller coaster.
An ascending baseline means optimism. A descending baseline means pessimism, tiredness or depression. A level baseline indicates a healthy balance between optimism and pessimism.
The size of the writing determines the writer's ability to concentrate. Small writing points to someone who has the ability to concentrate on minor details for long periods of time. These writers include scientists, researchers, bookkeepers, etc.
Most of us write average size, indicating an average ability to concentrate. We have to force ourselves to concentrate on minor details, especially for long periods of time. Large writers are easily distracted. They have trouble concentrating and easily get "off-track." At work, these individuals should be given varying duties and assignments that are quick to complete.
Handwriting analysis does neither foretell the future, nor does it reveal the past. But, it provides a map to your inner self, your level of satisfaction with your present situation, and your future level of achievement. It can also help you to gain an understanding and insight into the personality of other people, especially those close to you.
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