Annette Poizner, author of Clinical Graphology: An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners, gave me the opportunity last year to have my handwriting analyzed. Graphology isn’t used much in the Western world, but it was extremely effective when Poizner used it as a tool to propel discussion about my psyche. She might not have been able to uncover my deepest darkest secrets (oh don’t pretend like you don’t love Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, too), but she was able to uncover some things about my personality that would have otherwise taken her many hours of conversation. I thought the experience was interesting, so she offered to send down a few pointers on how to be an amateur graphologist. You’ll be able to psychoanalyze even better than your friend in PSYCH 1XX3.

Upright slant: objectivity, formality, poise. The upright slant writer is more reserved. He or she looks at a situation from the sideline and then decides how emotionally involved to become.

Left slant: more strongly reserved than the upright slant. Usually introverted. Highly private. These people “hold their cards to the chest.”

Itty-bitty writing: an expression of introversion and also the writing of somebody with strong concentration skills, increased intelligence (because concentration always improves intelligence) and humility. If the writing is too flattened out or too tight, some type of repression or inhibition may be indicated.

Large spaces between words: normally there should be only one character width between one word and the next. More than this implies somebody who has difficulty bridging the emotional gap between him or herself and others. Emotionally distant. Distant from one’s own emotions as well as those of others.

Small spaces between words: needy. The person who crowds others.

Rounded writing: the more loops you see, the more emotionality in the personality. Also, rounded writing shows more visual interest in beauty or beautifying the environment. These people tend to shape letters by being very true to the letter form. They honour how something should look.

Angular writing: more detached, analytical, objective. Usually the writing of engineers, scientists, people who are tough-minded and think about issues without troubling over emotions. These writers stripped down their handwriting and they don’t care about the form of the letters that much. They abbreviate the letters.

Printscript: sometimes prints and sometimes writes cursive. A given word may have points where letters are attached and other points where letters are printed. This is an expression of intuition and writing ability.

Crashing: for some writers, the lower zone of one line intermingles with the upper zone of the line below. An individual who daydreams, watching internal TV.

The baseline (the line of the text as it moves across the page): when firm and straight, this person has a strong work ethic. Very reliable. When the baseline is wavy the person may be moody, potential difficulties with discipline.

Speed of handwriting: strong attention to i dots and other details and letters carefully formed indicates a writer who prefers to be slow and thorough. Messy writing which races across the page: the individual works at a fast tempo. May not be great with detail but prefers to be busy, dynamic, multitasking. Prefers lots going on.

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