Is That a Squiggle or a Letter?

This is National Handwriting Analysis Week. I don’t know why analyzing handwriting has always intrigued me, but it has. I’m the same way about dream analysis. But here’s the thing: the more I look into reading things in handwriting, interpreting dreams, and that sort of thing, the more the meanings seem to conflict with each other. Does an open ‘o’ mean someone is generous or just plain lazy? Does that squiggle on the tail of the ‘y’ mean reticence to conformity or someone’s just doing a happy dance on paper? I’m glad I’m not hand-writing this blog. My handwriting is a bit hard to read anyway.

Example of vertical handwriting
Example of vertical handwriting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I definitely think one’s handwriting says something about what he/she has experienced. Once, I had a boss who was a liar and had a terrible temper. All of my ‘s’s and letter tails began to take on swirls. The swirls began by going around once, and by the time I got out of that job, my swirls had three rounds in them. I never noticed it until I went back and found them in my journal. I’d never done that before, and I haven’t swirled my letters since. During that time in my life, I felt trapped. My frustration showed itself in that tiny set of rounds. In one handwriting series, a swirl is interpreted as being deceptive. Well, I can certainly stretch the idea of feeling trapped to the idea of being deceptive in the sense that I couldn’t be myself in that situation, but just think if my new employer had studied my handwriting and decided not to hire me because he/she thought I would be deceptive!

Part of handwriting analysis is context. When someone studies another person’s handwriting, already knowing his/her personality, it’s easy to pinpoint certain written characteristics to fit the person’s character. To predict what a person will do is more subjective. When it comes to revealing someone’s personality by the way they scribble their letters, it often feels like one is listening to a psychic. The results of an analysis are bound to touch on aspects that are true. “From his ‘m’s it’s clear he likes to be in control.” Isn’t that a bit vague? All of us have some need to control something in our lives, right?

Yeah, I’m a skeptic. You can tell it by the way I write my ‘s’ ‘k’ ‘e’ ‘p’ ‘t’ ‘i’ ‘c’.


Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. Sometimes I'm too genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

9 thoughts on “Is That a Squiggle or a Letter?”

  1. Interesting. I doubt a handwriting analyst could even read my handwriting, especially when I’m in a hurry. That’s one reason I love texting and emailing.


  2. Very interesting post, Rilla. My husband has that left brain disease; numbers, numbers, numbers. His print is very methodical, straight up, ruled if you will, which makes his script somewhat weird. He says that if I had been his girlfriend/wife when he was in the military, he would never have been able to decipher it. I think deciphering my handwriting would make me very nervous, and like yourself, I have definitely changed certain letters over time in my life. I only know one thing with regard to handwriting and a person’s personality. When the writing is very small, I understand that to mean the person is very self-conscious. There is a client in my office that has the smallest handwriting I have ever seen. Makes me really want to know about her childhood.


    1. I used to type up reports for a group of college teachers. When I began the work, about a quarter of them wrote neatly. When they figured out I could read the notoriously difficult handwriting of one of the teachers, all but one resorted to hurried chicken scratches. The neat hand writer frustrated me the most. He was slooooww to get his reports to me. I had to hang around after hours waiting for his submissions. That probably had nothing to do with his precision with the pen, but I appreciate neat writing less than I should because of it!


    1. I’d say you are a creative thinker just from reading your blog. I suppose handwriting can be like donning a new outfit, just for fun. I like to write in “Kindergarten teacher manuscript” sometimes. Practicing that has actually come in handy over the years.


  3. To me the idea that we can interpret handwriting is intriguing, but I suspect there’s too much subjectivity (both from the writer and translator) for it to be scientifically objective. My writing has stayed fairly consistent since my 20s. Does that mean I haven’t changed? 😉


    1. Exactly. I know handwriting analysts are brought in to study ransom notes. While there might be a little more context known about the writer (he/she doesn’t mind committing a crime, for one), I think finding any meaningful clues would still be hampered by so many factors on both sides.


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