If you believe that your signature is nothing more than a mish mash of squiggles, loops and crosses, (or in my case a sorry and illegible scrawl), think again. Graphologists (people who analyse handwriting) maintain that your handwriting reveals a lot about you. For example your handwriting can betray whether you are confident or timid; an introvert or extrovert; an optimist or a pessimist.
How they do this is quite complicated (several universities offer master’s degree programmes in graphology), but understanding a few basic principles can help the rest of us have a go. Helpfully, atozhandwiting.com provides some tips, summarised here:
According to graphologists, the larger the signature, the higher the self-esteem. Therefore the smaller the signature, the lower the self-esteem.
Use of initials in a signature betrays a person with traditional values or someone with a more ‘formal’ approach to life and work. By contrast, the full name in a signature suggests someone who is more relaxed and informal.
A consistently illegible signature suggests someone who is very confident in their own abilities. They have a “certain arrogance and self-importance”. If the surname is mores legible than the first name, the writer is likely to be fairly reserved. On the other hand, if the first name is more legible than the surname, the writer is likely to be friendly and direct. A completely legible signature suggests a person who is straightforward and open-minded.
A signature on the left hand side of a letter is either a “pose” or suggestive of someone with an ongoing attachment with the past. A signature in the middle points to an attention-seeker. A signature on the right hand side of a letter suggests a “forward looking”, authentic person.
Direction and Slant
A signature that slants to the right points to someone who is bubbly and extroverted. By contrast, a signature that leans to the left suggests someone who lacks ambition.
People who have a line through their signature are likely to be “self-critical” and probably pessimistic. A signature that is underlined suggests someone who lacks confidence and craves responsibility and recognition.
Irregularities in either letter size or name size suggest an attempt to draw attention to those aspects of the signature because they are important to the writer. A vertical line at the end of a signature indicates a person with clear boundaries between their professional and private lives, and a full stop at the end of a signature hints at self-importance.
The infographic above uses these principles of graphology to decode the personalities of some of the world’s highest profile tech entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg. Now that you know the basics of graphology, do you agree with its assessments?
What does your signature say about you? Add your comments to the box below.