Your Handwriting Says A Lot About You

Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
Remember that thing called a handwritten note? It's a message from another human in the form of a fibrous sheet with ink spread across it. Amazing. Today, National Handwriting Day, we're celebrating the lost art of penmanship. Sadly, New York graphologist (that's an expert in the art of handwriting analysis) Roger Rubin says there are even some teachers in the U.S. who don't know the word "cursive."

It's time to remedy that. In addition to handwriting's capability to be beautiful and meaningful (when was the last time you received snail mail that wasn't a mass-produced wedding invite?), it also speaks volumes about the writer's personality and well-being. Patricia Seigel, graphologist and professor at The College at Brockport, looks at handwriting samples through three lenses. First, she examines the patterns of form and how the letters connect to each other. Second, she looks at the aspects of space — the margins between lines and letters. Finally, she analyzes the overall writing flow and any signs of impulsiveness versus control. "A page represents the world in front of you," she says, explaining that the way you write across the page reflects how you move through the world.

Your best bet for handwriting analysis is to take your writing sample to a professional (graphology is considered a "pseudoscience" for a reason). That said, you can supposedly identify certain traits yourself, based on the shapes and placement of your letters. According to Rubin, the way you emphasize different regions of your script "can reveal a lot about a personality — shyness, impulsiveness, and artistic sensitivity."

One trait, the habit of creating tiny circles for dots on your "i"s, supposedly indicates immaturity. "When you make something that doesn't belong in the upper zone — you have a little bubble of fantasy," says Rubin. "It's expressing that you aren't using that fantasy."

Things you can't determine from analysis? A writer's age, sex, or whether they are left- or right-handed. Also, Rubin notes that "handwriting is a graphic skill, and to remain good at it, you have to practice." Want to delve into learning more about the art? There are plenty of classes and online sources to get you started. And, if you're feeling so inspired, we have just the stationery set for you.

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