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Handwriting Analysis: Some Elaboration is Healthy & Perfect Penmanship Isn’t

Updated on March 15, 2013

Elaborate handwriting, including lots of embellishment such as unnecessary loops, curves, spirals, underlining, circles, wavy lines, and other forms is an important, and telling, handwriting analysis consideration.

Handwriting analysis, or graphology, is so informative because it reveals subconscious character, the real personality, not just the persona and the one seen when a person is at his or her best.

The U.S. Library of Congress classifies graphology as a branch of psychology. All in all, there are over 300 handwriting traits to consider when doing an analysis. Some of the more obvious ones include the following: connectives; connectivity; consistency; contradictions in script; compression; contraction/expansiveness; down-strokes; elaboration; expansion; finals; fluidity; form; harmony; hooks; jabs; knots; lead-ins; legibility; loops; margins; movement; organization; originality; pressure; retracing; rhythm; shading; signature compared to the rest of script; simplicity; size; slant; overall arrangement and picture of space; letter, word and line spacing; speed; spirals; tension; ties; zonal balance and much more.

Does any single consideration, such as the excessive elaboration, override the cumulative strength of the collective body of other considerations? No. The collective body of traits in a handwriting sample either supports or mitigates the energy of any one individual aspect. Also, in order for a specific graphology trait to accurately reflect personality, it must be throughout the handwriting sample at least three to four times to qualify.

Accuracy in graphology demands that the context of the entire writing sample be considered and that all individual aspects and parts of the script must be interpreted independently and then built into a complete picture describing the personality. Also, you need at least a half page of cursive handwriting and not just a signature if you want to start on the right track.

For the highest level of accuracy in handwriting analysis, formal graphology training is recommended. More information about handwriting analysis can be found on our site.

Copybook form, or "perfect handwriting," varies somewhat from country to country and it's best to be familiar with the standard copybook form of the country in which the person learned to write. It's good if your handwriting is not perfect, because you don't want perfect handwriting. It's natural to gradually move away from the basic copybook form you learned in grade school to develop your own unique style. Just as everyone has a unique personality, everyone has unique handwriting. Aristotle remarked, "Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience and written words are the symbols of spoken words. Just as all men do not have the same speech sounds, so do all men not have the same writing."

Adults who write in copybook form (considering there is corroborating energy from the rest of the handwriting considerations) strive to follow all rules exactly and abide by all laws. They are usually conformists, traditional, and inhibited. They commonly carry guilt and repression is customary. Hence, "perfect" handwriting is far from perfect. If your handwriting has a lot of originality with high form level (good balance, movement, harmony, etc.) and other positive traits, it could indicate flexibility, resourcefulness, confidence, inward motivation, and possible leadership skills. On the other hand, if you see originality in an off-balanced, inharmonious script (low form level), you could find rebelliousness, defiance, turmoil, confusion, dishonesty, and even psychosis or criminal-minded behavior.

Spirals are generally a negative sign relating, in part, to deception or self-deception. Normal elaboration includes longer than usual t-bars and finals at the end of words, for example. Excessive elaboration, such as artificial flourishes, many added strokes, long lower zone length (loops of letters such as lower case g and j), etc. could indicate an ostentatious personality with a need to impress others, a need for drama, flirtatiousness, vanity, exaggeration, bluff, a mind too rooted in fantasy, insincerity, a need to be told they are loved, façade of intrigue to mask an inferiority complex, possible deception, scattered energy, affectation, defense for self-consciousness, unstable self image, too much focus on trivial matters, and difficulty concentrating. As the level of inharmoniousness increases with excessive elaboration, the negative traits listed above will also intensify.

If you see excessive elaboration mainly in the upper zone (e.g., where the t's are crossed), which is the zone of the intellect, you may find someone whose thinking is ruled by illusion, and even someone who is a compulsive liar. But remember, although it's alluded to above, it's important enough to say again: no single graphology indicator, by itself, absolutely describes any one personality trait. Yes, straight-across, blunt ending strokes can indicate cautiousness, but there could be ten or more other indicators in a person's script that would mitigate the notion. If you find elaboration that is excessively complicated, especially with many complicated circle letters, such as a and o, it could point toward someone who is trying to hide something, even if it's on an unconscious level and not in an intentionally deceptive way.

Look to the zone of handwriting for more clues to what the excessive elaboration with inharmonious handwriting indicates: in the lower zone (where the loops of letters such as g and j reside) it's an imbalance relating to sexuality, social life, materialism, and physical energy, among others; in the middle zone (where letters such as n, m, and o reside) it's an imbalance in practicality, daily routine, here-and-now, ego, consciousness and more; and in the upper zone (where the t-bar, tops of t's, and h's reside) it's an imbalance in mental, intellectual, philosophical, literary interests, the imagination, and more.

When you see a Hollywood star's signature that has over-the-top elaboration, if the rest of his or her script is much more subdued, it's a sign of pretentiousness. Alternatively, elaboration with positive indicators is favorable. With harmonious handwriting it can symbolize charm, healthy imagination, and originality.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo


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    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for the hub but perhaps written samples of those writings, would make it much easier to understand.

      Thank you for sharing, it was very interesting. :)


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