Handwriting is not an obsolete function in our brains. The art and skill of handwriting are even coming back in a new guise. Not as a form of written communication but as a way of styling our personalities. What’s being considered is whether changing our handwriting can change us.
Changing our handwriting is a conscious action which graphologists say changes us. Handwriting as a fine motor skill can lock into the brain’s complex wiring to bring about subconscious changes that affect our personalities. Graphology has been the domain of forensic investigations since Aristotle.
The practice of graphology from classical times is being adapted. Some say it is pseudoscience, but graphology practices link our handwriting to our personalities. Popular thinking is that if we change our handwriting, we can change our character. There are different and multiple handwriting styles for each person, and sometimes these are used as a diagnostic tool.
Our Handwriting And Our Personality
Though handwriting appears to have been undone on a revolutionary scale in the digital age, the skill of writing by hand is still relevant and curious. We think of how our brains are wired to write by hand and how this kind of writing reflects who we are. And that we can think of changing our handwriting to change us.
Forming the alphabet has been engrained in our consciousness. Holding a pencil or a pen in our hands to form letters on paper is a mechanical action since we started to read and write. When we think of changing our personality through our handwriting, it’s not the written content but the letters’ formations and the neurological connections that happen in our brains when we do this.
Cognitive scientists find that handwriting is a beneficial activity in the brain. Handwriting fires up our brains and forms denser or more concentrated neural activity. This is good. On the counter side, as our brain’s movements slow down through aging or disease, our handwriting is often the first indicator of such change.
Physiologically, our brains and handwriting are connected. From a neuroscientific perspective, our brains grow and change. Our problem-solving and language abilities (and memory) are fixed to our brains’ cognitive and neurological sides. Specific genes, proteins (and other molecules) guide neurons’ functions in our brains.
Neuroscientific Behavior & Handwriting
The cognitive aspects of handwriting are task-based, and we use our perceptual and fine motor skills to perform these. When we write by hand we use our eye-hand coordination and our attention is focused on forming letters. The visual processing of the alphabet comes from the front-parietal part of our brain’s striatum-cerebellar area. Our handwriting takes whole-brain concentration.
We all learn differently but the act of writing by hand is drilled into our consciousness from those early days of school. We gradually develop our own writing styles, which also change as we mature and age. It’s possible to think of our handwriting as unique and even like that of our thumbprints. Our handwriting is also hotwired into our brains and seems part of our DNA!
How we learn to write the alphabet by hand and what we see when we look at what’s written has opened up a field of study that is the domain of life coaches as cognitive counselors. The way we write, how the words are spaced, and the general presentation of our handwriting tie into our moods. And indicate what’s going on in our subconscious, our personality.
Cognitive Patterning In Handwriting And Personality
Through scientific research looks at cognitive changes in the brain, practitioners are on the fringes of science study handwriting as a critical indicator of a person’s personality. The mental aspects refer to who we are, what we think, how we reason or remember, and even what we don’t do or think about and might even have forgotten.
Some studies have looked at people’s perceptions of themselves and show that those who believe we can bring about changes to our personalities do so. Though many of us cannot think this way, it’s essential to know that people’s expectations and desires to bring about these that make cognitive changes. These positive aspects of change come from a belief in personal development.
From a cognitive perspective, perseverance matters as we build on what we know and how to gain new understandings. People’s expectations and desires often are for a change that doesn’t necessarily happen. Rather than giving up on desiring change when it appears to not be happening, we should work with what we know, fine-tune this, and acquire new skills.
The schema stands for our values and goals, which affect what and even how we think of ourselves. These cognitive aspects of ourselves or self-schema carry our personality traits and physical characteristics. It is easy to get hooked on getting our handwriting analyzed to perfect our personalities and then setting out to deliberately change how we write for our sakes.
Many researchers find that most adults want one or more personality traits changed, which can be more extroverted and open to experiences in life. Others might wish for more emotional stability and a sense of agreeableness. Some even want to be conscientious. For many, our handwriting as a skilled movement can re-pattern our thoughts and train our brains.
Thinking About Handwriting As Graphology
Whether you can change your character through your handwriting has fascinated graphologists. Graphology argues that a person’s character or personality is reflected in their handwriting. This implies that the word formations and letters (handwriting) reveals a person’s personality.
Our handwriting shows how we think and feel (psychological states). More specifically, graphologists argue that changes in our handwriting affect us personally.
Graphology or Graphotherapy are popular ways of interpreting writing styles and, much like reading cards or leaves in a teacup, to see a person’s personality.
For graphologists, our handwriting reflects us, and how we change our handwriting will change our personality. This is not about the content we write by hand but the forming of the alphabet letters on paper. Our intent to change our handwriting will affect who we are. This is because we can, through our handwriting, signal a change in our brains, says graphologist.
Graphologists profess to change peoples’ habits through their handwriting. Using graphotherapy, we can change or modify our behavior. A graphologist is mostly a remedial specialist who works through a person’s handwriting to undo mental attitudes or habits. The assumption is that our handwriting shows our personality, which can change if our handwriting changes.
Besides training peoples’ minds to focus on their handwriting, graphologists say people’s personalities are affected by changing their handwriting. People’s handwriting highly indicates underlying disorders or tendencies (see below early uses of graphology). It is even possible to see if people have suicidal tendencies (even know their morals) from their handwriting.
Commonly graphotherapy is a 30-40 day program to change a person’s handwriting style. The therapy involves writing by hand, an act we are familiar and confident with. Graphologists say that about 95% of our personality characteristics can be undone.
Our personalities appear flexible; we can write another us, whether extrovert, introvert or not emotionally stable. Graphologists work from the premise that our characters can change and that changing our handwriting can bring about these.
Ancient Uses Of Graphology To Assess Personality & Modern Forensics
Graphology goes back to Aristotle, who not only thought of the spoken word as the symbol of our experiences but also saw what we write as symbolic of what we experience. In l622, an Italian physician Camillo Baldo elaborated on Aristotle’s ideas and came up with the first book on graphology. Though not everyone, he said, has the same writing style.
Baldo’s work has little connection to what is known as today’s theories on graphology. Still, it has influenced subsequent studies that today are explored in forensic graphology. The analysis of someone’s handwriting is often a clue in forensic investigations. Investigators use people’s handwriting to determine their personality traits, which is often used in kidnapping cases.
Handwriting As Diagnostic Tool
There are many more instances in which handwriting tells outsiders (like doctors) more about us. Besides being used in forensics (see above), graphologists have found more than 5,000 different personality traits that can be seen in our handwriting. From a medical perspective, a person’s handwriting is a tool for diagnosing mental illness or diseases.
The diagnoses are based on how the alphabet letters are formed. And the spacing between words or slope (slant) of the writing, to indicate age-related illnesses, like:
- Alzheimer’s disease. Neurological disorders are seen in thinking, behavior, and social interactions (also dementia and amnesia).
- Parkinson’s disease. Disorder in the nervous system affects movements
Popularity Of Changing One’s Handwriting To Change Oneself
Increasingly relationship coaches, career guides, and motivational therapists are turning to peoples’ handwriting as an aid to re-invent themselves. A book by life coach Vimala Rogers is the prototype for how to change yourself through your handwriting. With her book, which includes a guidebook with CDs , we can start practicing.
It deals with how our handwriting reflects what goes on inside us. If we change our handwriting, we can change ourselves, our personality. Changing our handwriting will give us the attitude to achieve. This is simply by changing the way we write by hand. Some of the examples given are:
- To stick to a diet, change how you write the letter T
- If your feel you are overlooked at work and don’t get promoted, change the letter G
- To cut down on stress from juggling too much, change the letter S
- To be less introverted and shy or even suffer from stage fright, change you’re A’s
The value of our handwriting is that it reflects our physical, emotional, and mental states. Changing our handwriting means that we will deliberately work on getting right the curvature, tilt, and length of the alphabet letters. This might even mean changing how we cross out t’s and what we do with an f.
Roger’s book builds on what Rosemary Sassoon (the inventor of the Sassoon typeface) in the 1930s referred to as a link between ourselves and our handwriting. Sassoon writes in Improve Your Handwriting that our handwriting is an imprint of ourselves.
Styling Personality Through Our Handwriting
Many people are trying out changing their handwriting to change their personality. Some comments on social media affirm that our handwriting is the blueprint of our personality. Also that we can change our characters by changing our handwriting. Most comments have responded to changing their handwriting in line with Roger’s Vimala alphabet (see above).
A student in the neurosciences has no doubt that our handwriting shows up our personality traits. Our brains have plasticity, and this neuroplasticity makes it possible for us to change who we are by changing our handwriting. This change will affect our personality. Others comment that graphotherapy works like positive thinking.
People believe they can change their handwriting to change some of their negative traits or behaviors. Others have argued that the prescriptive Vimala alphabet for such change is too restrictive and does not fit their writing style. But primarily, without doubt, most of the comments agree that as our handwriting reflects our inner states, changing our handwriting can change us.
Paying attention to how we write by hand and changing the lettering is a conscious and deliberate action. People who have tried this say that the Vimala alphabet corresponds with our particular virtues and personality traits, and changing our writing style brings us new awareness of who we are. This is like the effects on us when we change what we eat, dress, or even decorate our homes.
What draws most people into wanting to change their handwriting to change themselves seems to be the self-affirming nature of the Vimala alphabet. Roger’s herself refers to the noble truth of each letter. And how our subconscious takes ownership of the lettering and then controls our handwriting. The changes in our handwriting then filter into our personality as ‘this is who I am.
What Your Handwriting Says About You
Handwriting analyst Paresh Chitnis says how we write by hand is so engrained that it becomes a subconscious activity (happens on auto mode). But also reflects our personality. Though we know that we are taught to write in a specific way for legibility, people wonder if they can change this.
You might be talented but unpredictable and even unreliable. Chitnis explains that if your handwriting is inconsistent, so is your behavior. If our handwriting is at a slant and this varies, you show signs of being moody. If the size of our handwritten lettering varies, your confidence is not constant. These clues, as outlined by Chitnis, are as much about confidence as self-doubt.
Suppose you have many different handwriting styles. These don’t happen in various stages of your life but are over short periods. In that case, you might be seen as suffering from multiple personality syndrome. Generally, it’s expected to change our handwriting when we are stressed and have underlying diseases or mental challenges, or simply as we age.
Distinct Forms Of Writing And Cultures
Handwriting is often a marker of social standing and even a trade tool, like that of the print that affects an architect’s handwriting. How we form our letters is as distinct as the cuisine in different parts of the world. Also, one marvels at more than 50 000 Chinese and Japanese characters and the many Egyptian hieroglyphics as handwriting.
In an elementary Chinese handwriting class listening to how characters are formed, like moon moon, down, along, down, and flick, across, across, makes one wonder if learning to write like this will change one’s personality.
In China, the Anyang museum of writing exhibits Chinese characters and pictographs of handwriting and the changes that have happened throughout the ages. Technology has brought the convenience of typing and uniformity, but handwriting and calligraphy in China persist.
Learning to write has cultural origins and is an expression of a milieu larger than us. Our handwriting is enigmatically connected to who we are. Yet, learning to re-invent and even style our personalities has become a popular preoccupation. To want to be a better version of ourselves seems to be possible.
Next time you’re taking a break from your computer screen, pick up a pen or pencil and work on writing a new you for yourself.