SA Career Focus is aimed at all those in need of career advice and guidance, from Grade 9 learners, to those making a mid-life career change! Read on to find out what that job is really like, expected salary, where to study and so much more!
My handwriting has been described as various things: “scrawly”, “terrible” and, my personal favourite, “like it was done by an epileptic crab having a fit” (thanks Dad!). While these are definitely enough comments on my handwriting for me, a graphologist would have even more to say about it. Graphologists, also known as handwriting analysts, claim that a person’s handwriting speaks volumes about their personality.
How does it work?
The rationale is that your personality is stored in the brain and while writing your brain guides your hand, revealing information about your nature. They claim that if you lost a hand and had to write with a pen in your mouth or between your toes, you would eventually produce the same “handwriting” as you used to, because it’s the brain that dictates the movement across paper. Your handwriting, or even “toewriting”, is therefore actually “brainwriting” and shows what was in the writer’s mind at the time of writing. By examining things like writing size, speed, slant, spacing, pressure and loops, graphologists believe they can shed light on your intelligence, integrity, emotional and mental health, creativity and level of motivation.
Science or quackery?
Graphologists insist that there’s nothing mysterious about handwriting analysis, and that it’s a scientific examination of writing strokes which are directly influenced by the writer’s personality and state of mind. They assert that graphology can be used for recruitment, personality assessment, criminology and even partner compatibility.
Critics, however, put it in the same category as palmistry or tea leaf reading. Many studies have shown graphology to be unreliable, leading critics to conclude that handwriting cannot be used to predict personality traits or job performance. Then there are areas of specialisation which sound particularly implausible, like graphotherapy. This is handwriting therapy, in which people
purposely change their handwriting in order to make changes in their brain and thus their behaviour. Making your writing more fluid, for example, is supposed to help you feel less stressed.
Try your hand at it
Just for fun, gather some writing samples from friends or family and try a quick analysis using these tips:
Size: Outgoing people tend to have large handwriting, while small handwriting shows shyness. Some sources say that the smaller the writing the better someone concentrates. Albert Einstein, for example, had tiny handwriting.
Slant: Vertical handwriting indicates practicality and self-sufficiency. The more writing slants to the left the more reserved someone is, while a right slant suggests an impulsive and outgoing nature. A varied slant suggests unpredictability.
Baseline: The baseline is the line, real or imagined, on which letters rest. Use unlined paper for samples. The baseline can change according to someone’s mood, and indicates state of mind at the time of writing. A straight baseline suggests that the writer is stable, and possibly uptight. A rising baseline indicates optimism, while a descending one shows negativity. If it’s erratic, the writer feels emotionally unsettled or indecisive.
Pressure: The harder someone presses when they write, the more the emotional energy and liveliness of the writer.
According to these tips, my most recent piece of handwriting suggests that I am both introverted and extroverted, generally erratic and not particularly lively. Hmmm… that’s not very helpful, but definitely preferable to one source I discovered that shows my wavy baseline resembles that of serial killer Charles Manson’s handwriting! I felt better after a quick scan of birthday cards from friends and family, many of whom were apparently similarly deranged at the time of writing. Will I become less disturbed if I practise writing in a straight line? According to graphotherapy, yes. I’m no expert, but in my opinion, anyone who’s willing to do so may already be too far gone.
Spend your gap year becoming a diving professional with International Job Opportunities. National Geographic Accredited Dive Centre - Diving Courses, Sales, Travel & Servicing. Visit www.prodive.co.za for more information or email email@example.com. Tel: 041 581 1144