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What Does Your Signature Say About You?

I am an ideator, a writer, a personal success coach, trainer, and professional speaker.

Have you ever been curious?

Have you ever been curious?

Why and How Can You Detect Personality in a Signature?

The art of reading handwriting is called graphology. The logic is pretty simple.

Handwriting is nothing but an output of the electrical impulses of the brain. Since it is an output, one can gauge the person/individual from the handwriting. Now, why focus on the signature?

In an ever-increasingly electronic world, you just don't write that often. You email, you text, and you surf. In all of these activities, you express yourself through manufactured fonts, and our society is becoming unused to expressing itself through handwriting.

However, you still sign documents, contracts, applications, and more. That is where your personality is visible.

Think about your childhood. In the early years of school, you were taught how to write through repeated exercises. Your teachers and parents may have spent a considerable amount of time trying to get you to write in that particular style of "standard" handwriting that everyone desires. But here is the kicker: all of us wound up with our own style of handwriting, didn't we?

That's because we are individuals with our own personalities, desires, abilities, and experiences. How your handwriting differs from the "standard" handwriting is nothing but your individuality expressed on paper.

Your signature is a snapshot of that personality.

The Basics

There are some characteristics of handwriting that apply only to signatures, and those are the ones that we will be examining here. They are:

  1. Size of the signature
  2. Size of the first letter of the signature
  3. Slant of the signature
  4. Use of first name, last name, or initials
  5. Underlining of the signature
  6. Dotting of the signature
  7. Use of any backward loops in the signature
Whether a signature is large or small can reveal aspects of a person's personality

Whether a signature is large or small can reveal aspects of a person's personality

1. Size of the Signature

The rule of thumb is this: the bigger the signature, the more gregarious and outgoing the person.

A smaller signature can be an indication that a person is:

  • A miser with money, emotions, or self
  • An introvert
  • Unassuming
Signature with a great difference between the highest point of the first letter and the rest of the letters

Signature with a great difference between the highest point of the first letter and the rest of the letters

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2. Size of the First Letter of the Signature

The size of the first letter gives you an idea of what the person thinks or feels about himself or herself in relation to the rest of the world.

The difference between the highest and lowest points of the letter is the perceived difference felt between the self and others. This is sometimes also used to gauge ego.

If the first letter is capitalized, then the person has more pronounced self-esteem.

If the first letter is in lowercase, then the person is more grounded.

Upward and downward slanting signatures

Upward and downward slanting signatures

3. Slant of the Signature

The slant of a signature can reveal aspects of a person's mindset. Here are three possible slants and their meanings:

  • An upward slant shows ambition and a forward-thinking individual.
  • A straight signature indicates a balance in a person's approach to life and work.
  • A downward slant, i.e., the signature starts on the line and moves below, may show someone who lacks self-esteem.
Signature of first name only

Signature of first name only

4. Use of First Name, Last Name, or Initials

Most people use both their first and last name in their signatures, so when they do something else, it says a lot. Here are some variations and what they mean:

  • Writes only the first name: the person has a strong sense of self and does not take stick too closely to family. These people are independent in thought, are very conscious of the money they make, and will most likely move out to work independently.
  • Writes only the last name: the person is a family person. This indicates a strong love of and loyalty to family, but this person may have issues surviving outside the protection that family provides.
  • Writes first initial, followed by full last name: the person has a balanced approach to life.
  • Writes last name, followed by first name: the person puts family before self.
Underlined signature

Underlined signature

5. Underlining of the Signature

Some people incorporate a flourish in their signatures to underline their name. Here are the meanings of some variations of the underline:

  • No underline: this indicates an unassuming person. People who do not underline their signatures are not too fussy and do not need to impress others with their accomplishments.
  • One line below the signature: the person likes people to know he/she exists. In order to ensure that their presence is felt, people who use one underline are bound to talk about themselves, but not to the point of excess.
  • Two lines below the signature: the person loves to take credit, and will ensure people know the favors he/she has done for them.
  • A line that cuts through the signature: people who do this may tend to go back on their word and generally have a tendency to contradict themselves.
Dotted signature

Dotted signature

6. Dotting of the Signature

Some people will dot their signature upon completion. Most will do so after scratching a line under the signature.

The line is to ensure that they underline their presence, but a dot is worse. Here it is trying to say:

  • One dot: "You should know who I am, what I do, and what I have done, but here is another reminder."
  • Two dots: "Don't forget who did this."
Signature with a backward loop

Signature with a backward loop

7. Use of Any Backward Loops in the Signature

A backwards loop could mean that the person is any of the following:

  • Someone who thinks a lot about everything
  • Someone who will take everything upon himself or herself and will be miserable until everyone is happy
  • Someone who will go about explanations in a roundabout way
  • Someone who may fib if the situation requires

How to Analyze Handwriting Yourself

Handwriting or signature analysis is not an exact science. I recommend that you take note of these seven characteristics in the signatures of your acquaintances and draw your own more detailed conclusions about how it reveals their personalities. I started many years back, and over the years, I began to piece together patterns that I observed.

Before you begin your own observations, consider the following guidelines:

  • You can use a person's signature to try to gain an initial impression, but please do not use it as criteria for hiring.
  • After you have gained an initial impression of a person based off of his or her signature, don't stop there. Let that person's actions continue to contribute to your mental picture of his or her character.

© 2010 Prabhjot Bedi

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