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How Your Handwriting Reveals Your Personality

How Your Handwriting Reveals Your Personality

Your handwriting reveals a lot more about your personality than you might think. In fact, there is a science known as Graphology, which involves studying and analyzing handwriting for personality traits.

Graphology has been around for centuries, with the first known public book emerging in 1622. The word, however, was only coined in the 1870s by Jean Michon of France. The emergence of psychology as a profession at the end of the century is credited with providing greatest advancement in the field. It was only in the 19th century that it truly gained prominence.

It might then be surprising (or not) to note that today Graphology is used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  1. In educational facilities to develop a greater teacher-student relationship and teaching environment.
  2. Screening employees in job interviews; corporate companies are increasingly supplementing traditional interviews with handwriting analysis to ensure they employ the correct person.
  3. In criminal investigations; identifying suspects through handwritten letters.
  4. Obtaining a greater understanding of one’s health. For example, it has been found that a deterioration in the ability to write (identifiable through shaky lettering or an unreadable signature), signals a decline in a person with Alzheimer’s.

Considering the vast array of applications, you may be wondering what this looks like in action.

There are four areas of focus; namely size, slant, pressure and spacing. Through analyzing each of them, certain personality traits can be determined. This of course only touches the tip of the iceberg and, as Kathy McKnight, expert Graphologist indicates, over 5,000 personality traits can be determined through merely analyzing a person’s handwriting.

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To get started, write out a sentence (try: The cow jumps over the moon) and then analyze based on the below.

Size

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    Large letters

    This may indicate that you are an extrovert. You enjoy being around people. You enjoy social gatherings, such as parties and interacting with people.

    Small letters

    This may indicate that you are an introvert. Being intensely focused and having high levels of concentration are your strong points. If you are working on a creative project such as designing a website, you can focus in and ignore outside influences. If you are studying, you can concentrate immensely, to the point where someone may think you are ignoring them when you attempt to interact with them.

    Slant

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      Right Slant

      Your emotions govern you. You are sentimental. You are impulsive. You hold friends and family close. You find yourself expressing your feelings in a way that may seem foolish to others. When you visit a friend, you may run over, clap your hands and give them a big hug.

      Or you may spontaneously decide to climb in your car with no plan and see where the road takes you. Objects you receive as gifts from friends might have a special place in your home somewhere. You treasure them with all your heart.

      No Slant

      You are very pragmatic and logical. You do not let your emotions cloud your decision-making process.

      If a friend visits you at a whim and tells you that you are going on an adventure, your logical mind kicks in and you will analyse the merits of leaving what you are currently doing. You may even want to know exactly where you are going.

      Left Slant

      You enjoy working with objects rather than people as you are reserved. You engage in self-analysis. You might find yourself getting lost in painting or on any other project that involves working with objects.

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      Pressure

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        Heavy Pressure

        Your emotions are strong. You are empathetic. You feel things intensely. This may mean that you are someone who is quick to react, letting your emotions take over.

        For example, if you are out in a club and you see someone in trouble or being harassed you will immediately intervene as your sense of emotion takes over, regardless as to whether there is imminent danger.

        Light Pressure

        You are care-free. You move from place to place. You are a wanderer. You do not let your emotions wear you out. A plane delay is no big fuss for you. You accept the situation for what it is and find something else to keep your mind preoccupied.

        You don’t waste unnecessary time and energy inquiring and trying to understand why there is a problem. You accept things for what they are and realise that moaning will just cause unnecessary stress.

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        Line Spacing

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          Little Spacing

          Time management is not a strong point for you. You find yourself struggling with a routine You may even be late for meetings or find yourself over-scheduling your day. You easily lose track of time.

          Even Spacing

          You are aware of boundaries and are punctual. When a meeting is scheduled for a specific time, you will be there, as you understand that being late is not acceptable. You will not just arrive at someones’ house unexpectedly. You will ask to see whether it is okay first.

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          Nick Darlington

          Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2021

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

          Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

          Posture

          First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

          • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
          • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
          • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
          • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

          All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

          Facial Expressions

          Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

          • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
          • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
          • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

          If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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          1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

          A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

          The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

          This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

          2. Relax Your Face

          New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

          The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

          To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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          3. Improve Your Eye Contact

          Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

          The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

          To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

          3. Smile More

          There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

          Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

          4. Hand Gestures

          Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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          It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

          5. Enhance Your Handshake

          In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

          “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

          It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

          6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

          As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

          Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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          Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

          Final Takeaways

          Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

          If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

          More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

          Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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