[GOOD QUESTION] What does your handwriting say about you?


Johanna Pierach

READING BETWEEN THE LINES. Graphology, the study of handwriting, can be used as the basis for inferences about one’s character. Serene Kalugdan’s neat handwriting habit began in childhood, with even earlier origins in her family’s past. “My dad was from the Phillippines, and they had to have very good handwriting.”

Handwriting style extends far beyond the movement of pen on paper. Whether it be math homework or an english assignment, handwriting is very much a part of everyday life.

According to Graphologist Kathi McKnight, it may also be indicative of a person’s personality. “Just from analyzing your handwriting, experts can find over 5,000 personality traits,” she said. There are many small distinctions that make everyone’s handwriting unique, including the size and slant of the letters, the pressure of the pencil on paper, the font, and more.

Each distinction can tell a different story. According to McKnight, large letters indicate that the writer enjoys being in the presence of people, and often feels insignificant. On the other hand, smaller letters signify introvertness and high focus.

I value having what I’m doing look organized, and I think cursive looks very uniform.

— Anja Seifert

In terms of the angle of letters, right slanted writers tend to place an emphasis on social values, while non-slanted writers think more logically. Left slanted writers tend to prioritize their own well being.

The amount of pressure that a writer exerts on paper can also indicate personality traits. People who add more pressure tend to express more intense emotions, whereas people with lighter hand writing don’t overwork themselves emotionally.

Junior Amin Umer prioritizes efficiency over neatness, and he doesn’t think his handwriting is visually appealing. “My handwriting is basically illegible,” he said. “I write really quickly so I don’t have time to make it look good.”

Although this process is subconscious, Umer thinks his writing could be telling of his personality. “I think [my handwriting] says that I’m a creative person. I like to think outside the box and writing super neat is more straightforward,” he said.

Neat handwriting doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of creativity. Sophomore Serene Kalugdan has aimed to have neat writing since she was a child. “My dad was from the Philippines and they had to have very good handwriting,” she said.

Kalugdan attributes her handwriting to her artwork and her father’s background. “I feel like I’m pretty creative in general and I like to do art,” she said. She doesn’t necessarily believe there’s a connetion between her handwriting and who she is as a person.

Unlike Kalugdan and Umer, junior Anja Seifert doesn’t write in print. Seifert went to a Catholic school for a portion of elementary school where she was required to write in cursive. Although she switched to print in 5th grade, she eventually reverted back to cursive and has stuck with it ever since.

“When I would write in print I didn’t like that the w’s were pointed, so I started rounding them,” Seifert said. Eventually, she started rounding all her letters until she was left with cursive. “I value having what I’m doing look organized, and I think cursive looks very uniform.”

Although Seifert was interested in the visual appeal of more rounded letters, she also chose cursive because she wanted to be different from her sister. “My sister writes in print, and all of her letters are like actual squares. I admired her handwriting but I didn’t want to be a direct copy of her.”

Although students may not embrace their own writing as a piece of their personality, there may be a story behind the origin of their handwriting.