Handwritten notes can keep track of your shopping lists or express your gratitude (Meghan Markle's a big fan!), but the way you form and space your letters can also reveal a lot about who you are, at least according to , or handwriting analysis.
Many consider graphology a , but the practice often imparts findings on courtrooms, hiring offices, and police stations.
"Every letter symbolizes something to do with what's going on in your mind," says graphologist , author of . "People think handwriting analysis is like voodoo or tea leaves; it's not. It's body movement from your brain. It's very logical."
If you're tempted to put your handwriting under the microscope, we consulted Dresbold and fellow graphologist of for their top profiling tactics.
There's something to the saying "dot your i's and cross your t's." Dresbold and Sassi agree that failing to cross your T all the way means you're a procrastinator. Crossing your T high on the stem means you set high goals, while lower placement means you could dream a little bigger.
The placement of the dot can convey quite a bit, according to Dresbold. Direct placement above the stem reveals loyalty. Leftward dots indicate caution and stagnation, with no spontaneity. High and free marks mean you have big ideas — but you're also in a hurry.
The amount of space your script takes up reveals info too. Large printing characterizes attention seekers, while small writing points to a person who prefers staying out of the spotlight. Teeny-tiny scrawl might mean a person's retreating from society completely, Dresbold says.
Find a blank page of paper and start writing. Which way do your words lean? Right indicates an outgoing, future-directed personality, Sassi says. Left means you're a more reserved observer. As for straight up and down, you're very rational and always think things through, Dresbold states.
You only write your John Hancock for others, so graphologists think of a signature as a public expression of the self. Legibility indicates you have nothing to hide, while indecipherable script means you don't want others to know what's going on in your head.
Big, full capital letters convey an extroverted showman, but if you use a strong dash, you're trying to keep people at an arm's distance, Sassi says. Dresbold adds that a legible signature that's vastly different from your everyday handwriting means you know who you are, but you're hiding it from others. Finally, a big X doesn't mean you're simplistic: Dresbold says it shows self-destructive tendencies.
These all-important vowels are considered the "communication letters" in graphology. Closed, neat circles indicate that the writer is discreet. Dresbold also believes that A's and O's with openings at the top mean you can't keep a secret.
The straightness of our text also hints at our outlook on life, Sassi states. An upward slant from the baseline shows an optimistic viewpoint, while downward indicates a pessimistic mood.
Narrow kerning signals a writer who's a little uptight. "Everything in their house has to be perfect," Dresbold says. Spread-apart spacing reveals a more relaxed personality.
Just like letters, the distance between words can signify something. Graphologists use this to determine how the writer approaches relationships. Dresbold states that narrow spaces indicate a fear of abandonment, while large distances reveal trouble connecting with others.
Unlike the public ego expressed in the signature, this word is a lot more personal. Sassi says the loops in a cursive capital I can convey a lot about your relationship with your parents, as the upper part represents the maternal while the lower part represents the paternal. The size of the loops — or the bars in a printed I — correspond to the strength of the relationship.
Dresbold also states that a separation of the bars from the stem conveys a divorce or marital instability, a single straight line represents independence, and a lowercase I symbolizes immaturity.
Sassi always asks her business clients to provide a sample of writing with the date on it. How the candidate writes the number two influences her reports: A two with no loop shows someone's good with facts and figures, she says.
A completely closed C can indicate a lack of trust, Dresbold states. A lack of a gap could signify that you don't want to let anybody in.
Letters like Y, G, and J all move through what's called the "lower zone," which is associated with action. Y in particular is associated with money, Sassi says. A big loop can represent a big money bag, or creativity and fantasy depending on other strokes in the writing.
Does your ink bleed through or barely coat the page? A light grip belongs to ethereal types. Digging into the page convey intensity and strong emotion, Dresbold says.