Thursday, August 7, 2008

Honesty and Dishonesty Through Handwriting Analysis

Author: Joel Engel


In general, the handwriting of honest people has clarity, simplicity and a firm, straight base line. You can see this by taking a ruler and placing it under the middle-zone letters-they are all equidistant from the ruler. When the base line is straight (and certain other factors are not present), we find an individual who does not go to pieces if something unexpected occurs. He is composed, not easily upset, straight thinking, and honest.

The more open the ovals are, the more talkative the writer is. When these letters are a regular feature of someone's writing, he can be said to be both open and honest. However, if there were no oval letters closed, it would be best not to tell the writer any secrets-he may have difficulty keeping them.

If the body of the writing is similar to that of the signature, we see an essentially honest and straightforward individual-one that is not trying to impress others or play a false part. When the signature varies from the body of the writing, graphologists first analyze the body of the writing, to discover what the writer really is. Then they check that against the signature to get an impression of the writer's persona-the role he is trying to play.


Although there are many indicators of dishonesty, which can be identified through one's handwriting, graphologists always rely upon three signs.

*The sinuous base line.

He is inconsistent, prey to mood swings. It is difficult for him to hold a job or perform any function-requiring steadiness.

*Oval shaped letters, which are open at the bottom). This reflects deceitfulness and hypocrisy.

*Figures that can be mistaken for others, reveals lack of clarity in money matters.

When any one of these three signs are found in one's writing, a question mark arises to the graphologist concerning the writer's veracity. Two signs are considered as evidence.

It must be pointed out that the professional graphologist only relies upon these factors when:
a) they are significantly repeated


b) this is the writer's natural handwriting.

A person's illegible signature does not admit of any complimentary interpretation. For how much trust can be placed in a document if the signature that is to prove the signer's determination to carry out his promises cannot be deciphered? In a sense, an illegible signature annuls the document it pretends to put in force.

In contrast, the illegible hand of doctors, for instance, is part of their professional pride and secretiveness; they do not want the layman to understand their notes obviously reserved for other doctors or pharmacists. As this is not the doctor's natural handwriting, it certainly is not an indicator of dishonesty; it is to protect his patient.

Psychopathology in Handwriting

The Habitual Liar

The technique of lying, it seems, has at least three ways of achieving its ends. In the liar's presentation of the story,

l. one (essential) part is simply left out;

2. one (essential) part is left out and a freely invented part is substituted for it;

3. one (essential) part is left out and the gap is filled with chitchat, or meaningless or vague tales. In all three ways, the liar tries carefully not to appear as such; his story and approach must not arouse suspicion.

(Essentially, the habitual liar, as a social type, is unwilling to communicate frankly; he will not express himself without indirection or hesitation.) In writing, the liar's techniques remain the same. While the first letters of words look clear and often are written with great care (to deceive us and to draw our attention away from that part of the word where the lie "resides"), the body of the word behind that first letter is,

1. Incomplete: one or more letters are left out ("ad" instead of "and," "Thanki" instead of "Thanking," "neived" instead of "received," "sicenly" instead of "sin¬cerely"),


2. One or several letters are replaced by letters that do not belong there ("eacl" instead of "each," "mucl" instead of "much," "costme" instead of "continue"),


3. One letter is left out and instead there is a thread ("fr-" instead of' "from,") or something that looks like a letter but is not ("ar-y" instead of "army").

The above samples are taken from one message, written by a habitual liar.

The Pathological Liar

These two seemingly different handwritings were written by one person, a pathological liar. She executed this writing for the doctor who had her under his care, in order to show "how clever she was." From the standpoint of graphology, these handwritings are identical with the exception of the slant; neither contains a basic characteristic that the other lacks.

The pathological liar, to be sure, is not merely a person who tells many lies. He is almost completely identified with the false roles he unconsciously assumes. Consequently, he will characteristically show two or more different styles of writing, rather than merely the slips of the "habitual liar." Such shifting of style is the clue to pathology, which the graphologist can discover.

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Joel Engel is the author of "Handwriting Analysis Self-Taught," (Penguin Books). He operates online personality types and career matching. For more information visit:

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