For centuries, philosophers and writers have made
reference to the link between personality and handwriting. As far back
as the 4th century B.C. Aristotle wrote: "spoken words are the
symbols of mental experience and written words are the symbols of spoken
words. Just as all men have not the same speech sounds, so all men have
not the same writing."
Over 2500 years later, the
French psychologist, Pierre Janet (1859- 1947) referred to handwriting
analysis as a "science of the future" and described handwriting
itself as; "an act which leaves a printout. It is the film record of
the writer's sensibilities."
Today, as we stand at the
beginning of the 21st century we have reason to give credence to those
words. The "printout" left by handwriting is a description of the
individual's character in psychological code.
The handwriting analyst or
graphologist, by using scientifically validated graphological techniques
in combination with psychological theory is able to decipher that code
and to translate it into a meaningful description of the writer's
It was Alfred Adler, the famous
psychologist who wrote; "Handwriting is frozen motion.....
Handwriting points the way from me to you."
The understanding of handwriting
is a great step in communication. Indeed, the depth of insight into a
personality that can be reached through the analysis of that handwriting
often seems uncanny.
Layers of subterfuge accumulated
over the years are carefully peeled away to reveal the writer's level of
self-esteem, his attitude to other people, his emotional disposition and
even his insecurities and personality needs.
The handwriting analyst is able
to assess whether the writer is confident or suffering from feelings of
inferiority. He can detect gentleness or hostility, contentment or
anxiety, carelessness or attention to detail, as well as tension,
tendencies to dominate or even open aggression.
From only a page or two of
handwriting, sociability, friendliness, stinginess or acquisitiveness,
selfishness, brutality and many other aspects can be ascertained.
In the same way that
finger-prints are unique, there are no two hand-writings in the world
that are exactly the same so that even identical twins show differences
in their writing. It is because of this unique quality that a signature
is recognized as legally binding on a document.
In addition to being unique,
handwriting is a very personal expression of an individual's inner
being. Handwriting style is so finely in tune with the writer's self,
thinking, feeling and behaviour that it is manifested as his
personalized movement frozen on the page.
Handwriting reflects moods and
emotions so that the changes in a handwriting are graphic manifestations
of fluctuations in emotional temperature.
As the reading on a
cardiogram indicates the condition of the heart, so do the
fluctuations in a handwriting reflect the psychological condition of
the inner self.
But writing which is the
barometer of the personality, is also mobile and volatile. It grows and
changes with the individual so that as the person matures, the
handwriting develops noticeably through the stages from childhood to
adolescence, adulthood and eventually, old age.
In many countries all over the
world people have begun to appreciate the enormous advantages and
benefits to be gained by using graphology. Europe has taken the lead in
graphological research and scientifically validated procedures are
taught at universities.
In Switzerland, graphology is a
highly regarded profession where it is formally taught at universities
including the University of Zurich. In fact, it was also in Switzerland,
that the psychoanalyst and graphologist Ania Teillard worked in close
contact with Jung for over 20 years to research the relationship between
graphology and depth psychology.
One of the most fascinating
aspects of graphology involves looking at famous personalities in the
light of information revealed through their handwritings - to see their
personalities come to life on the page especially when that information
is substantiated by known historical facts and biographical detail.
In this context it is
interesting to examine the handwritings of Freud and Jung.
The handwritings of
Freud and Jung
Freud and Jung were both
psychoanalysts, but a mere glance at their contrasting handwritings is
sufficient to show that they were poles apart in temperament and that
the difference in their personalities was actually an important factor
in the final dissolution of their friendship.
That they held such divergent
beliefs is remarkable when you bear in mind that they started off
holding the same theories about personality. Theories that according to
Freud, proclaim that man is eternally shackled to sexuality and that we
prove this over and over not only in our everyday lives but also by the
very nature of our dreams.
For any theory to gain such
monumental recognition as did Freud's, it has to be promoted with total
obsession and Freud was nothing if not completely captivated by his
theories of sexuality.
All the books and articles that
he ever wrote on religion, literature, or art set out to prove the
validity of these ideas and so it is hardly surprising that his
handwriting reflects many such signs of obsession.
So immersed was he in these
considerations that every aspect of life had to be examined under the
magnifying if not myopic lens of sexuality.
So much so that when Jung dared
to suggest that libido, a term coined by Freud, should not have an
exclusively sexual connotation, Freud was very upset. He took it as a
personal insult - the ultimate in disloyalty; and so the irrevocable rot
in their friendship set in.
Many books have been written on
the feud between these two men and their correspondence has been
carefully scrutinised for all sorts of tell-tale signs. To this day,
there is a compelling fascination in reading the letters of Jung and
Freud where one almost feels like some peeping Tom guiltily invading the
privacy of their thoughts.
The handwriting of Jung
Jung sent Freud the following letter in
1913, effectively putting an end to their relationship:
The handwriting of Freud
Passion and fearless originality are the
hallmarks of Freud's handwriting:
A mere glance at both
handwritings clearly reveals the basic differences in the two
personalities. Freud's compact, heavily- pressured handwriting with
numerous restrictions shows that he was temperamentally volatile and
subject to emotional torment, dark moods and impulsive outbursts.
He was a passionate and intense
character who saw everything in shades of black and white and his bouts
of frustration and anger were no doubt a force to be reckoned with. He
was a turbulent character and his handwriting clearly mirrors that dark
There is also a strong element
of untamed inventiveness, of genius unconfined by established rules and
a boundless creative energy exudes from every letter.
While Freud was a temperamental
man with powerful emotions that were difficult to control, Jung was a
quiet and highly- disciplined introvert. And where Freud would always
react with emotional involvement, Jung was cool and calculating.
The precise and very correct
manner of Jung's disciplined approach must have driven Freud to
distraction. And so it was at a psychoanalytical conference in Munich
while engaged in a heated discussion, that Freud, to everyone's horror,
fell down in a dead faint.
Jung who was a tall and powerful
man, picked him up and carried him to a nearby couch. Highly embarrassed
by this incident, Freud tried to explain it away but to all intents and
purposes it seemed that the tension between them was the cause of his
And to make matters worse it was
the second time that this had happened under almost identical
circumstances. That Freud would react in such a way, even
subconsciously, shows how subject he was to the dictates of his
Freud - A
It is obvious from Freud's
writing that he was easily hurt. A high degree of tension in his
handwriting , heavy pressure, irregularity, discordances and lack of
rhythm all point to his moodiness. His strong resentments and undying
grudges are plain to see but above all, it is striking to see how deeply
he loved and how vigorously he hated.
Passion is the word best used to
describe Freud's handwriting with its ink-filled letters and many
sweeping extensions. He showed a passion in his beliefs and a passion in
his relationships. Small wonder that his philosophy evolved around sex.
Certainly, his courtship of his
wife, Martha Bernays was ardent enough when in addressing a letter to
her he started it with: "My sweet darling girl". This was no luke-warm
character. Neither, years later, would he have been lukewarm in his
friendship with the beautiful Lou Andreas-Salome, a notable seductress
who ostensibly admired his intellect.
Jung - A Personality
Whereas Freud stayed with the
earthy practicalities of sex and repression Jung's ideas tended to
frequent the ethereal and lofty heights of symbolism and the esoteric
meanings of myth. The very words extrovert and introvert, the idea of
the collective unconscious as well as the notion of archetypes - are all
concepts in psychology that were put forward by Jung.
His handwriting is deeply
intellectualized and shows evidence that he was guided by careful logic.
There is a wonderful fluidity of movement that indicates his facility in
the use of words and thoughts and this is borne out by his voluminous
He was a highly organized
individual who showed meticulous attention to detail. The middle zone
letters are of even size, the diacritics are carefully placed and even
the full stop after his signature is round and perfect.
He was a man of modesty, despite
the fame and adulation that always followed him. Look at the small,
well-modulated letters, the unostentatious signature at the end of the
letter as well as the well-proportioned capitals - there are no
He was quietly confident,
self-assured and had his life under control - such perfect control that
he was able to conduct a close friendship with his soul mate Tony Wolf
while having an apparently impeccable marriage with his wife Emma though
no-one dreamt of lifting an eyebrow in either surprise or criticism.
Despite his deep concern for
people that found practical expression in his desire to heal, Jung's
handwriting shows his need to be alone.
There is an isolation and
austerity in the very lines and spaces of his letter - a proud
independence of spirit that is borne out both by the biographical facts
of his lonely youth as well as by the fact that he used to have to
retire regularly to his home at Kusnacht in Switzerland where the
beautiful and restful scenery of Lake Constance provided him with a
measure of spiritual and mental resuscitation.
But he was critical, irritable
and very Germanic - none of which were features particularly conducive
to the peace of mind which he so dearly sought. Look at the vibrant but
controlled tremor that runs through the letter like a rumbling
Nevertheless, he had an inner
strength and determination that explains his ability to persevere with
the many controversial ideas that he upheld in spite of the fact that
they were severely criticised by Freud and the many other eminent
cognoscenti of his time.
He was a man of intellectual
honesty and courage and could not be diverted from the course in which
he truly believed.
Unfortunately, what he believed
proved to be extremely controversial particularly for the times in which
he lived and for the circles within which he moved. In short, Jung had
decided to investigate the strange secrets of the hidden world of the
soul and for this he was to pay a heavy price.
Unlike today, where alternative
thinking has become rather fashionable, in those days it was severely
frowned upon. In the intellectual climate of the time, where realism and
Darwinian ideas were valued above all else, Jung now found himself in
Like Freud, he was a medical
doctor with a fine reputation and he knew that by entering into shadowy
areas - albeit with the idea of scientific investigation - he would lose
credibility by his mere association with alternative or esoteric themes.
Nevertheless, Jung felt
compelled to explore the enigmatic areas of the soul where no scientist
had ventured before him. And so he studied extra-sensory perception,
the tarot, ghosts, the I-ching and innumerable other obscure areas.
He travelled into the heart of
Africa to study tribal society, and he visited the Pueblo Indians to
discover their secrets. He knew the myths of every country and the
folklore of every nation. He investigated parapsychology and studied
alchemy in great depth, maintaining that answers could be found anywhere
and that therefore no area should be taboo.
His friends were vehement in
advising him against his unorthodox direction while Freud took full
advantage of the opportunity to heap scornful criticism on Jung's broad
But Jung thought that he would
be untrue to his own ideals if he did not investigate - scientifically -
the areas that gave humanity the most difficulty.
So he advanced stubbornly into
the murky waters of the unknown against all advice, knowing full well
that such an action would be irreversible and that his reputation would
inevitably suffer the consequences.
Some people suggested that he
had lost himself in mystical ideas and that he was not completely
mentally sound. It is possible that they were driven by malice but there
is indeed evidence of obsessive thinking in his handwriting and it is
more than likely that some of his esoteric ideas may have got to him at
some later stage in his life.
Such incompatibility of outlook
between the two men was rooted in the fundamental differences of their
personalities. They approached their strongly- held beliefs from
different if not opposing angles - and the meeting ground between them,
held firm at first by their mutual love of psychology, soon eroded
And finally when Jung sent this
last letter to Freud, formally ending their association, there was no
Graphologically, Jung's letter
seethes with irritation, petty little bitternesses, determination to cut
the ties between them and an unrelenting desire to distance himself from
further contact with Freud.
It is a masterpiece of cold
calculated emotional severance on paper. Although this does not appear
in the text as such it can be seen quite clearly in the sharp asperity
of the handwriting.
Eventually, Freud was to write
in utter frustration; "so we are at last rid of them, the brutal,
sanctimonious Jung and his disciples."
The fact remains, that after
Jung wrote this letter that concluded their friendship in 1913, they
never saw one another again. And now, only through their letters and
from the living message concealed in their handwritings are we able to
reconstruct the real emotions that put an end to their relationship.
So many letters have been
written casually or thoughtlessly in the heat of the moment but all
those carefully hidden emotions remain sealed within the handwriting and
reside there dormant until they are deciphered many years later by those
who are able to interpret the code.
About the Author
Sandra Fisher is a writer, a
graphologist. and a teacher. She has published many articles on
graphology and has also written several books on the subject
For Permission to use this
article contact the author at