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The Hidden Meaning of Handwriting


Freud and Jung

Barack Obama

Frank Sinatra


Mother Theresa

Pablo Picasso

Autographs, Signatures

The Hall of Nasties:

The Sniper

The Anthrax Letters

Jack the Ripper


Cho Seung-Hui

Elizabeth Fritzl

Amazing Memory


The Mark of Genius

Relationship Secrets

School Bullying

A Graphology Showcase


Freud and Jung

The conflict of personality between
Freud and Jung



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 character.

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 brooding quality.

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 fainting.

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 emotions.


Freud - A Personality Portrait

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 Portrait

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 writings.

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 pretensions here.

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 subterranean theme.

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 dangerous waters. 

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 shoulders. 

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 beneath them. 

And finally when Jung sent this last letter to Freud, formally ending their association, there was no turning back.

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 





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