Handwriting and Personality: What is Graphology?
Handriting and personality: Graphology is an excellent projective technique through which it is possible to discover our characteristics of personality and of those who surround us.
The subject matter of Graphological analysis is handwriting and it reveals: emotions, states of mind, psychological issues, ability for adjustment, degree of self-esteem, need to relate to others, level of intelligence , vital energy, health issues of the writer, among others.
What is personality?
Personality is not just a group of temperamental and character traits of each individual, but it is the way each individual behaves, which is expressed through conduct. Personality traits will determine the adjustment of the individual to the environment and the way he reacts before different situations.
Handwriting and personality. It is known that the combination of the different physical, psychological and social traits reflect the way of thinking, acting and feeling of human beings. Personality is an inner organization that makes individuals act in different ways before situations. It influences conduct directly.
Also read: Letter G in Handwriting
Which are the aspects that constitute personality?
Personality is composed of:
· Physical aspect: Is the somatic, inherited, genetic, congenital. Although it is inherited, it is influenced by environmental and psychological factors.
· Temper: It is of genetic and innate origin and it is associated with the way the individual reacts, the emotional burden that he imposes to events. The four tempers described by doctors in the old days are: choleric, hot-blooded, melancholic and phlegmatic.
· Character: It is determined by the environment and the circumstances that surround him. Education, habits, social and cultural norms participate, among others.
Stages of the psychosexual development
We shall explain the stages of psychosexual development according to Sigmund Freud in a simple way.
When we hear about “Oral personality”, or “Anal personality”, that someone is “fixed in the oral stage” or in the “sadistic anal stage”, or we hear about “libido” what does that mean?
Our wish is that this material is useful for those who need to incorporate these concepts without the technical terms that is proper of the licensed psychologist. Graphologists require solid knowledge of the stages of psychosexual development and the way in which they are reflected in handwriting. Graphology is not just the description of letters, but discovering the pace in movement and in the shape of handwriting, through which we will achieve the interpretation of personality.
How does personality develop?
In psychoanalytic theory, psychosexual evolution is a relevant topic; it is the starting point from where personality will develop. According to how these stages are experienced of evolution of libido and to how the psychological apparatus is structured, it will result in a different type of personality. We will find mature people when they are able to equilibrate their expectations with reality.
Freud affirmed that personality is constituted from a young age and that the first experiences of early childhood are of great importance for later development. In his so criticized work “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” (1905) and in “Infantile Sexuality”, he affirms that sexual instinct is present since childhood. In this latter work, he establishes the different stages of psychosexual development. The important concept in these works is the so called “erogenous zones”. The erogenous zones are not only genital organs, but other parts of the body that are sensitive to certain stimuli that awake a person sexually. These zones that are capable of provoking pleasure shall be prevailing according to age. The erogenous zones may be: the skin, mouth, ear, underarm or others and they vary according to each individual.
Stages of the psychosexual development in personality development
Personality will shape up according to the way the child experiences these stages in the psychosexual development and the erogenous zones give a name to these stages. Freud says that “fixations” may appear in these stages of psychosexual development and when we get to an adult age, they give birth to a type of character.
What is libido?
The term libido comes from Latin and it means desire, impulse. It is the amount of energy put in the development of work, a relationship, a hobby. Psychoanalysis calls sexual energy “libido”.
This term was coined by Sigmund Freud, who says: “Libido is a term that belongs to the theory of affection. With call with this term, the energy considered as quantitative magnitude, although for now unmeasurable from instincts that are related to all of which is susceptible of being understood under the concept of love.” (Psychology of masses).
Freud understands by sexuality to all physical impression that produces pleasure, with a broader sense and not only genital. It has its origin in the erogenous zones. In the first stage, in the mouth. That is why children suckle as an expression of pleasure. Libido in children is centered in the Ego (Libido of the Ego) until they turn two years old for then passing onto an object libido, which is when other individuals and objects are recognized. When libido is kept centered on oneself, in the own ego, diseases are produced. The child continues with the anal, phallic and genital stages.
The mental processes consist in the circulation of an amount of energy (impulsive energy) that is generated , accumulated and is released in order to recover the initial balance (when the release is not achieved, alternative releases are considered, such as dreams or in the worst case scenario, symptoms).
How does this energy get to the Psychological Apparatus?
This energy is originated due to the excitation produced by the inner stimuli (they are instinctive impulses that come from the organism) and external (sensations that the environment provides). When talking about release, Freud refers to the emotional releases and the instinctive activities that are used to release the energy provoked by the internal and external stimuli.
Psychosexual development stages. Experiences forge personality and character. According to Freud, the traumatic experiences in these stages of life (like difficulty with weaning, or sphincter, in the search for sexual identity), generate what is called fixation, which is keeping primitive or childish habits. Fixation provokes that a disorder in one of these stages is manifested in our character or personality.
Also read: Handwriting Analysis Letter T
The evolution of libido consists of four stages that are essentially structured in the first five years of life.
· Oral stage, which occurs during the first year and 18 months of life.
· Anal stage, which occurs approximately between 15 and 18 months until three years from the moment that the child starts to walk, the anal stage begins to structure.
· Phallic stage, which extends from three years old on.
· Genital stage (4, 5 years old) where the prior partial impulses are unified (oral, anal and phallic).
Stages of the Psychosexual development: This stage is develops from birth until the 18th month, the erogenous zone is the mouth, which is not only for eating, but also for suckling, which provokes satisfaction because it connects him with the outside world. This stage is divided in two phases:
Suckling: In which pleasure is found in suckling and lasts until the 6th month. The way to relate is through the mouth. The child incorporates the mother breast and, later, food. The child is a passive receptor, since he does not have the ability of giving yet. He receives food and affection, tenderness and perceives the outer world through his senses.
Oral sadistic or cannibalistic: At which pleasure is obtained when introducing objects into the mouth and biting them with the teeth or gums. It extends from six months olds until two years old. As the child develops, the individual goes from one stage to another. It is possible that in adulthood oral pleasures are sought, like eating and smoking. The way in which the oral stage is experienced determines a characteristic personality. The excessive oral satisfaction is translated into too much optimism and the oral privations provoke pessimism.
Traits of Oral Character: Oral Personality
If for any reason, a child has been weaned before time or did not receive what he needed physically, emotionally, regarding security, he might develop a passive oral character. The passive oral personality is dependent, like children who need adults give and fix all for them. They need oral pleasure like food, drink, cigarettes; they always look for pleasures that were missing during the oral stage. The dependency is also emotional and they are very possessive in their relationships. What is healthy and expected is that the child experiences this stage and evolves towards the rest of the stages: anal, phallic and genital without getting stuck or “fixated” in none of them.
Oral Stage in handwriting
The oral stage is characterized in writing by round or circular shapes, given that the first strokes that the child executes are the typical circle, to which he adds eyes, legs, mouth and arms.
The circular movement is in turn to an edge that symbolizes the subject itself. The maturity or evolution of people is appreciated when he gets out of himself to discover the outer world. At the beginning, the outer world is represented by the mother and through the contact of the mouth with the breasts. Drawings are childish; they seem to be executed by adolescents or children, with disproportions or shapes.
Eating disorders have, from the psychoanalytic point of view, their point of fixation in the oral stage. People with an oral character repress aggression. The more round is the biggest letter, the more tendency to orality and the harder it is for them to express anger. They socialize at the expense of the need for acceptance and comprehension that they require and are sensitive to the rejection of the environment. The presence of connections between letters, little space between words and low upper extensions define the need and dependency they have for others. Their self-esteem is based on the acceptance of those that surround them. They need to feel recognized and accepted. When the bond with the mother has been good, affection is better managed. There is better capacity of adjustment that is reflected in the distance between letters, between words, and between lines. The individual has a flexible character and has the ability to balance his desire with the foreign. He is nicer and is able to adjust.
When the oral cannibalistic stage prevails, there is a tendency for aggressive relationships. These people can suffer depression symptoms, pessimistic thoughts, melancholic and irritating. When their demands are not satisfied they can turn tyrannical.
In personnel selection it is associated with the lymphatic or phlegmatic. They are personalities that harmonize with routine tasks that require patience and good memory. The excess of curls, spirals and bindings may denote signs of hiding and selfishness.
The second stage of psychosexual development extends from the 18th month until three and a half years in which sphincter control is achieved. It was the so called anal stage by Freud because although the oral stages stay active, the characteristic manifestations for the child are constituted by excrement, which are the first personally created production that he can offer the outer world. The pleasure produced by defecation and controlling the sphincter at will can lead the child to retain excrement to experiment more pleasure at the moment of eliminating them. In this stage that is composed of two stages, he learns things of life such as possession and detachment from objects, that depending on whether it is distorted or exaggerated will result on the typical trait of the anal personality.
The Primary Anal Phase or Anal-Expulsive: In this stage, the pleasure dwells in “taking the fecal matter out”. Psychologically, this expulsion equals to the destruction of the same, detaching, continuing the sadistic pleasure that started in the cannibalistic stage of the oral phase. The child tends to play with the dregs, touching them.
Secondary phase or Anal-Retentive: In this case, the pleasure is in retaining the dregs. Sadism is manifested dominating the object, retaining it and restricting its freedom.
Anal Stage in handwriting
This is the stage that we go through between the anal and phallic. It keeps some traits from the anal stage and presents aspects of the phallic. During this stage, pleasure is found in playing with water. Children compete on who can get the rest wet at a greater distance (subconscious competition of power connected to sexuality).
This stage is developed between 3 and 5 to 6 years old. The erogenous zones are the genital organs. The child discovers that girls do not have a penis. The subconscious fear of losing the penis is called Castration complex.
Out of this stage, we find the Oedipus and Electra complexes.
It comes from the Greek mythology of King Oedipus. It accompanies castration fear. Oedipus, without knowing so, kills his father and marries his mother.
The complex of sexual attraction that the child tends to feel for his mother during the phallic stage is associated to the rivalry of the child towards his father, due to the affection towards his mother in this stage.
Freud ensures that the Oedipus complex constitutes the subconscious nucleus of all of the neurosis and psychosis, around which the rest of the complexes and fantasies are grouped.
If this stage is developed in a natural way, the child loses sexual attraction for his mother and acquires the masculinity of his father. According to Freud, if this does not happen, he can reject the masculine role or his consciousness may become atrophied, he may overvalue his sexual ability and turn arrogant and selfish in his relationships with women.
In this stage, the girl experiences a process similar to the boy’s. with some significant differences. Freud believed that the girl considered his father as a sexual object and her mother a rival.
Freud believed that the conflicts of the phallic stage produced disorders in feminine sexual functions (frigidity). Just like the boy, she must accept the law the father establishes, resign to her desire and identify with her mother.
She must redirect her desire towards a man that does not belong to the family (exogamy). In both genders, man and woman, this will stay in a state of latency until becoming teenagers, which is when desire is reactivated for full sexual identification and can be realized in a mature way.
For he human being, the solution of the oedipal situation it is essential. This allows adaptation to reality, it is the personal identification with the law and Access to socialization, which is possible, through the establishment of the law that organizes the same.
Latency Period (second childhood to adolescence)
This calm period is developed between 5 and 6 and 12 as a consequence of the castration principle. Sexual evolution is not interrupted, but is latent. It does not represent an authentic psycho-sexual stage, since the physiological and psychological changes of adolescence that will bring along new sources of pleasure and conflicts are expected to occur.
Freud does not say much about this period. The energies of sexual impulses are leveraged during this period for reorganization of the Ego, intellectual expansion and augmentation of knowledge.
Once the Latency period is over, puberty commences. The erogenous zones are now the genitals, just like in the phallic stage The difference is that the phallic stage is egocentric. It is with oneself. On the contrary, the genital stage is where personality finishes to shape up. Pleasure in oneself is not searched for anymore, but it turns heterosexual.
Attraction for the opposite sex is accented. As the pleasure matures, it will be given by the genital orgasm.
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Translation: Ulises Ibarguren