What your signature says about you

Someone signing [Photo Credit: Thrillist]
Someone signing [Photo Credit: Thrillist]

Your signature says a whole lot about you. It is amusing when people expend so much time and effort to craft complicated signatures. What are they hiding? Bill Gates writes almost his name out as signature. It is easy to read. And it shows he is an open and straight forward person. Mark Zuckerberg signs off using only his initials, which are scribbled in capital letters.  It suggests he is a highly private person, full of confidence and self-esteem.

Unknown to many people, a signature is something more than a means to protect wealth. (Interestingly some poor people have the most complicated signature!)  Your signature is how you want to be seen by the rest of the world. According to graphologists, it’s your public face.

Interest in this subject has been spiked by US President Donald Trump. I was not the only person to be amused by how he signed his first executive orders with so much airs and contentment after being sworn into office. Anne Quito, a design reporter, also was; and she wrote about it.

She noted: “Surrounded by his family and members of Congress, the world witnessed how long it takes Trump to write down the 11 letters in his first and last name. His official signature—a jagged, loop-less scrawl reminiscent of a seismometer reading from a catastrophic earthquake—took about six to seven seconds and over 30 strokes to complete. In comparison, his predecessors including left-handed Barack Obama took a second or two to scribble their executive marks.”

Handwriting expert Marc Seifer, who also observed the ceremonial signing, was reported by Anne as noting that while many of us dash off with a quick scrawl on receipts and keypads, Trump took time to form each letter in his name. “It’s a long name and he writes every letter, although most of it is up and down angles. The image of his signature is important to him and so he takes a bit of time to get it right,” observed Seifer.

Seifer sees Trump’s signature as a mirror of his leadership style. “I also noticed that the last letter‘d’ is made by moving to the left instead of the right, which reflects his nature, which goes against the grain,” he notes. “The use of all angles relates to his aggressive nature and tendency to see things black or white, one way or the other, with little room for compromise.”

Trump is described as a narcissist, and although Seifer doesn’t make any direct allusion to that, a recent study has observed that people with big signatures are more likely to be narcissists.

The study of the signatures of 500 chief financial officers was published in the Journal of Research in Personality last year. The researchers found that the CFOs with the largest signatures were more likely to bend the truth.In this case by misreporting the company’s earnings or relaxing internal controls.

Dr Charles Ham, one of the study’s authors, said: “In an ideal setting, you would be in direct contact with executives and have them take a personality test. But that’s not usually possible. A signature comes directly from the executive. We used two laboratory tests to establish the link between signature size and narcissism.”

They found links with the darker parts of narcissism, such as authoritativeness and exploitativeness.

Dr Ham said: “We’ve looked for that silver lining, and we haven’t found it.

We didn’t predict at first that signature size would be related only to the dark elements of narcissism. But that’s what we found.”

Graphologists and other experts have identified more messages transmitted by signatures.

Messages from your signature

Size of Signature: A large signature shows a sense of high status. If your signature is larger than your handwriting, it shows higher self-esteem and confidence level.

Those whose signatures are same as their writing (medium signature) are likely to be balanced with a sense of value and modesty. These people do not act or pretend and have knowledge of how they are perceived. A small signature shows a high degree of self-motivation. Such people do not care what other people think but are likely to have low self-confidence.

I-Dot Signature: A signature with i-dot’s speaks about the personality of the person. A creative i-dot signifies that the person is different from the crowd and loves to stand out. The small straight line used as an i-dot talks about the impatient behavior of a person. This person is likely to always be in hurry. No i-dot shows the person does not need heed details and finds it tough to follow minute details. A long and continuous i-dot shows creativity and intelligence.

Rising and Descending Signature: Most signatures are rising in direction or descending. Rising signatures show the positive attitude of the writer. Such writers are usually optimistic and have a sense of ambition. These writers have the ability to face tough times or difficulties with confidence head-on. Descending signatures depict a rough patch in your life, it can be depression or pessimism.

Those who have straight and horizontal signatures are balanced in life. These writers are generally satisfied with life and the things coming to them.

Signature Underline: A simple underline shows the self-reliance of the writer. Such writers like to follow rules and traditions blindly. The more stylized the underline, the more attention a writer is likely to seek. These writers love to get noticed everywhere and are ready to do anything to be the center of attention.

A zigzag underline shows uncertain behavior of the writer. If the line is toward the right it shows self-reliance of the writer while the left shows uncertainty. Long zigzag lines shows less independence.

Other quick ones

Illegible letters: Quick mind, mental agility

Legible: Open and straightforward person

Easy to read first name but hard to read last name: Places importance on personal accomplishments, and easily approachable

No underline: Prefers to let personal achievements speak for themselves

Nickname: Independent, confident in own abilities

Initials only: Private person

Pronounced capital letters: Confidence, strong sense of self-worth, perhaps arrogant

No surname: relaxed approach to business

Full stop: strong character in business

Scribbled: sharp intelligence and busy lifestyle

Large, swooping letters: Extrovert, confident

Highly stylized: creative flair, likes to make a statement

Flamboyant first letter: Strives to make presence felt


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