Apart from the interest that handwritten samples provide for personality ‘sleuths’, writing long hand has therapeutic benefits.
For example, just as you can influence your behaviour by copying a role model, you can influence a trait by changing the way you draw the letters that reflect that trait.
For example, if you suffer from poor self-esteem, you most likely bar your ‘t’s low down on the stem. If you were to write pages of ‘t’s barred high up on the stem till it became second nature, that would impact your self-esteem positively.
More significant though is the contribution writing long hand can make to helping you work though negative emotions (anger, grief, guilt, jealousy) or to surface deeper yearnings of the psyche, such as your true purpose.
After my parents’ death, I was stuck in my grieving and therapeutic writing helped me to cope with my grief and move on. I use this with my clients and it really delivers if done the right way.
Why does this help?
Talking about negative things that inhabit you simply doesn’t have the same emotional catharsis as when you write about them.
When you write, the subconscious mind gives the output a structure that helps you find meaning in it, whereas talk allows the subconscious to remain unstructured and chaotic.
One possible explanation for this difference is that language is under the control of the right (affective) brain whereas writing is under the control of the left (logical) brain.
How many novels out there are the product of an existential or personal crisis? More than you would imagine. Harry Potter to name but one!
In my coaching, I always encourage my clients to write down their homework long hand rather than type it out on the computer.
Writing long hand ensures stronger expectations are created at the subconscious level.
A couple of years ago, a study looked at how New Year’s resolutions had been taken, and with what success. Less than 5 percent of unwritten resolutions ‘stuck’, versus nearly half of the written resolutions!
So whether it’s your New Year resolutions or your business goals – write them down longhand
Is handwriting at risk?
Today people write less and less. The keyboard, the Blackberry and the i-pad are replacing the pen. Even signatures on digital products are faked, the product of software.
On the rare occasions that keyboard enthusiasts put pen to paper, they scrawl, no longer practised in the activity of writing.
This generation won’t be shedding a tear over old love letters in their eighties, and the more the pity!
As machines learn to recognize our voice more reliably, and as computers become common work tools in the classroom, will future generations even learn to write?
I was writing by the age of three, the product of my environment in Asia; by the age of six, I was reading the Three Musketeers. What are six year-olds reading today, when they’re not playing computer games? What is texting doing to our children’s powers of expression and to the merciless impoverishment of our language? It’s already happening, judging by the English used in forums and blogs and in many articles on the Net.
So you can tweet – but can you craft a vision with words that will touch people’s soul? Can I?
Indeed, I can’t help but wonder – does graphology even have a future, if handwriting itself risks becoming a lost art?
Perish the thought.
What are your views or personal experience on this subject? Please share them.