By Vishwas Heathcliff Normally, I desist from analyzing signatures unless they are accompanied by handwriting samples. If the signature is analyzed in isolation, there are chances of me going wrong about the personality of the writer. It’s because handwriting shows how the person is, whereas signature reveals how he wants the world to see him. Hence, it’s possible that signatures can mislead me. They can project a face that may not be true at all.
However, signatures cannot be written off as unimportant because though they may not be adequate for the purpose of a complete handwriting analysis, they are a part and parcel of the writers’ lives. Every time you do a signature, you make a statement to yourself and to the rest of the world, saying, “See, this is who I am.” It means that the signature is a reflection of how one behaves in public and how he handles himself. A woman may wear a pleasant smile all the time (reflected by signature), but whether she is really happy or not, will be revealed by her handwriting, not signature. Hence, it is not fair to judge a book by its cover, but still the cover is crucial because it keeps the pages together.
So, in this article we will talk only about the covers i.e. signatures. There are many kinds — good and bad. I can’t discuss them all. Here, I will tell you about five kinds of signatures you must avoid. I will also tell you why. If you find yours similar to any of them, change it immediately.
But before that, a few more words on signature. Many of us decided on our signatures when we were around 15 years of age. We liked a combination of strokes and decided that this is how our signature should be; this is how we should appear to the world. All that is fine. No problem here. But would you disagree that as a teenager, our needs and responsibilities were different from what we have as an adult? We had fewer responsibilities and a certain attitude towards life and the world around us. As a grown-up person, we now have many more responsibilities and at times we need a great deal of attitude adjustment to survive.
Let me explain: as a 15-year-old, many of my needs were being fulfilled by my parents. Whatever I needed, I was given. If did not get something, I would even throw tantrums. Never felt any need for attitude adjustment. I did not even know what attitude adjustment meant. Understandably, with an approach like that, it would be difficult to survive because people around me do not love me as my parents did. They will not be as forgiving as my parents were. They have no reason to put up with my tantrums. As a result, I might lose friends. Similarly, if one is used to getting things too easily and effortlessly, one will lack patience in real life and therefore would become a quitter. Now, you tell me: how far will a quitter go? Well, these are just a few examples. There might be many more.
So, the question arises is how the attitude and approach of an individual is linked to his signature. I said in the beginning that signatures show who we want ourselves to be. And every time we sign in a particular way, we reinforce those beliefs. Therefore, if we change the way we sign our names, it will result in a change of attitude far more conducive to interpersonal harmony. Let’s see how.
JUNK THESE SIGNATURES
(1) STRIKE-THROUGH SIGNATURE
This is one kind of signature which I always find alarming. The signature you see here has been lifted from the suicide note of a Mumbai-based girl who killed herself in 2008 under the pressure of exams. The girl wrote in her suicide note that she was taking the extreme step because she was not well-prepared for her exams. The baseline of her suicide note clearly said she was depressed and her signature said she really did not like herself. Look at the strike-through strokes in her handwriting. Such strokes in signatures reflect self-hatred, a tendency to stab and punish oneself . That’s exactly what the girl did.
If you have a signature with horizontal or vertical strike-through strokes (like my reader Mr Chaturvedi has), get rid of it because every time you do a signature like this, you reinforce whatever the strokes stand for. If it’s self-hatred, you will dislike yourself all the more and take rash steps to sabotage every thing you have accomplished or achieved. Therefore, keep it plain ‘n’ simple.
(2) CAMOUFLAGE SIGNATURE
To be honest, I had this type of signature till about four years ago. On the face of it, the signature looks clean and there are no twisted strokes here. But notice the first letter of my name and a circle around it. Now, here is the problem. The stroke is not right. The circle, which kind of camouflages my first name, is self-limiting. Circles around the first name (see another example) shows the person gets very defensive in public and he is too protective about himself. Such a writer has a problem making friends because they do not open up and are always scared of getting hurt. They suspect the motives of people around them, which results in their social isolation. Consequently, they fail to become a part of the life around them. Usually, people who are extremely sensitive have such signatures. The circle is used by the writer as a protective robe to avoid pain. If you have such a circle around your signature, get rid of it. I did that. The results will surprise you.
(3) VERY SMALL SIGNATURE
A very small signature reflects lack of confidence to pull off day-to-day tasks. If it co-exists with other strokes showing low self-esteem, such as low t-bar and small personal pronoun, it becomes an inexhaustible source of diffidence. Whenever such a writer is in a group, he thinks he is the one who has less of every thing — looks, money, talent or success — than others. They are the people whose self-respect is always trampled by the crowd. They become an easy target because they do not protest. They lack the courage to speak their mind. After several bruises, they begin to avoid social gatherings. In many cases, such people develop psychological problems. If you have such a signature, enlarge it a bit. But not too much.
(4) TRACE-BACK SIGNATURE
A lot of people I met have this signature. From the last stroke, they go backward — from left to right — and draw the underline without lifting the pen. This is called trace-back signature. Such writers never come out of their past and most of the time, they run in reverse gear. They think too much about past matters and that the days gone-by occupy more space in their mind. They fail to let go of something that was good or bad in the past. Recently, I met a businessman who most of the time kept talking about how bad his last garment business was and how it failed “despite his efforts”. I tried to engage him into a conversation on his current business, but after a minute or two, he would again go back to the old one. I have a question for you. What do you think the businessman would have been doing while running that garment business? My guess is he would have spent more time talking about his previous business. If you have a similar signature, draw an underline from left to the right.
Note: There are many other types of trace-back and underline signatures.
(5) SCRIBBLED SIGNATURE
This is one of the most common signatures. Such writers are always in a hurry. They say: “I have to sign hundred times in a day. I can’t write my full name…” There are two reasons they scribble. One, their mind is faster than their hands. And second, they are hoity-toity rascals who tell others: I don’t care whether you can read my handwriting or not. I am just too busy to be bothered by that. I have no time for you…” Such writers seldom take total responsibility for things in their lives. For example, many people scribble on their credit card charge-slips so that it could never be proven they made the purchases. Also, such individuals are too busy for themselves. Yes, you heard me. They are too busy for themselves and seldom finish their tasks and blame it on others. If you have this signature, write your full name. It will slow you down a bit. But you will complete every thing you do. Sounds good?