Are you shy or scared? Shyness: The Handwriting Trait of the Week


Shyness: Trait of the Week

Written by Bart Baggett and David Riffey (Guest Author and Certified Handwriting Analyst)

Are you diplomatic, shy, self-conscious, or just scared of people?

While studying for Handwriting Analysis Certification through Handwriting University, I did a written analysis for a young woman at work. After reading it she declared, “This is so me! How can you come up with all this?”

I told her that I look for handwriting traits that are known to relate to particular personality characteristics. In learning these traits it helps to understand how the mind forms them and reveals them in our writing. An easily understood trait is the height of the t-bar and its relation to self-esteem or self-confidence.

The height at which the t-bar crosses the t-stem is a measure of the degree of self-esteem we have for ourselves. The higher, the t-bar the more we like ourselves, and, generally, we will do better in life than someone with low self-esteem. The lower the t-bar, the lower our self-image, and the more likely we will live with, and stay in, unhappy or unhealthy situations. The person with a low t-bar has a fear of change.

Why risk change if you think you can’t do better? Okay, these traits are pretty clear, aren’t they? The height of the t-bar correlates to the level of self-esteem.

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Other traits are not so obvious. You’ll find two traits shown in the letters m and n, which may seem unrelated: remember, opposite strokes do not always mean opposite personality traits. (Low t-bars vs. high t-bars have opposite meanings in relation to self-esteem. However, the opposite strokes in the m- and n-humps do not have opposite meanings on first look.)

Click the Play button to listen to the audio.

Self-Consciousness vs. Diplomacy

Self-consciousness is a fear of ridicule by others.

Diplomacy is dealing with people so as not to offend them.

Self-consciousness is indicated by humps that grow progressively bigger in a stair-step fashion as the letter is written toward the right. Diplomacy is written in lowering stair steps going to the right. How do these relate? Directionally speaking, we know that anything in handwriting that is going to the left is related to the self or to the past. Strokes going to the right represent the future or others.



            self  <------------------->  others

As you look at these traits, realize that the self-conscious trait slopes down to the left. Diplomacy slopes down to the right. Diplomacy is the awareness of others. Self-consciousness is the OVER-awareness of what others might be thinking. Thinking about these traits in this way allows you to understand that they carry essentially the same principle. The direction of the stroke, whether towards ourselves or toward others, is the difference.

Self-conscious people will frequently exhibit shyness in crowds, a reluctance to be in the spotlight, or fear of talking to strangers. Traits such as “pride” and “sensitivity to criticism” will increase the trait of self-consciousness. It seems heavy doses of alcoholic beverages reduce self-consciousness. (Haha.)

(This graphic used with permission from the Level 301 Certification Level Textbook, available only through Handwriting University’s Certification program.)

Remember that seeing a stroke just once doesn’t make it 100% prevalent in the person’s character. That is why it is a good idea to get lots of writing before being 100% conclusive.

Someone that has the ability to be diplomatic might never show it if they are impulsive, sarcastic, angry at women (or men), and over-sensitive. These “fears and defenses” overpower the trait of diplomacy.

Michael Jackson’s handwriting shows severe fear of ridicule in the M humps going uphill.

Signature of Michael Jackson, Pop Music Star
Signature of Michael Jackson, Pop Music Star

Remember to STACK the traits for the most accurate analysis. If you need help learning to stack traits, check out the latest Handwriting Analysis Advanced Course for advanced students, now shipping:

While the 99+ Primary Traits are easy to memorize and easy to recognize, the real mastery comes when you mix and match the traits. I recommend the 101 and 201 courses to get to know the easy to spot Primary Traits… and then an upgrade to the Certification Course for more complicated things like hiring employees and romantic compatibility.

Level 201 has 99 primary traits in an online dictionary. Instant Access. Just $47.



Q: What can be told from a person’s signature? 
A: The signature represents what a person wants the world to see, or what he wants to be — an image that may or may not be the same as the inner self. Because a signature contains only a few letters, it does not provide enough information for the analyst to make a complete and accurate evaluation. 
Q: My signature is illegible. What does that mean? 
A: It means people have a hard time reading your name. Seriously, illegible handwriting can mean a number of things. In general, an illegible signature reveals a desire to be seen but not known, keeping things private. You may want to keep your true identity hidden. It could also mean you are in a hurry. People who continually sign their name all day long often do so in a hurry and, therefore, don’t care what their signature looks like. Illegible handwriting in combination with other specific traits may indicate dishonesty, but there are a lot of variables.
Q: Why is my signature different than how I write everything else?
A: Because the signature is a badge to the world. It is a representation of what a person wants the world to see about himself. A signature that is different from the rest of his writing says he does not want to reveal everything about himself. There may be some aspect of his personality that he wants to hide, so he creates a new “person” by creating a signature with a different look.

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P.S. Now is the best time to learn more about handwriting analysis.


  1. Matt the newsguy …. Note how large his first letters are in multiple words. This is a trend. Yet, the word “not” has a squeezed first letter “n” because the loop of the word “your” above is “in the way”.
    Matt adjusted also the D of Do to the right to “miss the loop above”. These adjustments show that Matt is “aware of his environment” and since he cares to adjust, is likely a “considerate individual”. A trade to look for.


  2. While I have had my Certification course for several years, I am determined to get certified!
    That is the beauty of this course, you can study at your own pace. No deadlines! Great for any busy schedule.
    I have had wonderful luck in obtaining good samples to study. Whenever I tell people about it, they always say “do mine”!! I shall not stop until I am certified! This is the most interesting subject I have ever studied!

  3. I’ve seen exaggerated M humps like Michael Jackson’s before (not often) but never quite so elongated!

  4. I don’t see the bonus audio. Where is it?

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