Donald Trump is actually an “introvert,” Hillary Clinton is “sensitive” and Bernie Sanders is “stirred by his emotions.”
That’s the assessment of two handwriting experts who believe that how you dot your i’s and cross your t’s says a lot about you.
Graphology, the analysis of handwriting for personality clues, examines the size and slant of the scrawl, word spacing, lettering style and even the pressure of the pen.
Not without its critics – who claim graphology is more art than science – the practice of analyzing ink strokes is nonetheless still used in criminal trials, historical profiling and even to assess prospective employees.
Donald Trump once claimed on Twitter that he himself was a handwriting analyst, and while this remains to be seen, CNN had the two experts weigh in on potential presidential penmanship of the three remaining contenders.
Donald Trump: ‘Metaphor of a bull’
“Needle-sharp points and wedges throughout reveal acute analytical and lightening speed quick thinking. No softness is found anywhere in his handwriting,” graphologist Kathi McKnight said of Trump’s style.
McKnight explains that Trump, like the rest of us, was once taught to write in a specific way, but over time this style became as unique as his fingerprints.
This, McKnight explains, is a pattern of our psychology.
“It begins with a nerve impulse in the brain that travels down the arm, hand and fingers holding the pen then splashes ink onto the paper in strokes and patterns” McKnight said.
“Believe it or not, Trump’s writing reveals he is actually an introvert,” McKnight said of Trump’s proclivity to printing.
“The other two candidates use cursive. Printers, while intelligent, tend to disconnect from others (much like their letters) and create barriers to intimacy. You don’t always know what is going on deep inside,” McKnight said.
“The most outstanding feature is his sharp, angular, almost scissor-like signature,” said Bart Baggett, a forensic handwriting expert who has testified in legal cases and has written books on handwriting analysis.
This, Baggett added, “is the sign of a genius. A sign of someone who is hyper-analytical. … This guy always knows your next move.”
“There is something unique about Trump’s big block printing and you could use the metaphor of a bull. A bull is a hyper-masculine animal that pushes its way through things without a lot of elegance. Block printers tend to put their strongest side forward to the public and reserve their weaknesses,” said Baggett.
“He is someone who should be feared because he is smart enough to outsmart,” Baggett said.
Hillary Clinton: Desire to be adored
“Hillary (Clinton) combines printing with cursive, showing she has a good sixth sense about things. Her strong ‘t’ reveals a stubbornness and tenacity,” said McKnight.
“There are absolutely no lead-in or beginning strokes to the first letters of any word, showing her mind can find the shortest, most efficient way through any problem,” McKnight added.
“I’m personally surprised at how talkative and how kind and how nurturing she writes,” Baggett notes.
“Her flaw, which might be an asset, is she’s incredibly sensitive to criticism. She puts too much energy into what other people think of her. We see this in a large loop in the lower case “d,” Baggett said.
But this sensitivity, Baggett stressed, is not indicative of her self-esteem.
In graphology, ‘t’s’ are seen as a window to your self-esteem: The higher your cross stroke, the higher your confidence.
“Her ‘t’ bars are on top of the stem, which means she has no lack of self-confidence,” Baggett said, something that McKnight agrees with.
Bernie Sanders: Stubborn visionary
The slant of the scrawl is crucial for graphologists.
According to McKnight, a right tilt shows sentimentality, a left slant suggests “me-oriented” traits and no slant at all reveals that pragmatism and logic dictates.
“Bernie Sanders veers far to the right, showing he is a natural orator, with the ability to move the masses. He is easily stirred by emotions,” said McKnight.
Noting the “playful” loops in Sanders’ L’s, McKnight says this often shows a person who “has vision and one who has hopes and dreams for the future,” as opposed to a retraced ‘L’ which Knight suggests those dreams have been quashed.
Baggett agrees that Sander’s scrawl indicates he is “emotionally-driven” but said this gives rise to “his worst quality: his stubbornness.”
The personality behind the pen is clear for Baggett who says, “you will never change his mind. He will fight for what he believes in but it you have a negotiation – a point where it takes subtlety, demeanor, or compromise – Bernie is not your man.”