07/24/2012 12:03 EDT | Updated 09/23/2012 05:12 EDT

What Donald Trump's Signature Says About Him


What's with Donald Trump's hairdo? Freud said, "betrayal oozes out of the individual at every pore... If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips." If Freud was right, Trump's forward-thrusting comb-over must be meaningful. I will assert that we can learn from his signature trait... and also from his signature.


Take a look at Trump's signature. In general, cursive handwriting is comprised of straight lines and loops. But Trump favours straight lines and does away with curves or loops. For the graphologist, roundedness implies emotionality and softer aspects of the personality. Harsh angles imply critical thinking and also a sharpness that will be expressed in word and deed.

But what is the meaning of the straight line? The straight line extends forward, intensely pursuing established goals in a linear and focused way. The straight line, whether in handwriting or expressed in a comb-over that thrusts forward, represents the capacity to be single-minded, undeterred by obstacles. The person with an affinity for the straight line is linear, analytical, driven and focused.


Look at the signature of former U.S. President Harry Truman. Here's a quote from Truman: "I don't give people hell. I tell them the truth and they think they are in hell." In their handwriting, straight lines balanced by ample roundedness implies the individual whose critical thinking skills are tempered by emotional sensitivity and emotional intelligence. Without enough roundedness, we may have ruthlessness.

Alexandre Dumas pointed out that any virtue -- in excess -- becomes a crime. When straight lines have such a strong presence in a handwriting, the graphologist hypothesizes an individual who focuses intensely on achieving goals. Yet, we also identify that that very virtue -- untempered by influences to soften it -- fuels a personality that may be critical and difficult.

Will Donald Trump ever warm up? Maybe not.

But what of the individual who walks into the psychotherapist's office, plagued by an inability to get along with others; somebody who has now figured out that "my way doesn't work" and is hungry for feedback. "What am I doing wrong?" For this individual, it might be helpful to have a therapist who, early in treatment, can identify the underlying personality pattern, making the whole issue visible for the client, literally speaking.

You know the expression, "seeing is believing"? Our society is so oriented towards the visual, even our language reflects it. The concept of "knowing" is represented by words like "illuminating," "insight," or "visionary." So sometimes therapists can show clients the metaphor embodied in their handwriting which might prompt a moment of self-recognition and trigger new intentions for changing behaviour.

And that can be helpful.