Dear Rabbi Engel,
In order to advance at my firm, I was required to take a
variety of examinations. (I got the promotion!) One test
request, I felt, was quite odd: "Write a few sentences and
sketch the doodle that you draw most frequently." What they
told me about myself was startling. I am now fascinated to
learn how such scribbles reveal so much. Can you please give
some examples of doodles and their explanations? How could
they know what I was thinking? They indicated in their report
that I am left-handed, which is true. How did they know this?
Was this also from the doodle? I never met the people who
did the evaluation.
The following doodles are the most common: 1) Figure 1,
disclosing heavy, angular strokes, shows repressed feelings
2) An autograph repeated several times testifies to one who
3) A design repeated many times indicates frustration.
4) Figure 4, squares or other geometric designs, signifies a
5) An arrow (or arrows) demonstrates a calculating, perhaps
6) Separate square or squares disclose the practical.
7) Geometrically linked squares reveal concrete, practical
8) The tightly drawn whirl indicates being tense, anxious.
9) The three-dimensional forms being doodled in Figure 9
display a probing intellect.
10) Sharp, jagged lines expose resentment, even hostility.
These doodles are often drawn during an argument.
11) A triangle illustrates a strong, well-directed mind in
the adult and an exceptional intelligence in children under
the age of six.
12) The curved lines in Figure 12 are indicative of one who
is easy going, good-natured.
13) A circle, as in Figure 13, reveals a closing up, a
warding off of the outside world.
14) Figure 14, displays steps and ladders, indicating the
desire to climb up in the world.
15) The tick marks in Figure 15 betoken one concentrating on
the business at hand.
16) In Figure 16, we see short, confused dashes, displaying
the dynamic, colorful, forceful, creative, restless
17) The jagged lines in Figure 17 are indicative of
aggression and the need to defend oneself.
18) A figure in a frame tells of one believing in safety
19) The involved design in Figure 19 demonstrates shrewdness,
diplomacy, and, simultaneously, a fear of persecution.
20) Figure 20's crossbars show one who is instinctively
21) Linked circles reveal a logical, deductive, consequential
22) The spider web without links discloses one who is
systematic, analytical, and able to organize.
23) Animal doodlers are usually nature lovers, depending upon
the type of animal drawn.
24) How one doodles a house will show whether or not the
doodler wants to communicate with others. If the house has no
doors or windows, the doodler is aloof. If there is a path,
doorway and a doorknob, as in Figure 24, the doodler wants
25) Smoke coming out of the chimney is a sign of warmth.
26) Rounded, cloud-like shapes with curves lying within each
other display sensitivity to the needs of others,
flexibility, even in difficult situations, and a tendency
Although doodling a vehicle (whether a boat, train, or plane)
shows a desire to travel, it also suggests an underlying
feeling of anxiety that some adaptation to a situation or to
one's life is needed, hence the desire to go elsewhere.
You asked if your mind was "read" by the examiners. They did
not know what you were thinking. Our Rabbis taught: "Seven
things are hidden from men . . . and a man does not know what
is in his fellow man's heart." (Pesachim, 54b).
Doodles, as you have seen, are quite revealing.
Although a graphologist cannot determine with absolute
certainty whether a particular writer is left-handed or right-
handed, there are hints. For instance, in the majority of
cases, when a right-handed writer crosses the 't' bar, the
left side of the bar will be thicker and the right side
thinner (Figure 3). The writer's mind is already on the next
letter or word, so he quickly eases up on the pressure and
races on; and, this is true of the left-handed writer as
well. But the latter usually crosses the 't' bar from right
to left, so the right side of the 't' bar will be thicker and
the left side thinner (Figure 4).
It was from the handwriting sample you gave them that the
examiners determined you were left-handed (see arrows. Good
luck with your new position. Rabbi Yoseph Engel is a marriage
counselor and author of Advice for Living (Feldheim
Publishers) Graphology at Home, Handwriting Analysis Self-
Taught (Penguin Books.) He can be reached at: 0524-248154