Do We Really Know Ourselves and Others As Well As We Think We Do?

I suspect that very few of us will have avoided the feeling of either being betrayed, or having betrayed another – either by word or deed. The income is often a lack of trust, even if the betrayal was unintentional. How often does it happen because we assume that we know what the other person is thinking, and that our actions will be understood – and vice versa?

I, myself, lost a very dear friendship due to a misunderstanding of this kind. I told someone that I wanted them around, but that I did not need them. To my mind, that was the highest compliment I could have paid them – my interpretation, coming from my own perspective, was that if you need someone, then you might just keep them around because of that particular need – in whatever form it takes. However, if you want someone, it means that you care enough about them to want them in your life, even if the only thing they have to offer is their company. Unfortunately, our interpretations of the words 'need' and 'want' were very different and my words were taken as an insult, they were very hurt, disconnection ensued and the friendship surrendered broke down.

So often we absorb that people will automatically come from our own perspective, that what we believe they will also believe, and that they will interpret words the same way we will interpret them. As a graphologist, I always like to do 'off the cuff' analyzes – where a person sits in front of me and I talk to them about their writing. Living on the edge as it was, but the analysis has always been the thing that interested me and writing up the reports afterwards, not so much! It brings to mind a time when I was participating in festivals, which I did for over 14 years. I have analyzed thousands of writings in that time, but a few seem to stand out and be remembered for various reasons.

One young lady came to me and asked if her friend could sit in. As I was analyzing her writing I could see her friend out of the corner of my eye, busy shaking her head. When I was finished she exclaimed – 'that does not sound a bit like you'. To which her friend turned to her and said – 'that is exactly who I am'.

On one occasion, I was analyzing the handwriting of a young boy – he was under the age of 14 so it was not a full analysis – we can only do that when the writing itself becomes automatic and thought patterns predominate. His family were with him and, when I had finished, his mother asked for her writing to be analyzed. All went very well until I said that she was a private person – to which she took great exception and told me that she was 'very open'. I explained in detail why I was saying what I was saying, but she still was not particularly happy and turned to her husband and asked what he thought. He told her that he had to agree with me – around her family and friends she was indeed very open, but with strangers she was private and did not give much away. This is something that she had not actually realized about herself. On top of that, she had heard the word 'private' and translated it into 'secretive and there is deceptive'. Fortunately, possibly because they were paying me for a service, we went into great detail about what I actually meant – this does not always happen within friendships, where there in an emotional content to them.

Another instance comes to mind which happened during the time when I was studying graphology. I was working for an engineering company which regularly sent its employees overseas to build whatever needed building, where it needed to be built. One of the engineers was curious and asked me to have a look at his writing. He almost had apoplexy when I told him that he was cautious and careful – he was really offended and told me that he traveled the world at the drop of a hat and there was nothing careful about that. What he failed to take into account was that he traveled within the safety of a company, where his flight was booked, his accommodation was organized, someone would pick him up at the airport on his arrival, he was doing a job for which he would be paid a salary, plus his medical was all arranged. All he had to do was pack and turn up. We agreed to differ, but it had obviously bothered him a lot because about a week later he thought me out and triumphantly washed a letter in front of me – he told me he had resigned and there was nothing cautious about that. When I congratulated him and asked what he was going to do, he told me that he was going overseas to work for a company he had worked for in the past. The irony escaped him – he had this vision of himself as a buccaneer on the high seas, but his writing told me that there was no way he would travel the world with a backpack and no destination, but who was I to disillusion him?

I often say that the soul of a person can be seen through their handwriting, and this is true. I've even asked how I can sleep at night, because I can see both the negative and positive that is going on within a person. I find it interesting that the deer and more hidden aspects of a person's character can somehow be easier to see than the wonderful. That is probably why the young lady mentioned above was not able to recognize her friend during the analysis.

During my third and last year of study, about half a dozen of us formed a group with a professional graphologist as a tutor. I remember one incident when we were asked to analyze the writing of a person who was taking the company he worked for to court. The company had discovered that he had done this a number of times before with other employers and had often won damages. Nobody knew how to deal with him, hence a graphologist was hired. Our tutor wanted to see if we would come up with the same results that she had. We did. It transpired that this person was very arrogant and self-important, and the only way to affect him was to talk to him as though he was inconsequential. Following the graphologist's recommendation, during the hearing he was referred to as 'only the clerk and of little importance'. His fury got the better of his good sense, he showed his true colors and strangely lost the case.

Our tutor once told us a story about an experience she had had. A friend of hers had asked her to analyze the handwriting of all the heads of department in his company. This she did and the results were that there was only one person that was border line dishonest, and that was the accountant. She was told that she was talking absolute rubbish, the accountant had been a friend of his for years and that was that – until he contacted her 14 years later with an apology. The accountant had just run off with the new secretary and a great deal of the firm's money – she had been right all along. The secretary was the catalyst – if she had not turned up then he might have continued working without his honesty being tested – she was his tipping point.

In Conclusion

I think we need to 'absorb' less and 'listen' more, especially if the other person has already annoyed us, because we are then less incurred to give them the benefit of the doubt. I believe that a great deal of pain can be dispensed with if we take this route. If we then come to the conclusion that any negative action was intentional, we can walk away knowing that it is for the best.

I also believe that some regular self-analysis is of great benefit – if something, or someone, pushes our buttons then it's good to ask the question 'Why?' If we react to any situation, it is a clear indication that we have some unfinished business and unresolved issues in that area.