Articles & Insights into the world of handwriting.

A Desperate Letter

A desperate letter

Some years ago while I was still new at graphology I received a desperate letter from a young man asking me to analyse his handwriting.

The handwriting went all over the place. There were no paragraphs and some sentences went all the way down along the margins as if he was short of space and had to fill up the page as quickly as possible.

There was desperation in every aspect of the letter. The slant went in different directions letters tangled into one another and many words were darkly over-written.   There was no need to analyse it step by step.

It was clear from the outset that this was no ordinary letter. The contents of the letter gave the facts of his situation but it was the handwriting itself that told me everything I needed to know. I remember how strangely it disturbed me – my reaction was almost visceral.

This young man needed help immediately.

What was I to do? This was beyond the capability of any graphologist. The correct procedure of course would have been to refer him to a psychologist or some medically qualified professional. But was there time? Who knew if he would take that route!

I made my decision. I went against all codes of ethical conduct known to graphologists including those listed on the graphology plaque on my office wall.

I sat down and wrote the most untruthful analysis I had ever written in my life. I described how his handwriting showed so much strength of character and such creative potential. I mentioned how I foresaw a promising career for him in the future.

I constructed a masterpiece of lies and before I could check it out I hit the send button.

I had committed the one unforgivable offence looked down upon and despised by every honourable graphologist in the profession. I had been knowingly dishonest.

He didn’t get back to me.

In retrospect I don’t know if I would have done it again. I had always prided myself on writing fair and honest analyses but this one had strayed so far from the truth that I preferred to forget it.

Mostly I put it out of my mind. But there were times when it crept silently into my thoughts and I recalled it with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt.

And then one day some years later I received a letter.

I would never have guessed that it was from him because he gave no details, no explanations. But instinctively I knew.

According to the impressive letterhead he held an important position in a well-known company. I couldn’t tell any more because the letter was blank.

It only included a distinguished looking signature and it ended with two words:

“Thank you”


  • User Avatar
    April 29, 2021

    Great Article!

    • Graphology World
      May 4, 2021

      Thank you, Elaine

  • Varda
    May 4, 2021

    Dear Sandra,

    What an amazing incident and story! thanks for sharing with us! what you did was humanitarian and caring,
    and just in time to help a soul in need! you might have saved this man’s life! one gesture of kindness in a time of sheer despair can make a life and death difference, thank God you realized that and was able to come to the rescue!

    With admiration, gratitude and blessings,


    • Graphology World
      May 4, 2021

      Dear Varda,
      Thank you for your kind words – So glad to know that a fellow graphologist feels that my little “indiscretion” may have served a purpose!
      Best wishes,

  • User Avatar
    Melanie Hartmann
    May 4, 2021

    Dear Sandra,

    If he showed strength in his darkly overwritten words, and showed creativity in his writing with different slants, how wrong were you actually? You just might have given him a reason to go on. You might have told him something he knew but forgot about him self?
    I have a kind of the same handwriting. Still working to get my own life straight. But why does it have to be straight?
    When a friend comes to me for help, I don’t tell them that they need help, but I try to give them something to work with. I make them question themselves.
    I used to tell them what to do, and seek help, but now I just listen en make an observation.
    I see that my friends can do more with an observation, then to tell them they are helpless and need help.
    Of course I want to help them, but I know now, being 48 and with some more experiences in life, that we can help each other the best with an observation then to tell them they do it wrong.
    So to me, you did not lie completely, and you gave someone his strength to fight back. That’s how I see it.
    And ! to make mistakes, or thinking you made a mistake is human, and we learn from it, and a next time we all just do better.
    Nothing wrong here Sandra… just go on 🙂

    Love from the Netherlands,


    • Graphology World
      May 4, 2021

      Dear Melanie
      Many thanks for the encouragement! And I do like to think as you so kindly put it that I gave him “strength to fight back.”
      With my best wishes,

  • Carole Kinsey
    May 4, 2021

    What an interesting & fascinating letter. You went with your instincts & did the right thing. I came into graphology through psychology & being a therapist. Sometimes it is not the right thing to do to speak the brutal truth.
    I studied for a diploma in graphology in London, but I took issue with it because the lectures I had regarded people as being immovable with statements like “This is what the writing shows” “This is what the person is like & has been from the beginning”. Everything was regarded in tablets of stone.
    While this may be true up to a point, all my previous studies were about change & how it was possible to improve.while most are averse to change as it is uncomfortable, this is not to say it cannot & does not happen. Now I regard graphology more of a snapshot of where a person is at the moment they wrote. While they may have deeply embedded characteristics, it does not preclude change which can be seen in their handwriting, with advancing illness for example.
    This young man was in a desperate situation & needed to believe in himself. You gave him the tools to do that & I’m very glad you got some feedback later. Well done!

  • Graphology World
    May 4, 2021

    Hi Carole,
    I agree with you that a desperate situation deserves a suitable response. And on reflection I would probably respond in the same way again. Thank you for the support.
    Best wishes,

  • Erin
    May 4, 2021

    Sandra, you knew in that crucial moment that, beyond graphology, psychology, personality, there is the flame of each person’s genuine individuality, and that it IS strong and capable.

    • Graphology World
      May 4, 2021

      You make a good point, Erin.

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