The Secret Language of Doodles

Doodling can be defined as drawing or writing that is done without conscious thought. Doodles are usually made while the person is doing something else, like talking on the telephone or participating in a business meeting. Some people doodle at lot; others never do it.

Many people who doodle may seem like they’re not paying attention to what’s going on around them. Actually, they’re very focused, but not on the doodling-they *are* paying attention, and the doodling is helping them do that. They may not even realize they’re doodling until someone points it out to them.

Doodles are full of symbols, with meanings that may be known only to the writer; in fact, they can be thought of as a kind of “secret language” from the writer to him- or herself.

Doodling seems to have two purposes. The first is to help the writer express emotions that may otherwise be stifled because of the situation; for example, it’s usually inappropriate in a business meeting to show what you think of your boss’s new proposal. But you can doodle all you want, saying how you really feel without anyone’s knowing!

And doodling can also be a great way to boost your creativity. When used for this purpose it can be a really good tool for problem-solving-although you may not know how you managed to come up with that perfect solution.

Because doodling is so unconscious, it can reflect a person’s inner thoughts, feelings, and dreams in the same way that handwriting can. And it can be analyzed with some of the same techniques used in handwriting analysis, like size, pressure, rhythm, location on the page, and form. Since handwriting analysis is a very complex field, it’s not possible here to go into everything it covers. But if you’re interested in knowing about some of the basic forms of doodles, here are some very general interpretations:

– Doodles of people tend to reflect the writer’s self-image or body image.
– Doodles of houses can indicate how secure-or insecure-someone feels.
– Pictures of animals can show sensitivity to others’ needs or feelings.
– Pictures of boxes can indicate organization and structure.
– Abstract images with lots of lines and angles can show that the person is a very critical thinker (being able to go from Point A to Point B), whereas abstracts that are more curved can show warmth, openness, and flexibility.
– Flowers can indicate growth and development-or its lack! (One thing to consider: Are the flowers alive or dead?)
– Heavy pressure can show strength, decisiveness, and determination.
– Large doodles may be done by someone who is extroverted and likes attention. Small doodles may come from someone who can focus well, has good motor coordination, and is more reserved.

When analyzing doodles, though, it’s important to remember not to make generalizations based on only one component. Doodles can contain a great deal of information about the person who made them, but only if you look at the “big picture”-something that is probably best left to professionals.

It’s still interesting to know, though, that these seemingly insignificant little drawings can have a world of meaning to the person who did them-even if they’re not aware of it!

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