5 Psychological Reasons For Bad Handwriting

By: Sarah Grace

Psychological reasons for bad handwriting are dysgraphia, poor motor skills development, lack of practice, and mental illness.

I compared the handwriting of the famous scientists of the eighteenth century to the genius minds of the twenty century. Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Ma all have unique writing patterns. 

However, the messiness of writing was common to all of them They don’t have beautiful, precise, and well-structured words. There may be various factors behind this. During this section, we will examine the psychology of handwriting.

The psychology of handwriting

The psychology of handwriting is known as graphology. It is the study of handwriting to gain insights into an individual’s personality, emotions, and behavior. Graphology provides useful information.

On the contrary, some psychologists believe that it is pseudoscience. Despite that, handwriting still describes a person’s personality.

Is there any link between handwriting and intelligence? 

Different scientists and psychologists have different opinions on this. Some research shows that there’s no link between bad handwriting and intelligence. On the other hand, some people think that having poor handwriting is proof of intelligence.

They think that the brains of intellectuals work faster than their hands. They prioritize their ideas in their minds over the perfection of words on paper. They focus on developing creative thoughts rather than beautiful characters. 

Moreover, they try to note everything that comes to mind. They move their hands faster so they don’t miss any thoughts. It’s crucial to mention that supporting evidence is essential for this perspective. 

Psychological reasons for bad handwriting

Psychological reasons for bad handwriting are dysgraphia, poor motor skills development, lack of practice, and mental illness. Let’s discuss them all in detail. 

1. Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that mostly hampers writing skills. People experience difficulties with handwriting, spelling, and organizing thoughts on paper. There is no connection between this condition and intelligence.

A person with dysgraphia is usually intelligent or above average in terms of intelligence. Dysgraphia can manifest in various forms, including difficulties with letter formation, spacing, and consistent writing speed.

They often have difficulty with technique for writing. This can result in irregular letter shapes, inconsistent spacing between words, and difficulties maintaining a steady baseline. The challenges posed by dysgraphia contribute to messy and often illegible handwriting. 

Dysgraphia is linked to challenges in cognitive processing related to writing. These challenges involve difficulties in translating thoughts into written words, organizing ideas coherently, or remembering the sequence of letters within words.

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Dysgraphia and dyslexia

Dyslexia is different from dysgraphia. A reading disorder characterizes dysgraphia. In it, a person feels difficulty pronouncing certain words. It is probable for someone to experience dyslexia and dysgraphia simultaneously.

2. Motor skills

Handwriting is a complex motor skill that evolves during childhood. The ability to write legibly and is greatly influenced by the development of fine motor skills. These include hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity.

Individuals who face challenges in early motor skills development may experience difficulties with handwriting. Learning to form letters involves a coordinated effort between the eyes, hands, and brain. 

Poor motor skills development results in irregular letter shapes, inconsistent sizing, and difficulties maintaining a consistent baseline. This all contributes to messy handwriting.

3. Attempting to be perfect

It means applying yourself to very strict expectations. This characteristic presents a distinct set of difficulties when it comes to handwriting. Perfectionists frequently strive for handwriting accuracy, wanting perfectly aligned letters. Anxiety is brought on the strain from this pursuit. It gradually ruins the writing’s organic flow.

Perfectionists overthink each stroke of the pen and disrupt fluidity. They fear mistakes, leading to obsessive erasing and revising. The pressure for perfection tightens the pen grip, tenses muscles, causes discomfort, and hinders smooth writing. 

4. Lack of Practice

Have you ever wondered how fast we have switched from pens to keyboards and from paper to screens? I still remember my kindergarten school where we used to practice everything on paper and pen. 

We never learned from any smart device. But when I look at children of today’s era. They have different learning methods. They practice each and everything from computer screens. Of course, we are living in a global village and this is the need of the hour to learn IT skills. 

But these screens also altered our habits. Handwriting is a skill that relies on motor(muscle) memory. The more you practice, the more muscle memory you have. Thus you may have good handwriting. Without practice, exercise, and a required period you will have bad handwriting.

5. Mental illness

Mental illness can often impact handwriting. Conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD may cause handwriting to become erratic or difficult to read. Anxiety leads to shaky hands and rushed writing. 

Depression might result in a lack of motivation, affecting the overall neatness of handwriting. People with ADHD may struggle with focus, influencing the consistency and legibility of their script. 

Moreover, medications used to manage mental health conditions can also contribute to changes in handwriting. Some medications may cause tremors or affect fine motor skills, influencing the quality of writing.

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Types Of handwriting 

There are various types of handwriting, each with its distinct characteristics. Some common types include:


  • Clear and block-like letters.
  • Often used for legibility and clarity.


  • Connected, flowing letters. 
  • Can vary in style from simple to elaborate.


  • Slanted letters with a flowing style. 
  • Often used for emphasis or decorative writing.


  • Elaborate, decorative writing with carefully formed letters.
  • Often used for special occasions or artistic purposes.

Gothic or Old English:

  • Elongated, ornate letters with a medieval appearance.
  • Commonly used for decorative or historical purposes.


  • Irregular, inconsistent handwriting.
  • Associated with difficulty in fine motor skills.

Artistic or Decorative:

  • Highly stylized and visually appealing.
  • Often used for creative or artistic expression.

Childish or Immature

  • Letters may be irregular or inconsistently sized.
  • Common in the early stages of learning to write.

These are broad classifications, and within all of them, handwriting styles can differ significantly from one another.

Many factors such as personal preferences, cultural influences, and educational background contribute to the diversity of handwriting styles.

What does handwriting say about personality?

It is believed that there is a language of handwriting. It speaks louder than actions. Handwriting tells about the traits and personality of a person. So let’s try to hear what the handwriting is saying.


Large handwriting may indicate extroversion, while small handwriting might suggest introversion.


Although small spacing reflects a preference for intimacy and connection, wide space might suggest a desire for independence.

Slant of Letters: 

A right slant indicates social and outgoing nature, while a left slant suggests a8 more reserved or introspective personality.

Pressure Applied:

Heavy pressure may indicate intensity and determination, while light pressure may be associated with sensitivity and a gentle nature.


Consistent handwriting reflects stability, while erratic writing may suggest impulsiveness or adaptability.

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How to improve handwriting?

If you’re struggling with bad handwriting, don’t worry; I am here to guide you. By following the below tips, you can get rid of handwriting. 

Consistent practice

Regular and consistent practice helps develop muscle memory and improve overall handwriting. 

Letter Formation

Pay attention to how each letter is formed. Practice writing every letter in a controlled and deliberate manner. Try to maintain uniform size and spacing.

Control Writing Speed 

Slow your writing speed to allow for better control. When you gain confidence in maintaining a neat and legible script. You can gradually increase your speed. 

Proper posture and grip

Be in a comfortable position and grip for better control and movements.

Join Handwriting Classes

You can join handwriting classes or use online resources. These will guide proper technique and exercises to improve penmanship.

How is graphology used? 

Graphology has useful applications in different areas of life. It is used in identifying criminals, in medical fields to diagnose mental disorders, in business and in therapy.


In conclusion, handwriting is influenced by factors like dysgraphia, motor skills development, and mental health. Despite different opinions on handwriting, it indeed tells about a person’s traits and habits. Improving handwriting involves consistency, practice, controlling writing speed, and attention to letter formation.


  • Sarah Grace

    I'm a researcher with a deep passion for understanding the complexities of the mind. My background in psychology and years spent analyzing research have equipped me with the knowledge to translate complex concepts into practical tools for self-help and mental well-being. I'm driven by a desire to empower individuals to navigate life's challenges and cultivate emotional health.

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I'm a researcher with a deep passion for understanding the complexities of the mind. My background in psychology and years spent analyzing research have equipped me with the knowledge to translate complex concepts into practical tools for self-help and mental well-being. I'm driven by a desire to empower individuals to navigate life's challenges and cultivate emotional health.

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