What Your Doodles Really Say About You Arrows for ambition, flowers for family – a graphologist translates your idle scribbles

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Stuck somewhere, waiting or listening with a pen in your hand? The chances are you’ll start doodling. And what you choose to doodle will reveal volumes about your personality and mood.

‘We tend to doodle when we are bored or stressed,’ says Ruth Rostron, professional handwriting analyst and vice-chair of the British Institute of Graphologists.

‘Because of this, we’re usually only half-conscious of what we’re drawing – which means our inner preoccupations surface on paper.’

Many of us end up drawing the same things. Stars, flowers, boxes and arrows frequently crop up – common symbols of aspirations and feelings.

According to Rostron, you should also look at how a doodle is drawn to find out its true meaning.

‘Emotional people who want harmony and crave affection tend to use rounded shapes and curved lines. Down-to-earth, practical types tend to use straight lines and squares. Determined people will use corners, zigzags and triangles, while more hesitant types use light, sketchy strokes.

‘A large doodle shows a person is confident and outgoing, while a small one suggests the person prefers to observe rather than participate.’


The expression on a doodled face is often a good indication of the mood or character of the person who has drawn it. A nicely drawn, good-looking face suggests you see the good in others. If you sketch weird or ugly faces, you are probably mistrustful.

Comic faces demonstrate a desire to be the centre of attention. Child-like doodles of faces suggest neediness. Profiles indicate you’re an introvert.


The black and white chequerboard doodle suggests patience and persistence. Perhaps you are weighing-up various options regarding a tricky situation?

It’s also the favourite doodle of people who are prone to mood swings.


Soft, rounded petals around a circular flower centre suggest an amiable, family-centric person.

If the centre of your flower is a circle, but your petals are pointy, you are probably hiding a warm heart behind a prickly defensiveness.

If you doodle a bunch of perky-looking flowers you are likely to be sociable. Drooping flower heads, on the other hand, indicate you’re burdened by worry.


Flighty and romantic, fluttering butterflies, birds and bees suggest you don’t want to be tied down – or landed with difficult tasks or problems.


Obviously a romantic doodle. Drawing a heart indicates you’re in love with love.


Busy, highly-detailed doodles are often drawn by people with an obsessive nature, who simply will not let go of their ambitions or loved ones. This type of drawing is often a favourite with extreme introverts.


Symbols of ambition and a willingness to work your way methodically ‘up the ladder’ in life, drawings of stairs and ladders also often indicate you have an important, long-term task in hand. They can represent a spiritual quest, too, perhaps a desire to be happier or more relaxed.

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