Deborah Dewi says she can tell a lot about people from their handwriting. Sheâ€™s so passionate about it that she quit her marketing job to become a full-time graphologist.
Shrugging off the naysayers who dismiss graphology as a pseudoscience, Debo, as she prefers to be called, believes in the power of her work almost as much as she does in its growth potential in Jakarta. Just imagine, all those people and all that handwriting waiting to be analyzed.
Today, she tells My Jakarta what she sees when she looks at handwriting and talks about the most famous person sheâ€™s studied.
Give us a crash course on the science behind handwriting.
First, letâ€™s forget the term â€˜handwriting.â€™ We call it â€˜brainwriting.â€™ Simply put, we just pretend the brain is the software, while the hands are the hardware. And the graphics expressed through handwriting reflect whatâ€™s on somebodyâ€™s mind. Certain letters will reflect oneâ€™s tendency to be oversensitive or have low self-esteem. For example, a â€˜tâ€™ can reflect 23 types of personalities. And letters are the things a graphologist deals with.
What does a graphologist do?
A graphologist is someone who can read a personâ€™s personality from their handwriting. I can assess a personâ€™s emotions and intellect through their handwriting. But I canâ€™t predict your name, gender or luck from your writing. And also, I will never be able to tell you your fortune or future [laughs].
In what kind of context do you assess people?
I assess peopleâ€™s personalities and character. I donâ€™t assess people on what they write or the meaning behind the sentences. I read the patterns within peopleâ€™s writing. There is no shortcut for a graphologist to jump to a conclusion. Instead, I need to find some consistency in a pattern to confirm my conclusions. The more people write, the more I can get to know and analyze their personalities and character.
How accurate are the conclusions of a graphologist?
From my experience, I can tell you the conclusion is 99 percent accurate. Let me share with you my experience when I was a finalist for the Young Caring Professional Award and the judges tested my skills. Desi Anwar, the famous TV anchor, submitted another judgeâ€™s handwriting for me to analyze, but told me it was hers. I doubted her because the handwriting told me a different version of Desi Anwar than the one I knew through the media. But the science was proven. I told her exactly what I could based on the handwriting and she smiled. Later, I found out she had switched her handwriting with [financial adviser] Ligwina Hanantoâ€™s to test me.
What made you want to become a graphologist?
My background is in marketing and I used to run a brand activation agency in Surabaya. At some point, in an attempt to improve myself, I became intrigued by the idea of changing my life by changing my handwriting. Thatâ€™s where I found graphology. In 2009, a friend of mine introduced me to Pak Sapta Dwikardana, an expert graphologist. At first, I had my doubts. But then he explained the science behind graphology and I bought in. I fell in love as soon as I started studying it. I thought if I could help myself through graphology, then I could help other people have a better life.
How many people have you analyzed so far?
Iâ€™ve assessed thousands of people. That is the fun part of this job; I can assess people at anytime. And when people ask me what I do for living and I tell them Iâ€™m a graphologist, they get excited and are eager to learn more about what I do. I then ask them to write something on a piece of paper and Iâ€™ll give them some highlights of their personality. And sometimes I give them advice as well.
Whatâ€™s the worst part of your job?
Thatâ€™s when I analyze a couple and find out that one of them is dishonest, while the other one is a very honest person.
Any interesting experiences as a graphologist?
A married couple on the brink of divorce came to me. I studied their handwriting and analyzed their ways of thinking. I talked to them about their different personalities and suggested how they could cope with the differences. My suggestions worked and saved their marriage. And I learned an important lesson. Most of us interact with our spouses based on assumptions and based on how we want to be treated, not on how they would like to be treated. Thatâ€™s the peril.
Can we use handwriting as a kind of therapy?
Sure. Anyone can start â€˜reshapingâ€™ or â€˜recreatingâ€™ a better version of themselves. When you change the way you think and the way you see things, your handwriting changes without you realizing it.
How do you promote yourself since a graphologist is still pretty rare here?
I am using social media to interact directly with people and give free consultations. My followers can just take a picture of their handwriting and send it to me, then Iâ€™ll tell them the highlights of their personalities. Also, Iâ€™ve held several workshops on basic graphology for daily use. I guess word has spread and many people are now contacting me. As of now, Iâ€™m still relying on word of mouth and social media, but Iâ€™m planning to have bigger sessions, so I can engage with more and more people.
Youâ€™ve lived in Bandung, Malang and Surabaya, so why did you move to Jakarta?
For my career. I see unlimited opportunity in Jakarta. It has all the potential and resources to make a successful career. Most big companies are based here, which means the number of potential clients is unlimited.
Deborah Dewi was talking to Edison Lestari.