20 May 2012


Stuck somewhere, waiting or listening with pen in hand? Chances are you’ll start doodling. Printed letters grow faces and legs, an underlined word turns into a pile of boxes, or a decorative border appears round the edge. Wait long enough and the whole thing may get blocked out or scribbled over!

Meetings and phone calls can be very tedious and some people hate doing nothing. They get tense and frustrated if they are short of time or have no opportunity to voice their opinions, so they while away dead time by doodling. Doodling is like a safety valve that allows pressure to be dispelled in a playful and creative way.

Doodling has been defined as ‘to scribble or draw aimlessly, to play or improvise idly’. The word ‘play’ is interesting because we now know that play helps children deal with situations they find difficult.

When you are on automatic pilot and only half attending to what you are doing, you may find yourself thinking of something that has been at the back of your mind. Underlying preoccupations surface and, before you know it, take shape as doodles. Doodles are like fragments of a map that shows how someone’s mind works.

One of the strangest things about doodling is that no-one tells us what we should be doing yet many of us end up doodling similar things. Subjects such as the sun, stars, boxes, arrows, hearts, flowers or waves keep cropping up, apparently because they have special significance for us as human beings. These images have become symbols that represent our aspirations, needs and feelings.

Subjects that keep reappearing in doodles symbolise important human concerns

My doodles - always some kind of weird flowers...


Interpretation of doodles

Emotional people who want harmony and love tend to draw things with circular or rounded shapes, or symbols of love and femininity (circles, spirals, suns, flowers, hearts, faces, lips, eyes, small animals, cups, jugs, balloons, rings, wheels, shoes, clocks, loops, fluffy clouds, rounded trees, hills, fruit, waves, pools etc).

Practical people who need security and like to be in control tend to draw things with square shapes or flat surfaces, or symbols of material security (squares, boxes, houses, doors, windows, walls, fences, ladders, stairs, tables, chairs, chessboards, books, forts, towers, fireplaces, money, numbers, block letters, punctuation marks etc).

Determined people who need an outlet for their mental and physical energy tend to draw things with triangular or pointed shapes, or symbols of masculinity (stars, arrows, zig-zags, spires, diamonds, stick figures, crowns, weapons, trains, aeroplanes, motorbikes, speed boats, warships, lighthouses, dartboards, lightning, kites, birds with beaks, mountains, Christmas trees etc).

Ambitious doodler: Triangles, sun, shadings and planets dominate an ambitious doodler's doodles.

Free spirited doodler: The doodler is comfortable with abstract shapes, repeats doodles and fills circles.

Impatient doodler: Hearts, flowers, stars, question marks and 3D boxes are the most preferred doodles of an impatient doodler.

Romantic doodler: The doodler is content with flowers, lips, star and heart doodles.

Insecure doodler: Spiders, bricks walls and webs dominate doodles of an insecure doodler.

Besides the shapes and figures there are many other factors that are significant. These include selection of colors, the intricacy of doodles and page portion selected for doodling.

Page portion: Extroverts tend to doodle in the middle page that suggests need for attention or trying to gain some personal space. Top portion of a page is a favorite of doodlers with abundant confidence level. Those who doodle on the right side next to the title or heading have an urge to convey an important message. Some like to doodle on the left hand side. Usually doodlers with nostalgic feelings choose to doodle on the left hand side of the page.

Doodle meaning

Spirals: An expression of an imprisoned mind with a high sense of hopelessness. The tighter and intricate the spirals, the more complicate and difficult the situation.

Arrows: An expression that indicates aiming a target with tremendous personal drive and a sense of determination to realize the target.

Squares:An expression that indicates the need to maintain order and gain control. Squares within squares show an inherent need to hide secrets.

Slashed lines: Criss cross line, slashed lines indicate a disturbed mind filled with anger and or frustration.

Hearts:Clearly an expression that reveals the feelings in heart. Joyous heart is usually expressed by way of string of hearts soaring high up into the air. An arrow piercing the heart with drops of blood expresses the sorrowful feelings of the doodler.

Stars:The doodler's ambitious character is reveled, a strong desire to achieve success. It could be professional success or the personal front.

Webs: Thicker the web, greater the desire to have more friends increase money power and status.

Chains: An expression that indicates yearning for freedom or a sense of being restricted. The doodler is likely to be in a state of stress.

Circles: The doodler is expecting or experiencing a sense of completion or coming together of various things.

Clouds: A fluffy cloud is an expression of happiness with a great sense of freedom and an angry or story dark a cloud is an expression of anger, depression or hopeless mind.

Flowers: Gentle as flowers, the doodler is keen on fostering social relationships and strike amicable friendship.

Houses: Indicatesthat the doodler is missing home or yearning to settle in a home or is deeply thinking about matters relating to home.

Dimensional objects: Probers, intellectuals and those with a logical mind usually doodle with 3 D objects.

Dots: A doodler whose mind is restless and is often submerged in deep thoughts and enjoys high concentration levels doodles with dots.

Jagged lines: A doodler who doodles jagged lines is said to be in a state of resentment or hostility.

Ovals: A mind of a perfectionist who expects zero error from others too doodles with ovals.

Stairs and steps: The doodler is full of aspiration, is keen in climbing up the stairs of life.

Eyes: Doodlers who doodle big eyes arerevealing their outgoing personality and those who doodle small eyes like to keep to oneself. Closed eyes convey a strict 'no' to look within and laughing eyes reveal the joy and happiness within.

Have you noticed what you usually doodle?

London Spa Girl x

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