What Do Your Doodles Say About You?

You know how it goes. You have a pen or a pencil in hand. You’re in a meeting, a lecture, or maybe on the phone and you’re supposed to be paying attention. Before you know it, the margins are filled with pictures and scribbles. Maybe they’re abstract or they actually resemble something someone could name. Almost everyone does it, so what do those little doodles mean?  

One study, published in the scientific journal Applied Cognitive Psychology,  showed that doodling helped people remember things better.

It did so by helping people use just enough brain energy to keep from daydreaming. Those who doodled remembered more items on a memory list than those who did not.

As with handwriting or maybe dreams, many believe doodles provide insight into who we are. And, although we could doodle just about anything, people doodle many of the same things. So, for fun, here some of the more common doodles and what they may say about the doodler.


Doodles of faces tell you how the person doodling views him or herself or how they view other people.

People who draw pretty faces are optimistic and outgoing. Those who draw funny faces may have a good sense of humor. And those who draw ugly faces, may be less social.  Introverts tend to draw a face in profile more often than others.

The features and other characteristics of the face tell a story too:

  • Big eyes can mean the person is outgoing or sensitive. Small eyes may show introversion.
  • Eyes that stare could indicate that the person feels they are being watched.
  • Lips that are big or full can show desire, while thin lips may mean the person is lacking romance.
  • Wide faces show innocence. Cartoon-ish faces show a need for attention.


Women tend to draw flowers more often than men. They can be indicative of a kind, tender person. On the other hand, pointy petals may show that the person is distrustful. When the flowers have nice rounded, perky petals, they reveal a positive attitude. Droopy or dying flowers can show that a person does not want to open up.

Geometric Shapes

Doodling squares, rectangles, triangles and other geometrical shapes is the trait of a logical person who may be a good planner.

Here are a few more specifics on certain shapes:

  • Boxes and cubes show a hard-working person.
  • Triangles are a sign of someone looking for answers, risk-takers, or looking to advance in their career or social life.
  • Triangles within other triangles show someone is feeling threatened.
  • Squares show a need for stability in their relationships.
  • Squares inside other squares or groups of squares show frustration.
  • Stars and diamonds show ambition.
  • Swirls and spirals are a sign of a lack of ambition.
  • Hearts show romanticism. Hearts inside of hearts show shyness.

Squiggles and Lines

Even squiggles and lines can mean something based on the type of line drawn.

Squiggly lines have soft lines. They show an exploration to get somewhere. Zigzag lines, with straighter points and angles, denote more aggression and impatience. The weight of the line can also show the mood of the person drawing it.

Just for Fun

Doodling also depends on your mood, your environment, and what’s on your mind. For example, I often take inspiration for my doodles from items around me, as I did with the doodle at right, which is my version of Bucky Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s mascot. I saw a picture of it and tried to copy it while I was listening in on a call recently.

What about you? What do you usually doodle and when? What do you think your doodles say about you?

To read more about doodles and what they mean, here are a few articles here, here, here, and here.


Add Yours
  1. Crystal Green

    Wow! This was quite interesting. I am a huge doodler. I am almost shy to tell you what I doodle most often. However, let’s say the analysis isn’t too far off where I’m concerned. I love learning these kinds of things.

    I found you on the Monday Morning Blog Hop.

    • Catherine Lanser

      Hi Crystal-
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad it rang true with you. You don’t have to tell anyone what they mean, but now you know. 🙂

  2. Sherry

    This is fascinating to me. I rarely doodle, but see people all around me doodling in meetings. I found myself reflecting on the types of doodles I see others creating and on whether or not I felt the descriptions are accurate for what the doodles mean. There definitely may be something to this! Great read! 😀

    • Catherine Lanser

      I don’t work in an office anymore, but wish I did so I could look at other people’s doodles. Thanks for stopping by.

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