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1. Psychological and graphological ways of affectivity

Moretti defines affectivity “that spur carrying us towards others in an effusion of joy and sacrifice through reciprocal liking” “Reciprocal liking cannot be conceived but assuming two points between two people who feel empathy: in a point all similarities, in the other all differencies ought to get together.” “attraction ensues from discrepancy, joining ensues from similarity.” (T, 339)

Therefore, reciprocal liking- seen in any form-sexual, intellectual or spiritual attraction-is what elicits affection: it ought to be a benevolent feeling leading us outside ourselves. In fact, says also Moretti, “All mimicry related to affectivity does not possess any motion typical of backing down, but only of free move or else of bending under the heart’s enthusiasm.” (T, 341) From a graphological point of view, the sign of free move is the Fluid handwriting, while the sign of bending under the heart’s enthusiasm is the Forward Slant handwriting.

Fluid affectivity

The first basic condition for a free expression of what we are-therefore of our feelings too-is the graphological sign Fluid, because it is a sign of “spontaneity and naturalness in everything, so that exteriority corresponds to interiority” (T, 336). It is an accidental sign, therefore it cannot be a sign of deep sentiment nor steady affection (depending on other signs) but only of naturalness in expressing ourselves and in listening to others. Therefore, unavoidably it includes also the effectiveness of the actions performed, inclusive of the efficacy in expressing ourselves in order to connect with others, because intuitively it has been assessed a correspondence between our feeling and the other’s. The sign Fluid, as a sign of spontaneity and naturalness of the feeling of affection-just thanks to such features- “may arouse strong liking, he is not insensitive to. ”(T, 341)

To be pointed out, that a minimum of fluidity is a necessary condition to allow the personality to relate in a spontaneous way- that is- capable to damp the feeling of loneliness of the Ego.
Otherwise, as nobody can live without trying to connect somehow with others, a lack of fluidity may urge the individual to control situations in order to obtain some kind of exchange. Choosing a specific compensation depends also on the personality structure involved: to force, to demand, to plead, to humble oneself, to blackmail, to manipulate and so forth are all behaviours taking over whenever the spontaneous movement-always the most effective-is missing.

  • Fig. 1 – spontaneous affectivity in Fluid handwriting
    Handwriting sample: spontaneous affectivity in Fluid handwriting

Forward Slant affectivity

The movement of bending under the heart enthusiasm instead belongs to the sign Forward Slant which – in the Morettian graphology – is a sign of an affectivity inclined to abandonment, leading the individual to connect his personality to the loved one’s. Just because of such distinctive features, the sign Forward Slant becomes the sign of affection that – whenever it feels liking towards somebody – it becomes attached with incredible constancy and persistence. Such peculiar form of affection is expressed as unselfishness, whilst it tends only to satisfy itself. Actually, what is really important for affection? I love you, but you ought to love me back. It is something different from unselfishness, however the sign Forward Slant-characterized by a slight touch of masochism-(Moretti says the subject feels the urge to be vexed ”to endure the mistreatment from the loved one, the peculiarities, the bullying” ) (Sc, 130), it gives inclination to self-sacrifice.
Above 45° Forward Slant becomes expression of a languid affectivity inclined to abandonment and melancholy. Easily depressive feelings ensue, as a consequence of some love disillusion to which people with this sign are inclined, because of their disposition to love without thought that bends the heart to affection at once.

  • Fig. 2 – abandonment affectivity in Forward Slant handwriting
    Handwriting sample: abandonment affectivity in Forward Slant handwriting

Rushing affectivity

In addition to the above-mentioned signs – signs of affectivity in free motion (Fluid) or bending under the heart’s enthusiasm (Forward Slant) – Moretti takes into account also a third movement, characterized by an increased spontaneity: the sign Rushing.
Rushing handwriting, as it was defined, is rashly laid and rash depends in this case on the passionate temper of the writer. It is clear that – if there is liking-because of the very same distinctive features of the Rushing, personality feeling is pushed to excess, as feeling does not use half measures and is therefore lived at once, intensely. Moretti writes that “already at the beginning it comes to the climax of expression. It could be said that it lacks preambles.” (T, 341 ) Warmth and passion belonging to impulse easily arouse an emotional response from the other, but all this may possibly “be founded on motivations due to the spur of the moment or on really material motivations, so that it could die out as soon as thinking takes the lead.” (ib.)

  • Fig. 3 – impulsive affectivity in Rushing handwriting
    Handwriting sample: impulsive affectivity in Rushing handwriting

Still about the ways of expression of affectivity related to specific graphological signs, we can now consider the signs offering resistance to the free motion of the relation movement necessary to the expression of oneself’s feelings.

We can distinguish between signs suggesting a movement of inhibition of affectivity and signs which make an individual quite cold. In the former case, feelings – though intense – are controlled more or less strictly in the expressive stage; in the latter, feelings themselves are tepid for many different reasons.

Among the inhibition signs we find first Upright that – when intense – inhibits the expression of feelings because the individual does not want to loose his borders, the total focusing on his own Ego; feeling and showing affection are perceived as weakness and almost with shame. Therefore the Ego needs that the other party, somehow, allow himself to loose his mind, that is to loose control.

The graphological sign Austere, belonging to the sign Upright, increases the inclination to introversion, focalization on the Ego, separation, exaggeration of justice and therefore implies a meticulous analysis about the feeling itself being or not right, consequently plunging affectivity in a sea of rules and limitations.

The graphological sign Short Cut, for totally different reasons, inhibits the affective movement because it is inclined to harsh criticism, unintentionally cutting the ties too, as it works totally under the command of the individual Ego, about times, ways and contents.

The graphological sign Backward Slant – characterized by inclination to and pleasure in contradiction – implies affective ways based on teasing and provoking: this happens because the individual feels the need to relate, thus seeks opportunities to meet people and actively proposes himself, but hardly trusts others. Such sign leads the individual to frigidity due to the fact he can hardly yield and surrender to the other.

Other signs are defined “cold” by Moretti.

Straight Extensions – sign of inflexibility and uprightness – if dominating and allowing no chance to accomodate even slightly (Right Bent Extensions) makes sentiment hard, cold, selfish.

The sign Disconnected, as it implies an exaggerated analysis of our and others’ feelings, is ruled by the intellectual part of personality: it leads to being so picky that affectivity freezes out.

The sign Parallel brings about cold technique. Affectivity is present, but always as a duty: I love you, but you ought to love me back. Therefore this individual considers a relationship through a precise technique in his/her exchange ways. Moreover, in order to hide his inner emptyness he/she is inclined to exaggerate in showing his passion and substantiality. Tiny and Meticulous lessen affectivity because of an exceeding details analysis.

Accurate leads to coldness because it seeks effect and because of a politeness which uses verbal flattery. People who possess Accurate handwriting as long as trying to conquer work hard and show affective manifestations based on exteriority; after conquering, go back to conceit – which affects them deeply – as a ruler.

Other signs can emphasize or tinge affective behavior in different ways.

Curve encourages to express the feeling of affection in the form of sweetness and tenderness. Angular handwriting implies an affectivity tinged with passion: angle A to feel excitation, angle B to keep attached to passion.

On-and-off carved I makes feeling selfish and leads to overbearing, thus requiring the total sacrifice from the other party – both as for faithfulness and dedication – and total freedom for himself.

Filiform, sign of delicate feelings, is more inclined to spirit than to matter, thus finding it impossible to accept rough or too material behavior. On the contrary, the sign Heavy (or Marked) belongs to materiality which needs to put all its strength in its actions: it leaves out delicacy but not tenderness.

The sign Disorderly leads to an affectivity depending on the spur of the moment, therefore the individual can pass from ardour to indifference for no apparent reason but its inner inclination to affective lability.

The affective movement, though well-defined in its ways of expression, still remains a human need totally unpredictable about its contents, that is about what it really likes.

For instance, Arid – sign of material avarice – leads to coldness towards everybody, thus this personality appears indifferent to any show of affection; but whenever he/she feels passionately attached can squander his possessions completely.

Luisetto says that Moretti used to look with sympathy to all people who pretended – because of conceit or simulated strength – to be unsensitive to such feelings, saying: “Wait as long as you will meet the right person and you will see how you will loose your mind.” (L, 70)

The inclination to affectivity is innate in the human nature and plainly responds to “I like” or “I do not like it” logic, based both on bodily and spiritual issues emerging from bodily ones: a meeting of specific differences which complete each other-that is-different qualities forming a whole.