There are three basic types of slant which appear in our handwriting -the presence of each of these forms represents a clue to the inner emotional life of the writer. The following form the basis of any assessment of emotional expressiveness and responsiveness.

Writing which slants backwards, i.e. to the left, indicates emotional withdrawal and a degree of introspection and self-interest. Unless he is influenced by strong social or interactive traits, this writer will reason primarily from a self-protective perspective, with the strength of this trait increasing in direct proportion to the degree of slant to the left. His motto is likely to be “safety first.” This style of script is also generally slower than the other two described, indicating a higher level of planning.

Withdrawal – self-interest
Withdrawal – self-interest

This isn’t to say that this type of writer can’t be friendly or even generous; it just means that the circumstances must be right for him to do so.

Subjects with a leftwards slant frequently need to feel safe before coming out of their shells. This trend may indicate a fixation with childhood memories or a philosophy tempered by early disappointments, and leftwards writers may sometimes present a false exterior to the world, while protecting their inner-selves from others, for understandable reasons.

A leftward slant isn’t always indicative of a left-handed writer. This style is not taught as a standard form of script in any school, but it can be easily adopted by many people who hold their writing instrument in either hand.

Upright writing style reflects poise, objectivity, and a desire to be self-sufficient. This writer is able to make decisions without being swayed by emotions; his head is in charge of his heart. This person, unlike the highly emotional writer, will weigh the benefits and drawbacks of any course of action before committing to it. You must appeal to this writer’s intellect rather than his emotions if you want his support. You can only hope to gain his support for your project or cause if you do so. The act of writing in a straight line does not always imply malice (although this writer is less prone to impulsive purchases, etc. than the right-slanted writer).

Objectivity – self-reliance

Writing that slants forward, i.e. to the right, indicates emotional responsiveness and expressiveness. The strength of this trait increases in direct proportion to the degree of rightward slant in the script. Extremely right-wing writers will tend to have only extreme likes and dislikes, as well as extreme opinions.

Emotional responsiveness – empathy
Emotional responsiveness – empathy

This type of writing is also typically faster than the other two, indicating a proclivity to act without as much thought as left- or right-handed writers.

Expect to see a direct link between right-slanted script and emotionally expressive behavior as a constant in the lives of such writers, who, like all humans, are capable of developing controls that allow them to adjust to their circumstances.

A common novice analyst error is to notice a trait and stop there; for example, he might notice irritation or temper and conclude without further investigation that the subject will erupt in rage whenever his anger is aroused. It’s unusual to find no type(s) of control mechanism associated with signs of this trait, because social pressures or our ambitions (among other things) usually force us to keep our cool.

Similarly, it’s quite usual to find significant levels of emotional responsiveness accompanied by some evidence of those control mechanisms which help to iron out the highs and lows of emotion which the very rightwards-slanted writer experiences.

The relationship between slant and emotional responsiveness/expressiveness must be correctly interpreted because it is undoubtedly a factor that affects many other aspects of your analysis. It is natural for us to unconsciously use our own personal levels of emotional response as a yardstick by which we measure the emotional responsiveness of others unless we exercise some restraint. We consider the way we react to any given situation to be normal because we understand how and why we react in that way. We can’t have the same intuitive understanding of why and how someone else reacts differently in the same situation. Misunderstandings are more likely to occur in this area.

Emotional responsiveness/expressiveness is referred to as a global factor because it affects almost every aspect of character and personality.

As you become more aware of the signs of more and more traits, consider how different levels of emotionality can affect their effects. Do you believe that a trait like temper or irritation is more likely to be expressed outwardly if the subject also exhibits signs of being emotionally expressive? Would signs of withdrawal/self-interest strengthen or weaken a trait like meanness or a lack of generosity?  Direct Analysis is nothing more than a series of logical interpretations, such as the answers you’ve to the aforementioned questions. If you put enough of them together, you’ll have a full character analysis.

Observation and experience are used by many graphology systems to determine this factor. Experienced graphologists may be able to form an opinion about the prevailing slant trend in a sample of handwriting.

Comparison tests are used by some systems. Samples of variously slanted writing styles are provided, and the analyst visually compares their degree of slant with the sample he is analyzing until he finds one that matches it more or less.  Other systems employ overlay techniques. The analyst overlays the script with a transparent chart of some sort and reads the degree of slant from a scale.

The Baseline/Slant-Line Construction-Procedure, which was first used in the 1930s, is one of the most consistent methods. The relationship between different levels of emotional responsiveness/expressiveness and corresponding degrees of slant has been studied extensively. Once you’ve learned the procedure thoroughly, you’ll be able to achieve a high level of accuracy (on average, analysts who use this method correctly identify over 98 percent of the slant lines which they draw). In a nutshell, the method is as follows:

  1. Start by establishing baselines. Each letter needs its own baseline, which are the phantom lines that run from the point where the stroke starts to the point where it returns to the base. Make sure you’re not simply underlining entire words. Although baselines may be regular and continuous throughout words, it’s safer to construct baselines for each letter formation individually.
  2. Next, mark the range of the slant by drawing a line between the exact spot where the upstroke leaves the baseline and the point where the upstroke stops rising. Only upstrokes which originate from or below baseline qualify for measurement.

Sometimes the results of this procedure can be quite surprising. The slant of handwriting is not always as obvious as it first appears first impressions can be misleading! This method calls for the marking of at least 100 (one hundred) consecutive upstrokes from any sample of handwriting this gives a good cross-section and a better indication of the subject’s range of emotional expressiveness and responsiveness.

Categories of Slant
Categories of Slant

The diagram above categories the major slants.

A. Extreme Leftward Slant

B. Leftwards Slant

C. Upright Forms

D. Mild to Marked Rightwards Slant

E. Extreme Rightwards Slant

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