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5 Reasons To Be Happy You Are Left-Handed

  • a Care2 favorite by Judi Gerber
5 Reasons To Be Happy You Are Left-Handed

As a “lefty,” I have always felt a little different. At times, I have struggled with trying to fit into a right-handed world.

In school, I had to contort myself so I could write on a right-handed desk. I struggled to keep my hand clean and often ended up with ink smudges on both the paper and my hand; writing in those spiral-bound notebooks is difficult, if not impossible, for lefties. From can openers to scissors and my garden pruners, most household items are made for righties. And when eating with groups, I have to fight to sit on the far left side of the table so I don’t bump the person next to me the entire time I’m eating.

I have often wondered if I really am that unique. With an estimated 10 percent of the population being left-handed, and almost 30 million people in the U.S. being lefties, it’s not as rare as it feels.

Aside from feeling different myself, there seems to be a history of discrimination toward my left-handed comrades, embedded in language:

  • There are over two dozen negative references to left-handedness in the bible.
  • Some common English phrases portray the left as negative — such as a “left-handed” compliment.
  • In Latin, the word for left is “sinister,” which of course means evil in English.
  • The English word for left comes from the Old English word “lyft” meaning broken or weak.

One of the things that I have also heard my whole life is that I am clumsy and have no eye-hand coordination. But as I have learned by researching, this is probably not due to a default in my natural abilities, but in having to use right-handed tools and items that are backward for me.

Given all this negativity surrounding us, it’s hard not to feel a little slighted. But there are some really great things about being left-handed. Next time somebody tries to bring you down for being a lefty, point out these things that might make him wish he was part of the left-handed crew:

We are right-brain dominated. Being “right brained” comes with all kinds of positives. We tend to be visual thinkers; we are more creative, have a greater imagination, are better at expressing feelings even non-verbally, and are great at daydreaming.

Lefties remember the tunes of songs better than righties do. I know this is true of me. All I need to hear are a few notes of a song and I usually know exactly what the song is.

Speaking of music, according to Medical Daily, we also have a better sense of rhythm, which might explain why I love to dance so much.

Lefties also seem to have a better chance of having a high IQ, or being considered a genius. Twenty percent of all Mensa members say they are left-handed, and among the famous “smart” lefties:  Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Isaac Newton. And a study conducted at St. Lawrence University found that more left-handed people had IQs over 140 than their right-handed counterparts.

Lefties are better able to multitask. The theory is that being left-hand forces your brain to think more quickly. So we usually have an easier time dealing with a lot of unorganized information and are able to sort through it all.

Lefties: do these qualities pertain to you? Speak out in the comment section below!

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

280 comments

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5:38PM PDT on Mar 18, 2015

All of the information presented in this article is unreliable and not true at all I am right-handed and I am identified with the same characteristics as the author mentioned for left-handed people the things are not restricted to lefties only righties have the ability to think and act like lefties this is a theory that is not 100%scientifically proven to be applied to everyone I'm sorry but it's not true to all it's just a belief so please stop being ignorant and restricting certain intellectual abilities to only lefties and stop believing were incompetent.

5:36PM PDT on Mar 18, 2015

All of the information presented in this article is unreliable and not true at all I am right-handed and I am identified with the same characteristics as the author mentioned for left-handed people the things mentioned are not restricted to lefties only righties have the ability to think and act like lefties this is a theory that is not 100% scientifically proven to be applied to everyone I'm sorry but it's not true to all it's just a belief so please stop being ignorant and restricting certain intellectual abilities to only lefties and stop believing were incompetent.

5:27PM PDT on Mar 18, 2015

All the information presented in this article is unreliable and not true at all I am right-handed and I am identified with the same characteristics as the author mentioned for left-handed people the things mentioned are not restricted only to lefties

5:09PM PDT on Mar 18, 2015

All the imfor

11:23AM PST on Jan 4, 2015

Left handed is not an inherited trait. Im the only one in my in my family that is.
Whilst I was in the army they told me that they refused to purchase left handed weapons as there wasn't enough people to use them.
I always had problems with handwriting as the hand drags across the page smudging the ink. Used to have the teachers complaining at me for poor hand writing took them 4 years to realise why

10:46AM PDT on Sep 21, 2014

Left handedness is more than just how you write. It shows up in everything, from the way you process information to the way you reach for a cup of coffee. I even think there may be ranges of right brained thinking.

6:08PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I feel so left out being left handed I often cry about it as I am right now I always smudge my work it gets so annoying also I always have to be around right handed people I am the only one in my family who is left I always have to see my family do everything with their right hands just look ping at it makes me wanna cry I just really hope someday I can get used to it

1:46PM PDT on May 26, 2014

My father and my brother are left handed

9:44PM PDT on Apr 19, 2014

I actually know a man whose father forced him to learn how to write with his left hand.

12:30PM PDT on Mar 10, 2014

Left handedness does not mean that you are always right, right??

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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