Five Things You May Not Know About Lefties

I’m left-handed, and so are 3 out of 5 people in my nuclear family.  But even I was surprised to find out these 5 things about “we lefties” in an article I read in Time magazine.  Click here to see a gallery of famous left-handers!

1.  Left-handed people are more affected by fear. They suffer more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after watching something scary…like a clip of Silence Of The Lambs (Shudder.).   I’m glad to hear this, since I just cannot stand scary movies.  I turn away at the slightest glimpse of violence, and steadfastly refuse to go to any movie that features torture of ANY kind.  Now maybe I know that I’m hard-wired that way, and maybe you are, too, fellow lefties!  I’m also terrified of roller coasters and only go on them if begged by a kid who really needs an adult to go along.  Now I have an excuse to skip that duty–hurrah!

2.  Lefties are angrier and more susceptible to negative emotions.  Woah. This is news.  Maybe part of this is because the world is basically designed for right-handers and it can be frustrating (spiral notebooks, scissors, staircases with the handrail on the right,  school desks with the table on the wrong side, etc.)  Luckily I don’t have this “affliction,” but I do understand how people might have a chip on their shoulder if they’d had to accomodate, accomodate, accomodate all their lives.

3.  We lefties are supposedly more inhibited than right handers, who tend to charge ahead while lefties “tend to dither.”  We’re more restrained and worried about making mistakes than righties.  Maybe it’s because all through school we were told we were “doing it backwards” and it made us gun-shy.

4.  We also equate “left”  with good.  Most people (the 90 per cent of the population that’s right-handed) associate all things on the right to be positive. We lefties think all the good stuff is on the left even though our culture tells us just the opposite. If asked to pick between two things, we’ll almost always pick the thing on the left.

5. Left-handers may have an advantage in politics–at least in TV debates.  That’s because people, when making a point about something positive, tend to gesture with their dominant hand.  To viewers of left-handed politicians, that appears on the right side of the screen, so that puts things in a more positive light for 90 per cent of the viewers who are right-handed.  Interesting, isn’t it?  I wonder if right-handed politicians will now start learning to gesture with their left hands?

Well, now you know a little bit more about us, and you know that “we just can’t help it.”  We have trouble with scissors, our writing gets smeared as we go across the page, we wish the hand-rails were on the left, and we have the edge in political TV debates.  And are more scared than you are at movies and on roller coasters.

We’re glad you love us anyway.  🙂

More from Deborah Howell
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