There aren’t many left-handed people in the world. In fact, you could say that being left-handed is a sort-of disability considering that most everyday tools are designed for right-handed people. That is why it is common to hear many people exclaim, “you’re left-handed!?” – most people just assume that people are naturally right-handed.
To this end, there are several things that only left-handed people could really understand. Here are some insights that will fascinate you.
1. The Awkward Handshakes.
The handshake has been around for years. And, interestingly, it has always been the norm that only right hand should embrace in this show of mutual acknowledgement. As such, it always goes without saying that offering the left arm is met with some confusion and awkwardness. In fact, even other forms of greeting such as fist-bumps are done using right hands. Interestingly, some communities believe that offering the left hand for a handshake is an omen – so be careful where you unconsciously offer your left arm for a handshake.
Fortunately, many left-handed people have been used to the assumption and automatically offer their right hands for handshakes.
2. Setting the Table.
Eating – there is nothing to it, right? Well, not if you are required to use an array of cutlery in the right manner, like the royals do.
Left-handed people tend to find themselves in an awkward position when they sit down to a meal on a fully set table – the cutlery they need to use with their left hand is on the right and vise versa. And, since it feels like everyone is watching – not to mention the fact that the chef did a meticulous job of setting the table – it would be embarrassing to start re-arranging, that is if you know how to go about it in the first place.
3. Simply Enjoying a Video Game.
What is your favorite video game? Well, whichever it is, chances are that the joystick is designed for right-handed people.
Almost all of the joystick manufacturers follow a similar design whereby the different buttons are strategically placed to be operated either by the right or left hands. For left-handed people, this is a great disadvantage as it takes longer getting used to considering that players are usually in the sub-conscious state of mind when playing.
Fortunately, there are joysticks made specifically for left-handed players – however, you have to fork out a few more bucks.
4. The Stereotypes.
Being left-handed is like belonging to an exclusive community. In fact, many people find it so fascinating that they have associated left-handedness with some stereotypes – and some of them are just hilarious.
One popular stereotype about left-handed people is that they are more intelligent and creative compared to right-handed people. Perhaps this is because there are many famous celebrities, business people, and even leaders who are left-handed – even former U.S. President Barrack Obama was notably left-handed.
There is also a sickening myth that left-handed people are more prone to immune diseases and hence have a higher mortality rate when compared to right-handed people. This myth originated in 1988 in a Nature Paper titled “Do Right-Handers Live Longer?” by Stanley Coren and Diane Halpern. However, it has since been debunked.
5. Scouting for Desks in Class.
What is the first thing you do when you walk into a class? For those keen on following (or staying out of the teacher’s crosshairs), it is finding the ideal sitting position. However, for the left-handed, it is finding a left-handed desk.
As many left-handed students can admit, most desks are designed for the right-handed. In fact, some classes are stocked entirely with right-handed desks. Some left-handed students have even mastered writing on right-handed desks, but it is a slow and tiring process. Oh, if only the school administrators were left-handed!
6. Making Art, With Scissors.
How hard can cutting paper with scissors be, right? In fact, it is at times enjoyable. However, it is almost impossible for left-handed people.
Simply holding scissors with your left-hand is cumbersome and uncomfortable. It is even more difficult to cut that perfect outline, no matter all the awkward position you assume. It is sad, but it is also hilarious watching left-handed people go berserk trying to use scissors. Fortunately, the problem is so big that left-handed scissors are common and easily available.
7. The Struggle that is Writing on a Spiral Notebook.
The spiral notebook is both fancy and convenient especially if you often carry it around with you. However, writing on it can be a struggle for left-handed people, especially because of its central feature.
The spirals running along the center of spiral books act as a barrier to left-handed people. They have to raise their hands a bit whenever starting at the margin, and this turns out awfully for their handwriting. Coupled with the fatigue of writing with a raised hand, one can only write for so long before packing up.
Interestingly, spiral books of most left-handed people are usually in a bad state after some days of usage because of the weight on their spirals.
8. Filling (and Smudging) Crosswords.
Crosswords not only make your brain sharper, but they are also fun to fill. However, for many left-handed people, the fun only lasts so long.
Unless you are filling with a pen that dries instantly, then every crossword you fill will be smeared in ink before you get to the end. It is only natural since crosswords are filled from left to right, and the moving hand carries the wet ink along.
9. Zipping and Unzipping.
Zippers are just zippers, right? However, there are several interesting facts about zippers. For instance, did you know that zippers are aligned in opposite positions for men’s and women’s wear (theoretically, at least)? Did you also know that most left-handed people often have trouble finding their zippers?
Most designers position the zip cover facing right, thus making it easy to access for many right-handed people. However, left-handed people have to flip the cover to zip or unzip, and they often struggle finding the zip when doing it unconsciously. So, imagine your dilemma if you have to go for a “call”, and you are left-handed and tipsy – it is common.
10. Filling Checks at the Bank.
Banks – you can walk in empty handed and walk out with a wand of cash, but you can’t take the pen. Virtually all banks tether their pens on a chain. The chain is convenient for the banks, but it is a pain for left-handed clients.
It is infuriating having to wrestle to detangle the chain when writing or having to get creative with ideas such as spreading out the chain before you write – actually, to other people, this may seem puzzling. The problem is further compounded if the check gets smeared with ink if the pen’s ink doesn’t dry instantly.
11. Drinking Your Favorite Beverage.
You are probably asking yourself, “How does being left-handed hinder me from holding my cup?” The answer depends on factors such as lids and writing on the cup. If you just received a mug for a present with a message, then you will always read it backwards when you hold it with your left hand. And for cups with partially-opening lids, well, you can forget the lid altogether.
12. Bumping Elbows.
If you are left-handed and often find yourself in congested space, then you know the trouble of constantly elbowing the person next to you. Your elbows will naturally make contact if he/she is right-handed, and you will likely get a lot of annoyed looks. So where does this leave you?
Well, you can either find a strategic place to position yourself or simply make it known that you are left-handed and go on – after all, being left-handed is like being in an exclusive group.