Left Handers' Day: 5 Struggles Right-Handed People Will Never Understand
Only 10% of the human population is left-handed, and there have been various studies on how people choose their preferred hand. Is it genes, environment or evolution – or a mixture of all of them? Who knows.
But those of us who use our left hand for most tasks are constantly having to adapt to a world that’s designed for right-handed people, which brings a whole raft of daily struggles.
“Regular” scissors are a menace for us lefties. Most scissors are designed for right-handed use, meaning the blade on the right-hand side is facing upwards, allowing for a neater cut (if you’re using your right hand, that is).
But when you use them with your left hand, the paper either bends or looks like it’s been ripped. Arts and crafts at school can be a nightmare. Trying to make your masterpiece while the scissors hack your work to bits is no fun at all.
And if you weren’t the only leftie in the class at school, you’d have to fight for the ONE pair of blue scissors.
…And most other equipment
So much equipment that we need in our day-to-day lives is designed for right-hand use, causing all sorts of awkwardness for lefties. It doesn’t just top at scissors, either: computer mice, rulers and potato peelers are common culprits too. And don’t even get me started on tin openers.
Most things are either backwards or upside down, and no matter how many times you explain it to people, they just don’t get it.
Luckily, we have left-handed alternatives on websites like Anything Left Handed to help us through. I will say this, though: because we have no choice, we’ve developed some nifty skills to use right-handed equipment, albeit in our strange little ways.
Ah, the struggles of writing when you’re a leftie. It’s not just the constant smudging and cleaning the ink that’s smeared all over your hand. It’s the strange (and often uncomfortable) techniques you create so you can write without making a mess.
People are forever goggling at my “upside down” handwriting, which actually makes my hand ache. Using fountain pens, spiral notebooks and ring binders can be a pain in the bum too.
Continually banging elbows with people next to you is another left-handed struggle. At school and university when you’re crammed into rooms with tiny desks, you learn to ignore the tuts and sighs of the right-handed person who has the misfortune of sitting next you.
And the same goes for eating. You eventually learn to sit on the end of the table so you can be your free, left-handed self.
People mocking you
If your friendship group consists of mostly righties, you get the mick taken out of you for all your little quirks. From calling you clumsy and cack-handed to laughing about how you do everything “backwards,” it’s something you just accept. Sigh.
Of course, there are plenty of great things about being a leftie and the best people in the world are left-handed!