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Advantages of being left-handed

We often end up complaining about the frustrations of being left-handed, but there are plenty of advantages as well.

Here is a list that has been reported in various places recently – we have done features on most of these items before but it is nice to put them all in one place.   It would be great to make this list longer as well!   If you can think of any other advantages of being left-handed and, ideally, can provide some sort of research results or reporting to back it up, please add a comment below and we will expand the list.

10 Proven Benefits of Being Left-Handed

With only about 10% of the population being left handed, lefties are a serious minority. While they’ve endured a serious amount of prejudice (the word for left in almost every language has a less than positive connotation) and even aggression over the years, today, many left handed people are proud of their unusual handedness. And why not? After all, they have to survive and thrive in a world designed for those who are right handed. The next time someone teases you about your left handedness, bring up one of these facts that show that being left handed just might be a genetic blessing after all, offering you bigger and better abilities that can help you do everything from get a degree to kick butt at video games.

  1. Being left handed is an advantage in many sports. You might just come out ahead in athletics if you’re a lefty. Since most players are right handed, many are unused to dealing with those who are left handed. Take baseball for instance. Southpaws have the advantage of already facing first base when they’re at bat, can more easily keep an eye on first base when pitching and can cover a large amount of the field when playing in the outfield by having their glove in their right hand. There are specially designed left-handed baseball gloves available (worn on the right hand so you can throw left-handed). Other sports that offer an advantage to lefties are fencing, boxing and tennis.
  2.  Lefties have a greater chance of being a genius- or having a high IQ. Researchers aren’t sure why, but those who are left handed seem to make up a disproportionately large part of those who are highly intelligent. For example, twenty percent of all Mensa members are left-handed. When you consider that less than 10 percent of the total population is left handed, this makes for a lot of smart lefties. Some think this genius stems from being forced to use both sides of the brain more often, allowing these individuals to more easily process a large amount of information.
  3. Left handed men may make more money. All that genius has to lead to something, right? According to studies, left handed males who have gone to college earn 13 percent more than their right handed counterparts. The causes of this difference are unknown, but the gap is statistically significant enough that its not a simple anomaly. Oddly enough, however, the results are quite different for women, with lefties earning 5% less than women who are right handed.
  4. Left handed people adjust more easily to seeing underwater. Bizarre as it may sound, one of the benefits of being left handed is being able to adjust more easily to see the world around you when you’re underwater. While you may not need this ability very often, it could come in handy if you live by the sea or enjoy swimming. While it’s not quite clear why this is so, scientists think it has something to do with a different part of the brain being dominant in left handed individuals.
  5. Lefties are better able to multitask. One of the advantages of being left-handed is that it forces your brain to think more quickly. What this means for everyday life is that those who are lefties may find it easier to multi-task and deal with a large, sometimes unorganized stream of information. Researchers found that conversations between the left and right sides of the brain happen more quickly in left handed people. The more dominant the left handedness is, the better these abilities are.
  6. Some left-handed individuals have better memories. While it isn’t true for all who are left handed, data from recent studies suggests that those who come from families of lefties tend to have better memories, though only of the episodic kind. The odd thing about this study, however, was that individuals didn’t necessarily need to be left-handed themselves to have a better memory- just come from a family of lefties. These studies show that traits related to handedness may be passed down separately, though some lefties would prefer to think that their left-handed benefits just rubbed off on their right-handed counterparts.
  7. Generally, lefties are better at playing video games. Some of the traits that make lefties better thinkers and multitaskers also make them better at playing video games. Research conducted by Dr. Nick Cherbuin shows that lefties are better at handing large amounts of stimuli, making them naturally better at killing zombies, playing virtual tennis or fighting off alien hordes in the virtual world.
  8. Left handed stroke victims recover faster than right handed stroke victims. While the reasons behind this aren’t entirely clear, some believe it’s due to left handed people having to strengthen both sides of the brain when navigating a right handed world. Because many lefties are better able to use their non-dominant hand, it is easier for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain. Of course, recovery for those suffering from a stroke is never easy, no matter which is their dominant hand.
  9. Left-handed people are likely to be more visual than language-based, making them ideal for artistic pursuits. Research has shown that university students are more likely to major in visually-based, as opposed to language-based, subjects when they’re left handed. While another study — not comprehensive at only 103 students — showed that within the sample, 47% of art students were left- or mixed-handed. If you want to be an artist this is an amazing benefit, putting you in the likes of greats like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Rembrandt.
  10. Southpaw drivers are more successful at learning to drive than right handed people. If driving came easy to you, it might have a good deal to do with your left-handedness. A driving school poll found that 57% of left handers passed their driving test first time compared with only 47% of right handers. This is pretty amazing, considering that most cars are designed with right handed individuals in mind
    Is this true in all countries, regardless of whether they drive on the left or on the right?

Here are some others to think about…

  • Be a faster typist- on a standard qwerty keyboard there are about 3400 words that can be typed solely with the left hand, compared to about 450 words typed solely with the right hand.
  • Less time in line. Studies show that most people veer to the right if there are multiple lines to choose from, but lefties tend to choose the line on their dominant side. A Disney World guidebook states that visitors   will spend much less time in line for attractions if they choose the left-hand side when given an option.
  • Get to choose your seat at the dinner table. Everyone knows you can’t sit next to a lefty, otherwise you’ll get your elbow bumped. Smart southpaws use this to their advantage to get a spot with more space. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well at a circular table.
  • Have an easier time writing in Hebrew. Many Arabic languages, including Hebrew are written from right to left. This alleviates the problem that lefties have when writing.

Let us know what you think about these   and add any more advantages you can think of by adding a comment below.

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428 comments on “Advantages of being left-handed
  1. Samari says:

    I’m a left handed guy and I know their many potential in me, so how can I tap from it, cos my academics have soffer a little and my results always bad yet I know I’m much better than that. So how can I unlock the hiding potentials and ability in me?

  2. Douglas Downey says:

    Lefty soldiers have a definite advantage in bayonet fighting. I discovered this when I was going through U.S. Army basic training in 1952;the instructor was a highly skilled survivor of the Bataan Death March. He used me as a demonstration dummy, and was surprised and embarrassed when I outmaneuvered him because he parried my attack in the wrong direction.

  3. Samuel Michalcewicz says:

    I’m a lefty and I’ve experienced a higher level of endurance in things like working out, long work periods without rest, and even walking long distances without anything to drink.

  4. S_Eye says:

    It seems to me that lefties always approach problem solving in a completely different way from righties; their approach usually confusing to righties. As a lefty, I think this stems from the process of thought that comes with right brain dominance. I find a convoluted method of dealing with tasks that are usually more time consuming than necessary.

    The interesting part is the reaction of righties vs lefties. A righty will listen to a solution I devise, and immediately criticize or shoot it down. Meanwhile, upon hearing the same plan, a left handed person will at the very least stop to play out the scenario in their head to see if they feel it works.

    It would seem that these two approaches play to the nature of the left and right brain. While right handers quickly do calculations and use past experience to solve a problem, left handers are more likely to take an out of the box approach, treating the situation as its own unique problem. Makes sense, I suppose, given the mathematical lean of the leg brain, and the abstract of the right

  5. Namdev Khot says:

    I am a Left handed. I have got very bad memories when i was a child. people used to shout at me couse i used to eat food by my left hand. my mother’s Aunt used to tight my left hand with the wire and hang it to the door. she forsed me to eat by right hand only. i was 9 year old. Gradually i was being eaten by right hand due to daily exercise. i felt very bad, even i never no what was my fault.

  6. Des says:

    I used to be left-handed because my mom used to discourage me to use my left especially when I write/draw. But still, I couldn’t stop myself using my left hand. So even the years passed using my right hand to write/draw, I still used my left hand with other activities I do like handling mobile phone, sweeping and handling spoon when eating.

  7. Raimundo Gabriel says:

    Left Handers have better sex too.According to a survey lefties are 71% more satisfied in the sack than righties.

  8. Carole Hatfield says:

    My Dad and 1 of my Brothers are lefties. I come from a family of 16 – 8 boys, 8 girls (no steps, twins).
    I am the only left-handed girl.

    I am good at sports…..Tennis was great….no one could match my 2 handed back hand!

    Today, I was in a meeting with 8 people. The gentlemen to my right was left-handed, the lady to his right was left-handed. What are the odds of that?

    Hey lefties…admit it…I’m not the only one who looks at people during meetings, dinners, etc to see who is left-handed.

  9. Johnny Johnson says:

    I am left handed and when I read this I thought to myself that most of these things are true. When I was 3 years old my Mom tried to make me a right hander until my Dad told her to leave me as I was. Right handers still have plenty of advantages too

  10. vikky says:

    I m left handed and I don’t know if it has been a benefit for driving but even I have cleared driving test on first attempt itself and I have been a good driver so far…:) and I think its true because i learnt it easily too…:)

  11. Dinah Patt says:

    Left handedness is one of the greatest things to be. Except when people who you have known your whole life say “Wow! You’re left handed?” Does this happen to anyone else?

    • Steven Gallegos says:

      It happens to me all the time. I rather enjoy it when somebody else is fascinated by the fact that I am left handed. I guess I like the attention.

  12. Tanuja Agarkar says:

    in house while cooking,or serving food mother in law & Brother in law complains
    my food is very tasty appreciated by husband,
    I am good at academics,
    my IQ is very good

  13. Gajeel Redfox says:

    i dont know if its case with most lefties but i had high level of self awareness from a very young age.Imagine a 3 year old boy.He wouldnt think twice before doing anything.I mean that children dont feel whether their their actions right or wrong.I dunno how but i could feel my actions and their impact on other things.I always thought twice before doin anything.
    I didnt mean to show myself great through this post i just thought it might be a benefit of being left handed so i posted

    thnks for reading

    • Matt Harris says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I play alot of sports and when I’m totally focused and in the game my awareness is out of this world.

  14. Mitchell says:

    thanks for the insight

    were my parents better informed i would be a good tennis player

    luckily or unluckily all i really utilize is my brains while at school

    i think i understand why i am better at understanding things

  15. Bob schwalbaum says:

    I’m an 84-year old 100% leftie.. except my politics of course.
    the only problem I EVER had was with M1 Rifle at Marine Corps rifle range.

    if you fire left-handed you flinch as you pull the trigger as the expended shell casing flies right in front of your eyes.

    • Warren says:

      Worse, the m-16 pours hot brass into my shirt, leaving me blisters & burns.

    • Dennis Fox says:

      Hmmm. I wondered if there are any left handed guns. And it seems that there are a number of rifles and pistols with the casing ejection on the right. Lol.

  16. Steve says:

    Well, left-handers have the advantage when typing. Most of the letters on the left side are more widely used, like R, S, T, E and A. So there. And nobody expects a left-handed slap

  17. Zach says:

    I’m a left handed starting pitcher for my high school team, you can come a longways if you play baseball as a left hander.

  18. Gina says:

    I myself is left handed and is very talented in drawing at a very young age. I start to believe it’s true that lefty are more artistic as I grew up bc I notice throughout my school years from elementary to college. 5 art teachers and 3 of them are left handed. Since there’s only 10% in the population how coincendental can that be???

  19. Gijs says:

    Driving a screw into a wall requires a movement that is called supination (turning your hand to where the palm is up), if it is done with the right hand. Lefties have to make a movement that is called pronation (moving your palm down). In supination you use your powerful biceps, in pronation you don’t. Driving a screw in is easier for right handed people, but lefties have the advantage while taking a screw out of a wall.

  20. John Curtis says:

    If leftie, make sure you use a left-handed chain saw. Typical saw puts left hand in danger.

  21. Age says:

    we lefties are particularly better looking than our right handed counterparts. known fact it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      I mean growing up (1 years old to 18 years old) I thought I wasn’t that bad of a looking kid-I have had guys that liked me growing up but not sure now anymore (I’m 29 years old now). Don’t get me wrong-so many girls go through insecurity looks-wise so I was thankful to God that I didn’t have to struggle with not having a place in this world(although my main issue is with my slightly overweighted-ness). I was quite healthy, and as a child I out stamina-ed some of the kids (I was 8-14 years old) during physical sport and was chosen by my P.E. teacher for a P.E outstanding award (not because I outwitted the taller boys on basketball court and made more shots but because I had this strive to push on even after fatigue, for which I was advised to join cross country)

      I also noticed that I seem to have a bit of humor and that other lefties I have met seem to tolerate me better . Would I ever find my way into the hearts of practical-mind right-handed men??? lol

      Also Justin Bieber is left-handed and he actually seems quite attractive…

  22. Sue Farrington says:

    HiI think its an advantage being left-handed if you live in the UK as we drive on the left which feels natural to left-handers. Also the gear stick and most of the other controls are alway on your left.Alternatively it fees most awkward driving on the right when abroad.RegardsSue

    • Sam says:

      I’m American, and though I don’t have a driver’s license yet (not old enough), I agree with that statement. I always seem to think it looks backwards when I’m in a vehicle, and I kind of want a car with the pedals on the left when I get one, as I’m also left-footed. I fear accidentally driving on the left during my future driving test.

    • Cody P. says:

      I’m left handed, drove both kinds of vehicles. My friend had a Jeep and the steering wheel was on the right side and it was completely odd to me. I had trouble moving through gears and all. My brain just couldn’t do it. Kinda like the whole sitting on a spinning chair, lifting your right let and using your right hand to draw a 6 in the air. Impossible for me. I was use to driving my standard though with the steering wheel on the left side. I have heard that left handed people in the U.S. are more likely to swerve into oncoming traffic though. With right handed people more likely to swerve towards the ditch. Idk, I’m a great driver so I’ve never had that problem yet. I understand the roads, curves and how to swing wide before going into a deep corner to make the curve shorter. I also live on country roads though, which usually makes for a better driver. City folk can’t drive. I lived in Chicago for 4 years.

  23. David Langlois says:

    A few years ago someone was giving me a REALLY hard time about being left-handed. So I wrote this:”Not all sinister persons are left-handed. Some are dextrous.”When I read it to them the next time we met, they didn’t get it. Ah well. Can’t train them all.

    • Arvindh Mani says:

      Try another time; and this time, show him that we are neither sinister nor gauche, but rather quite dextrous and adroit as well!

  24. margaret watson says:

    I find it easier to thread a sewing machine than most right handers I know.

  25. josh says:

    Being a lefty i have had my fair share of easy things for righties that were difficult to me. But over time us lefties will be the overlord of righties. For instance my partner is a rightie and me a leftie and because of that i am the one that runs everything while i m studying and building a bus and helping my friends learn to do things. Also being a leftie does help when in trouble like for instance like every student millions of things needed to be sprted in no time and i managed it while doing exams. Also being a male i m told i cant multi task but i can n nbe of my male friends can work out why.

  26. Sadeesh says:

    I like the word genetically blessed. I am not good in IQ / I like sports, acting, writing songs, photography, space information ) I was born on 14th December 1975. My second son is 3 years old and he was born on 1st December 2011. I like car games but not other games. When I drive I feel that I have more control.

  27. Carson says:

    I am left handed and I play French horn (which you play with your left hand). Also when I play games I play as recon because I was taught that way. I am terrible at math. Finally when i am bad at math and what is crazy was I was born on Natioal left handed day August 13

    • Dennis Fox says:

      I play French horn also. It is a difficult instrument to play. I was asked to help by playing trumpet (right handed instrument) for a band. It was ridiculously easy to learn, about five minutes to make useful music. It was a blessing to me and I tried many other instruments, which were all easy compared to the French horn. So, maybe my left handedness is to thank? Or maybe the excessive practice with the French horn. This instrument needs patience and practice, and a left hand to sound good.

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