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Lefty Disadvantages
– Things Lefties Are maybe Not So Good At!

There are some things that we find more difficult because of our
brain wiring and others that are more practical issues.

Things left-handers find difficult

Telephone boxes – receiver and coin slot on right TV & Hi Fi controls
Record Player Arms Writing
Scissors Trousers with one back pocket
Trouser Zips Polo (left-handed players not allowed!)
Hockey (left hand players not allowed in Field Hockey
– Ice hockey is OK and there have been some very
successful left-handed Ice Hockey players)
Tying shoe laces/ties
Writing in binders/files Cheque book stubs
Pens on chains in Banks Cash dispensing machines
Ticker barriers on underground
(ticket has to be put in with right hand)
Computer number. keypads (on right) Dining in restaurants (bump elbows with R/H diners)

Medical equipment

Club member Michael is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and tells us he has problems with right-handed equipment…

“My manual sphyg (blood-pressure cuff) can only be inflated with your right hand. (There are ambidextrous ones, but they are more expensive.) And I had problems learning to fit a cervical (neck) collar, until I discovered that they can only be pushed across with the right hand, not pulled with the left. Obviously, it would be completely impractical to equip hospitals and ambulances with both left and right handed equipment, but I can dream”


It is traditional and socially acceptable in most countries for a handshake to be made with the right hand. If a lefty tries to use the more natural left hand this causes confusion and makes people uncomfortable

We understand that a left-handed handshake is used as a recognition device by some secret societies and has “sinister”
connotations (we can’t win can we?).

If anyone knows more about this or has any thoughts, please add a comment below.

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81 comments on “Lefty Disadvantages
  1. Paul Merron says:

    Who told you our brains are wired differently? they lied to you. Why did they tell you this, well because of their prejudice. Left brained or right brained does not equate to left or right handedness. Folk lore, and other misleading beliefs make left-handedness a problem for left-handed people. if you are told you can not do something with your left hand as a child by your parents and teachers then you will believe it. Here is an example, I was told that I would not be able to play football because I would not be able to aim a kick properly with my left foot. Just think what a stupid and prejudice statement that is. Why on earth would I not be able to aim the ball properly? Well here is the answer. My sports teacher, who was a right handed person, assumed that my left foot was going to be as useless to me as his left foot was to him. Yet another stupid and prejudiced assumption made by right handed people.
    I proved to him that I could be extremely accurate with my left foot AND my right foot.
    Earlier in school when learning to write I was “encouraged” to write with my right hand and although I could do it I found holding the pen in my left hand much more comfortable. Well that was until my teacher gave up trying to make me right handed and accepted that if I was going to write with my left hand I should do it as follows. I was to contort my wrist in a tight curve so that my fingers lay above the writing line and therefore the pen lay at the same angle to the paper as it would if it was being held in the right hand. Oh, writing just became uncomfortable again. The answer was to get myself a left hand fountain pen (ink pen) tell my teacher to get lost and get on with writing. I do not smudge ink all across the page, my writing is neat and legible and I can write pretty fast, my left hand is a mirror image of a right handed writer. Here is the other example of how this stupid prejudice of teachers is put into another perspective. Middle eastern countries who’s writing reads from right to left also have a very strong biased to using the right hand for writing, eating etc. Their left hand is only used for purposes of cleaning. The point I am making is that when writing right to left should it not be impossible for them to use their right hand to write?

    OK there are some problems for left handed people but they are not huge, scissors shaped for the right hand can be uncomfortable but not impossible. You mention trouser zips and I do not understand that at all. You do realise that that trouser zips are one way on male garments and the opposite on female garments. Are all females left handed? Cheque stubs I have had some issues with but then the world is a right handed one. Is your right arm really as useless to you as the left arm of a right handed person? I don’t think so.

    Here in the joy in being left handed. Once you get over the belief of right handed people that you are somehow disadvantaged then you can get on with using both your arms and legs. I am predominately left handed and I can do pretty much anything with my left arm or leg that a right handed person can do with their right arm or leg. The advantage for me is that because the world is a right handed one I have also trained my right arm and leg to be able to do these thing equally as well. So I have two perfectly usable arms and 2 perfectly usable legs. I feel so sorry for people who can only effectively use a right arm and a right leg.

    • blackbombchu says:

      I believe what I read that the brains of left handed people are wired differently. Although the handedness of somebody can’t be fully determined from their brain structure, the probability that somebody is left handed given their brain structure is not the same as the probability that they are left handed. I don’t see a way to disprove that according to the selfish gene theory, because the evolutionary stable strategy of our past was for an uneven mix of handedness, natural selection was also going to create a tendency for left handers to have a different brain structure. I think there might actually be a slight tendency for left handers to be a bit less likely to be above a given amount of motor skill than right handers, though that tendency is much tinier than the teacher said it was. One possible reason is that left handers don’t practice up their left hand as much because they have to adapt to the right handed world. They however also get an advantage from adapting to the right handed world, of being able to do higher skill tasks with either hand, although some of don’t agree that it was worth having to adapt to gain that benefit. Another possible reason is that the better a gene is at making people with a genome that gives a tendency for right handedness fine motor skill, the less well it can make people with a genome with a tendency for left handedness, but since right handedness is more common, natural selection selected for genes that are better at giving people with a genome with a tendency for right handedness fine motor skill.

  2. Ryan says:

    Hey-o, late reply, but since the handshake and even the pledge of allegiance is injected as a social norm to do with the right hand, lefties can be trained out of using their dominant hand. The proper test to see if someone is left handed is to hand them a pen, ask them to lunch and see which hand they use, or even push them to see which hand they catch themselves with. That is the most foolproof. People can train themselves to eat or use computers with their right, but in a split second decision like falling, they will automatically put out the stronger hand. That’s why when trying to determine which foot is your dominant, you have someone push you. which ever foot you step forward with is your dominant one.

  3. Ryan says:

    Eating! For one, formal place settings are not built for lefties. The silverware is on the wrong side and when you take a drink from your glass, you have to cross your plate to grab the cup, risking dirty sleeves, and you end up putting it down on the left side where it can get confused with the cup of the person next to you. Speaking of person next to you, any right-handed individual who ends up sitting on your left side will inevitably bump elbows with you. Cutting steak sucks. I have to maneuver the knife with my left while holding the fork in my right. However, I CAN’T for the life of me actually eat with my right hand, I’ll end up holding the fork like a caveman and probably end up hitting my nose instead of my mouth. So, after I cut the steak, I have to cross the fork and the knife to switch hands, take my bite, and then switch back so I can cut again. So annoying! Also, doorknobs are on the wrong side of the door, shirt buttons suck, zippers on pants, fastening necklaces behind your head…iPhones make you swipe from left to right to unlock the screen, which makes sense for a right handed person. Pulling your thumb towards you is a more natural movement than pushing it away. Also, on keyboards, the important backspace and punctuation buttons are on the right. However I have less dexterity there so I don’t type punctuation as fast as I could if it were reversed. I’ve had to train myself to use a computer mouse with my right.In the car, all of the radio equipment and buttons that require more finely tuned dexterity to find without looking are on the right. I think I’d be better off driving in England!

  4. Cayla says:

    When I try to flat iron the right side of my head it always comes out horrible compared to the left side Γ°ΕΈΛœβ€š

  5. Roxanne Glisson says:

    Playing baseball as a kid was difficult i had to catch with my left hand take off the glove then throw the ball lol

  6. Simon says:

    I belong to a martial arts school and my teacher, unfortunately, makes me do things right handed even when it would cost him absolutely nothing to just leave me to my own left-handed devices. I’ve decided If he doesn’t start showing more consideration soon then I’m quitting the school. A right-handed person who is too thick to understand that left-handed people need to do things left-handed is no use to me!

  7. Jane Cordner says:

    Useing a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine ,I find I have to turn the bottle instead of the corkscrew it’s totally the wrong way round

  8. scott nyrkkanen says:

    Im a lefty and I feel that we have an advantage because of it. The fact that we live in a right handed world we have to adapt to do things right handed a lot of right handers can’t use thier lefts like we can our rights

  9. Katy says:

    After i read some of website and comments, i still confused what am i? Lefty or mixed handed, or something else? I use my left hand to write and do common activity(like eating and brush my teeth) ,but i do sports like baseball, golf, bowling,tennis, table tennis with my right hand, and also to kick a ball, but in pressure and throwing i used my lefty. Anyone do the same like me?

    • Sascha says:

      That sounds like something called cross-handedness, Katy, and it’s pretty common. I am largely left handed but I brush my teeth right handed. I also use cutlery like a right-hander (but hold a solo spoon or fork in the left). My left-handed colleague does the same and also used scissors right-handed.

      I bat left handed but bowl (cricket) right handed. I don’t know the science behind it. To be honest I have largely taken it for granted/derived amusement from it. It does get some comment at backyard cricket matches!

      I just see myself as a leftie with some crosshanded tendencies, maybe borderline ambidextrous because I can write proficiently with my right hand. (It’s usually readable if not pretty). My GP told me people with this configuration tend to have poorer than average balance. I can’t argue in my case.

    • Nishal koshy says:

      yep same here.i am using left hand for writing and i used to eat with my left hand but i changed it,now i can use both of my hands to eat.i am a right handed batsman(cricket) and a right handed bowler and the main thing is i have no control over my left hand in cases like aiming,throwing and also in case of strength.

  10. Qurrat says:

    The awkward handshake…I tend to give my left hand for a handshake and have known people who have on occasion refused to shake my hand unless i change it to right. I asked them why and they just gave me “the look” equivalent to social suicide and simply stated coz “you are just supposed to handshake with your right”

  11. tess stevens says:

    Ironing boead.The one I have to use in my place of employment,(dry cleaners) is static,and designed for right
    handed people.I have tried to iron from the other side of the board but the cord is attached to an overhead pulley
    Cuts across in front of me,
    .All the equipment is designed for right handed people.

  12. Colm says:

    When it comes to playing hockey (both field and ice) your dominate hand goes at the TOP of the stick. This means left handers shoot RIGHT and right handers shoot LEFT. Because in field hockey you have to shoot right, left handers actually have a huge advantage. Stickhandling, and shooting all require a strong left hand.

  13. Nordlys says:

    Strange, I do some things left handed (I’m ambidextrous) and I didn’t notice those difficulties.

    I switch hand easily when i use the mouse (and my mouse is always setted on right-handed way, because the left handed way made my friend confusing and my old PC was quite defective, so when i setted the mouse on left handed way, BSoD increased.

  14. Sumukh says:

    It is very bad that very less guitar manufacturers make lefty guitars.I am trying to buy a lefty electric guitar for a year now but not even a single shop in my city has a lefty guitar.this is very sad that lefty guitar players are ignored.its my bday this month i wanted a guitar and i hope i get one.

  15. Trish says:

    My biggest challenge is combination locks, keys…anything that requires clockwise movement.

    I automatically turn outwards, as a right handed person would, except my outward motion gets me nowhere πŸ˜‰

  16. Trish says:

    Tying shoes? However is this a difficult thing to do? Laces are the same size.

    I do have issues with some things, but I’ve learned to adapt, as I’m sure more lefties.

    What I find interesting is I have a left handed mouse…….very few right handed people are able to adapt, even tech support figure it out. Quite often they think there is an issue hahahahahahaha

    • Ellen says:

      It isn’t the tying of the shoe that’s difficult. It was learning to tie the shoe as taught by a right handed person. Us lefties don’t loop the loops are right handed people do. I remember my mother becoming extremely frustrated.

  17. jorge sanchez says:

    that’s why we adapt to become ambidextrous

  18. Duey says:

    Everything is designed for rightys commercial kitchens are awkward. Thats just one thing.

  19. Lesley Fyfe says:

    One of the most awkward things I find being left-handed is trying to write something down while on a mobile phone. I naturally have my phone in my left hand at my left ear and it feels unnatural to hold it to my right ear in my right hand, but I hold the pen in my left and cross my right hand over to keep the phone at my left ear. Is it just me who does this? I never realised how odd this looks until I was at my desk in work and the person opposite me burst out laughing saying I looked really uncomfortable as if I was tying myself in knots. It seemed to be normal to have the phone positioned on the right hand side of the desk (this was probably in the dark ages before the advent of headsets!)

  20. J.B. says:

    I was wondering if you could help me out with a question I have regarding a scene in my latest book. The scene involves my detective ascertaining the dominant hand on a suspect by shaking his hand. As a test to determine if he’s left-handed, she offers her left hand to shake (disregarding all of the cultural implications of this). As a right-handed person myself, I know that this can be a little confusing at first, as we typically want to respond with our dominant hand. When we do shake, its harder for us to get the grip and and pressure correct, so it may come off as a little weak.

    However, what I’d like to know is how does a left-handed person fare with this? Do they shake hands much more naturally and comfortably, or has a lifetime of growing accustomed to shaking with the right hand leave them in pretty much the same boat?

    • Trish says:

      We have been taught to greet and shake with our right hand, regardless of dominance.

      I automatically extend my right hand.

      • Ellen says:

        Yes, a lifetime of being taught right handed is the right way to shake hands. Of all the awkward motions a lefty has to contend with, I feel the handshake is at the bottom of the list. Why? Because I have never done a left handed hand shake and most likely never will. I don’t actually give it any thought.

    • Isabel says:

      I am 51 and I automatically always shake with my left hand, I am sorry but if any right handed person feels uncomfortable or confused by that ,it is their problem, I could feel just as uncomfortable by them shaking w/ the right hand and I don’t, it might not be the greatest hand shake but, hey be and let be. It is a choice how you feel about something, I think people make to big a deal out of nothing. I embrace my left handedness, makes me feel special, so if some one looks at you weird because you are giving out your left hand, just smile, ignore it and keep going.

    • Jane says:

      I’m very left dominant but shake with right hand and you would not be able to tell left handed ness from it.

  21. Jane says:

    Has anyone noticed that supermarkets now sell milk in right-handed bottles? The big (4pt) bottles now have an offset handle rather than one in the centre of the the narrower side. I find these very awkward to get out of the fridge and to pour from. Whoever thought that this change in design was a good idea?

  22. melex says:

    am happy to learn that there are people out there who understands and are ready to help LHP.

  23. sandra says:

    You should add using a camera to this list. If you are left handed AND left eyed then holding and looking into a camera’s view finder is uncomfortable. When you go to look into the view finder your nose will touch the back of the camera making it hard to get your eye close to the VF. Also the handles on digital cameras are always on the right side which makes you have to hold it with your right hand. Just try to hold a camera with your left hand to take a photo…. next to impossible.

  24. Stephanie says:

    I write left handed but do most everything else with my right hand. I do bat and golf left handed. My twin brother is left handed and does everything left handed. He even writes with the hook hand that is common among some left handers. My mother is left handed so was my maternal grandfather. I have a cousin who was forced to switch from his left hand to his right hand as a young child and had a hard time growing up because he was a natural born lefty but was made to do everything with his right hand. My brother and I had it easier with a mom who was also a lefty. My twin and I were also born in June under the sign of Gemini. So, we are twins born under the Gemini sign who are also both left handers. Weird or what?

  25. Margrethe says:

    A clear advantage is when you are writing music, you can, if needed, write the melody as the right hand plays it on the piano. Right handers have to either switch between pen and piano all the time, or play the melody with the left hand.

  26. Rachel says:

    I’m a left-handed child of two left-handed parents. I also have a cousin who’s left-handed, and she taught her children and grandchildren to do everything the left-handed way, even though they’re all right-handed. So it runs in my family. The only time I really had an issue with scissors was in kindergarten when my teacher accidentally gave me another kid’s right-handed scissors to use. My biggest issues have always been writing in binders and braiding my hair.

    • Kristina says:

      I feel like you just said my life putloud! I was almost failed and Kindgarden because They believed couldn’t use scissors. It took my left handed the mother going down to the school to show them I needed my own special pair! I love being a lefty! However I’m stubbornand I refuse to go righties in many situations even though I feel I could. I’m a bartender now and I insist that the barbacks learn how to set up my well left-handed whenever I’m working! Let’s never change!

  27. Sage says:

    I write with my left hand, but it’s odd, because I cut with my right, play guitar with my right, play violin with my right, throw with my right, kick with my right! It’s always natural to shake with my right hand too… So what am I? I fit into some of the advantages… I am a musical prodigy, and excel in math. I eat with my left though… So am I a lefty, righty, or ambidextrous?

  28. Josie says:

    Things I find difficult being left handed;
    Writing in binders
    Getting dressed

  29. Nicholas says:

    i hate filles it makes me so pissed offf !!!!

  30. Pinkie says:

    This is why I love scouts. Left handed handshakes πŸ™‚

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