Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Newsletter articles > September 2010 > Left-handers angry and emotional?

Left-handers angry and emotional?

Lauren was contacted by the Daily Mail last week for her opinion on some new research that has surfaced, suggesting that we lefties are angrier than the average right hander.

The new study, let by Ruth Propper a psychology professor at Merrimack College in Massachusetts USA found that among left-handers, the two hemispheres of the brain communicate more with each other so have more interaction with the parts which produce negative emotion.

Lefthander Bob Geldof at Live AidThe study, published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease suggests that this makes us more moody.  The article sites grumpy Bob Geldof and hot-tempered tennis legend John McEnroe as prime examples of angry lefties.

Lauren commented that in her experience, left-handers are on the contrary very easy going, especially considering all the frustrations we deal with on a daily basis, using equipment badly designed for us.  “Perhaps if lefties in general were a more militant bunch, we would have lobbied more vociferously for left-handed equality many years ago” .

She also took issue with the simplistic supposition that the connection between the two halves increased the feelings of negative emotions.  Surely such enhanced connections would also serve to  transmit positive emotions just as easily?  Perhaps it would be fairer to surmise that left-handers are simply altogether more emotional!

Click here to see the report on this story in the Daily Mail

We have looked at the many videos of John MacEnroe going crazy during his tennis matches and this is the best compilation we found – enjoy! (though we are sure this can't be a left-handed thing, can it?):

 

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Posted in Lefty info, Newsletter articles, September 2010

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33 comments on “Left-handers angry and emotional?
  1. CHryssi says:

    I have been exploring this site for several hours…falling asleep a few times from exhaustion but before i go out for the night i have to comment on a few responses here. I am by no means an educated scholor with years of book knowledge so according to society I am not qualified to state what I plan to state BUT I am without a doubt far more experienced and my knowledge exceeds books yet to be written with only a high school diploma! I have lived this study for 43 years so in my opinion this is fact.
    1. the brain communicates with both sides through electricity and chemical reactions. Negative reaction happens when there is a “short circuit? in this communication. In this “study” I have failed to find any supporting evidence to the statement: the two hemispheres of the brain communicate more with each other so have more interaction with the parts which produce negative emotion……. – See more at: https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/left-handers-angry-and-emotional.html#sthash.1V3OjDLp.dpuf

    I searched several sites and links only to find that all this is actually saying is the increased communication increases interaction but not just with the parts that produce negative emotion because that contridicts the finding. How??? If BOTH communicate with each other no one side is being left out, so in their theory it would really mean lefties are more advanced mentally over righties that that makes much more sense. I as you lefties already know am left handed and i have known for a long time that my mind works a lot different than most anyone i know. I am not capable of saying i dont know and forgeting about it, while everyone else moves on in the conversation my mind works through the question exploring every aspect until it finds an answer that is acceptable enuf to accept for the moment. All the while another part of my mind is following the current conversation pulling bits of info needing to verify at a later date. Most people I know have no comprehension nor the ability to understand what an active mind produces but if i were to humor the study I will give it only that as a left hander the mass amount of processing, knowledge and overtime our minds endure tend to put us in a less tolerant personality not because we are angry or negative but because we simply dont have the time or patience to deal with ignorance day in and day out with 99% of the population. Even simple then that… if anything lefties should be acknowledged for how tolerant and very under control that we actually are. If I allowed myself to be angry or emotional as their study suggests with the way my mind communicates i would be a mass murderer because being surrounded by ignorance day in and day out, knowing i will never see mankind get a clue, watching the extinction of mankind progress due to their ignorance would be a valid trigger dont you think? No lefties are the ONLY reason mankind has evolved and because every living thing on this earth was specifically designed for procreation not for superior intelligence the lefties can only help you simpletons so much after all we are human and deserve to have some quality of life too. Living in a right handed world is enough suffering we sure as hell wont attempt to educate you when you cant even function in a left handed world. Now here is my question …. does anyone reading this still follow me or am I that alone in this sad world?

  2. nikkolina says:

    im a lefty but the only thing i do right handed is play the guiter, not to mention im the only one out of my sibblings that is a leftie, im also a twin and shes right handed…
    i love being a lefty because im cool like that:)

  3. Jane says:

    Historic left-handed figures have produced amazing creative thinking and works. Could we all start questioning received wisdom a little more? Rather than vilifying, persecuting and “othering” left-handed people, could we become more intrigued to uncover the amazing attributes they may offer to society? Maybe we even have schizophrenia wrong…I have suspected this for a long time as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist completely cynical about everything I was taught? Some folks are experiencing a different reality and we should embrace and learn from theirs; ours doesn’t appear to be working all that well, with (supposedly) depression and anxiety on the rise, despite the so-called cures afforded by drugging and shutting everyone up. Keep questioning…keep researching…don’t believe this pseudosicence. It’s bullshit.

  4. Donnell says:

    ITS JUST A MYTH THEY WANNA GIVE US LEFT HANDERS WE HAVE THE SAME FEELING & EMOTIONS MAYB ONCE WE REACH OUR LIMIT WERE SO FAR GONE I CAN UNDERSTAND MORE(LOL) BUT NO DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE RIGHT HANDERS!

    PS
    notice my words were all in caps 😉 follow me on twitter @_october_own

  5. Magpie says:

    Poppycock, Piffle, Balderdash,

    Yes as you can see I’M REALLY ANGRY !!!

    I’ve managed to live my life turning every screw the wrong way, locking/unlocking every door the wrong way, use every computer the wrong way, use every tool of instrument the wrong way, writing (and reading) the wrong way, use spiral bound books and maps the wrong way, use all the electrical appliances in the home the wrong way; etc, etc, etc …
    And yet I’ve never behaved like John McEnroe, I’ve never tried to kill anyone or threaten anyone or gone off my rocker because I’m wired to explode due to my pesky Right-hemisphere. I’m just the same as most other left-handed people… I manage all the tasks laid out above and too many more to mention in my usual way… I mean that being left-handed in a right handed world makes you more resourceful.
    Could it be that John McEnroe is just a grumpy, bad-tempered person and not a product of his left-handedness ?

  6. carmen says:

    About being angry and emotional…it is crazy to put this tag to a left handed..being a leftie or a right handed people at the very last resumes to be a PERSON who is able to feel this emotions depeding on the facts that originated the emotion…
    maybe what makes me laugh makes you angry….if this is going to be a serious research…some qualitative items should be described in detail to be interpreted in the best way…a scientist way—

  7. Jamie Smith says:

    I was interested in the experiments on changing handedness. This smacks to me of eugenics and the nazi experiments to create a master race. I would be totally against it.
    I am also replying to this aticle on emotions. I find myself very emotional and prone mainly to anger and frustration at myself.

  8. Bret says:

    Maturity, self-confidence, and seeking to understand the situation will determine what we deem to be an appropriate response to any situation. An individual’s handedness is only one portion of the whole and is not the defining factor to responding to a situation. Otherwise our emotional growth will be stunted.

  9. Joanne Bradley says:

    I use a right-handed mouse with my left hand, write left handed etc. After reading a study about stroke victims who used their dominant hands exclusively having more trouble recovering from the effects of the stroke, I decided to work on using both hands for common tasks. The left side is always more accurate but the right can learn to do most things passably well. It is funny. Sometimes there seems to be a fight over which side gets to work. There do seem to be more joint projects between the hands, but I will remain a lefty. I also write backwards and upside down. Read upside down too. Power tools are frightening because they are so very right-handed. Lethal too. The right handed camera is a pain. And so it goes. Thanks for this web-site/newsletter. So nice to see that there are a lot more of us than we normally hear from during the day!

    • Jackie Darby says:

      I agee most electrical equipment is terrifying have just learnt to soldier on, the odd accident (labeled accident prone, kack handed, etc) being inevitable. Had childhood stutter, short on confidence, constantly laughed at for being ‘arkward’.
      Developed the ability to read, write every which way, even mirror writing, was forced to write hand straight by school and parents no curve wrist. My writing tends to be untidy but readable. Can’t peel a potatoe lefthanded even with double blade peelers. Gave up on golf because could not determine which side to swing from even with lefthanded golf clubs, nothing felt right. Has anyone else found that the case with golf or is it just me.

      • carmen says:

        Dear Jackie,please..do not give up with golfing…it is a matter of mind strategy…I am a Leftie…and my teacher was my brother who is a rightie…and it was fine…no problem…sometimes he did not how to teach me some details but the general idea is really easy..think during the shot like you were a coil….strech your waist to the left until you reach your maximum effort during the basic position and the wood in the up position…with this little action is posible to do the basic…do not worry if you do not hit the ball at the first time..it is not important…just focus in this movement..it will give you more power to hit the ball to a major distance each time …meanwhile…practice this with a golf teacher leftie or left friendly all the remain details…one at a time…buy a book for left golfers…or reach the internet..it is fun…unfortunately I do not have other lefties to play golf with 🙁 .hope this message would have been usefull for you…

        • Bob Wilson says:

          Dear Carmen,

          Why do you need “other left-handers to play golf with”? I play much more tennis than I do golf, but I enjoy the slight advantage my unfamiliar spins have over right-handed adversaries. In golf there is no such physical interaction among players; only social. So I do not understand what positives playing only with other left-handers might give you. In any case, I have never golfed enough to consider buying my own clubs. I customarily use any that are available. As a consequence, over the years my best golf has resulted from driving with either hand (longer lefty, more accurately righty); using right-handed irons; and putting lefty. Lesson learned: Adapt, don’t whine. By the way, John McEnroe is not an a-hole because he’s left-handed; he’s just an a-hole.

          Finally, the Merrimack College professor’s “research” regarding the emotional instability of left-handers v. right-handers is pure garbage. Any grant money she received should be returned to the funding source.

          Thank you. I feel better.

  10. Sarah says:

    well if its true that lefties are more angry thant righties than it would explain alot about me cause i tend to get emotional or angry alot.

  11. Sherri says:

    I think, given that we lefthanders have to constantly struggle to make the world ‘right’ for us, if there were a actual tendencie for us to be angry, etc , we all would have exploded long ago. We are much more attuned to the world and all in it, because we have to be. Simple self preservation. I did the upside down scissors, can openers, two wheeled bike pedals, all that. I fight my right handed camera every time I pick it up. Same with controls on business machines, saftey controls on power equipment. I think our personality is not tied to handedness. I do think things like stuttering, nervous tics,etc is directly in relation to being forced to be what we are not.

  12. Sue says:

    What rubbish – I’ve got two left-handed children, and one rightie – the angriest/ shortest tempered – the rightis, most chilled, laid back and gentle – the leftie. It’s personality not handedness!

  13. Amanda says:

    Horray for Lefties at last!
    My two sons are aswell sothats 3:1 in my house.Maybe more emotional(who knows) ,definately frustrating and harder.I am also a scorpio so my poor husband has no chance.
    It’s great there are more products around,i do most things left but cut right handed only because when I grew up there were no left handed scissors. I am a hairdresser and look very odd cutting in the mirror, being left caused many problems when i trained as most were right and couldn’t train me left so i had to doit the right handed way.

  14. Ian Wilkinson says:

    I myself am not lefthanded, but I do Know lots of people who are. and they are all lovely people. where do they get this junk information from.

  15. karen says:

    as a mum to identical twins, one of whom is a left handed (they are mirror twins also) I was intrigued. My left hander is not angrier but until about the age of 9 was more emotional, in that she would move between emotions much more quickly and widely than her right handed twin who until the age of 9 was much more even natured. Things have now reversed!

  16. Lynn says:

    You tell ’em, Lauren!

    Actually, I think anything that lumps huge groups of human beings into simplistic categories is bunk. It’s no different from statements like “Women are . . . ” or “Asians are . . .” Human beings are far more complicated than that.

    • beadkatt says:

      I agree, especially when reading a reference on here to “typical American” junk; lumping any huge groups together in a prejudicially negative way is a bummer.

  17. Jackie Darby says:

    I agree if true that the increased communication thing between the brain hemispheres can only be benefical to left handers.
    Having spent my whole life adapting to a right handed world, which as we all know is EXTREMELY frustrating, so do we lose our tempers – NO.
    I wonder how many on the research team its self were left handers?
    I happen to live with a volcano tempered impatient husband, if inclined myself that way we would never have survived.
    I have by necessity very patient, methodical, logical, a great problem solver. My friends comment on my emotional empathy, I am the real agony aunt. Patience personified.
    I also terrify my husband and family at times, simply because things I do look wrong or dangerous to them.
    Does any else have this problem living with right handers?

  18. Percy says:

    From experience I have’nt seen that statistic come true, although I know few lefty friends.

  19. Sandy Seafloor says:

    Donald Chell write “this is typically american junk again, where do they get these people ???”

    I concur with Mr. Chell; far too much tax money is spent on frivolous and poorly-designed research. This particular study reads as if it was designed by someone in the midst of a child custody battle, to prove the left-handed spouse would be a danger to the child(ren). It’s biased to the core and unworthy of publishing, not to mention the initial funding.

    The increased communication between brain hemispheres would more logically lead to better emotional control due to better integration of reason and emotion. As emotions arise, the lefty’s reasoning centers can examine their validity, their source and appropriateness to the situation. A person with less cross-hemispheric communication would be more likely to express their emotions without first submitting them to analysis.

    So there.

  20. Angela says:

    Researchers have found that, amongst lefties, the two hemispheres of the brain communicate more with each other and it may be more appropriate therefore to reason that lefties are more emotionally attuned generally.

    It would, I believe, have been wiser for the researchers to refer to up to date understanding of emotion and all its implications, both positive and negative, before looking for differences in this area between lefties and righties.

    Lefties are more right-brained, as I understand it, and the right side of the brain is associated with emotion and spatial awareness. Hopefully in the future more meaningful and extensive research will be undertaken to cover all the possible implications of left handedness, both positive and negative.

    The surprisingly high number of left handed leaders may be in possession of a more acute emotional awareness which inspires them towards this type of work – who knows!

    Left handed sportsmen and women may have a more readily accessible spatial awareness naturally and, as for the famous tantrums, like it or not McEnroe used them not only to get rid of negative emotional energy but also for the tactical purpose of putting off his opponent. Emotional intelligence in action? He was on that court to win!

  21. Pete says:

    McEnroe might have been a good tennis player in his time, but he was a jerk. Left or right handed doesn’t make any difference. McEnroe’s problem was his father. His father should have taken this spoilt brat around behind the back of the shed and given him a good clout behind the ear and told to wake up to himself! McEnroes problem was a lack of dicipline, not handedness.

  22. Gerin Moblo says:

    I honestly have some problem with irritability myself, but I cannot see any viable connection between that and my handedness. I know many more right-handers than left and I can only say that I think it’s an equal amount of each who are angry people. I think this idea is based on a weak connection between 2 different research findings. One of the first things I was taught in science was that if 2 results are higher, there is not necessarily any kind of correlation between them. Plus I just don’t believe that left-handers are more negative. How sure are we that this concept is not based simply on past associated stigmas?

  23. Bob Wilson says:

    Left-handed or right-handed, John McEnroe is and has been since his first code violation in 1977 at the U.S. Open in Forest HIlls, a spoiled brat and an unreconstructible a**hole. (Please edit the last noun to your satisfaction.)

  24. Cathy says:

    I agree with Lauren. More inventive, perhaps. But angrier? I don’t think so. I’ve had to figure out how to use a right-handed can opener backwards (looks funny, but it’s functional for me), spent my school years using right-handed scissors upside down, and so on. I can even read upside down and backwards, which I haven’t seen any righties do. (I didn’t even know about many of the left-handed versions of things until I finally got to go to England back in my college days and found the store you had there at the time.) I don’t think we’re angrier, we just have much better visual perception

    • Angel says:

      Cathy says:

      I can even read upside down and backwards.

      Me too! I can write upside down also. My children find it amazing, and always comment about it. I never thought of it as a “lefty” trait until hearing another lefty can do it.

      On a side note, I am a left-handed drummer and play with my drum kit set up for a lefty, and have found learning challenging. It can be hard to watch a right-handed person and switch it. Or when my instructor teaches me, he has a hard time doing the same. Are there any lefties out there that play drums with a left-handed set-up? If so, any videos or instruction that you can suggest?

  25. Christine says:

    I wonder what is the proportion of left/right handed bi-polar sufferers?

  26. donald chell says:

    this is typically american junk again, where do they get these people ??? I have many left handed friends ,some in the family, and not one of them could be called bad tempered or grumpy, you probably get more bad tempered footballers in one team than the rest of the L/hand population. bah humbug

  27. Jane Dards says:

    I agree with Lauren – left-handers aren’t more angry than right-handers or they would get very angry indeed in a right-handed world!
    Re lefty discrimination, am I right in thinking that there are no left-handed versions of cameras (although I’m right-eyed, so not a problem for me) or microwaves?

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