Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Newsletter articles > Preferential treatment for the left side

Preferential treatment for the left side

We had an email recently from Dave telling us that as a left-handers he naturally prioritises the left side of his body in all sorts of daily tasks as he feels it somehow deserves preferential treatment! This got us thinking as well and here are some of the things that Dave and ourselves do “left first”:

  • Put on left sock and left shoe first
  • Left leg first into underpants and trousers
  • Left arm first into shirts and jackets
  • Shave the left side of the face first
  • Spray deodorant on the left armpit first
  • Put after-shave on the left side of the face first
  • Using a toothbrush, start brushing the teeth on the left side of the jaw first

I have since tried to do some of these things the other way round and they feel decidedly weird and uncomfortable. Is it just us or do you do the same, and what other things to you do that give preferential treatment to the left side? Add your comments below to let us know.


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88 comments on “Preferential treatment for the left side
  1. Southpaw0 says:

    I’m mixed-handed, right-hand dominant.

    The only task I do with my left-hand 100% of the time is brushing my teeth, which feels unnatural right-handed.

    I prefer to play badminton two-handed, and play without doing backhands. This feels most natural to me. (Although I’m not sure if it’s allowed in a legit game… Oh well.)

    I prefer to play Wii Sports left-handed. 😉

    I also pour things predominantly left-handed, using my right hand as “support” if the container is heavy/full.

    Recently, I’ve started writing left-handed. My left-handed penmanship is embarrassingly close to the right-handed penmanship I’ve been doing my whole life. My left-hand has a lot of control/precision when printing most of the letters.

    Ever since I’ve started writing left-handed I’m doing a lot/most of my “right-handed” tasks left-handed, which I’m unconscious about for a few seconds. Except eating. I always eat with my right hand unconsciously, which I guess would mean I use a knife in my left-hand when eating.

    I use a knife with my right hand if I’m just cutting things and not eating at the same time (like cutting bread.)

  2. Sonia B.-Inkster says:

    Buttons are still weird to do up when the button is on the left panel, and buttonholes are on the right panels.

    Zippers are covered by a flap on the right side, which complicates the proper use thereof.

    Edged butter knives are always a challenge as the edge requires right hand knife-holding, which is awkward.

    Light switches and door knobs on the “wrong” side are fun because I don’t think to check on the right. I automatically reach for the left side, shoulder height and am still surprised to find the switch isn’t there.

    This year, I found a laptop with a power button in the top left corner – most are in the top right corner.

    Baseball and hockey – I “swing” both ways, catch and throw with the left, so a glove is completely useless.


  3. Edward Johnson says:

    When putting on a belt even though I start with the right side 1st I think I am doing it the “left-handed” way as it seems more normal to start pushing the belt thru the 1st holder from my left side (of the holder) and go round the waist clockwise. I imagine most right-handers go round the waist counter-clockwise when attaching a belt. Belts fortunately do not have a handedness but there is a left-handed way of attaching them, I think. ☻

  4. Paddy says:

    A new inconvenience for left-handers has just been introduced in the transit system in my city. Instead of showing a pass or a ticket when required, one must now “tap” the ticket on a sensor to get through the gate. Guess which side of the gate holds the sensor? Lefties must now switch hands or twist the body to pass through. In a fast moving queue this can cause a lot of stumbling and pushing! I wonder how much more efficient it would be to have a sensor on both sides?

  5. Casey says:

    Not all leftie do things on left side first …. I brushed on the right side first … wear socks on the right side first … cos it’s more comfortable…

  6. Amy says:

    I, too am a lefty dressing left side first and most everything from the left side. My home ec. teacher was right handed, but she actually knew how to do things, sitting facing her while learning to crochet picked it up fast. Too bad that was high school could have used it in grade school. But facing a rightie is like looking in a mirror and makes learning much easier. Messes with their minds but hey I get it right! Books, doors, locks, I have trouble with. I also shake hands left-handed which requires my hand to be upside down, righties CONFUSED. Proud to be a leftie!!

  7. John says:

    I do everything left handed except bating a baseball and play golf right handed. My dad couldn’t teach me left handed and because of that it cost me playing pro baseball. I shoot all guns using my left hand. I shoot recreational only. No animals. I shoot trap “clay birds” and at paper targets. I have a coach that is right handed but was able to teach me left handed. I do everything else left handed. I also watch TV left handed. The TV’s in my house are all on the left side of where I sit. Several years ago I had major surgery on my left shoulder. I was forced to use my right hand. I broke all kinds of things, glasses, plates, etc. I finally was released to use my left hand. The next day I was in an accident. A tractor trailer truck was across the interstate. I was hit on back of the car and most all damage was on my left side. Me going 60 mph and the truck the same. I had breaks in every rid but the left was much worse. I could not use the left hand because of the pain. If any of you has had damage to a rib imagine all of the fractured and most of the ones on the left broken and fractured in many places. The shoulder was “frozen”. I then had months of therapy. I was over a year until I had full use on the left side. To long a comment but…

  8. John says:

    Yep! I had LASIK surgery and it was only on one. The left was the side done. It gives me distance in left eye and close up on right. For me I am left eye dominate. The reason I did it this way is your mind in most peoples mind will adjust so you have surgery on one side. It works great, I no longer need bifocals. I do not need glasses anymore.

  9. Kayla says:

    I can understand where Dave is coming from, but I (also a leftie) do it differently. I tend to do most tasks that start on my right side because they often require use of the left hand, which I use more naturally. This could also be because I was taught to do many things right-handed, but I was surprised to realize that I normally do everything starting on the right side, with my left hand.

  10. Sue says:

    Does anyone wear their watch on the right wrist?

  11. Janice says:

    I do patchwork quilting and always find my finished quilt patterns are the opposite direction to everyone elses, so if the points should point right, mine always point in the opposite direction.

  12. Carolyn says:

    Left-handed, left footed, left eyed, left eared – always dress the left side first; everything is totally left-sided; my right arm/hand is useful only for carrying things; I don’t think I’d miss it if it were cut off – it just feels like a dead weight most of the time. When stuffing envelopes, always goes in backwards; I have to read magazines back to front. Directions always get reversed in my head. In school, all of us left-handed kids had to sit in the same row.

    • Edward Johnson says:

      It is not that involved for publishers to switch the binding side of books or magazines before having them bound – all they have to do is turn the whole set of pages over (on the cover portrait axis) without changing the order of the pages before binding them. The cover is a bit more awkward as the printed matter normally on the right side of it would have to be moved to the left side and vice versa. In an era of mass magazine production with much of it accomplished by machines, little, if any thought is given by publishers to readers having a choice of binding side. They essentially have a ‘MOnodiRecatON” mentality behaving more like automatons than humans in the area of handedness\sidedness of their publications.

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