June 13, 2007

Left-handed/Right-Handed

A Reader wrote:


Ever since I was able to write, I have been left-handed. It wasn't until I was maybe 7 when an anomaly occurred. I began to play baseball. Ever since I first picked up a ball, I was able to throw right-handed. No one forced me to throw right-handed nor did the task seem complicated. It seemed just as natural as water flowing. I never really questioned it until a couple of years ago. When I wanted to know why I am able to write left-handed and not right, but in sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer, my right side is better with handling sports. I recently read an article from a website that gave characteristics of both right handed and left handed people. The strange thing about it is that I have a majority of both characteristics of both handedness. I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but ever since I was 9 I have excelled in math. It wasn't until a couple years later when I noticed I was excelled in English. I was wondering if I am ambidextrous or just an anomaly among left-handed people.

52 comments:

  1. Your experience is much more common than people think. Many people who identify themselves as left-handed (because they write and/or draw with the left hand) find that they easily perform many tasks right-handed. It's not exactly being ambidextrous, since an ambidextrous person, in theory, can perform everything equally well with both hands. In this case, the person does some things better left-handed and some things better right-handed. I hear from a lot of people who write and draw lefty but play sports righty, or who write and draw lefty, but use certain tools righty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i am only 15... but i am exactly the same as you... i write only with my left hand and my right hand dominates at everything except working scissors... where my brother is fully left handed inc. sports, guitar etc... what i don't understand is how both of my birth parents are right handed and me and my brother are both left handed... which is cool! so yeh

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I first went to school at age 7 (because of certain problems back in my home country), I started to write with my left but my dad told me to switch so that I won't have any problems adjusting later on in my life. Anyway, I grew up playing soccer and I use my left foot. My problem is that my "power" hand is my left so whenever I try something that needs a bit of power like the simple task of opening a bottle, I use my left. But when fingers are required I use my right (ex. using scissors). So when I play baseball I use my right to throw but I can't throw far (maybe because I am left footed). For the last year I started to practice writing whith my left to overcome this problem. I have not tried baseball but when I play tennis I can now pretty much play with both hands (except I can't serve with my left yet. I was just wondering if anyone did it in the past and if it works or not......

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, there! I too experience something similar to jbell1011. I write with my left hand. I initially started sports with my left, but ended up using my right because I was literally forced to by my teacher. I tried switching back to my left when she wasn't looking, but she had her eye on me. Someone told me this could corrupt my brain or something, but I would like to think that I'm okay (hahaha).. I still feel comfortable using the scissors with my left hand rather than my right, and open bottles with my left. I love writing (novels) and hope to be an author one day. And, I'm pretty good with my mental maths. The funny thing about my family is that.. both my parents are right-handed. I have four siblings, eldest a boy, myself (I'm female), another boy, then a girl. Both boys are right-handed and both girls are left-handed. Anyone can explain this in terms of genetics?

    ReplyDelete
  5. RealitySlams said: "The funny thing about my family is that.. both my parents are right-handed. I have four siblings, eldest a boy, myself (I’m female), another boy, then a girl. Both boys are right-handed and both girls are left-handed. Anyone can explain this in terms of genetics?"

    The genetic expalantion is not yet known. But my family is similar. My parents, both right-handed, had 3 boys and 2 girls, all the boys righties, all the girls lefties. We do have some lefty male releatives, so I don't think it's really linked to gender.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I too am left-handed when writing, but do everything else right-handed. I cannot use left-handed scissors and it used to drive me crazy that my mom insisted on buying them for me as a child. I plays softball as a right-handed player. I do have a twin sister and she is right-handed. I have a daughter that is left-handed and she plays ball left handed, but she uses regular scissors. I have a son who is right-handed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I first went to school at age 7 (because of certain problems back in my home country), I started to write with my left but my dad told me to switch so that I won’t have any problems adjusting later on in my life. Anyway, I grew up playing soccer and I use my left foot. My problem is that my “power” hand is my left so whenever I try something that needs a bit of power like the simple task of opening a bottle, I use my left. But when fingers are required I use my right (ex. using scissors). So when I play baseball I use my right to throw but I can’t throw far (maybe because I am left footed). For the last year I started to practice writing whith my left to overcome this problem. I have not tried baseball but when I play tennis I can now pretty much play with both hands (except I can’t serve with my left yet.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting...Have a daughter who does everything right-handed, except for writing. She's a wiz at math and english. Doesn't like to read, but have never asked why.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thats so interesting. I am a righty, but my father is left handed, and so are my sisters.Everyone on my mothers side is right handed as well. I notice that my fathers side whom has a lot of lefteys has awesome penminship. There hand writing is so neat. Its neat that you have both characteristics. Good article.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I may not be left handed but I am pretty similar to jbell.
    I am primarily right handed but when it comes to certain tasks or sports I switch.
    Such as skateboarding i can do plenty skating fakie but i fall on my face while facing right.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I, also, have lived my life like this. While I write, eat, and generally use my left hand for everything in my life, I use my right hand for more physical activities. I even use a knife with my right hand at work, despite greater agility in my left hand.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found that things which require great dexterity like writing I can only do with my left hand. On the other hand, to pick stuff up, I can do that with either hand. The problem is that musical instruments were designed for right handed people. I even have problems with the mouse.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a friend who writes right-handed, catches a ball with a glove on the left hand (like most righties) and then has to take the glove off to throw the ball left-handed. He plays basketball left-dominant and throws a football left handed. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can do things with both hands but I am mainly and claim to be left-handed. I write left-handed, I play guitar left-handed and so on. I hate using right-handed scissors, they always hurt my hand! I suppose I've never had a problem with anything school-wise that I attributed to being left-handed. Althought maybe my problems in math and science can be attributed to being a lefty.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ok im a lefty and i enjoy it thank you very much lol

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am actually primarily right-handed, however I can write with both hands very well. One of my hobbies is knife throwing and I throw better with my left. In baseball, I hit the ball better from the left side (catch/throw with the right). In all other sports I'm primarily right handed. I'm an artist but I cannot draw with my left hand, only write. I think I'm more so ambidextrous than anything else. When I was suffering from carpal tunnel in my right arm, it came in handy to be able to write and do things with my left hand with little difficulty.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes I am the same way. I do fine motor skills with my left hand and the large motor skills with my right. But in some things like bowling and ping pong I can use either hand. I also have a friend who is the exact opposite, writes right and plays sports left.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have the same method of doing things--write and bat left handed but throw, cut, knit, bowl and so many other things right handed. I never really thought about how I learned to do those things. When I look back, I wonder if it was the stuff of the right handed world that made me do some of the things I do right handed. Scissors are a great example. Every time I picked up scissors as a kid, it was right handled scissors. Using them in my left hand is a chore. No right handed baseball mitts were available in gym class, so I always had to put the mitt on my left hand making me a right handed thrower. Not a good one, just decent. But the bat, now that was open to any hand.
    It would be hard to separate, but I would make a guess that we lefties have had to adjust without even realizing it and just become more adaptable with every new thing we do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have the exact same situation as you: I write and do detailed work with my left and I play sports and carry heavy things with my right. The very first time I picked up a basketball, I just naturally started dribbling with my right. left just didn't feel right until I was about 10 yrs old when our coach made us practice dribbling with both hands. It isn't a big problem for me; in fact, I think its pretty cool :) I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one, though.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am left handed but for sports like baseball I do everything with my right and I don't know why.

    ReplyDelete
  21. There are 4 types of handedness which are right-handedness, left-handedness, mixed-handedness, also known as cross-dominance, and ambidexterity (you can look at the wikipedia website for handedness). If you can use both hands with the same skill it's called ambidexterity, if not you are cross-dominant. Hope that will explain all your questions.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Same thing happened to my friend with baseball and everything. He was 13 when it happened and he was already a big hitter. After the coach figured that out he would blast the ball.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am the opposite but in a similar situation: I am and have always been right-handed, but as a gymnast, dancer and diver I was left-footed. I always thought I couldn't throw or catch a ball, hit a baseball or tennis ball, spin a top, or skip stones in water, until I tried these things with my left hand and suddenly I could do them all. I was already a young adult when I figured this out! Turns out I am a lefty in ALL sports and related sport-like activities, but write with my right. How common is this?

    ReplyDelete
  24. i can print with my left hand and handwrite with my right but not the other way around i find it almost imposable to print with my right and handwrite with my left. I also find that i can spell better with my left when I am with my right as stupid as that sounds. i can only swing a bat with my right and curl with my left. But I can use the mouse for the computer with both I don’t know if that’s a big thing. Does any one know how common this is and weather I would be right handed or left?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Meliss - You are probably cross-dominant. this means that different tasks are better with different hands (as you described). A cross-dominant person is neither left-handed nor right-handed. Sometimes cross-dominance is mistaken for ambidexterity, but they are not the same. An ambidextrous person can do everything equally with either hand. This is very rare.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have always been writing left-handed, and suffered punishment by teachers hitting me with their sticks for doing so (I am 61) but generally I am right handed with everything else. However, when it comes to having a feeling as to say throw a ball then it is left handed. When I served in the armed forces (NATO) I was right-handed with weapon usage. Playing footy (soccer, etc) was right handed for being accurate and power shots. Was it not for the teachers hitting me over the head for writing left handed I never had any problems in life with being mixed in usage. For example using power tools, lathes, and other equipment never has been a problem to me.
    My wife tells me that she cannot understand how I can do various different things, switching back and forth, without any problems, and as such she never knows what I am doing, being it paving, carpentry, gardening, writing or whatever. While I dislike reading books I do write books albeit I write in the manner I read and that is paragraphs subjects rather then a whole book subject. I also find that when facing complex situation (such in management of factories) it amazes me why others can’t see how simple it is to resolve it, as to me the solution id at hand while others are confounded and it takes a lot of explaining for them to finally get the drift. I also find that when I see someone do some kind of work, albeit I may only see some of what he was doing, I immediately can adapt this to do something different and my wife (again) often ask me how come I have this ability. It never was an issue to me to be left or right handed and more then likely I am driven by the part of the brain that feels me more comfortable to do something being it left or right handed. I do not even know which of my children are right or left handed because it never was an issue with me, as I left them to develop how it felt for them comfortable. If just my teachers had understood the right of a child to develop most suitable to the child!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am left handed. I write, eat, cook, shave, brush my teeth, shoot, put my left shoe on first, and have more muscle mass in my left arm. But when it comes to sports, I throw, bat, kick, shoot a basketball, bowling, use scissors and hit with my right. I use a hammer left handed and screwdriver right handed. I have traits attributed to both sides of the brain. Good at math, and other intellecual stuff, but I am creative and write well, yet I stink at drawing. I always wondered why I did things so, and it is nice to know that I am not the only one. I wonder if this has to do with the fact that most things are made for right handers and we must adapt. I just wanted to add that the thing thing that always bothered me the most is spiral notebooks. My hand always rests on the spiral and it is uncomfortable. Oh and I dont bend my hand to write. I use to get in trouble when I was a kid because I would use markers and my hand would slide across it and end up on my hand. My parents would be mad at me for coloring on my hand and I had no idea how it got there.

    ReplyDelete
  28. similar situation here, I write, eat, brush teeth, and fire weapons with my left. I'm ambidextrous with most tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, clamps, jacks (except the hammer, 100% lefty there) But when I was asked to write on the blackboard or I was using the airbrush, or throwing a ball, surfing (I'm normal footed not goofy)and picking up heavy things, completely right handed.
    and I also share a mix bag of abilities from both sides. I'm highly spatial like lefties, even when using the computer mouse and switch sides I don't need to reverse buttons because they still make sense to me in 3D space. But when it comes to analysing information, I'm totally linear like a right handed person.
    my question is, are we cataloged as lefties? ambidextrous? or is everyone just a combo of both? I have friends that are right handed but surf goofy, or throw a ball lefty.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jeff and Djaguilar. I get questions similar to yours on a regular basis. Many people are cross-dominant or mixed handed. A few people are truly ambidextrous. I hear from a lot of people who write with the left and and play sports with the right, or who use some tools with the left but others with the right, etc.

    Some researchers think there is a gene (or perhaps a group of genes) for right handedness, but not for left handedness. So if you get the right handed gene, you're right handed. But if you don't get it, you could be anything, right, left, ambi or mixed.

    It's also likely that many natural lefties develop cross dominance simply as a way of adapting to a right handed world.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I too am left handed with delicate and right with sports, I do not know how but wiki states this is called learned left handers who when young just happen to write with their left hand but should naturally be righted. I have no idea if it matters. But yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a lefty since I learned how to write. My parents didn't bother changing this. They said that they are proud of it, because its a "gift". Anyway, I'm almost uniquely a lefty in everything I do, but when I eat with my spoon & fork, I tend to use my spoon in my right hand and the fork in my left hand, as comonly used by a righty.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I too am left and right handed. Ever since I can remember I could perform tasks with both hands. I write right with my right hand and can also write with my left. Playing sports I would do everything right handed except when it came to dribbling a basketball or throwing a frisbee it had to be my left. When using a kitchen knife I can't use my right hand. So cutting left and eating with my right certainly made it alot easier to eat.
    Here is one more thing that seems odd to me is when someone uses the same hands when I do the same task it seems to backwards to me. It's like almost I need to see the mirror image to make it look right. Hard to explain

    ReplyDelete
  33. I write with my right now that I had injured my right arm I realized that I can write with my left very well just not that fast but an ok speed. I play all sports with my left but I throw in basketball with my right. I can eat with a fork in either hand and I have no troubles doing so. I can use my left a lot. Opening bottles (both) picking things up (both) holding a cup (both) but every time I throw with my left it isn't as good as with my right but I'm still teaching myself. But every time I use my left for things that a right handed person would use their right for, some members of my family always say, why do you do that, use your right. But I want to become ambidextrous. HELP!

    ReplyDelete
  34. i am a lot like you a write left handed but in sports it just depend on the sport i spike right handed but like bad mitton or basketball i am better with my left hand and play guitar right handed i think most people are like this though but i could be mistaken

    ReplyDelete
  35. I write and draw with my left hand, but usually grab and carry things with my right. When I was a child, I played softball, and naturally threw and caught the ball with my right hand, so I had to learn to catch with my left. One day, I decided to try to bat lefty,(I had always done it with my right) and found that although I could hit the ball farther with my right, my left swing was smoother and more accurate. Since then, I've found that if I need strength, I use the right, but for accuracy and detailed tasks, my left is better equipped. However, I seem to be able to learn to use either hand for most tasks rather easily. I stumbled on this topic while trying to figure out if I am considered left-handed, or if there is even a term for my 'handedness' =)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I write with my right hand, but do many other things with my left. Like, I dribble a basketball with my left and shoot with my left. One thing i never understood is baseball. If your right hand thrower then you have to pick up your left foot and most right handers also use their right leg. i am left footed and throw right handed which gives me the perfect situation. and a right hand batter uses their left on most of the swing. then i took a test online which told me to put my hands as i were clapping and my left hand is on top meaning i am a lefty. i guess i was never thought how to write with my left. but i have practice writing with my left and it doesnt seen difficult. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have a similar issue, I do everything left handed except for writing and playing guitar... all my sports and daily activities such as eating, shaving and brushing my teeth are done lefty. I say I am not ambidextrous because I can not do everything equally.

    I consider myself lefty, my friends think your hand that you write with is the sole factor in determining handedness and I could not disagree more.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Here's a different twist. I am 17 and do everything righty except shoot pool. I can't even hold the cue correctly shooting righthanded. Even stranger is the fact that my right testicle descends lower than the left. I studied this aspect and learned that my condition is most prevelent with lefthanders!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi, I'm fourteen and I do everything left-handed except for serving a volleyball and throwing a baseball. I think this is pretty common, because not only am I artistic and pretty good with music, but I'm an all 'A' student and a great reader... My other lefty friend in the class above me is a full lefty, though he is twice as smart as me and half as artistic! Weird, huh? Maybe those characteristics are just another majority, like being right handed ;)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm the same! I'm pretty good in math and English as well, but I have a more artistic side than logical...I'm not as great at math as English and Art. I wonder why.

    ReplyDelete
  41. When I was little, my natural tendency was to write with my left hand, which my parents STRONGLY discouraged (although they never beat me with sticks!) Over time I became a competent writer with my right hand and then never really though much about it. As I got older, I started experimenting with my left hand and foot in sports and found that that I could use both hands and feet almost equally well. Even though I started as a lefty writing, I can actually write faster with my right hand now, I guess it's from the years of practice. Being nearly fully ambidextrous comes in very handy actually, it's nothing to worry about.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi... I am another like you. I have always written left-handed yet certain sports e.g. cricket: I bat right-handed yet bowl left-handed, snooker: cue left-handed, dart: throw left-handed, golf: swing right-handed etc...

    I also eat right-handed and use scissors right-handed but my biggest confusion comes from playing guitar. Ever since I can remember, all i ever wanted was an electric guitar... Many many hours were spent practising in front of a mirror flexing my tennis racket... Left-handed!!!! however, the minute I got hold of the real thing, I instantly switched to holding it right-handed and have never looked back since! Go figure!

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  43. I write right; but play sports, the gutiar, use a computer mouse and lots of other things lefty. I am someone that does things with whatever hand it feel the most comfortable or most natural to do the task with. I usually use my left for carring heavy things and for anything that takes a lot of strengh. I think I like to challange myself cause the older I get the more things I realize that I can do lefty. I like being a little bit unique and think that being a lefty would be cool.

    I have a friend that writes, draws and paints lefty; but for a lot of other stuff he uses his right. Anything that is heavy or requires strengh he uses his right. Anything that requires detail he uses his left. He has said that he thinks that the reason why he does so many things with his right is becuase he has had to learn to addapt to a right handed world.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Interesting to see how common this is when I decided to research it.

    I eat and write left handed. Little things I can easily do with both hands and neither hand feels awkward (open bottles, etc). I find that when I grab for something (from a shelf, whatever, I use my left hand.) For just about anything requiring strength (sports, etc) I use my right hand.

    It seems my brain separates things into two categories: meticulous tedious tasks (left) and strength related, less tedious tasks (right)

    Glad to know I'm not alone in this. Just to make it easy, I always say I'm left handed when people ask but I still haven't decided for sure which one I am, because overall more things are done with my right hand and I don't use my left foot for anything at all. Who knows.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey I know what you mean man Look there is a football tryouts here in my school I am sighing up for the q.b position, But geuss what I was throwing with my right hand My spiral wasin't as suffiecent as I wanted it to be that when I was throw with my left with I was training it the spiral was like a bullet Plz tell me what going on

    ReplyDelete
  46. I throw a football with my lefthand but andything else just with right

    ReplyDelete
  47. i write,eat & draw right,
    i play sports left

    i cant write left, sort of row a baseball right

    anyone else/?????

    ReplyDelete
  48. Im ambidextrous. I play sports with my left hand but mostly write with my right hand. I sometimes alternate writing though. I open bottles, use forks and spoons, and punch with my left hand. All my family is right handed except for my aunt. My younger brother used to be left handed, but switched when he was younger. Now he cant even hold a pen in his left hand. So...

    ReplyDelete
  49. I write, use scissors and play tennis or ping pong with my left hand. I play all other sports (baseball, soccer etc) with my right. I am very artiscitc also, which i noticed many left-handers are also.

    ReplyDelete
  50. 99.99% of the people above are Mixed-handed, also known as cross-dominance and not ambidexterity.

    I see none truely knows what ambidexterity means here. Allow me to clearly define its meaning:

    Ambidexterity: Able to use both hands equally. Meaning you can write/draw as good, throw/kick a ball as hard and etc with both your left and right hand/leg.

    Mixed-handed, also known as cross-dominance: Writes better with left hand but throws a ball more efficiently with right, or vice versa.


    I might be closer to ambidexterity than a lot though. I can write, throw a ball and etc, as well/easy with both hands, but some tasks I still find it quite difficult. I.e controling a mouse, shifting gear and etc, with both hands...

    I don't think I was born this way though. Every since I was a young kid, I have been imitating my left handed elder brother to feel closer to him. But tries to imitate all the right handers to "look normal". But in result, it made me awfully abnormal...

    It is nothing to be happy about, it made me use both brains equally. That means, I am neither good with logic nor emotions. And they say equal is good.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am the exact same! I have always considered myself to be a lefty until now. I write and use chopsticks with my left hand but everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING - sports, guitar, scissors, etc I use my right hand. I'd really like to know the reason behind this.

    ReplyDelete
  52. christineinfloridaFebruary 6, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    Nice to read about others being mix-handed. I use my left hand to write and eat. Although I do use a steak knife with my right to cut meat while holding the fork in my left. Right hand for scissors. Bowling, horseshoes, softball, tennis I use my right. Shooting guns, archery, styling my hair/makeup, and brushing my teeth I can use either. Left handedness seems to pass down in my family. Both grandfathers and my dad were lefties. My brother and 4 male cousins are RH yet me and the 1 female cousin are LH. I am proud that one of my 2 sons is a total lefty.

    ReplyDelete

Unfortunately, a flood of spam has forced us to implement word verification and comment moderation, and to ban anonymous users. Spammers spoil the fun for everyone! If you are a real person, we appreciate your patience. If you are a spammer, kindly go to hell.