Try Going Left (or Right) for a Day

I was eating lunch with my co-worker at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. He kept staring down at my plate, and finally I spoke up, “What are you staring at?”

He replied, “You eat with both hands?”

I thought for a little bit and responded, “Yes. Is that weird or something?”

“Oh, no” My co-worker said.

Is it Weird Being Left Handed?

I’m not sure if being left-handed is in my family or not. My half-brother is left handed, but other than that, I can’t think of anybody else in my family like that.

But I’m not left handed. My dominant hand is my right. Yet, I do a lot of tasks with my left hand. It could partially be due to me breaking my right arm when I was younger.

The Secret of Ambidexterity

According to Wikipedia, it is rare to be born ambidextrous. However, ambidexterity can be learned.

The secret is to try to perform a task that you do with your right hand the same with your left. The trickiest thing I’ve learned is using chopsticks, which some people can’t even do right-handed.

Go Left for a Day

Try these things for a day with your non-dominant hand:

  • Try eating.
  • Use chopsticks.
  • Shake someone’s hand.
  • Buy groceries.
  • Push a shopping cart.
  • Hold a cell phone.
  • Drive.
  • Wave at someone.
  • Put on your shoes.
  • Throw a baseball.
  • Anything else you can think of.

Are you up to the challenge?

8 Comments

  1. Lol really interesting. I can do strength things with my left hand/arm, since I've been going to gym I've made my left arm stronger… so things like pushing a trolley, holding things is okay. Things regarding aiming or co-ordination… eeee get ready for a mess! Heh.

    Are you very ambidextrous? Er, that may not make sense. Can you do things as easily with your left hand as your right? Or have you learnt to train your left hand to be as co-ordinated and well use as your right? (Congrats to you if you did, that seems like a very hard task.)

  2. I've learned by coming coming into contact with other cultures that in many parts of the world using the left hand is seen as unclean. In Islamic culture, your right hand is used for eating while your left is used for wiping your behind. I guess it's not a good idea to switch horses in the middle of the stream. 🙂 I come into contact with a lot of different cultures and always try to lessen the cultural differences so we can all respect each other. In those situations, I try to keep my left hand out of sight so I don't feel the temptation to reach for that tasty piece of meat with it and upset my hosts.

  3. I can't resist…

    Try eating. Well, I usually use my mouth for eating…but I do manipulate the fork with my left hand if I'm using my right hand for cutting meat, etc. Very true on the culture point, Pauly.
    Use chopsticks. That would be tricky.
    Shake someone’s hand. Seeing as it is "normal" to shake right hands regardless of dominant hand, I only shake lefties if the other person doesn't have a right hand or that hand is not available for shaking.
    Buy groceries. Both hands required for this activity, usually.
    Push a shopping cart. See "Buy groceries." ^^
    Hold a cell phone. Either hand works.
    Drive. Stick shift, anyone?
    Wave at someone. Hmm, I probably do default to using my right hand for this.
    Put on your shoes. You can put your shoes on with only one hand? 😛
    Throw a baseball. I'm with Jess. You probably don't want to be standing nearby if I'm throwing a baseball left handed. 🙂

    How about:
    Writing?
    Using scissors?
    Snapping fingers?
    Plugging in your USB drive?
    Using a mouse?

    cetroyer

  4. hmm… I agree with cetroyer's responses. Same is true with me, except the baseball part – I'm not good at baseball with either hands 🙂

    A week ago I started using my left hand while working with the mouse, because the fingers of my right hand got too stiff from so many hours of work with the mouse on the daily basis. It was really slow at the beginning, but the more I used it, the better I got at it. Same is with writing, if needed I can write with my left hand, but it's much slower and my handwriting looks terrible, but still legible enough.

    I've read that it's a good thing to train both hands equally, pretty much like developing and working on both lobes.

    Eating with a fork in the left hand is considered (with a knife in a right hand) to be the "right" way, that's how the "high society" eats, and that's what every book on manners teaches. 🙂

    Even though I agree that some cultures don't accept eating with the left hand, I'm not changing my style of eating, when I'm around them. Just as they wish people to respect their culture, I expect them to respect my tradition or style. I'm not forcing anyone to follow my rules, and I don't like anyone forcing me to follow their.

  5. Thought of another one: brushing teeth.

    cetroyer

  6. Ooooh.. I can brush my teeth left handed. Use a mouse left handed. Write (not very well).

    Jess,
    Some things I can do better than others. I can throw pretty well left handed. But a lot of things take practice.

  7. Shaving?

    cetroyer

  8. I cut both flexor tendons in my right pinky (Im right handed) and I’ve been forced to use my left hand only for everything. At first using my left hand was hard, but now I just naturally reach for stuff with my left hand. Things I could never do before that I can do now include: typing one handed (35 wpm)and using the mouse left handed, buttoning shirts/pants, writing, driving, throwing horseshoes/Frisbee, eating, using chopsticks, brushing teeth, put on makeup, straightening hair with a flat iron, cooking, dressing, hooking my bra (girls you can try this… Its hard one handed) and so many more. The only things I still cant do one handed is tie my shoe, go through buffet lines, cut steak or chicken, and opening jars or some packages. I feel like my left hand is so much stronger and I feel like its more useful. I STRONGLY recommend trying to do EVERYTHING one handed with the opposite hand for a day… Its not that easy… but helps you to sympathize with those who only have one hand

    And yes… this was all typed with only my left hand!

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