15 Surprising Facts About Left-Handed People

15 Surprising Facts About Left-Handed People

left-handed peopleLifestyle

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If you’re left-handed, you know the struggle that comes along with it. You also know the false assumptions and the negative mindset that sometimes surrounds being left-handed. However, right-handed people can learn some life lessons from left-handed people.

Left-handed people have to use things differently and often must compromise their comfort. However, these people don’t have it all bad, as they also experience quite a few benefits. There are many advantages to being left-handed, and right-handed people can learn from it.

Only around 11% of the population uses their left hand dominantly, causing misunderstanding. There are often stigmas and superstitions attached to being left-handed, and right-handed people like to boast that they have it easier. However, once they start learning things from left-handed people, they’ll quickly change their mindset.

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Fifteen Surprising Facts to Know About Left-Handed People

Scientists haven’t narrowed down what causes left-handedness yet, but research does give some clues. Left-handed people seem to have different wiring in their brains, and they tend to have a particular set of personality traits. Learning things from lefties can help you understand them, and you’ll know all of the benefits associated with it.

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1. Left-handed People Show Us How to Use the Whole Brain

Left-handers can use both sides of their brains quickly and efficiently. Studies show they have a faster connection between the hemispheres in their brain, leading to quicker information processing. The transfer time between each hemisphere was assessed to find that left-handed participants processed information quicker.

This advantage helps them in situations that require multi-tasking, hand-eye coordination, or quick thinking. It’s also why they often excel in things like video games.

2. How to Be a Better Multi-Tasker

Research data shows that left and right-handed people handle task and memory performance differently. The participants of this study were given two tasks to work on simultaneously, and in most instances, the lefties performed better.

One reason for lefties being better multi-taskers is because right-handed people tend to break their problems down. Then, they analyze each piece of the problem individually. However, left-handed people view the situation and try to solve it that way.

3. Left-handed People Explain How to Stand in Line for Less Time

You might wonder how being left-handed shortens someone’s time in line, but it makes sense once you know. Right-handed people tend to choose the queue on the right side if they have more than one to choose from. On the other hand, lefties often opt for the line on the left.

With lefties being the minority here, fewer people choose the line on the left. They end up in the shorter lines and get through them much quicker. Remember this life lesson the next time you’re standing in line so that you can choose the line on the left.

4. Left-handed People Can Type Better and Faster

When typing correctly with two hands, lefties have an advantage. Most of the words spelled out on a keyboard are on the left-hand side. Research shows that about 3,400 words are typed with the left hand, while only 450 come from the right side.

With so many words coming from the left side of the keyboard, it’s clear why left-handers have an advantage. They type a more significant number of words with their dominant hand, making them faster and better.

5. They Don’t Get Lost as Often

Left-handed people usually have better spatial skills, allowing for awareness of their surroundings. Not only are they aware of their surroundings, but they can see how they fit into them. They will more often remember where they parked and have an easier time reading a map.

6. They’re Better Drivers

Studies show that 57% of left-handed drivers pass their driving test on the first try. However, only 47% of right-handed drivers pass the test the first time around. These percentages don’t mean that lefties have advantages when learning to drive, though.

The study also revealed that most drivers believe being left-handed causes learning to drive more difficult. Participants also think that cars are designed with right-handed people in mind.

Another study produced results that showed that lefties were less likely to cause car accidents. While researchers are still looking for the reason, they believe that left-handed people pay closer attention.

7. People Often Vote for Left-Handers

You might be surprised to learn that many United States presidents were left-handers. The list includes the following:

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  • Barack Obama
  • Bill Clinton
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Gerald Ford
  • James Garfield
  • Harry Truman
  • Herbert Hoover

There’s also a belief that Ronald Reagan was a leftie, but strict teachers forced him to use his right hand. When he was a child, some people believed that left-handedness was a disability and forced children to switch. If this belief is true, it shows that you can teach yourself one way or the other, no matter how you started.

However, it’s likely all coincidence that such a high percentage of presidents were left-handers. Don’t try switching hands to get farther because either way is okay.

8. Lefties Own Their Uniqueness–and You Should, Too!

Left-handed people have a trait that sets them apart from others early on. It teaches them to cultivate a sense of uniqueness as soon as they start showing their dominant hand. Being left-handed also taught them that they don’t have to conform to societal standards.

9. They Are Better at Certain Sports

One way lefties have it better than right-handers is when playing certain sports. Left-handers can throw off the other players with their serve when playing tennis. Most people are used to the right-handed serve and will be caught off guard.

Boxers and baseball players have the same advantage as tennis players, catching their opponent off-guard with a different swing. Tennis, baseball, and boxing aren’t the only sports lefties excel at, either. Many professional athletes from differing sports are left-handed, including:

  • Steve Young
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Bill Russell
  • Babe Ruth
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Roger Federer
  • Oscar de la Hoya

10. Left-handed People Can Show Us How to Be More Compassionate

Left-handers hear negative comments about their dexterity from an early age. Even when someone is joking, those comments stick with a person far into the future.

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Because left-handers are used to being different, they become humble and compassionate. Their life-long need to practice flexibility and learn differently makes them more accepting. They are more accepting of differences in others and more open to people who disagree with them.

11. Being a Leftie Doesn’t Mean They’ll Earn Less

Don’t criticize a left-handed person for their agility or assume they’ll earn less money in their career. While it’s often viewed as a negative trait, left-handed has advantages.

Research shows that left-handed males with a college degree earn 15% more than their right-handed colleagues. However, the same study indicates that left-handed females earn around 5% less than their right-handed colleagues.

12. They Constantly Have to Practice Daily Tasks

Most objects are designed for right-handed people, making every task a little more complicated for a leftie. For instance, the binding in a notebook might get in the way when they write, a problem that right-handers don’t deal with.

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Additionally, lefties have to buy expensive sports equipment that is sometimes hard to find, or they must learn to use right-handed equipment. Other things lefties have to practice flexibility for include using right-handed scissors, can openers, credit card readers, computer mouses, and so much more.

Their daily practice helps keep their mind sharp because they have to work a little more complicated. Plus, it helps the leftie stay alert and focused, knowing they’ll need to be ready. If you’re right-handed but want to reap the benefits of practicing daily tasks, consider doing a few things with your left hand each day.

13. They Excel in Creative and Visual Arts

Research shows that left-handers use both sides of the brain when dealing with language. Using both sides allow for more opportunity for creativity. They’re also better at divergent thinking, which is a way to generate ideas exploring many possible solutions.

A survey of more than 2,000 people found that left-handed people had artistic and musical advantages. They were also more drawn to careers in the arts.

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14. They’re Good at Problem-Solving

Left-handers are so used to working harder to meet challenges that they become excellent problem solvers. They’ve had to overcome issues regularly throughout their life, sometimes daily. While struggling to get things done with right-handed equipment isn’t ideal, it does offer this benefit.

15. They’re Great at Math

Studies show that left-handed people are better at solving math problems. They scored between five and 10% higher on complex math tests than right-handed people did. One of the reasons they’re good at math is because they are problem solvers with abstract thoughts and spatial reasoning.

Final Thoughts on Life Lessons to Learn from Left-Handed People

The differences between right-handed and left-handed people are usually subtle. While the facts are interesting, you can excel at anything no matter which hand you use.

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These life lessons are intended to help you understand that being left-handed isn’t weird, and it can be a good thing. However, being right-handed has its benefits, too. Either way, you can use this information to focus on specific areas of your life you’d like to improve.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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