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Which is your dominant hand?

Left hand
21 (14.7%)
Right hand
64 (44.8%)
8 (5.6%)
Dominant right, but performing some tasks regularly left-handed
36 (25.2%)
Dominant left, but performing some tasks regularly right-handed
14 (9.8%)

Total Members Voted: 143

Author Topic: Left hand, right hand?  (Read 17527 times)

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Left hand, right hand?
« on: November 10, 2012, 01:23:05 AM »
After reading on another thread about those who are left-handed, ambidextrous or definitely right-handed, I figured a thread could be useful for discussion.

So, are you left, right or both?  How many lefties were switched as children?  Has anyone had to learn to use their other hand at times (through injury or other event)?

If you're left-handed, what things are difficult for you?  Are there tools which you need specifically for lefties, to make life easier?

Stories about choice of hand and how it's affected your life?  What about relatives or friends - their stories of hand "choice" also welcome.

What other issues do posters have which affect their hands, and how do you manage?  (Arthritis, carpal tunnel etc.)  Let's face it, hands are pretty important things!

As for me, I was changed from being left-handed early on in school life.  Later, when I started playing guitar (aged 10), I naturally held it the "wrong" way, and was scolded for it.  Learned it right-handed (like everything else).  Surprisingly, I do have quite nice handwriting (often complimented), which I gather is rare for one changed over. 

There are a few things I still do instinctively left-handed.  Opening doors or catching something thrown to me unexpectedly are two.  Oh, and turning taps on.
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 01:39:56 AM »
Had a stroke about 11 years ago - affected my right side. So although I still sign my name (badly) with my right hand since the stroke, I do almost everything else with my left. Since you asked this question, I've decided that my right hand is still dominant - I couldn't even think of writing with my left, and I couldn't adapt my better-functioning left to do any kind of artwork. If you're interested, I am a very fast hunt-and-peck typist with my left hand, as I used to be with my right, and that transition came very quickly and easily.

Shaking hands, I do a funny reach-under-and-twist with my left hand, and as far as I can tell, nobody has seemed put off by this at all.
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 01:40:14 AM »
I was born left handed but made into a righty in school.  Whether I do something left handed or right handed directly relates to when I learned to preform that particular skill.  I embroidery left handed but cross stitch right handed.  When it comes to knitting I do one of  the strangest things.  I knit the knit rows right handed and knit the purl rows left handed.  The right side of the work always faces me.  Ironically I can purl right handed but not left handed so if I am cableing or ribbing I work the same way as the rest of the world.  If I am working in the round I knit right handed but if I am working back and forth I do it the weird way.


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 01:46:52 AM »
That was one of the things I was thinking of, magician5.  My mother had a severe stroke some years ago, which resulted in full-time care.  Even with some limited use of one hand, she had major trouble doing such things as dialling on a phone, though she managed to hold it okay.

A mate of mine had a bike accident, and does the same handshake as you describe.  Can catch some people off-guard, but they quickly adapt.

Soprych (interesting name, BTW) - do you find that knitting that way changes the tension in your work at all depending on which hand you're working with?
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 02:10:50 AM »
I am and always have been right-handed. My mother-in-law, however, started out a lefty but was forced to use her right hand by the nuns at her school. She told me it left her forever after confused about right vs. left. Later, when the nuns at my husband's school tried the same thing she put her foot down and refused to let it happen. He does do a few things right-handed though like batting and golfing.


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 02:22:34 AM »
I picked dominant left because I do almost everything left handed except things requiring fine motor skills.  I was forced to switch as a child (Catholic schools.  Yay!).

The things I do right-handed:
Cut with a knife
Hand Sew

The things I do left-handed:
Cook (except cutting)
Reaching for things
Shoot Pool
Bat/catch a ball/throw a ball
Play Guitar (badly, but better than the result if I used it right handed)
Dig into my purse/a drawer/cabinet/etc.
Operate a remote control
Dial a phone/text message

Other common left-handed behaviors I have:
Watch on right wrist
My check marks are "backwards"
When I fold my hands, my left thumb is on top
I kick with my left foot
When I step forward from a stop, my left foot leads

Considering that both of my parents and 3 of my 4 grandparents were lefties, it's no surprise that I would have wound up left handed.  Unfortunately, teachers intervened.  I have absolutely pathetic handwriting. On the up side, I can type 120 words per minute.
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 05:18:08 AM »
An ambi here - use both hands. "They" tried to drum it out of me in grade school.  Being stubborn, it didn't stop me outside of school.   DS is also an ambi.  By the time he went to school, they were no longer saying it was wrong handed. 

We've both had numerous people comment because it confuses them.


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 05:20:18 AM »
I'm a lefty , through and through.  I don't really do any tasks righty, except use a mouse.  I can not use a mouse in my left hand. Being left handed hasn't caused me any problems. Guess I'm pretty lucky!!
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 05:49:18 AM »
I'm mostly left-handed. With my left hand I write, cook, cut up vegtables/meat, sew etc.

But there are a few things I do with my right hand, like throw a ball. When I tried to play the guitar once, I did it right-handed, other wise I couldn't even hold the guitar.

And some things are more or less equally split between both hands, such as picking things up, wiping, dialing the phone, using the remote etc.

My Mom was left-handed but was trained out of it in school. She always said she was confused about which hand to use after that. Maybe, because I learnt some things from her, that's where I picked it up.

When I went to school, they were not allowed to re-train lefties anymore, but in first grade I broke my left arm and had a cast for two or three months, so during that time I learnt to write with my right hand. I remember the teacher expressing hopes that I would just stick with my right hand because "it would be easier". But no, didn't work. The moment the cast came off, I started writing with my left hand again.


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2012, 06:00:01 AM »
mostly left.  I can switch on most tasks that involve muscle fatigue like bowling or using a mouse.  My most recent revelation was that our lousy oven mitt - the one that always burned my hand because it did practically no insulating whatsoever - is actiually right-handed.  The two sides are the same thickness, but one is a heat-resistent insulator and the other is plain cotton.  What kind of right-handed idiot designed that?


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 06:10:42 AM »
I'm a lefty. The nuns tried to switch me, but my mother, who was a lefty that the nuns did make switch to be a righty, stepped in and made them stop.

I do some things right-handed. I mouse right-handed, because that lets me use my left hand to take notes, drink tea, pet the cat. I crochet righty, because the people who taught me were righties. I knit righty, because I learned from a book and it only had instructions for righties. However, I'm a terrible knitter and I wonder if I'd do better as a lefty.

I play guitar as a righty, which has always made more sense to me, because I get to use my left hand, with the better fine motor skills, to make the notes, and my less able right hand to strum the strings.

As a lefty, I also make "backwards" check marks. And wear my watch on my right wrist.

While I write lefty, I can write righty, but very slowly. It looks almost identical to my left-handed writing, but it is much neater for some reason.

When I eat, I just keep my fork in my left hand, and I don't do the knife/fork switch that most Americans do. My mother tried to teach me this, but for some reason, when I was a kid, I could not manage using my knife left-handed. Whatever I was cutting would end up skidding off the plate and making a mess. So when I eat, I use the knife in my right hand. When I'm cutting anything else with a knife, I use my left hand. I have absolutely no explanation for this.

Opening doors, I use whichever hand the door knob is closest to. Or the hand that is free, if one hand is holding stuff. Taps--right hand for right tap, left hand for left tap. And I use both hands for brushing my teeth--left hand for right side of mouth, right hand for the left side. (Never thought about this stuff before, but I do tend to switch off hands for some tasks, if using the right hand gives an advantage of some kind, even if it is just that I don't have to reach as far.)

I have a couple of left-handed gadgets. They are easier to use than right-handed ones, but I can still use the right-handed ones if I need to. A left-handed can opener. A left-handed ruler.

The one thing I have to be careful about is buying an iron. Many irons have the cord on the right side of the iron. Using one of those, I have a tendency to iron over the cord, which is not good. Since I have never found a left-handed iron, I search out the ones where the cord comes out the center of the back of the iron, where it won't get in my way.

I had trouble with a stove in a rental apartment once. The knobs for the burners would only turn to the right, and it was a bit awkward to turn them using my left hand. Most stoves have knobs that will turn either way.

One thing I absolutely cannot switch is holding the phone. It has to be my left hand holding the phone to my left ear. Using my right hand and right ear just feels all wrong. I know it's silly, but I seriously feel as if I don't hear as well with the phone on my right ear. It's enormously annoying, because I'd love to have my left hand free to jot things down while on a phone call.
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2012, 06:32:25 AM »
I'm a righty, find it very difficult to do anything with my left.

I think half of my siblings are left handed or ambidextrous.

Father is a leftie who was forced to use his right hand as a child - he is ambidextrous now, but i'm not sure if that's how he was or that is a result of him being switched. (His mom used to tie his hand behind his back to make sure he would use the right. )

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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2012, 07:17:12 AM »
I'm definitely right hand dominant - I write, reach for things, pet the dog, etc all with my right hand.  I do use my left hand for a few things though.  If I'm steering one handed, I use my left hand instead of my right hand.  I carry things in my left hand versus right hand as well. 


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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2012, 07:31:26 AM »
An ambi here - use both hands. "They" tried to drum it out of me in grade school.  Being stubborn, it didn't stop me outside of school.   DS is also an ambi.  By the time he went to school, they were no longer saying it was wrong handed. 

We've both had numerous people comment because it confuses them.

Another Ambi.  I was already using both hands when I was a toddler, but an injury had me using my left for awhile.  I can nearly write as good with my left as my right even now.  I do switch hands if one gets tired and as I posted on the other thread I have the awesome efficient talent of being able to jot notes lefty and use the mouse righty at the same time.

I usually eat lefty, though it doesn't bother me to eat righty.  I can play most sports either handed though I bowl and bat marginally better lefty.

I recently had a weird assessment where the strength of the grip in my hands were tested and the guy given the test was quite surprised that my numbers were only 1 digit off between the two...I scored 29kg on my right and 28kg on my left.  Most people have a much larger disparity between the two from the way he was talking...though I have no idea what is normal between the dominant and non dominant hand.
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Re: Left hand, right hand?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2012, 07:56:00 AM »
President Garfield could could simultaneously write Greek with one and and Latin with the other. He's not on eHell though, so didn't answer the questioanaire.

I am strongly righthanded, but to well with the piano, keyboarding, raking leaves, and adjusting tension wwhile doing needlework.

By the way, knitting with the right and purling with the left is an accepted method of knitting and was recommended in one of the old knitting books I had. I love watching people do it, especially when they get to the end of a large piece. It is so not awkward, just graceful.