Feeling Left Out? The Plights of Being Left-handed

close up photo of hands typing in a laptop with a coffee at the side

These days, the world doesn’t revolve around you, especially if you’re left-handed. Most of the world around you was built for right-handed people. You might adapt subconsciously and see it as a minor inconvenience, but sometimes things can get dangerous.

Minor Inconveniences

Growing up, you probably had to make do with right-handed school desks, always deal with pencil marks on your hand, and try your best to make the blazing scissors work. The problems didn’t end in school, and everyday situations that people took for granted probably caused you headaches. You couldn’t play the guitar unless you re-strung it or played it upside down, holding your cards in poker was a serious test of dexterity, and even opening the door required a different approach. Of course, lefties were given the option of ordering customized items specifically for them. Console game controllers, computer keyboards, and many other things could be made just for you. These items become quite useless in the hands of your perfectly normal friends.

Dangerous Situations

Left-handed people account for around 12 percent of the population. However, when it came to hand-related injuries in the workplace, lefties accounted for 35 percent of the damages. Industrial equipment is usually designed for right-hand use, forcing left-handed workers to make awkward adjustments or abnormal movements. Lefties and power tools don’t mix well, especially with regards to chain saws and circular saws. These tools have caused more than a few fatalities and injuries, and you should give them a wide margin to be safe. You can probably find and purchase left-handed power tools, but those tools would, in turn, be dangerous to the people around you. Some companies make equipment that’s suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people, but they may take a little bit of getting used to.   

More Lefty Problems

If the previous examples haven’t rattled you enough, know that left-handed people live nine years less than their right-handed counterparts. You’re more prone to accidents, and you’re also more likely to develop epilepsy and diabetes. These facts can get anyone to turn to alcohol, but you probably shouldn’t — because lefties are more prone to alcoholism and criminal behavior related to being intoxicated.

Lefty Perks

coach teaching his tennis player the right positioning

With all the problems facing you, there are some advantages to being a lefty. Sports is one of the fields where being left-handed is an advantage. You probably face-off against right-handed people all the time, but they rarely compete against molly-dookers like you. If you want to run for office, you might have a shot since lefties are over-represented in leadership positions. Being left-handed also makes you a little bit more creative and adaptable — probably brought about by the constant adjustment you had to make all your life.

With all that said, if life were a game, being left-handed would be like playing with the difficulty settings raised by a notch. Things can get exhausting — even downright dangerous — but you’ve got what it takes to adapt and make this world your own.