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Old 22nd September 2011, 12:10   #1
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Default How do left handed people adjust?

As a kid, I originally started using my left hand. I guess this is the natural reaction of a child based on a mirror image of a right handed person. For example, sitting opposite a right handed person and trying to imitate him/ her. Gradually, family and friends coerced or encouraged me to use my right hand for usual activities such eating, writing, throwing and so on. As this was done at a young age, I guess I imbibed and moved to being a right hander, though I still find I can throw/ hit better left handed.

Now my son also started off as a left handed person. I did not have it in me to change the way he wrote/ ate. So he continued and is now perfectly left handed in writing/ eating/ throwing etc.

A few problems arise when extended family ask him to use the right hand while eating, but this is a one off issue tackled immediately. such as turning a door knob perhaps. But there are other areas where he finds it a bit challenging.

For example, using a camera. the shooting buttons on my camera are all on the right side and thats not his natural side. Dont ask me why a 5 year old is using a camera; he just likes to participate!

My question is if all left handers eventually adjust to right handed life? Or does anyone find workarounds or solutions to a right hand dominated society?

I appreciate all contributions in terms of suggestions or your own experiences that may help me/ my son in saying left is right too
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Old 22nd September 2011, 12:25   #2
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

It is only in India where we insist on Right handed Behaviour, as traditionally the left had was considered 'unclean', so there is social pressure to conform. The percentage of left handers is much higher in the west - I think Obama is one as are Bush and Clinton. In the west you can find left handed scissors etc. I guess they will show up in India as well. Sachin Tendulkar may be another (converted to rh) since he signs with his left hand.

I suggest just let him be, and he will learn to cope. If you can find some LH tools do get him those.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 12:32   #3
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

A sportsperson,a surgeon,an artist or for that matter just about anyone accumulates skills that the proffesion demands.In the same way your child might find it difficult initially but in the end he would have mastered just about anything just as finely as anyone else.His skills and brain are yet to mature,once they are he would easily adapt to different situations.As he learns that he is perfectly able to adapt into a right handed world,he will gain in confidence.And the confidence that he gets will help him succeed in life.

And as for your particular camera query,isnt it difficult for any 5 year old anyway?
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Old 22nd September 2011, 12:56   #4
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I suggest just let him be, and he will learn to cope. If you can find some LH tools do get him those.
Yes sir, he already has the left handed tools we got when we were in Europe. The problem arises when he has to use, say a pair of scissors in school.
Fortunately his school teachers have been cooperative and not forced him to use his right hand to write/ cut/ paste.

With social aspects here, like taking 'prasad' or accepting a gift or shaking hands etc he naturally extended his left hand. Now learning some workarounds like extending both hands for prasad/ gifts. Still not found anything for handshakes, he prefers waving his hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by revintup View Post
As he learns that he is perfectly able to adapt into a right handed world,he will gain in confidence.And the confidence that he gets will help him succeed in life.
And as for your particular camera query,isnt it difficult for any 5 year old anyway?
He is ok confidence wise, but he finds and understands by looking at his friends that certain objects are easier to handle by right handed people. I guess he will end up being ambidextrous in a way!
For the camera, he turned it to face himself and could press the shutter/ zoom buttons with his left hand, but its more difficult with the right hand in normal position. No expectations about picture quality or blurs due to shakes, but he should be able to at least press the button. I guess its the challenge of being left handed

As with other things, I guess parents are more paranoid about things which their kids develop or adapt to. I would definitely like to know if any left handers around here had/ have any issues adapting to objects/ customs and how they adapt (ed).

Last edited by selfdrive : 22nd September 2011 at 13:01.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:15   #5
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
It is only in India where we insist on Right handed Behaviour, as traditionally the left had was considered 'unclean', so there is social pressure to conform...
This 'insistence' occurs in many countries of the Far East as well. A well-known example is the Japanese tennis player Ayi Sugiyama. She was born left-handed but asked to play right-handed. She kind of became ambi-dexterous in the process.

A very good friend of mine is left-handed. When I asked him if that made him feel weird, his response was "Everyone is born right-handed. Only the greatest overcome it." Now, that is a positive spin .
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:19   #6
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

Adjust???
I am left handed,have faced no problems whatsoever till date
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:23   #7
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

Hey Selfdrive,
I believe I can offer you some solid advice. I am naturally ambidextrous. My parents never bothered to correct me. Nature takes it's course if you so believe.

And trust me when I say this, whatever comes naturally is best for him. Just remember to tell him, it's always better to swim against the tide, you get stronger that way.
And, it's a lot of fun too. Even to this day, I don't know which hand will be better suited if I am trying something out for the first time.

Just to give you a perspective, I have never had a problem with playing sports. I play racket sports with my left hand, other sports like cricket and snooker with my right hand. And I have played up to national level in 4 of them.
I write with my left primarily. It hardly matters.
I eat with both hands, though I prefer left. This is never a problem unless someone serves you right handed spoons! It's happened to me once. But, again pretty easy to train.

What I have lost:
I could never learn to play the guitar, as every guy I went to said I cant teach ulta
I don't have a strong arm as such because I would simply switch on a hint of tiredness.

If I were you I would be ecstatic! Most left handers are ambidextrous, they just need to explore. Give him something new everyday and let him pick it up on instinct.

Hope it helps!
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:24   #8
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

I was born left-handed. Then my grandmother came visiting and insisted to my parents to make me use my right hand. And so it began. I still use both my hands quite well. I am not totally ambidextrous, I cant write that well with the left hand. But can write much better then right hander's who try to use their left hand.

One concern everyone raises is, I use both my hands while eating rotis, bread, etc. I cant seem to get over what people construct as a bad habit. I use my left hand when I eat only with a spoon and use it in the right hand if with a fork.

I sign and write right handed.

In cricket I bat right-handed. But in football my left is the preferred. In table tennis and badminton I use my left hand. But for lawn tennis I use my right.

Carrom I play with both hands as required (pisses off the others)

But seriously let your son be. That's what my parents did. They didn't bother which hand as long as I wasn't doing any wrong.

To the perverts, I never had to use any of my hands. I got done by the age of 14 and then never looked back..

Last edited by Spitfire : 22nd September 2011 at 13:26.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:31   #9
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

I am one of those left handed guys.
As a toddler my grandmother tried her best to change my habits. Born on the 13th, i was one "ashubh" baby. Luckily, parents were supportive so i kept being left handed.
Things were always different for me

The downsides
1. Fountain pen: I couldn't use anyone elses fountain pen as my strokes were different which ended up spoiling the paper or the pen or both.
2. Fountain pen writing: My hand position was such that the moment i wrote something on my fountain pen, my hand would brush over it and spoil it. Got lots of "stand outside" and "V.Poor" grades.
3. Scissors: Never understood what was the fuss. Its true i didn't score well in art and craft.
4. Temple prasad: Instinctively, my left hand would go forth for prasad and the priest would look at me with disapproving eyes.
5. Weird questions: Which hand do you use.. you know what i mean
6. Left Right confusion: I have this problem. If someone directs me to go right, my natural right (the left) takes over and i move to the left. Its true! I prefer hand directions more, please.
7. Table manners: Fork and spoon were a pain for me as papa being in the Army, insisted that i hold the spoons in the 'correct' orientation.
The upsides
1. Attention: I always got lots of attention because of this and people tend to remember me because of this.
2. Sports:
a. I used to bat right handed only hence my top hand was the power hand. Never was good at lofted shots but my drives were pretty good. Bowling with the left hand, i was an asset in the colony matches.
b. Racket sports: Big advantage. Even good players took some time to adjust against me. I understood the real advantage when in college i finally played against a left handed tennis player. It was just so weird.
3. Cheater friendly Being left handed, in class room tests i always sat on the left hand side of the desk hence both me and my right handed mate had an open view of the answer sheet. Even in college when there was one person per desk problem, my natural stance created a nice angle for peeking !
4. Company desktop: Sometimes i use left hand orientation mouse hence my seniors or managers never like to sit on my desktop to check things.

In day to day life i find things which bother me. The swipe machine is placed all wrong and the doors open on the wrong side. Even shaking hands, instinctively my left hand goes up.
Overall, its been good going and considering that only 4% people are left handed, i feel special!

Last edited by Mik : 22nd September 2011 at 13:37. Reason: Addition
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:36   #10
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
I sign and write right handed.

In cricket I bat right-handed. But in football my left is the preferred. In table tennis and badminton I use my left hand. But for lawn tennis I use my right.

Carrom I play with both hands as required (pisses off the others)

But seriously let your son be. That's what my parents did. They didn't bother which hand as long as I wasn't doing any wrong.
How can I forget carrom!
I am surprised that you use a different hand for lawn tennis. The skills are quite similar to T.T. and Badminton.

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To the perverts, I never had to use any of my hands. I got done by the age of 14 and then never looked back..
Good one
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Old 22nd September 2011, 14:33   #11
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

selfdrive, that's one interesting topic you have started. In fact I was thinking of the starting a thread on same.

My 2yrs old daughter is showing signs of being left handed. For holding spoon, pen/pencil etc she is using her left hand. Though my wife was little worried about it, for now I decided not to force change her habit.

However experiences and opinions of fellow members would be helpful in finalizing my decision.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 15:00   #12
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

I am 100% right-handed. Have been envious of lefties all my life. Tried at various times to do SOMETHING left-handed, but apart from an over of two of left-arm medium-pace, NOTHING!

My little one showed all the signs of being a lefty, much to my delight, but around age 2, she abruptly switched and now follows in her old man's footsteps. Bummer.

My closest friend in junior college was 100% leftie (so I thought). I remember beng very disappointed when I saw him bowl right-arm on a picnic we went on. Didn't speak to him for a week after that.

In general I find lefties more creative, gentler, more refined and with better sense of humour than righties. Don't know if that's a wild generalisation or there is some truth in that!

@raul M- I can't believe someone told you he can't teach you to play guitar left-handed. They must not be very good teachers! You do realise that all you need to do is mirror the right-hande player right?
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Old 22nd September 2011, 15:11   #13
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

I am one of those who was born with the tendencies of being a leftie. As is the norm in almost each Indian household, I was converted to a rightie.

Even today, I find my left arm a bit stronger than the right. Though I bowl with the right arm, I can bat as a leftie or a rightie! So Kevin Pietersen is'nt the only one to play the palti shot .
But, a freesbie is something, I just cant manage with my right hand. I need to use the left. Even in case of a fight (rarely do I get in one nowadays), my instinct is to use the left hand first!

@Raul'M: In my case, it was the tabla. The teacher told me, it would be difficult. That was eons ago. Never tried after that.

@Bala: Let him be. Let nature takes it course. Do not try and change his instincts just because our social norms say so.

@Noop: I agree, lefties do appear to be more creative or refined. See any left handed batsman. He appears to be more elegent compared to a rightie.

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 22nd September 2011 at 15:12.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 15:25   #14
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

I am also ambidextrous so obviously had strong left handed traits somewhere. Lefties (no insult intended) are supposed to be far more creative, must be true since Leonardo da Vinci was one. He developed a writing style where he often wrote in a mirror handwriting. I have seen many of my left handed friends hold the pen with a bent wrist so their fingers are pointing at them.

Incidentally, one big advantage for left handed people is in teaching. while we black out the board as we write, they open it up.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 15:28   #15
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Default Re: How do left handed people adjust?

In India its a bit difficult. I have seen poor lefties sitting in a weird way on the exam chairs (with the writing pad attached on the arm rest) writing the paper. But that does not mean its not manageable.

I was a natural left handed person. But my parents forced me to be a right handed. Of course I do not have any memories of it. My mom tells me this.
I grew up all right.

But I feel its best to leave the kids as they are. Forcing them to be right handed can interfere with neural development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra'ul M View Post
I could never learn to play the guitar, as every guy I went to said I cant teach ulta
Aren't left handed guitars available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
To the perverts, I never had to use any of my hands. I got done by the age of 14 and then never looked back..
You beat Milind Soman by an year. Upen Patel beat you by an year.
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