Lefty vs Righty

The vast majority of people are born right-handed, meaning they use their right hand for most activities. A minority of people use their left hand as their dominant hand. And an even smaller number are ambidextrous, meaning they can use both hands equally well.

The correct term for most of us is MIXED-handed, meaning we have a preference for using one hand or the other for certain activities. For instance, if you’re playing catch, it’s equally important to catch the ball and throw the ball; but you’ll tend to throw with your right-hand and catch with your left if “right handed” and vice-versa if left handed.

This preference reveals how ingrained your physical patterns are in your nervous system. In fact, there are any bad side effects associated with forcing a child or adult to use their non-preferred hand for activities, including difficulty speaking, socializing, and learning, which is why it is now strongly advised to let children use whichever hand they naturally gravitate to.

Try these exercises for some surprising and hilarious fun.

  • Using your non-dominant hand (left if you’re a “righty”, right if you’re a “lefty”) write your name on a piece of paper. Not so easy!

  • Try playing catch, jumprope, or any other physical activity that involves one hand or the other – but switch which hand you usually use!

  • With something not too messy, try eating with your fork in the opposite hand of what you usually use. Get ready for some spills and laughs!

All of this shows you how hand preference is not merely musculoskeletal, but actually hard-wired into the brain and nervous system.