Need advice from the left handed people

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JoyfulSudz

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One of the most awkward tasks for me as a left-handed soaper is pouring batter. I have more control holding the bowl or measuring cup with my left hand, but then I need to switch it to my right hand to use a spatula to scrape out the last of the batter. As if that wasn't hard enough, I've got painful arthritis in my left hand that prevents me from bending my middle and ring fingers. My mom always told me life was not fair! 😫
 

earlene

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One of the most awkward tasks for me as a left-handed soaper is pouring batter. I have more control holding the bowl or measuring cup with my left hand, but then I need to switch it to my right hand to use a spatula to scrape out the last of the batter. As if that wasn't hard enough, I've got painful arthritis in my left hand that prevents me from bending my middle and ring fingers. My mom always told me life was not fair! 😫
It is the same for the right-handed soaper, in that while pouring right-handed is easier than left, scraping out the vessel with the right hand is also easier, so switching hands becomes necessary for better control while scraping. (That is unless one has surgery on the dominant hand and both become uncoordinated for a time.)

Maybe everyone should be born ambidextrous or be retrained from birth and save us all this inconvenience. ;) :cool:
 

JoyfulSudz

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Maybe everyone should be born ambidextrous or be retrained from birth and save us all this inconvenience.
You're right -- We're all biologically pre-destined to be left- or right-handed, but it would sure be helpful if were were encouraged and trained to make better use of our non-dominant hand as well. Seems silly to have one hand always do all the work. 😉
 

DeeAnna

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...Maybe everyone should be born ambidextrous or be retrained from birth and save us all this inconvenience. ;) :cool:
I guess I can chime in on being a lefty who is fairly ambidextrous. A few years ago, I recorded a video of me doing a drop pour into a loaf mold. I didn't realize it at the time, but when I watched the video, I saw I had shifted from pouring with a pitcher in my right hand and running the spatula during one pass to doing the next pass by pouring with the pitcher in my left and running the spatula with my right. It was kind of weird to watch.

The problem with being ambidextrous is that sometimes I can get confused about which hand I want to use. That gets me in trouble sometimes because that initial confusion can slow me down or makes me more clumsy at first until I make a plan and get in the groove.

I agree that handedness likely has a genetic component -- for example my mother's mother, my mother, and I are all lefties with no other lefties in the family that I know of. But genetics is not the only factor -- issues during fetal development as well as birth trauma can also affect handedness. And obviously all the social and environmental factors that affect us as we're growing up.
 

Tara_H

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it would sure be helpful if were were encouraged and trained to make better use of our non-dominant hand as well
I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned already, but from what I understand, forcing children to use their non-dominant hand can cause all sorts of issues with speech and language acquisition.
 

DeeAnna

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I think "forcing" is quite different than "encouraged and trained". Speaking again as a lefty, even as a child I could tell the difference.
 

KimW

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Ah-ha! I was wondering if my mad-scientist friend would chime in and wouldn't ya know, in my thinking, she's on point. When folks notice I'm doing something with my left hand, or they notice when I arbitrarily switch hands (like @DeeAnna), I explain that I am "an oppressed lefty". Literally had my knuckles rapped in pre-school for using my left hand. I wouldn't say it traumatized me, but I do still vividly remember it 50+ years later. hmmmm - I don't recall anyone ever telling me I had a hard time with speaking... but maybe I can blame my pre-school teacher for my inability to learn another language!
Which hand I use depends on how I learn a task. If I learn siting across from a righty, I mirror them - so I end up doing the task left-handed. I throw (pottery) and cut stained glass left-handed, etc. Self-learned, I usually do tasks left-handed. I golf (badly) and load a dishwasher left handed, etc. Learning next to a righty, I do tasks right-handed. I sew and shoot right handed, but there's more to that story. :) My left hand (and arm) is strongest but my right hand has much finer dexterity ETA: Thankfully, which hand to use is a matter of convenience and not something I have to think about. Thinking about it would really heighten my "analysis paralysis"!
Story time!
Our son came home with a "dominance" science project, but he couldn't tell the subject what the test was about. He had to observe someone in his household writing, eating, etc. Then step up on something (ladder/stair), step on something he placed on the ground, reach for something in the middle of a table, throw and catch, and then there was some sort of eye test. I remember all of this because with each "test" he would mutter, "this doesn't make sense", and it got really hilarious when he went drama king and threw his notebook and pencil on the floor after the eye test and accused me of somehow cheating (and truly stomped off and so then lost his video game privileges for that night of course). 🤣 🤣 He didn't really drop it until hubs came home, did the same test, and explained to said son that I was "an oppressed lefty".
Scored perfect marksmanship in USAF training...on the wrong target. I had nothing (NOTHING) on my target, but perfect marks on the target next to mine. How they could tell that's what happened I don't know, but I was so crushed because I really wanted that marksmanship medal. Since our TI hadn't shown up to march us back, the NCO in charge of the range told my dude (whatever the people are called who watch over recruits while on the range), to have me shoot again, but to site with my left eye. Bingo. Correct target, perfect marks. He gave me a pass for shooting, but wouldn't reward me marksmanship, because I had to do the test twice. Rules are rules (boooooo). I had the satisfaction of knowing I really could shoot, and that my TI would be told same, so I was happy...sort of. 😁
 
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JoyfulSudz

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I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned already, but from what I understand, forcing children to use their non-dominant hand can cause all sorts of issues with speech and language acquisition.
I am totally against "forcing." What I suggested is encouragement to use the non-dominant hand at times. Forcing does lead to many serious problems, but making use of a helper hand is quite handy (so to speak 😋 ). I am a total lefty, but I have taught myself to make use of my right hand for some simple tasks because it just makes life easier.
 

Quanta

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I guess I can chime in on being a lefty who is fairly ambidextrous. A few years ago, I recorded a video of me doing a drop pour into a loaf mold. I didn't realize it at the time, but when I watched the video, I saw I had shifted from pouring with a pitcher in my right hand and running the spatula during one pass to doing the next pass by pouring with the pitcher in my left and running the spatula with my right. It was kind of weird to watch.
I only consider myself right handed because that's the hand I write with. Some tasks are easier with my left, and others with my right. Usually it's whichever hand is in a less awkward position.
The first time I ever made soap, I was at my parents' house with my mother watching (because making soap was originally her idea). Anyway. I was holding the pitcher in my left hand and stirring with my right, and when I figured it was ready to pour, I just started pouring without transferring the pitcher to the other hand. My mother said, "how are you doing that?!" I asked her what she meant, and she said "you're pouring with your left hand". It never even occurred to me to switch the pitcher to my right hand. It was already in my left hand so that's the hand I poured with. It was odd to her because she can do absolutely nothing with her left hand, nothing at all. She even chews her food only on the right side of her mouth. It's ridiculous. But she is a prime example of someone who should have been trained to use her non-dominant hand as a child, not to force it to become her dominant hand, but so that she could actually use that hand if she needed to.
 

Tara_H

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I am totally against "forcing." What I suggested is encouragement to use the non-dominant hand at times. Forcing does lead to many serious problems, but making use of a helper hand is quite handy (so to speak 😋 ). I am a total lefty, but I have taught myself to make use of my right hand for some simple tasks because it just makes life easier.
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I disagreed with you! Just following a train of thought that your comment inspired :)
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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I'm not "A South Paw" booo🤣, However my Mother & Sister are both lefties' Mother had a saying " If your laft handed & blue eyed' It's A Sign Of A Genues. lol 🤣😂.

I do a-lot w/ my left hand because my Mother was a lefty & I was taught doing things left handed.
 

Susie

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People who don't know me freak out when watching me perform any task. I use whatever hand the tool lands in, and switch without thinking. When my whole oh-so-very-right handed family can't get to something because of positioning, I just step in and do the task. Eating out with a crowd of righties is a problem, because I switch back and forth, especially if I am cutting meat. I always have to be sure I am sitting on the end of the table.

When my children were learning to color, I carefully watched what hand they used because no child of mine was going to be switched to make life easier on anyone but them.
 

AliOop

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My whole family suffers from impingement syndrome, which shows up as either shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, or some combo thereof. Computer use (among other things) aggravates this.

To mitigate the impact, I forced myself years ago to use the computer mouse with my left hand. My chiropractor was happily astonished to hear this and confirmed that once language acquisition has been established, use of the non-dominant hand is good for the brain.

I’m still faster with my right hand even after years of using only my left hand with the mouse, but I plug away at it. When stretching or doing standing balance exercises, I also force myself to vary which thumb is on top of my clasped hands and intertwined fingers. It’s crazy how that affects your balance until you train the brain to accept it either way.
 

DeeAnna

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I think my lefty Mom is more definite about her left handedness than I am. But even she isn't as strictly left handed as a lot of right handers are about their right handedness. I think lefties have to be more flexible because they have to adapt to living in a largely right-handed world.

I remember back in pre-computer days when Mom did income tax with pencil and calculator. She had taught herself to run a calculator with her right hand and run a pencil with the left. Most of the right handed tax preparers she worked with had to put the pencil down, run the calc, pick the pencil up, etc.

Some skills aren't based on hand preference alone, which complicates things. For example, I'm right eye dominant, so I have learned to use a bow and gun right handed. Using a hammer remains a problem, with many smashed fingers over the years, because I usually hammer with my left hand even though I know I aim the hammer with my right eye. Thank goodness for today's construction screws and battery powered drills!

Like Susie, I can switch which hand I use to operate many tools -- pliers, screwdrivers, drills, etc. This flexibility comes in handy. One project I often do in my day job requires the use of a needle nose pliers to do several different tasks. I put two pliers on the workbench and depending on the task, I'll grab one with my left hand or the other pliers with my right as needed.
 

KimW

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I'm not "A South Paw" booo🤣, However my Mother & Sister are both lefties' Mother had a saying " If your laft handed & blue eyed' It's A Sign Of A Genues. lol 🤣😂.

I do a-lot w/ my left hand because my Mother was a lefty & I was taught doing things left handed.
I'm a genius!!! I knew it!!! 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
 

maryloucb

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Funny you mention that. I kick left-footed, but catch right-handed. I have no idea why I kick with my left foot. As a child we played street football (I have 4 brothers) with the neighborhood kids and that's always been my kicking leg.
My son is right handed, but uses a left handed stick in hockey, and bats left handed in baseball. It's more common than you might think!

Also, I am right handed, but can't cut evenly with one of those cutters either. I don't think it's a right handed thing.
 

Tara_H

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Some skills aren't based on hand preference alone, which complicates things
Music is another one - I'm basically right handed but most musical instruments require at least a reasonable level of dexterity in both hands.
I wished when I was younger that I was ambidextrous, but I've only managed it in certain limited things - music, writing to a reasonable extent, using cutlery ;)
 

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