Recent studies have shown that babies’ dominant sides can be revealed as soon as 18 weeks through ultrasound! This incredible discovery shows that handedness isn’t learned; it’s something we’re born with.
This raises the age-old question: in a world where 90 percent of the population is right-handed, what’s the reason for such a relatively small contingent being different?
However, lefties have a big advantage in fighting and competition because opponents aren’t trained to go up against them. In addition, lefties have a disadvantage when it comes to tool sharing, as many of the things we’ve invented to save time and effort aren’t designed for them.
This accounts for the small but consistent presence of lefty genes that have been passed on over the past 500,000 years! But what does being so unique mean about personality? Let’s look at some traits, both positive and negative, that most lefties share.
1. Lefties Are More Creative
Many of the world’s greatest artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, were left-handed. That’s not to mention the long list of actors and musicians who also have become huge successes with this predisposition, including Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, and Julia Roberts, as well as Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, and Jimi Hendrix.
This is probably due to two factors, the first that lefties are right-brain dominant, which is the side of the brain associated with creativity, imagination, and the arts. They see the world in a different way.
The second is that from a very young age, left-handed people are forced to deal with all kinds of objects that aren’t made for them. Because they’re constantly having to figure out how to make desks, scissors, cups, and everything else work, they become adept at finding creative solutions.
2. Left-handed People Have a Big Advantage at Competitive Sports
An incredibly disproportionate number of professional sports stars are left-handed. Because most players are right-handed, they learn the sport and train for right-hand opponents. When they get a lefty, they’re often surprised and don’t know how to play against them.
This is especially true for sports like baseball, tennis, and cricket. However, as Daniel M. Abrams, a professor at Northwestern University, notes, in sports that feature “tool sharing,” such as golf, where clubs are designed for right-handed people, lefties have a big disadvantage fitting in.
3. Lefties Are More Likely to Suffer from Mental Illness
Unfortunately, left-handed people are much more likely to struggle with depression and other kinds of mental illness than their right-handed counterparts. As with other aspects of lefty personality, this is probably both genetic and environmental.
According to US News & World Report, there seems to be an inherited tendency to chronic illnesses among lefties, many of which result in depression.
The other factor is that lefties are negatively affected by the perception of their handedness as “weird” and “wrong.” Many languages, including English, associate “right” with “good” and “correct,” whereas we use “left-handed compliment” to mean something that’s deceptive and two-faced.
4. Left-handed people hear speech differently
Sounds get processed in different parts of the brain, and it just so happens that the left brain is where most rapidly changing sounds are picked up.
But lefties also use their right brain to process information, so they also get sounds that change more slowly. This means they can pick up nuances in speech and music much better. Perhaps that’s why they make great songwriters.
5. Left-handed people tend to be more fearful
As researcher Daniel Casasanto told US News and World Report, “it is possible that interacting with a world created mostly by righties for rights, which forces lefties to use their shield hand more often, increases activity in the brain hemisphere that is responsible for emotions like fear.”
Because the outside world can seem and be more than a little hostile to people who are different, lefties can, unfortunately, anticipate negative responses from others.
So as we’ve seen, lefties don’t always have it easy in life, but their unique personalities can offer lots of advantages as they see, hear, and experience the world in a special way!