Are You The Hand You Think You Are?

Notice I tilt the paper? No smear +”straight” writing!

by Jenny Hansen

K.B. Owen (also a SocialIn Network writer) did a great post awhile back called Land of the Lefty. Not only did she have turbo cool facts about Lefties, but she got me thinking about my own handedness.

I grew up left-handed and thankfully bypassed all the “re-training” that used to be so common. My father is right handed but both my mother and big brother are lefties. I mimicked my brother in everything else, so I’m sure the same was true of my handedness.

As the daughter of a military man, I grew up with guns and the joke was that I shot equally well with my eyes open and closed. I missed everything, whether it was a clay pigeon or a stationary target.

This was a big deal at the time.

Firstly because we were at the shooting range at least twice a month, which equals a lot of embarrassment. But mostly because, as the baby sister, I wanted to best my big bro at anything I could. My shooting deficiency frizzled my britches…big time.

Finally, when I was about twelve, a skeet shooting instructor watched me in action and asked my father what my dominant eye was. “She’s a lefty,” he said. “Her left eye is dominant.”

Only it isn’t. [Here’s how to tell which is your dominant eye.]

When we adjusted both the gun and the way I eyeballed things and I hit every clay pigeon that sailed by. In fact, until my brother went into the military, he never beat me shooting again.

Fast-forward to 2007 when my writing chapter had Sheila Lowe, a handwriting expert, come visit. To listen to her analyze the personalities associated with various types of writing was…WOW! Ms. Lowe wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis and a nifty book called Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous and I’m a big fan.

She had us do a few exercises where we’d hold the pen with our fingertips and draw four interlinking circles. She then showed us how to tell from the circles which was our true, dominant hand.

After 30+ years as a lefty, I was shocked to find out it was my RIGHT hand. Holy cowbell! Don’t you hate it when your parents are spot on about something you rolled your eyes over?

Just to give you a quick summary of handedness, there are four main types:

  • Right-handedness is most common. A variety of studies suggest that 70–90% of the world population is right-handed, rather than any other form of handedness.
  • Left-handedness is present in about 10% of the world population.
  • Mixed-handedness, also known as cross-dominance, is being able to do different tasks better with different hands. For example, a mixed-handed person might write better with their left hand, but throw a ball more efficiently with their right. (Yep, that’s me.)
  • Ambidexterity is exceptionally rare, although it can be learned. A truly ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. Those who learn it still tend to sway towards their originally dominant hand.

I am mixed-handed, a fact that was borne out in this handedness questionaire (I scored -10) and I always figured it was because I had both left and right-handed parents.

A summary of my handedness:

  • I write, eat and stir a bowl with my left hand and do everything else either dominant right or mixed.
  • I can write and eat right-handed, I’m just slower and less coordinated at it.
  • I cannot stir a bowl or whip up eggs/batter/whatever with my right hand. I’ve tried.
  • I can write and read upside down. (I can’t write cursive upside down, only print.)
  • I can only stand to wear a watch on my left arm.

Some groovy random lefty history can be found here.

Enough about me, what about you? I’m dying to know the handedness of our readers.

Are you happy with your handedness? Did you switch your handedness for any reason? Know any cool trivia facts on the subject? Also, if your handwriting has been analyzed, what does it say about you? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny

Quick Note: To avoid smeared ink all over your hand, if my paper-tilt method (shown in the photo at the top of this post) doesn’t work, try out these SmudgeGuard Tablet gloves.

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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