What it means to be left-handed and how to help lefties write!

Once upon a time, not even so long ago, left-handed people were thought to be sinful, bringers of bad luck or simply less capable of reaching an average level of intelligence.

Thankfully, none of this is true, but there are still some people in the world who believe common myths, whether prejudice or not, about left-handedness and left-handed people (of whom make up around 10 per cent of the world’s population).

The most common ones are:

  • Left-handed people are more creative: Although you commonly see such articles being branded about the internet, it is certainly not true that left-handed people are more creative. That said, it has been shown that there are a large number of musicians and artists that are left-handed.
  • Lefties live shorter lives: Thankfully for those that are left-handed, after the discrediting of a few scientific papers, it was shown that lefties and righties live for around the same amount of time.
    It was not totally the fault of the scientists however, as it was found that older people are less likely to admit being left-handed!
  • Left handers are more creative: Again, a fabrication that is based solely on anecdotal evidence and there has been no scientific evidence that left-handed people have an advantage in this area!

That said, left-handed people do sometimes have the advantage in regards to sports. This is usually because opponents in some sports are less used to the way that left-handed people move, what angles they use to throw balls and how they deal with stances.

In fact, Right Left Right Wrong.com says that:

“One particularly famous anecdote tells of a 1947 boxing match in which natural left-hander Mike Collins emerged from his corner in a right-handed stance before suddenly shifting left   and delivering the fight’s first and last punch, knocking out his opponent, Pat Brownson, in a record-breaking four seconds.”

But are left-handed people better at writing?

Unfortunately, when writing with any type of instrument, left-handed children do sometimes struggle when it comes to putting pen to paper.

Although there is generally no difference when it comes to teaching a left-handed child or a right-handed child, there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind!

  1. Although many people think that they can tell the difference between righties and lefties from a very young age, dominance does not actually become prevalent until a child reaches the age of five or six.
  2. If your child grows to be left-handed, it is important that they are aware of this fact so that they can tell teachers and classroom volunteers.
  3. Encourage the tripod grasping of the pen, just like you would with a right-handed child.
  4. There is no need to buy any special left-handed pens, pencils, or toilet seats. Lefties can do things just as well as the righties. Going back a step however, scissors are important, as the blades are on opposite sides, depending on whether they are left or right-handed.
  5. As your child develops, get them to write with the paper at an angle so that they do not have to hook their wrists.

Are you left-handed? Have you had any issues growing up? Let us know with a comment below!

Anna has been a lover of stationery since the age of three, when she got her first red spotted pencil case. Lucky enough to work part time for The Pen Company, she is surrounded by stationery; the dream of many a collector!

There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Avid_Writer at 11:38 pm

    I am left-handed and I tried a couple of fountain pens with little success. Then I searched for fountain pens that work well for lefties and I found one that works fairly well. Is this true that some fountain pens are easier for lefties to use than others?

    As a lefty, I often turn my journals or sketchbooks upside down and write from back to front so I am not writing on the binding edge, especially a spiral-bound notebook. Now that I am no longer in school, I figured, so what if someone has to turn my notebook upside down to read it?

    Also, I like the hooked wrist method of writing because it keeps the ink or pencil marks from smearing when the outside of my little finger and outside edge of my hand move across the letters that I have written. Thank goodness for modern, quick-drying inks that do no smear by the time the base of my left hand passes over the words that I have written.

    • Lucy at 12:00 pm

      Hi and thank you for your comment. Some fountain pens are said to be better for left-handed writers, but some manufacturers such as Lamy actually produce left-handed nibs, meaning you could probably use any Lamy fountain pen with success. However, I have spoken to several left-handed customers who are very comfortable with standard fountain pens. I think it can depend on the shape of the barrel and is overall a very personal choice, and probably a case of trial and error. I think turning your journals upside down is a great idea, as it helps you. Best wishes, Lucy

  2. Pingback: The best writing tools for left-handed people - The Pen Company Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *