General Question


Do you sometimes feel an urge to use your left hand to do things that you would normally do with your right hand?

Asked by MRSHINYSHOES (13966points) December 11th, 2011

I’ve noticed recently that I sometimes I have an urge to use my left hand to write, instead of my dominant right hand. Not only writing, but performing small, simple tasks like using a pair of scissors, stamping an envelope, etc. I didn’t have this desire when I was younger. Why all of the sudden do I have this urge? Has anyone else experienced this too?

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Why not just do it? Some people are ambidextrous; two of my step-sons use both hands for various tasks, including writing, dicing with a knife and throwing a football or baseball.

I’m not sure that the reasons matter. Experiment.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Your right had may not be completely dominant all of the time. One theory (the Right Shift Theory) says that one gene may cause one to be right handed, while another version causes a 50–50 chance either way. Even though you may not be able to do any task equally with either hand (being completely ambidextrous), you may just not have much to sway you to either handedness.

SamIAm's avatar

Just yesterday, I was having a catch (we were bored at work) and randomly decided to start catching and throwing with my left hand. Strange you ask this today…....


Why just all of a sudden? Never had this desire before, until recently.

SamIAm's avatar

I have no idea!! That’s why this is weird. ha… maybe I haven’t played catch in a while!

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Fly's avatar

This happens to me frequently. I will often just use whichever hand is the…well, handiest at the time, without thinking twice about it, and my left hand usually functions just about as well as my right in these circumstances.

There are also a couple of things that I always do with my left hand, despite the fact that my right hand is dominant. For example, I always use my left hand to cut with a knife, and my family gives me hell for it because “It’s not the way Americans use utensils.” I have used a knife this way ever since I learned to cut, and it’s really more efficient because I don’t have to switch hands to eat.

JLeslie's avatar

@fly Europeans cut with their dominant hand, and maintain the fork in their non-dominant hand. So you don’t fit the American way or the European way of doing it. I usually don’t switch and I get compliments all the rime on how I use my fork and knife. I think the most important thing regarding etiquette with flatware is to steady the utensils with your forefingers, amd not to hold them in a death grip. Although, it is true propery American etiquette is to switch.

Fly's avatar

@JLeslie I am aware that I don’t fit any general standard for the use of utensils, but the vast majority of Americans cut and use a fork with their right hand, which results in a constant switching of utensils. This method has never really made sense to me, although I don’t believe that it had anything to do with why I learned to cut the way that I did.
I mostly just use it as reasoning to support my admittedly abnormal technique. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

@fly Did you read my very first answer above your first answer?

Americans also don’t typically use a knife to aid them in getting food onto their fork. It makes no sense to me.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes. When taking an oath. : )

King_Pariah's avatar

Actually, there are things that I’m better at with my left than my right, such as shooting.

SmashTheState's avatar

Left-handed writing is a classic post-modern exercise for accessing the creative side of your brain. Your left and right hands are controlled by different hemispheres of the brain (not entirely true, but true enough that the effect is noticable — see ”alien hand syndrome”). It’s possible that your subconscious is attempting to communicate with you about something important. If, like me, you have difficulty “letting go” of your rigidly rational sense of self, sometimes we’re not always aware when the machinery of our subconscious is trying to flag our attention. There is considerable evidence that what we consider to be rational decisions are actually pre-made by the unconscious processes of the brain, and that the conscious mind merely manufactures rationalizations for the decisions. Your strange urge to write with your left hand may be the result of the subconscious trying to find a way of fighting through your superego death grip on the ego.

Try sitting down with a blank piece of paper and, using your left, hand, writing whatever pops into your head without thinking it through. You may be surprised by the result.

dabbler's avatar

Hey, why not? It’s harmless.
I got into it after seeing “Fahrenheit 451” where books are burned and folks were euthanized when they got to a certain age. Some renegade people ran off to the woods to form a community where they memorized books and practiced dealing with losing some faculty like seeing or hearing.

So I brush my teeth with both hands switching on irregular basis, I can use the computer mouse with either hand (that was partly motivated by some periods of carpel tunnel syndrome over the past decades of constant keyboard work). Once in a while I’ll try to write with the other hand but that is only amusing. I can wash pots and pans with hands switching roles (holding or scrubbing). I can wield some power tools as well with either hand but will defer to the dominant hand where safety is a concern.

And someone near and dear had a stroke and was disabled from using the hand usually used for wiping. The other hand was functional but didn’t know the skills. So when they had to go, a hospital ward had to help with the wiping. They said the lesson from that is “teach your children to wipe with either hand !!”

dabbler's avatar

Actually it’s not “Fahrenheit 451” where they learn skills to overcome disabilities, to avoid being culled…(although in that movie, the renegade folks do learn and “become” their favorite books).
If I can figure out what movie that was I’ll post again…

dabbler's avatar

Logan’s Run ! Logan is a “sandman” charged with hunting down the aged and infirmed. He comes across a community of people intent on not appearing disabled if they becomes so.
They have cultivated skills that aren’t necessary until a disability makes them so.

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