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Five hazards of being a left-handed person
From telethons to orchestrated campaigns on social media to protesters marching in the streets, we move from one campaign to the next, hoping that our small efforts go some way to helping the underprivileged. But despite the 24-hour-a-day news coverage, email blasts and annoying street-corner charity collectors, one such group has consistently fallen through the cracks, remaining disadvantaged in almost every category. We're talking, of course, about left-handed people.
While this particular affliction may seem insignificant, the hazards for lefties are real. Here are some of the terrors that plague this silent minority.
5 Your hearing makes you interpret directions wrong
According to researchers, left-handed people hear rapidly changing sounds better than right-handed people. So what, you may ask. Well, according to the study, the left hemisphere of your brain, which controls the right hand, likes rapidly changing sounds like consonants, while the right hemisphere likes slowly changing sounds, like syllables or intonation. So basically, if you’re listening to someone giving a speech or lecture, there’s a chance you could hear something completely different to everyone else. Not very useful if they’re giving important instructions or directions.
4 You could be scared to death
You know that scene in The Sixth Sense where the weird kid who sees ghosts looks under the bed and a ghost rushes out and gives everyone a fright? Well, as a lefty you’re generally more affected by fear than right-handers.
According to a study by the British Psychology Society, when subjected to a series of tests involving watching a bunch of scary movies, left-handed people were more likely to show signs of post- traumatic stress disorder.
So don’t be ashamed if you freak out at even the lamest of horror movies… like M Night Shyamalan’s turgid tale of those terrifying trees, The Happening.
3 You’re a pent up rage-merchant
So aside from misinterpreting instructions and being easily frightened, left-handed people are also known to get angrier faster. Given the lack of everyday mundane products that are designed for right-handers only, some might say this is warranted and that they should be angry. But scientists, doing what scientists do best, have found an actual reason that wasn’t just bitterness over minor inconveniences.
In a paper with the catchy title The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease researchers found that left-handed people’s brain hemispheres interacted more than right-handed people’s. And like any time a logical person interacts too much with an emotional person, things tend to get out of hand, meaning lefties are more likely to be angered by trivial things, like not being able to write properly in spiral notebooks or use the number pad on a keyboard as efficiently.
2 You’re more likely to become a barfly
It’s been said (at least once) that all left-handers are angry, frightened alcoholics. While the accuracy of this statement is debateable, there is some truth to it. A recent study (we refer to a lot of these) surveying more than 25,000 people across 12 countries found that left-handers drank more than right-handers. Thankfully, the research found there was no irrefutable link between addiction and being a southpaw, but the survey did show that on average, lefties drank more regularly than righties, and in higher quantities.
1 You’ll probably die before the rest of us
Seems a pretty harsh statement but if you take nothing else way from this article, remember this one fact: according to worldwide statistics, on average left-handed people live almost nine years less than right-handed people. How can this be so? According to studies, due to the fact that the majority of the world has been designed to suit right-handed people, lefties are roughly five times more likely to die in accidents than their right-handed counterparts.
Think about that the next time you’re doing the ironing or giving someone that awkward lefty/righty handshake thing.
Read more about left-handedness here.