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How Being Different Can Affect Self-esteem!

Growing up left handed in a right handed world wasn't easy. I was too young to be forced to write with my right hand, but I'm too old to have grown up with left handed scissors and other adaptations.

I remember as a child struggling to use scissors, turning them one way then the other and, dare I admit it, throwing them across the room in frustration! Come to think of it, I still can't cut straight and I avoid cutting at all cost. As a child, my writing was never neat as my hand would smudge what I had just written. Luckily, my dad had suffered an injury to his right hand which resulted in him having to learn to write with his left hand. I remember sitting with him as he taught me how to hold a pen so that i didn't smug my work. All my teachers were right handed and most didn't appreciate my struggles or have the time to adapt activities or work spaces to try to help.

Growing up I remember people commenting that I was left handed with words such as Cack-handed and Cuddy-wifter. Researching common names to refer to left handed people I seem to have got away lightly. Either way, the words used to describe left handedness appear to be derogatory, some being worse than others.

I also remember apologising for being left handed and feeling like I was an inconvenience to right handed people. I can never remembering apologising for having curly hair or blue eyes and yet because of other people's perceptions and expectations being left handed made me different and inferior.

Being born left handed is thought to be genetic but, as yet, it is not known why some of us are born left handed while the majority of the population are right handed.

It's all in the brain! Brain dominance determines which hand we prefer to use. The left side of the brain controls the right side of our body while the right side controls the left. The sides of the brain are also responsible for other things too. The left side is responsible for things such as logic thinking,writing, science, speech and language. The right side is responsible for things such as emotions, creativity, perception, music and art. We often find that a higher number of left handed people go into certain careers. People who are left handed are more likely to be visual thinkers, with better 3-dimensional thinking and perception and are often more creative.

Writing this blog has made me think about how this has affected my self-esteem and confidence over the years. Now I realise that it is OK to be different and I also realise that I didn't have a problem and I still don't. The problem was, and still is, being left handed in a right handed world with right handed tools and equipment that are backwards to a left handed person.

What has affected your self-esteem or self confidence over the years?

It doesn't have to be this way. There is help available and you can change your mindset.


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