Can You Become Left-Handed If You’re Right-Handed? Here’s How To Teach Yourself To Write With Both Your Hands Easily
If you're a right-handed person, you might be curious about what it's like to be left-handed. After all, it still seems like something that is quite unique, as even science says it's still a pretty rare trait. Maybe your curiosity has reached a point where you actually want to learn how to write with your other hand. Teaching yourself how to become left handed if you're right handed can be extremely tricky, and it's going to require a lot of patience and training — but it's not impossible.
There are a few reasons someone might want to learn how to be ambidextrous. Some people believe that learning how to use both hands interchangeably can be better for brain function, although some researchers say this isn't true. Others simply want to say that they can write and use both hands. And then there are more practical reasons: some get injured or sick, lose the use of their right hand, and have no other choice.
If you're trying to become left handed because you think it might make you smarter, however, know that that might not be true. Scientific American points to several studies that show that being ambidextrous from birth is associated with developmental problems and academic difficulties. It's definitely worth considering before you put a lot of effort into training yourself to use both hands.
If you're still determined to become left handed as a righty, then doing so is totally possible. Again, though, keep in mind that this isn't exactly the easiest task in the world. These two parts of our brain are not interchangeable, and so you're basically going against your nature when learning how to use the other hand properly. There are certain steps you need to take, and remember: be patient. This isn't going to happen overnight!
1. Start By Tracing
You might feel anxious to just start the hard stuff right away, but going immediately into writing full words and sentences with your non-dominant hand isn't going to end well. You'll most likely fail, and then you'll feel frustrated. Instead, start by tracing letters and shapes. You can use writing workshop books that children often use to learn how to write, or you can simply grab any book and just start tracing with your left hand. It will help make the movement feel a bit more natural. One women told the BBC that she learned how to be left-handed by doing exactly this — tracing.
2. Work On Holding The Pen Comfortably
The way you hold a pen or pencil is a crucial part of how well you write. If you have a super tight grip on your writing utensil, you're going to create tension in your hand and make it more difficult to write (that's why your handwriting gets all weird when you're been writing for a long time). Train yourself to hold the pen comfortably in your left hand, which is going to be difficult, because it's something you aren't comfortable with. Keep your hand loose and relaxed, making a conscious effort to take breaks.
3. Practice Writing With Your Left Hand Every Day
If you're going to start writing with your non-dominant hand, you need to be committed to the training. That means it's something you're going to need to work on every single day. Set aside about 20 minutes or a half hour to writing with your left hand each day, whether you're tracing or actually writing. In this case, practice definitely makes perfect.
4. Practice With Your ABCs
Again, you can't just jump into full words and sentences. Start out writing on your own, not tracing, but writing out your ABCs — take it back to kindergarten! Keep drawing out your letters every day until it starts to feel a little bit more normal. Give yourself some time. You need to adjust to figuring out how to create these shapes when your brain is working against you.
5. Build Up Strength With Your Left Hand
Since you have always used your right hand for everything, it makes sense that it would have more strength than your left. So, work on building up strength in your left hand. You can do this by lifting weights, of course, but an easier and more practical way to do it is just to use it more often. Instead of using your right hand to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, and making the bed, use your left hand. It will definitely feel awkward at first, but just work through it. And be conscious — your brain is going to tell you to move to the right when you're struggling.
6. Move On To Sentences
Once you've started to feel more comfortable using your left hand to trace, write out letters, and do basic other tasks, you can start using it to write actual sentences. Take it slow, be patient, and stay focused. It's not going to be as easy as it sounds.
7. Use A Computer Mouse With Your Left Hand
Let's be real: many of barely actually write anymore because of modern technology. We all use the computer! So, practice using a computer mouse with your left hand to really make that connection. It's just another way to train your brain to think of your left hand as more dominant.
8. Write Backwards
If you're really struggling, you might want to try writing backwards. In most languages, people write from left to right, which feels natural if you're right-handed. If you're left-handed, this does not feel natural, and so left-handed people usually end up writing backwards. So, practice writing backwards as well — you might find it to be easier to figure out.