Left-Handed Living Pro Tips!

(or ‘right-handed living’ if you happen to be, y’know, already left-handed)

Having buggered my right wrist through some awful event (probably masturbating too furiously or something else classy like that), I’ve had to use my left hand for the majority of my tasks over the last few days, and Jaime Lannister’s sentiment – that all one’s instincts are wrong with the other hand – have never been more painfully true; so here are some bits of advice if you need to use your weaker hand for a few days.

1) Don’t write in sentences

I’m referring to writing by hand here – typing should be unaffected at best, or slower with one hand at worst – which is a rather unavoidable thing we’ve all got to deal with in our lives, whether it’s lecture notes or making an improv shopping list on the back of your hand. The key thing to remember about writing with your other hand is not the inaccuracy and messiness of this hand, but the slowness – it’ll take like ten times as long to write words as it does with your stronger hand.

So you need to be economical with your words – use shorthand and symbols in place of full words, and if you’re a student, try to obtain copies of texts or handouts in advance of lectures and seminars, so that you can highlight and annotate quotes rather than writing them out on a separate sheet of paper whenever you want to reference them, saving you from having to write unnecessary words.

2) Don’t just swap hands

This is a big one, that I found myself failing to adhere to today; I was grating some cheese (as you do), which usually requires a stationary left hand to hold the grater, and a moving right hand to hold the cheese. I reversed this, keeping my left, cheese-bearing hand still, but moving the right which now held the heavy grater, meaning I had increased the load on my right hand in an effort to reduce it. You must swap actions as well as hands, so it was my left hand that moved, as well as holding the cheese, while the right was stationary.

3) Fist-bumps for the win!

Obviously handshakes are out of the question if you’re right-handed, because it’s your right hand that’s been buggered; but this gives you a great excuse to experiment with alternative hand-based greetings (because they’re a thing)!

Look for hi-fives, fist-bumps, even unorthodox ones like headbutts if you’re feeling particularly dramatic. You might find a style of greeting that you prefer to the humble handshake, and if you’re meeting someone for the first time you’re more likely to leave an impression on them if you offer them a fist instead of a hand.

4) Try not to go shopping

You’ll either buy enough things that require multiple bags, forcing you to carry some in your injured hand and hurt it further, or carry them all in the good hand which will probably frak that one up too; and even if you only buy one bag’s worth of stuff, you’ll still have to faff about with your keys once you get home, which requires more usage of the bad hand.

5) Make a big deal of it to everyone

Let’s face it, unless your hand has been separated from your arm, you’re really not doing too badly; you could probably write with that ‘bad’ hand if you needed to. So if you tell everyone about your injured hand, and wear a cool-looking bandage around your wrist for five consecutive days, long after any placebo effects have worn off, you’ll be more motivated to actually use your weaker hand, which is good practice for if you do ever actually lose the stronger one.

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