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8 Daily Problems Only Left-Handed People Would Understand

8 Daily Problems Only Left-Handed People Would Understand

Let’s face it: this world was meant for righties. Being left-handed can be exhausting, and sometimes downright excruciating. But what choice do people have? You can’t train yourself to be right-handed, no matter what the sisters at your old Catholic school believe. Though being left-handed is frustrating, and it makes every day tasks close to impossible, the only thing you can do is to power through it all, and be the best lefty you can be. If you’re a lefty, you’ve probably experienced at least one of these problems since you woke up this morning:

1. They smudge their writing

No matter the medium, left-handed people inevitably face some annoyance when attempting to jot something down. Forget about writing on a whiteboard; they leave a colorful trail in the wake up their beautiful handwriting, rendering it completely illegible. When opening to a new page in a binder, they have to crook their arm at almost a ninety degree angle to be able to start a journal entry; that can’t be comfortable. And even when they rip a sheet of paper out and lay it flat on the desk, they’ll still end up with more graphite on the side of their hand than on the paper. By the end of grade school, most left-handed people would probably prefer to use a computer to transcribe information for the rest of their lives.

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2. They click backwards

But after they switch to computers, a whole new set of problems arises. While many mouses are supposedly made for both lefties and righties, many specialty mouses (like for gaming) are built specifically with right-handed people in mind. But that’s not even the real problem. When you’re left-handed, a left-click is a right-click and a right-click is a left-click. There’s no getting around that. It might not be a problem for younger people who have learned to accommodate, but I can’t imagine being left-handed and trying to teach my 60 year old father how to use a computer. It would drive us both out of our minds.

3. They cut backwards

No, you can’t just turn right-handed scissors around. Scissors are built so a natural (right-handed) grip will cause the blades to push slightly together, making for a crisp, straight-edged cut. However, a left-handed person using the same scissors, using the same grip in their left hand, will cause the blades to shift slightly apart. Of course, this will lead to many a torn paper, if it gets cut at all. Note to elementary teachers: invest in a few pairs of left-handed scissors; you’ll save on wasted construction paper in the long run.

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4. They hate banks and the post office

Okay, I guess everyone has a certain disdain for these places. But left-handed people have just one more reason to dread the trip to their local bank: the pens on a chain. You probably never thought about it before, but the next time you go to deposit your check, notice where the chain is in relation to the desk. It’s most likely on the right. We’ve gone over the problems lefties face when writing, so just imagine having to deal with smudged ink on a paycheck while also having to either write with a taught string or scrunch their entire body up against the right side of the cubicle.

5. They hate eating in a booth

Even sitting down for dinner with friends is a hassle for a left-handed person. They’ll inevitably hit their friends with more elbows in the half hour it takes to eat than Dennis Rodman coming up for a rebound did throughout an entire basketball game. And, unlike the last few points made in this article, there’s no real way to solve this problem, except to socially isolate the lefties to their own table. But what have we been fighting for this whole time, then?

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6. They can’t just pick up a guitar and play

Even Jimi Hendrix had this problem. If a left-handed person wants to jam with his friends, he better bring his own guitar. It might not seem like much of a difference to someone who doesn’t play, but asking a left-handed person to play a right-handed guitar would be like asking a saxophonist to play it upside down, with his left hand where his right hand should be and vice-versa. I guess the good side of this is left-handed people don’t have to worry about anyone else picking up their beloved left-handed guitar.

7. They can never find sports equipment

When I was younger, and before the Internet and Amazon were in full swing, it was absolutely impossible for me to find golf clubs, hockey sticks, or even baseball gloves without my dad driving me to every sporting goods store within a 50 mile radius. Most of the equipment I ended up getting were hand-me-downs from a friend of my dad’s who, as luck would have it (for me, at least), had faced the same problem throughout the years. But there were also times I spent hours looking through shelves at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s, only to walk away left-handed and empty-handed at the same time.

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8. They hear “Oh, you’re a lefty?” every ten minutes

I’m a lefty, and I still do this to other left-handed people. To me, it’s camaraderie. I find solace when I see other left-handed golfers, knowing they’ve been through the same aggravation I have my entire life. But when a righty asks a lefty to state the obvious, it’s more of an acknowledgement that the left-handed person is some freak of nature that should be put on display next to the bearded lady and lizard man. To a right-handed person, their comment probably seems fairly innocuous, but that’s because they haven’t read this list and have no idea what hell left-handed people have lived through.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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