Left vs. Right: What your dominant hand says about you

Julie Clarke and her 11-year-old daughter, Amalie may share genes, but they differ when it comes to how they write.

"I'm left-handed, predominately," said Julie.

"If I hold the pencil with my right hand automatically it feels comfortable to write with. If I hold the pencil with my left hand it just feels weird. It just feels really hard to write with my left hand," said Amalie.

And they notice some other differences. 

"When we're doing things in the kitchen, usually she'll like be showing me how to do it and then she'll give it to me and then I have to switch everything because she puts everything in a certain position and I have to switch to what's more comfortable for me, so that's kind of weird," Amalie said.

"The way the notebooks are, the scissors are, all these constant things that aren't made for you," Julie said. "You might have to think oh I’ll just flip my notebook backward and I'll write this way so the spine is on the right side of me."

But is going left or right nature or nurture?

"I think some of it can be taught because it's easier to learn that way but most of it can be genetic," Julie said.

"Maybe you learn a little more right-brained when you're left-handed because your right brain works the left side of your body and they kind of associate right brain with more creativity," she added.

Julie may be right about that.

Some studies note that lefties tend to be creative, like music legend Paul McCartney, who plays his guitar left-handed.

Julie Clark with her daughter, practicing handwriting

But right-handed Amalie has noticed something when she plays guitar. 

"You strum with your right hand and you do the notes with your left hand. I can do that and it feels normal," said Amalie.

Then there's left and right in the White House.

Former President Barack Obama was one of the few left-handed presidents. 

President Donald Trump is right-handed.

Late President and former actor, Ronald Reagan wrote with his right hand, but he was actually left-handed.

Master penman Michael Sull, a right-hander, worked with President Reagan as his calligrapher.

"Many lefties who learn to write, their lettering is sort of is challenging. They're coming from a different direction, a different perspective from the way that the letters lean because we read and write from left to right," said Sull. "Mr. Reagan felt that it would be more beneficial to him if he decided that he would change the way that he wrote to the way that everybody else wrote and that would give him a little boost rather than remaining a leftie."

And some studies suggest that lefties are smarter.

"I think there's a certain intelligence that comes more naturally to left-handed people because they're challenged throughout their whole life and they must overcome that. They're in a right-handed world. They have to be more astute. They have to see things and really focus on them more than just right-handed people," said Sull.

But whether you're left or right, Sull says there's one thing that matters most. 

"Handwriting is important whether you're left-handed or right-handed and it's not something that anyone who does it and does it well takes for granted," said Sull.

For more information about Michael Sull, visit  https://www.spencerian.com/