Susan Andrews
August 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Hi. My name is Susan and I’m a left-brain lead. Why am I telling you this and what exactly does it mean? Well, after a little bit of research on the differences between common traits for the left-brain and right-brain person, I realized that many of my “endearing” qualities are easily explained by my left brain’s need to be in control. In essence, my left brain wants to take the lead when I decide to do something. What a relief to know I’m not losing my marbles when I stress over not completing my to-do list. I’m just a victim of being an extreme left-lead and that hemisphere is running the show.

Research has shown that, in general, left-brain dominant people tend to be critical thinkers, logical, organized and rational. Left-brain dominant occupations include lawyers, doctors, judges and bankers. Right-brain dominant people tend to be creative, athletic, imaginative and artistic. Their typical occupations include sports, acting, politics and music.

Of course these are just broad strokes. Anyone can do anything and it’s not dependent on what side of the brain you have trying to run the show all the time. For example, many left-brain people are creative (hello fellow writers!) and many right-brain people are great problem solvers.

So for the sake of fun, and for my uncanny knack for analytical thinking, I dug deeper and noticed some personality traits in myself that are definitely left-brain dominant. I was happy to discover that what I presumed were flaws in my personality are simply quirks of a left-brainer. You may relate to them or you may not. I’m just glad I’ve found a scientific reason for my peculiar behavior.

So here are some interesting observations that may help you figure out if you’re also a left-brain lead. (Go left brains!)

You’re not getting sleepy…

Left-brainers are less likely to be hypnotized. In my experience this is true. I tried it once and I thought it was bunk. But that’s only because it didn’t work for me. Some people have great results with it. At least I never have to worry about being secretly hypnotized where I could embarrass myself by barking like a dog every time someone says the phrase “I love peanut butter.”

You have Martha Stewart tendencies

I’m excessively organized. I bundle my socks into little sock balls and line them up perfectly in the designated area of my dresser drawer. And it absolutely drives me crazy when one goes AWOL in the wash. The entire drawer is out of balance and nothing is right in my world.

You obsess over details

I’m a human spellchecker. I have the annoying habit of finding typos in books, newspapers, menus and even on store signs when I’m driving down the street. I can’t help it. It’s like the word is instantly highlighted in neon yellow. The worst part is I can’t keep the discovery to myself. I have to tell whomever I’m with that I found a typo. This is usually my boyfriend, and he just rolls his eyes. I think he’s jealous because I can spell better than him. I know it makes me look like an annoying smarty pants. But I can’t stop. I need help.

Numbers make your world go round

I must’ve been an accountant in a past life. That’s the only reason I can think of why I still use QuickBooks to balance my checking account right down to the penny. With online banking there’s really no need to reconcile since I know at a glance how much I have in my account. But I still do. I tell myself I can quit anytime I want and that next month I’m not going to even look at my statement. Who am I kidding? I may need an intervention.

List-making is fun!

Oh my God this is me. I don’t think I could function without my trusted to-do list. The pleasure I get from crossing off a completed task is right up there with finding that damn missing sock and bundling it back with its lonely counterpart. It’s like a chocolate high for my left brain.

You might be artistically challenged

I love art. I really do. But my artistic ability is questionable. And I have a lopsided handmade clay ashtray to prove it. Not to mention the box full of splotchy painted ceramics my mother has hidden in her basement that will never see the light of day. The important thing is I really enjoyed making them. And I’m proud of myself for following through on that complicated string art project, even though it came out looking more like an abstract mishmash than an elegant sailboat.

Even easy decisions can be really hard

Some left-brain people like to research every possible choice before making a decision. That’s me. I like to weigh my options. I’m notorious for spending way too much time picking out a greeting card. This is one area where my left brain pisses me off. When I’m running late for a friend’s birthday party and I haven’t found the perfect card yet only because I know I still have two aisles to peruse, I speed-read through the remaining cards and only feel satisfied with my choice when I’ve read every last one. I usually decide on the card I’ve picked out within the first five minutes upon entering the store anyway, but I have to check.

You might not write “Once upon a time…”

Right-brain leads are more associated with creative storytelling. Wait. What’s that? But I love storytelling and I’m obviously a left-brain lead. How can this be? Well, I guess my right brain isn’t such a pushover after all. There are some areas where it excels and my left brain has to take the back seat. Good to know.

You can’t pigeonhole people into being 100% left-brain or right-brain. We’re a mixture of the two. I’m glad my right brain dominates in creative writing. Otherwise what would I do with my life?

If you’re not sure which hemisphere is trying to run your personal show, here’s a quick and easy way to find out. Take the Creativity Test. Just for fun. After answering a series of multiple choice questions, you’ll see what percentage of your left brain dominates in certain categories and where your right brain dominates. Pretty interesting. Then you can appeal to your left brain (and mine) and take the poll below.

[poll id=”100″]

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