King of America: Short Man Syndrome

Cartoon of short man syndromePost Disclaimer: I am 6’6”, but actually believe that I may suffer from a version of short man syndrome myself. I tend to be competitive and aggressive and occasionally assault tall men, because, “they were judging me.”

For years I have noticed that people who are short or were short when they were young are often much more aggressive than the rest of the human population. My theory was always that short people (men especially) are more aggressive because they feel a need to “prove” themselves to their taller peers.

People throughout history have noticed that short men are significantly more likely to be jealous and angry and aggressive than tall people are. Older civilizations had a different name for “Short Man Syndrome”- “The Napoleon Complex”. Both are terms that describe an inferiority complex that physically short men have. Other terms for short man syndrome include “small man syndrome”, “little man issues”, “child molestor” and “little demon creature”. Some of those may be more scientifically accurate than others.

Many historical figures are alleged to have had short man syndrome- Napoleon BonapartThe Napoleon Bonaparte Complexe, Mussolini, Attila the Hun, Stalin among many of history’s most loathed men. Could their short man syndrome have driven them to commit atrocities and have a drive for absolute power? Is short man syndrome a factor in life?

Recent and old scientific studies, along with piles of anecdotal evidence seem to indicate that yes, short man syndrome is a major factor in human society. Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands recently carried out a study to find out how short man syndrome affects relationships. Participants were asked to rate themselves on how jealous they were on a scale from “not jealous at all” to “morbidly jealous”. The study participants were also asked how interested their partners were in members of the opposite sex. The results showed that the shorter men were FAR more likely to be jealous than the tall men. Researcher Dr. Abraham Buunk said, “Taller men tended to be less jealous, and the tallest men were the least jealous.” In contrast, “the very short and very tall women tended to be more jealous and women of average height were the least jealous.”

Another study with more participants (about 400) was done afterwards and once again the shortest men were the most jealous on a sliding scale up to the tallest men. The researchers thesis is that their findings reflect insecurities among people who are not society’s targeted height.

I can understand why short men have short man syndrome. The world at large seems to have a very strong unconscious bias towards taller people.

Research studies have shown that the taller a man is significantly more likely to make more money, have moreshort man syndrome children, have more sexual partners and get more replies to dating advertisements than are shorter men. According to Malcolm Gladwell, the average CEO on the Fortune 500 list is 3” taller than the average American male. This statistic actually way understates what is actually going on- 58% of CEO’s on the Fortune 500 list are over six feet tall, while the American population average is 14.5%. As you continue to even taller heights, you find that the bias for tall people increases further. 3.9% of the American populace is over 6’2”, whereas 30% of CEO’s are over 6’2”. Short men have very good reason to be more aggressive and jealous than their taller peers- people automatically judge them as inferior. Other studies have shown that on average, each additional inch in height for a man gives him an additional $789 a year in income. If you take this over a 40 year lifetime of work short man syndrome hahahaand compare the difference between the average 6’6” man and the average 5’5” man, this adds up to hundreds of thousands a year of additional income. Also, in almost every presidential election in American history, the taller man has won over the short man. George W. Bush is a rare exception; but he still got less votes than the taller Al Gore. People love tall men.

I have questions about the correlation between height and success in life. Is it causative? Does being taller mean you probably have better genes and thus are more likely to be successful in life? Or is it simply a genetic prejudice held over from the days when big men were more likely to survive than shorter men? I don’t know. It may also have to do with nutrition: people who receive better nutrition at a young age have been shown to be more intelligent and grow taller than those who don’t. What do you, my readers, think? short man syndrome uber freak

Short man syndrome has been something that annoyed me my whole life. Shorter guys are always trying to prove they are better at me at whatever stupid activity we are doing. Sometimes I just want to play a simple game of horse without a short guy getting all heated. Since I’ve shown that there is a real cause for short man syndrome and that short man syndrome exists in everyday life, is there anything we can do about it?

Is there a cure for Short Man Syndrome? Has Short Man Syndrome caused more suffering than, say, cancer or AIDs? What is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) doing to combat short man syndrome?!

We cannot let the short man syndrome outbreak continue to spread… look at what it has done to the poor victim pictured at right.

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

43 thoughts on “King of America: Short Man Syndrome”

  1. I’m a short man living in the UK (just under 5ft 3). I have an adult son who is shorter than me. I find that society in general will expect a short person to behave in a certain way (because of stereotypes0 and in doing so they will find that behaviour even when it isn’t there, or at least see it in exaggerated forms if it is mildly present.

    Look, it’s hard enough just being short and gettin jobs girls clothes friends etc without being seen as some Gollum like incubus. Give us the breathing space to shake off the bad Karma man!!!

  2. My husband has “small man syndrome”. He is 5’8″ but he only weighs about l40 lbs. It is very hard to live with him because of his competitivness. Every thing he does, he has to be the “winner” or he goes into a fit of rage. Everything he does has to go his way. If sa problem arises, he loses his temper and starts throwing things(tools if he’s fixing cars). To me this is such an immature personality. But a friend pointed small man syndrome out to me and it fits him to a tee. Anybody know of any therapy for this syndrome? HELP PLEASE

  3. What you all are engaging in here is a non-productive form of colloquial, uninformed, laymen’s psychology. Go get a copy of the DSM or a psychology 101 textbook. As for your argument, Napolean was actually of average height for his time period, and there have been plenty of murderous tall men in history – Hitler, Robespierre, Idi Amin Dada, Vlad the Impailer; and what about Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. – they were short; and Bin Laden is over 6’3″… I rest my case. But the point is moot and impervious to proper analysis, as most political leaders are of average height or above anyway. You mentioned jealousy, but failed to relate this to the feigned ‘SMS’, or even define ‘SMS’ for that matter. The rest of your argument is anecdotal. As for the body builder, how tall was Arnold? Ferrigno? Human aggression is a natural facet of human nature, and any one claiming that temperament is directly correlated to height is an uninformed charlatan. I noticed a woman here was concerned that her husband has ‘SMS’. Again, this is not a real-world diagnosis. The person who started this blog is a quack, a Jerry Springer. If you want to help your husband, tell him to get a new hobby or practice controlled breathing. Telling him he has SMS would be like telling a pregnant woman she has an infection. Your husband may have anger management issues, but so does every Italian depicted in the movies. Is there and ‘IMS’? No.

  4. Ive been short all my life. Finally i accepted it. Now i look and see how it made me. Im a tough little guy. I can do just about anything you six footers can. I jump high, i lift more, and have alot of confidence. Thanx for being short.

  5. My opinion, build a bridge and get over it. Some of the best guys i have gone out with have been small / short. It is what you do with it that counts. You are just looking for an excuse for your bad,unacceptable, uncontrollable behaviour. You want to be in control over every situation but have no control of your mouth and fists. Get your priorities right. We can all come out with some form of syndrome, but we take stock of who and what we are. Can you imagine what this world will be like if we kept blaming and not taking responsiblity. If you cant take control of youself and your reactions how can you be in control of anything else. A person that jokes around all the time is a compulsive lier. Add that to you stature. Be Mature, Be Loving, Be Caring, Be compassionate, then no one will notice your size, but what you stand for and who you are, and you will be lovingly remembered and appreciated. But be a pig, abusive, load, overpowering, you will not be taken seriously and be shunned. Stop making weak excuses, make something positive and beautiful of your siutation, I am not gorgeous, but I dont blame everyone and everything around me. I accept it and make the best of what i have been given.

  6. I am extremely glad I found the blog. I started experiencing some issues with my fiance while planning our wedding for set for next month. Once I read this I realized that it is him! He is about an inch taller than I am. He can be very aggressive/assertive when letting me know what he wants and how things should go. While I don’t think he’s competitive, I do think he is always trying to “prove himself” and show me that he has the upper hand. But now that this has been identified how do you deal with it? LOL!

  7. Have a look at the site “Daily Bible Study Wayne Blank” The study of september 7, 2010 “Who makes threats”. First paragraphed its says men like Adolph Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte because of physical inferiority like Hitler was monorchic ( 1 testical) and Bonaparte had a micropenis proven by documented medical evidence, makes threats are revealing their impotence whether phycical or intellectual. And my wife always said that size doesn’t matter. She says that she doesn’t care if her clitoris is bigger than my penis

  8. Really, really, really, sick of guys with this problem. You create more problems for yourself by trying to overcompensate for your small (stature) then you need to. The misconceptions that MEN create about EVERYTHING is what is wrong with this world. You really need to shut up.

  9. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?

  10. You only talk about short men overcompensating. The percentage of whom is small compared to the total short population. For completeness of the discourse, you should talk about tall men looking down on short men just on the basis of height. The solution is to bring to the fore the primal overestimation of capabilities of these tall dudes which tend to complicate life for them and their short counterparts. Tall or short equal opportunity and judgement is what is supposed to be but sadly isn’t

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  12. I am about 5`6 give or take. For my entire life i have been defensive of my size, so much so that i will subconsciously pick smaller characters in video games, only root for atheletes under 6′, and even come up with a fight plan whenever i meet someone new. I dont know what it is, but ive always been this way.

  13. I am 6 feet tall. If I was short I would restratagize my approach on life. I would think of this as an oppurtunity to go “up” on my date.

  14. Short-Man-Syndrome is an excuse created by tall people to justify negative behaviour towards a shorter person who makes the tall person feel threatened. I have never, ever heard of a short person using this stupid, nonsense excuse against another short person. Granted, there are short people I’ve met who are the pushiest and most demanding in everything they do. I wouldn’t go so far to label them as Napoleanic or having short man syndrome but their attitude does speak loudly, sometimes too loudly I agree wholeheartedly. Some are just aggressive and ignorant but for the most part the short people I know choose to live as normal people in this discriminatory world that caters to tall people. Why is it that when a short person strives for excellence or chooses not to be denied the same unalienable rights as tall people, they get stigmatized with a social disease like this? FYI, I’m 5’5 and from what I’ve learned in life, tall people bend and break a whole lot easier than short people. Tall people are also more prone to diseases related to bone and blood health.

  15. I am 6’5″ and I suffer from short people always being out to get me. People say I am paranoid but really I have been the victim of little people trying to prove that I am the bad guy so they can fight me. A lot of time in order to avoid a fight I give them a shallow victory and appolagize for some false sin I commited against the person, and beg forgiveness. After awhile I feel like smashing them but it would only serve to make the problem worse for someone else down the road.

  16. Hi tall friends. I am slightly above average height, at around 190 cm. Short men really annoy me,always trying so hard to impress. Listen my midget frieNds, i don’t want your woman, my schlong is not necessarily bigger and I love you all. Relax. I’m not going to pat yer head like benny hill.

  17. Very interesting topic here. Im writing a book and I stumbled on this blog in conducting my research, which happens to be about a very short guy who was a serial killer. I’ve read through the comments and there are some offer very insightful information. However, I would like to say that I agree with many of the comments made by Will. Its very difficult for a man 6’5″ to make diffinative asserts about SMS from his perspective. I am only 5’8″ tall. What people like Joel fails to understand is that people who are short start getting picked on as soon as their shortness becomes apparent to their peers. Mostly this happens in school. Elementrary schools are the breeding grounds for the early psychosis that leads to what you have miscatergorized at SMS. The truth is that taller boys pick on shorter boys. Taller boys bully shorter boys. I work in the school system now and I was a product of this disfunctional behavior as a child. Later in life the shortest boys are the last to get chosen on the basketball and football team. Test this theory in any city on any feild or court. Shorter people develop a sort of psychosis as a “survival mechinism”. We constantly have to work harder to make the team, the force, top tear of the company, even get a decent date in high school. There is a great deal of emphasis in our society at least, on height. Perhaps its a human condition as well. Either way, we can partially thank men like Walt Disney for helping to perpetuate a sterotype that has inbedded itself into our culture and defined people’s perceptions of what an “ideal” man should be. In EVERY SINGLE Disney movie that has a prince, the prince is noticably taller than his counterpart—Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella; you name it. This stereotype is reinforced so much in our society that it becomes engrained. And of course the culprit, Walt Disney, was about 6’2″. If you want to know how to change the type of psychosis that Joel describes as SMS here, teach your children that the height of the outside of a person doesnt matter. The height of his character matters more. Teach your children to not be judgmental other shorter kids just because they got the “tall” gene. Teach your children not to tease shorter children or be cruel to them. If we didnt this then it might be the first human condition that we could fully eradicate within a decade. But don’t hold your breath. Many of my friends, in fact most, are much taller than me. We joke about this alot. But beneath those jokes are something socially sinister. They get a big kick out of the fact that they are tall enough to touch the rim and I’m not. It’s the genetic advantage that gives most NBA players their edge. If taller people see this as their natural advantage in life, then conversely it must be our disadvantage and they cant help but to remind us. Sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes not so subtle. Either way, it leads to the birth of what Joel calls “SMS”.

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