What Is “Short Man” Syndrome?

What is short man syndrome and why does it develop? More commonly linked to Napoleon Complex, short man syndrome is actually a rare psychological condition that manifests in persons of short stature, mostly men.

As a way of compensating for the lack of height, short men tend to become excessively competitive and aggressive. Men with this syndrome vent out their desire to prove themselves through domineering social behavior and unusually aggressive ways of interacting with other people. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they strive to overachieve in other aspects believing that their lack of height is an inadequacy as a man.

This type of mentality develops from a sense of inferiority. When a short man feels that he’s not good enough due to lack of height, he attempts to compensate it by acting superior over others in anyway he can. People with short man syndrome are said to gain pleasure and confidence from being physically imposing; so many with this condition put a lot of effort into weight lifting and strength training.

They feel the need of proving to people that their short stature doesn’t define their power. Additionally, short men don’t really attract all that much positive attention. This causes them to alter their behavior to gain acceptance from the environment in any way that they can.

Researchers say that common symptoms of the syndrome include aggressiveness which involves talking loudly and shouting; domineering attitude which involves dealing with others in a rather superior manner; and unusual craving for attention and eagerness to prove themselves. Some people even go as far to make comparisons between the short man complex and the behaviors of small, overly aggressive dogs; which many observe as noisier and more belligerent than bigger, submissive dogs.

While surely no one is comparing a short person to a small dog, the comparison is actually in the behavior — I.E. because of the smaller size & stature, they have the overwhelming need to show those around them that they are NOT inferior to anyone and they will not be pushed around.

Is There A Way To Overcome Short Man Syndrome?

If you feel that you’re one of those people who have short man syndrome, a good way to deal with it is simply change your way of thinking. You should recognize that many people aren’t actually going to view you much differently just because you are short.

It’s also recommended to view the positive things about being short. Focus on theĀ  many advantages of being short (yeah, there are lots!) and how such things help in your day-to-day activities. Short man syndrome usually develops because of the massive focus on the negative aspects of being short, which breeds a feeling of inferiority that only grows larger & larger over time.

For serious cases of “short man syndrome”, many psychologists suggest a method of changing your thoughts through cognitive behavioral therapy. This involves understanding the contents of your thoughts and controlling them. Through this, you can elicit more positivity and drive away negative thoughts about your height. Clearly, this is something that may require the help of a trained psychologist and long hours of therapy.

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