How Tall People Perceive Short People in Social Situations
Whether its drinks after work with coworkers or a friend's wedding, social situations can be stressful and awkward. Some people are naturally better at these types of events than others.
If you're short, you might worry about how your taller counterparts view you. Do they perceive you differently because of your height? Or is it all in your mind and presentation of your own insecurities? This guide can help you better understand how tall people perceive short people in social situations.
Are Short People Perceived as Less Attractive?
When you're short, you probably wonder if taller people view you as less attractive due to your height. Of course, your friends tell you this isn't the case. However, a study at Rowan University looked at this question.
The study used students at the university. The group was given a packet of 10 photos of people of varying heights, ages, and other key factors. When it came to judging men on attractiveness, the average height males were almost always chosen as the most attractive.
The tall men were rated second most attractive and the shorter men the least attractive. When the viewers rated women, there was a correlation between height and attractiveness. As the females in the photos were listed as taller, they were rated more attractive.
Taller people and others of average height might perceive a shorter person as less attractive. When it comes to men and attractiveness tallest wasn't considered the best, it was men of average height.
How Do Tall People View Shorter People in Relation to Power?
The same study from Rowan University also looked at how people viewed short people in relation to power. The same group of college students was asked to judge how powerful they thought the people in the photos were with only their images and height available.
According to their answers, there was a direct correlation between the perception of power and the height of a man. The taller the man was directly related to the amount of power the person answering the questions thought he had.
It turns out that the taller men were thought to be more powerful, and the shorter males were viewed as the least powerful. However, this didn't prove true for the women's photographs in the study. Height wasn't a factor when it came to the relationship between women and power.
Are Short People Viewed as Bossy and Overbearing?
Unfortunately, when short people are assertive and confident, taller people might perceive them as bossy and overbearing. It's believed that the shorter person is compensating for their lack of height by being bossy. Some taller people may claim that they have a "Napoleon Complex."
Napoleon was the tyrannical emperor of France that rose to power in the years following the French Revolution. Although he was the average height of a man, history views him as being short.
The new French emperor was famous for crowning himself emperor during his coronation ceremony. He also waged war with most of Europe and parts of Egypt. He was eventually defeated and overthrown but had to be exiled twice.
The legacy of Napoleon has left many short people in the position of being seen as bossy and overbearing. While this isn't typically the case, you're merely asserting yourself and showing confidence, taller people might say you have a Napoleon Complex.
Are Shorter People Underestimated?
Most tall people underestimate short people in social situations. There are a variety of stereotypes for short people. You already know most of them, and so do tall people. However, you know they aren't true.
This underestimation can lead taller people to make assumptions about your capabilities in various social situations. You may find yourself ignored or passed over in a conversation.
Most tall people have listened to these stereotypical ideas about short people and underestimate them based on their height. While you might feel like you need to fight these images and overcome them, you have the advantage of being underestimated, and the reward is much sweeter when people don't expect you to succeed.
Do Tall People View Shorter People as Younger and Less Mature?
When you're shorter than average, it can be challenging to find clothes that fit. This can lead you to buy clothes from the Juniors Department and have every pair of pants you buy hemmed. Tall people might view you as younger because of your height and the youthful clothing that you wear.
It isn't uncommon for taller people to talk down to shorter people because they believe the shorter person to be younger than they are. Sometimes, taller people might mistake a shorter person for a child and make comments to that effect.
In many cases, taller people view shorter people as younger and less mature than their taller peers. While this isn't true, it's a common perception. As you age, you may find a more youthful look appealing as people think you're younger than you actually are.
Are Shorter People Seen as Weaker and More Vulnerable?
Yes, taller people view shorter ones as weaker and more vulnerable than others. This perception is directly related to the physical size of a shorter person. If you don't reach five feet tall or much over that, it isn't uncommon for taller people to think you're a child at first glance.
Since most people view children as weaker and more vulnerable, the perception is transferred to adults who are shorter than average. It doesn't help that many shorter people feel more vulnerable and fearful in social situations. This misconception and stereotype are common among tall people and some short people reflect it.
In social situations, taller people do view shorter people differently than tall and average-height people. There are steps that you can take to appear more confident and less vulnerable to begin to change those perceptions.
If you want to become taller, there is limb-lengthening surgery, also known as height lengthening surgery that can add several inches to your current height. Dr. Shahab Mahboubian is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in height lengthening surgery. Contact us today when you want to learn more.