If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase in discussions about short men, I could definitely retire a little earlier. It's the common advice related to any social trouble that results from short stature, usually dating troubles. I've seen "be more confident" crop up in print articles and online forums. For awhile, I even gave it myself! And, I'm a short man.
So, I know these people typically mean well. And, they are right. Confidence in dating is very important. In survey after survey, confidence ranks near the top of what women prefer in a man. However, guess what also ranks near the top? Height. But, the issue goes deeper than women preferring tall men (this isn't news to most short guys).
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Since society tends to stigmatize short men, they typically lack this much prized "confidence" by default. It's difficult to have your self-esteem constantly beaten down for years, then suddenly "be confident," just because an article in a men's magazine or an anonymous redditor tells you so. Advising an insecure guy to "be confident" is like putting a guy off the street in a power plant reactor and saying "be a nuclear engineer."
Being confident doesn't just suddenly happen. "Confidence" is both a mindset and way of communicating who you are, via words and body language, that develops over time. Whether you develop confidence naturally without thinking about it, or you "fake it 'til you make it" by purposefully altering your body language and communication to appear more confident (which, science says, can actually raise bodily testosterone levels), confidence doesn't just "happen."
Practically speaking, how can a short guy develop more confidence?
First, he needs to start doing things worthy of admiration and excellence. And, he needs to do them for himself, not other people (including women). This can include getting in great shape, going back to school, seeking a promotion at work, taking up an instrument, doing public speaking, writing a book, etc.
Sometime a guy with low self-confidence will feel aimless and unable to achieve much. However, baby steps are the way to go. Start small and work hard. If you want to get in great shape, begin by walking. If you want to write a book, sit down and write a chapter a day. Create small, but achievable goals.
All of these are not only worthwhile and fun activities, but guess what they also do? They are things that a guy can be proud of and increase his status with others (male and female). And, if a man can internalize his accomplishments and develop a pride in his ability to be excellent, it creates a great feeling that changes his view of the world, his interactions with other people, and even his body language. This is called confidence.
Wear Your Confidence Like A Badge Of Honor. Ignore "Napoleon Complex" Comments | Source: Pixabay
Second, a guy needs to start owning his accomplishments. Many of my clients have done amazing things, but through years of being silenced or for fear of being labeled as having a "Napoleon Complex," they downplay them.
For example, I've worked with guys who make six and seven figures, but talk about their careers like they make minimum wage. There is nothing wrong with making minimum wage, but a guy who has worked hard and earned a lot of money should command the respect that comes with such an accomplishment.
There is a difference between humility (which is good) and insecurity, which isn't. A man can be humble and grateful while still being honest and upfront about his accomplishments. Some short men tend to be insecure and downplay what they've achieved in the name of humility.
However, it is a mistake. If you are a great and accomplished person, for whatever reason, don't come across as a blowhard. But, you can definitely be proud of your work and let everyone know in a socially accepted (i.e. not bragging) way.
Finally, short men need to stop letting their lack of height hold him back. I understand that height is a barrier in most cultures. Especially in North America and parts of Europe, being a short man is a disadvantage in dating, career, politics, and a host of other areas. But, we have to stop hating ourselves and assuming we will always fail, even if heightism makes it tougher for us.
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In essence, it's important that we short men have pride in ourselves. This doesn't deny the prejudice short men face nor the need to work to end it. But, it also means that we have to realize that being short and male doesn't make us inferior or limit our chances for success in all areas of life (even if we have to work harder). We can prove this to the world by not apologizing for who we are (height and all) and achieving the accomplishments mentioned above.
Oh, and what about the women? From my personal and professional experience, women find accomplishments and the resulting confidence very attractive. They also find a detached, independent man very desirable (even a shorter one). So, by pursuing excellence, developing confidence, and not caring what a woman thinks about it, a guy is poised to actually...wait for it...get himself a woman.
So, while no short man can simply "be confident" because some stranger tells him so, it is possible to develop the confident attitude necessary to find success in dating, career, and other areas where short men sometimes struggle.
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