I would like to preface this article by stating that like many men, I speak in hyperbole, so please refrain from calling out this piece for any perceived sweeping generalizations. Common sense will direct you to understand that anything painted with a broad brush here will not be sacrosanct.
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If you are reading this item, chances are you are aware of the stigma associated with being a short male. Bring this up to anyone and you might get the typical speech on “having kon-fu-dance” (confidence) and “lightening up your attitude”. The problem with this advice is that it ignores that a stigma exists. This is of course because most people are ignorant to its pervasiveness. Their definition of confidence will not apply to you. Self-assurance will only come from tackling the stigma head on. Here I will give you pointers on how to kick ass as a short guy in all aspects of life by mixing proven advice with a pinch of hard to swallow red pill philosophy. Be ready.
I really mean this one. The only opinion you should be concerned with regards to your personality is your own. Outside of your professional life and trusted social circle, many will attribute the negative aspects of your demeanor to your height. Putting emphasis on this might cause you to change your act which is completely unwarranted. A few years of acting in this fashion can put you into a spiraling depression. You are familiar with the old adage of failing in life because of trying to please everyone. Do not fall for it. The distinctness of your personality is what makes you unique. The right people will be attracted to your aura because of your individuality.
So if you are ambitious and someone says you have a complex, so what? Own it. If they complain about you being a Napoleon for standing your ground, smile and tell them they are right. As long as you are not taking advantage of others, all that matters is that you are happy with your own disposition and that you are getting what you want out of life.
Remove The Weakest Links
As a short guy you will frequently come across people who will test your limits. There is an unmentioned social pecking order in which many people believe short guys exist on one of the bottom tiers. These tests can come in the form of wit or even implied physical dominance. In most cases, they are used to show you up and reinforce their own perceived position within this hierarchy. This is especially apparent when in groups. With men, this is typically done to impress women and assert dominance. Among women it is to reassert her perceived social value. If a woman believes short men are beneath her, she may react toward you negatively. Whatever their intent, it is your job to stand firm and assert yourself while maintaining your composure.
This is not to suggest that you act like a jerk, but consider that if you lose your footing and emit weakness, you may from there be treated as such. You may never gain the full respect in the eyes of these types of people, but once you set boundaries, they will know their limits and act accordingly. The worst case scenario is you clear your deck of a few bad cards. It is a win-win situation.
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It will be your job to use discretion as to whether this type of action is completely necessary. Always pay close attention to body language. Consider your relationship with that person and whether something is meant as light hearted humor. Few people like someone who is always ready to bite and constantly looks for the negative in a situation. However, if you are dealing with people who are consistent with impish behavior, then you need to eject them from your circle immediately. The more you keep toxic people in your vicinity, the easier it is to have your self-worth plummet. The last thing you want is to be introduced as the ongoing gag every time someone new comes into your group. If this means having only a few associates, so be it. Never let anyone usurp your dignity.
Be About Something
Just about everyone likes fascinating people. What do you have to offer? Why should people want to be around you? Whether it is a burgeoning career, an innate talent, athletic ability or an interesting hobby, the more you have going for yourself, the more you will have to share with others. This can lead to more ways which you can connect with people. If you are out in a social setting, it will mean breaking the ice will be far easier. Your talents may pull people in through fascination. Hobbies can introduce you to likeminded individuals with lots to talk about. While detractors call this “compensation”, having something going for yourself is a must. This has nothing to with being a short and everything to do with being a well-rounded individual. Being about something highlights your strengths and character, separates you from your competitors, and brings up your social market value.
Can you play any instruments? Are you a great swimmer? How good are you at ballroom dancing? Can you troubleshoot a computer? What did you study in college? What is your profession? Do you travel? How many languages can you speak? What is the last book you read? Like seeking employment, the more you know, the more marketable you become. When you are judged against your taller counterparts, all of your intellectual assets and individual pursuits will put you in a class of your own. Remember, networking is a prerequisite for success, so anything that raises your value be it your profession, skill or character trait, raises your appeal.
Style Makes The Man
Short and tall guys have the commonality of standing out due to not being the norm. Society currently grants social privilege to the tall while stigmatizing the short with respect to gender norms, but as a short guy, you can exploit this. Being different means that people have a higher chance of remembering who you are, therefore having unique style and looking your best is paramount. How trendy are your clothes? How chiseled is your body? Do you wear vintage blazers? How do you keep your hair? What brand of shoe is your choice? Is that beard nice and trimmed? Is your hairline tight? Are your teeth white and straight?
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Use this opportunity to take charge over things you have direct control over. Make sure your clothes fit the contours of your body. If you are shorter than 5’5, you more than likely will have to get your clothes altered to get the perfect fit. Do not be afraid to do this. Tall people have to eat the cost of paying higher prices for larger sizes. Getting clothes altered then is our pricey counterpart. Get over it and swallow that pill. Seek out patterns and styles that the average person may not be aware of. Are you a sneaker aficionado? Plenty of sneaker manufacturers let you customize their products on their websites. There are plenty of online stores which carry intricate items which cannot be found elsewhere. Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon contain shops from overseas which stock pre-trending items and accessories which may not gain traction in the states for months to come.
You can and must take advantage of the fact that you are different by maximizing your aesthetic appeal. Workout until you are satisfied. Treat your appearance with great care. Make it a point to make sure your hygiene is impeccable. Dabble with different colognes and find the scent which works best for you. Become familiar with straight edge razors and clippers to keep your hair intact in between trips to the barber. Get a gadget that no one has ever heard of. While I don’t expect you heed all of this style advice, the point is you can turn what society deems as negative into a complete positive for yourself. All of the above can lead people to take notice, which in turn can spark conversation and maybe lead to a connection. Taking pride in your overall appearance sends the message that you care about yourself. There is nothing which speaks more to high self-esteem of a man than that. At the end of the day, looking good can make you and the people around you feel good. You are different. Remember this and own it. Sites like The Modest Man have style guides geared toward us shorter guys that can help point you in the right direction and make all the difference.
There is no fool proof path to becoming a success in life. However understanding the obstacles which lay ahead with regards to the way society perceives you and recognizing your position can give you the ammo required to better navigate it for the purpose of producing outcomes by your design. Battling heightism requires a strong will to not succumb to the pressures of conforming to the slot which society has carved out for you. Remember that while perfection does not exist, you were created perfectly in the sense that you are who you are. The key is to perpetually maximize your potential to capitalize on all of the blessings life has to offer. The sooner you recognize this and develop a healthy ambition coupled with a bit of humility, you will refuse to settle for anything less than you what you deem to be best. Others will take note. Even if they do not care for your existence or success, remember that not being liked is okay. All that matters in the end is that you love yourself and the life that you live.
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