How To Get Over Being Short | Guide For Men

If you're reading this post you probably think about height everyday, questioning your statureOnly short people truly understand the effects of heightism and the disadvantages of being short, as they live through it

Have you ever heard comments such as “are you sure you can reach that” or other assertions of your stature, such as constantly having to produce your ID everywhere you go, wherever it be a nightclub, off-license, or even the cinema. Maybe it was something someone said which kick-started your insecurity, or reading the height requirements of online dating profiles. 

In society, there are silent prejudices against shorter people, with some studies indicating that on average shorter people face greater professional and social obstacles. However, this is not openly acknowledged, so most of us will result to silently suffering and fighting on. Yet, deep down inside we know that there is a way of overcoming it, and the truth is you would not be searching about this topic if you believed otherwise.

The lack of confidence we feel as a result of being on the short side is far more damaging than the lack of height itself. And most importantly, if you work on overcoming this then your short stature can be used to your advantage.

How To Get Over Being Short

This article hopes to discuss the impacts of being short in different scenarios, and how to get over the trials and tribulations which arise from this. 

Short in The Online World

Movies & Social Media Pictures

In movies, just like the real world, added height is frequently used to portray power. The highest-paid actors often star in action movies, where the leading actor, even if shorter in real life, are positioned in such a way using certain camera angles or standing on blocks to look taller than their counterparts. 

The use of height increasing shoes is common, and used as a way to counteract being short, with a wide range of shorter actors wearing them when portraying taller, dominant figures (Ironman springs to mind.) Further, short men are often cast aside for roles as a romantic lead and have to look elsewhere for work as they simply do not fit in with the required standards. 

Roles where a character is made to look visibly short, however, are often those portraying softer characters, sometimes in a playful setting, where height is used in comedic form. Therefore it becomes a form of accepted mockery, again reinforcing it as something that is okay to joke about. 

The problem with all this is that movies are highly influential to set "ideals" in our minds, which are simply unattainable for many of us. The slogan "bigger is better" is further seen through the porn industry showcasing the same thing, where through movies we see unattainable "assets".

A similar thing applies to social media, where people will use camera angles and filters in pictures to look taller, and generally more attractive. This often attracts a lot of attention, with compliments flooding in, which can make you feel subpar if you get too caught up in it. 

How To Deal With This:

  • We have to look past these ideals, by separating them into their rightful category of fantasy/entertainment, which can give us a much clearer ground to work from. 
  • When you go outside just look around you, and ask yourself how often you see people who showcase the complete package portrayed through movie stars and filtered Instagram models, etc .

Height is just one factor in the overall appeal which movie stars portray, just as being charming, intelligent, masculine, sensitive, funny, and understanding.

If you are none of the above then yes life is not going to be easy, but as you are on this page I assume you have an inquisitive, intelligent mind, which is one of the strongest traits you can have, as the character traits listed above can be achieved through learning and hard work, and height doesn't even enter the equation!

Short In The Dating World

Height is used as a disqualifier in the online dating world, and being a short guy will often play against you. How many times have you seen a dating profile where the writer states "6' or taller, please." The truth is that this is brutal, and can affect our mental state, especially since with changing times many of us stay inside, learning, working, or being influenced by what we read online. 

How To Deal With This:

  • Just like you have preferences, other people do too. If the height is a deal-breaker for someone then it can simply mean they just want a taller partner, which is understandable as their preference, so move on.
  • In the online world people are writing from an accepted gold standard, stating ideals that will rarely be realized, and height is just one of many factors.

Someone rich, tall, successful, educated, who gives daily head massages might be an "ideal", but the reality is that this fantasy will fly out the window if a "real" connection is made. Therefore, a way to work around this is to revert to the old ways of meeting people and go outside to social events, preferably ones which you have a genuine interest in. This way you can narrow down your selection to meet like-minded people, putting yourself in a winning position to find a relationship perfect for you. 

People are generally not as shallow in reality as the online world might suggest. Yet, the more you get sucked into it, the more you will become part of the exaggerated fantasy that belongs to it. The fact is if you have confidence and glowing energy about you it will attract people to you naturally, negating the fact you are on the shorter side. 

The workplace

If the workplace is where your problems lie, then there is no surprise here. We are, after all, influenced by our surroundings, and spending the majority of your days around people who negatively impact you is far from ideal. 

The Target Of Office Jokes

Height shaming is something that can run wild in the workplace. If you sit near colleagues who go through their days mocking people for cheap thrills, then height will probably enter the equation. If you view this as a negative, then this is, even though lighthearted jokes, a waste of time and energy.

There is no need to get caught up in it because once you do some negative things can happen, such as being labeled as the guy with a Napoleon complex, and this will potentially create a tense working environment. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in the workplace to ensure this does not happen.

How To Deal With This:

  • Stay away from office gossip (waste of time and energy)
  • Laugh the jokes off, but do not engage 
  • Understand your employer's expectations and work hard, but make sure you are not taking for granted
  • Be accepting of people, and do not take what they say to heart (easier said than done)
  • Be self-driven to become an undeniable expert in your field. Once you achieve this it will far outweigh your height 

If you feel you are the target of unnecessary jokes and cannot seem to let them slide from your mind, then there are options for you. How to get over being short is all about having the strength to take action to rise above what does not suit you, and finding what does.

Find a healthy working environment alongside something you enjoy and stick with it. Creating your own business is another way of shaping your own path. Alike most solutions on this list, you just need to work that little bit harder to get there. 

Pay Gap Between Tall And Short People

The Journal of Applied Psychology conducted a study with findings suggesting regardless of gender, statistically speaking, the taller you are the more money you make. The findings showed that if you're 6 feet tall you will earn in excess of 160k more than someone who is 5'5, through a 30 year career. (1)

However, there are many factors that could influence these findings. For example, height may influence self-confidence, as taller people will be looking down on others, with people looking up to them showing greater respect. This may also influence job promotion, with height being seen as a factor of power in the working world.

Of course, some short people are hugely successful in their jobs, standing at the top level of authority. They have not let their height hold them back, and you too have this choice. Regardless, on average, there is a correlation between height and success in the workplace. 

Friends Mock You For Being Short

It might be that they are just doing it to get a response out of you, or to be the "funny guy". It could also be due to their deep, inner fears of themselves being exposed as the victim of jokes within your group. 

friends making fun of height

Some people enjoy getting a rise out of others, and quite frankly they will not stop. I have walked away from people like this, and trust me, life is greener on the other side. 

How To Deal With This:

  • Take a step back from those who are affecting you. 
  • Think of some comeback lines to join in with the banter (use wisely)
  • Due to the comments you might receive, you can be proud of your stature and you can turn it around to think you are quite popular because of it. People are comfortable around you and might open up to you more. 

Perception Of Height

On average we tend to overinflate our height by around 1-2 inches. All of my friends do it. Why don't you put it to the test and ask someone their height, then measure them to see what their real height is. A real 5'8" man, for example, is not short, and if he wears thicker footwear can look a solid average height. The same applies to a legit 5'10" man, who will regularly be perceived as tall. 

However, the simple fact is that many 5'8" guys say they're 5'10", and many 5'10" guys say they're 6 feet, and so on. This skews perceptions of height as the numbers become non-representative of the height itself. Therefore, the gold standard of 6 feet becomes a number rather than something that is perceived in reality. 

Out And About

Height is difficult to judge. Maybe you walk down the street constantly comparing the height of yourself to others, or when you see someone who you think is taller than you, you try to get a little closer to see if this is the case. Or, you see people from afar and think they are shorter than you, but as they walk by they are taller than you, and vice versa.


Maybe you have friends so close in height to yourself that you try thicker footwear so you can be at eye level or a little taller than they are.

How to get over being short is not easy as height is something that can play on our minds all day if we let it overcome us. Height is difficult to judge, which plays a pivotal role in this, leaving it as a continuous guessing game playing on our minds. 

Eye Level

Did you know that the distance between your eye level (middle point of eyes) to the top of your head will be around 4.5 inches if you are a man, and for a woman closer to 4.25 inches. This is almost half an inch difference average between a male and female.


Therefore, if you are a 5'5" man with an average eye level looking into the eyes of a 5'5" female, she will appear taller than you, but in reality, you will be the same height.

This will appear even greater if you have a higher eye level (5 inches) and she has a lower eye level (under 4 inches), which means that you could appear over an inch shorter when looking into her eyes!


Another thing to note is that if you stand in a full-length mirror, take a step back and look at yourself, you will probably feel like there is a taller version of you staring back (try it out).


When we see people from a distance, we misjudge their heights, and it is easy to deflate our height based on the trickery of the eyes. 

Height Blindness

It is also common for us to only see what we want to see (height blindness), so you may only be paying attention to only those who are taller than you, or maybe women are constantly on your mind and you see only those who are of a similar height or taller.

taller in the mirror

How To Look Taller

The quick fix is to buy a pair of elevator shoes which will give you a good boost in height. Modern styles are discreet and look like regular shoes. They come in the form of Dress Shoes, Sneakers, Loafers, Boots, and Sandals for the warmer months. Therefore it's possible to keep your height boosted all year round with nobody noticing a thing.

There are also styles of regular footwear giving 2 inches of height gain, which is significant. However, maybe you feel that this is just masking the problem and you would like to completely eradicate it without resulting in height increasing footwear.

There are a range of tips for short guys, and if you are currently unaware of ways to look taller then you are in for a treat. Simple tricks such as changing the style of clothes you wear, hairstyles, the way you carry yourself, and so on can make a difference. All of these things require a level of effort, and in turn, you will develop the confidence that comes with putting in energy, hard work, and seeing positive results. 

Use It To Your Advantage

The average person will let time take its toll, accepting their short height as negative and allowing the world to use it against them. But this doesn't have to be the case for you.


Working on your insecurities takes time and perseverance, but eventually, you will be standing well above the average as a strong character, which is an admirable, immediately commanding respect. 

To have an obvious "shortcoming" and to own it by accepting and embracing it can play in your favor, as you will be seen as someone who does not let things get the better of them.


Everyone has insecurities, so to see someone comfortable enough to own them shows the strength of your character, which can be charming and highly attractive, drawing people towards you, making you even more attractive!

Think about it, if you were not shorter in stature then you probably would not have the base to work from which will completely change you as a person.

Your mindset is one of the most powerful gifts you have to change your world. 


Anyone who tries to convince you that being short doesn't matter has not lived through it. Being short is a handicap in some situations, but the minute you start working around it you will see that it is not the be-all and end-all. 

It can be the beginning of the best version of you, who will stand head and shoulders above the average, seeing no limits and attracting what you want in life, and the best thing about it is that after all is said and done you will have your height to thank for this! 

Additional Height Info

What Height is Considered Short?

Combining all ages, the average American man stands at around 5'9" (175.3 cm), and the average woman 5'4" (162.6 cm). Short for a man starts under 2 inches below average, so below 5'7" (170.2cm), and for women, below 5'3 (160 cm). However, these heights are the beginning of short, and could be described as "shortish" - not a defining stand-out characteristic. 

Stand-out short starts 4 inches below average, at 5'5" for men, and 5'1" for women. Again though, this is nothing too out of the ordinary, but it is something that is noticeable, and if someone were to describe you, they would most likely mention "they are not very tall", etc.

What is The Reason For Being Short In height?

Height is mainly determined by genetics (roughly 80%). If one or both parents are short, then it is probable that you will be on the shorter side too.

Various diseases may also contribute to unusually short stature, for example, Endocrine diseases, such as growth hormone deficiency (GHD) can affect hormone production and stunt growth.

Further, bone, skeletal and other issues can influence overall health and therefore have a negative impact on your growth, and environmental factors can also be a factor, with a healthy diet also playing a role in growth. 

Can You Increase Height?


Yes, you can, but not significantly. Once you hit adult form and your growth plates fuse, there is little one can do to naturally increase your height by a significant amount. However, taking glucosamine supplements daily has been shown to increase height by 2-4 mm's over the period of a month (2) - (it works, I tried it). Combine this with an early morning stretching and exercise routine, and it is possible to gain up to half an inch of height. 

Leg Lengthening Surgery

For inches of height gain, there is a process called limb lengthening, which distracts a space between the femur bones (upper leg-lengthening) or tibia and fibula bones (lower leg-lengthening) slowly over a period of months, where new callus (bone) will form a connecting bridge and solidify, thus making you taller. 

However, for safety purposes this requires months of physical preparation, a top-level doctor to perform the surgery, and time for the new bone to form and solidify, and is something you will have to thoroughly research before committing to.


1: AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: Standing tall pays off, study

2: European Journal of Chiropractic: Effects of glucosamin sulphate on spinal height: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot study

error: Content is protected !!