How to be Confident as a Short Guy (7 Effective Tips & Tricks)

Surgery | Written by Joshua Leaf | Updated on December 9, 2021

No matter how short a man might be, height isn’t the end-all-be-all of their existence. Though it might feel impossible to figure out how to be confident as a short guy, it’s just another factor people judge others on, like weight or wealth. With some effort, it’s possible to move past it and cultivate one’s self to become more confident.

These tips aim to help short men develop their personalities and take a step towards doing something inspiring for others. Still, they can be helpful for almost anyone looking to improve themselves. 

1. Double Down on Strengths

Adults can’t grow taller naturally – their growth plates, the cartilaginous areas at the ends of the long bones, are fused and hardened, making it impossible to become taller non-surgically.

However, the mind never stops learning. Though short men may be very talented, they can face imposter syndrome, leading them to believe they’re less capable than their peers because they feel inferior due to their height, or other reasons.

Short people should look inwards to figure out where their competency lies – perhaps they’re ambitious and driven in their career, or they’re creatives looking to get better at their hobbies. 

They might even be sportspeople – short people have an edge in many sports like gymnastics, horse racing, motorsports, baseball, and cricket. A lower center of gravity helps them balance better, and being lighter and less wind-resistant makes them go faster.[1]

Some people might be social butterflies looking to expand their social skills and create a career out of them, like public speaking or negotiating with clients in their existing career path.

None of these skills require an abundance of height, only motivation to get better. If short men read books to gain knowledge, spend their time productively, and double down on these strengths to become the best they can be, perhaps these things will be the first thing people notice about them, rather than their height.

2. Dress Well

More often than not, one’s dressing sense is an interpretation of how they see themselves. People wearing casual clothes are more likely to describe themselves in casual terms, like “laid-back”, than those wearing business formal.[2] People also tend to dress “worse” when they’re depressed.[3] 

This phenomenon means that a man with a good dressing sense exudes confidence. It implies that he sees himself as worthy of the extra care and attention that goes into looking put together, and when a man or short guy feels good wearing what he has on, he’ll come across as more confident in social interactions.

We’ve all heard the phrase “look good, feel good,” right? 

Look, we know it’s easy to say fashion or the way we dress doesn’t matter, and as individuals, it may not matter too much. However, it’s understood that others will judge us from our outer appearance, and clothes or fashion ties into that. 

Men should take the time to cultivate their style and not begrudge the extra few minutes it might take to trim their beards or comb their hair back in the mornings.

3. Work Out and Live Healthy

The Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Working out, eating right, and getting enough sleep are vital parts of people’s journeys to become the best version of themselves. 

Oddly enough, when you are focused on improving less quantifiable aspects of yourself, height seems like less of an issue. Not to mention, self improvement can lead you to be funnier, healthier, more successful, fitter and many more desirable traits.

Exercise releases endorphins, which make people feel energetic and refreshed.[4] It also helps in building a better physique, especially if one lifts weights, but it’s not necessary to lift – running, HIIIT, swimming, and even walking can keep people healthy. 

Men who have visible muscles might also feel sturdier and more attractive, and this confidence becomes apparent to others.

Along with exercise, a balanced diet high in protein is necessary for strength. Protein helps repair the muscles which receive microtears while lifting, gradually increasing size and strength.[5] Besides, a good diet with plenty of fiber, calcium, and vitamin D keeps the bones strong and the digestive system working effortlessly.

Sleep is vital to recover from not only lifting but any form of exercise. People who chronically get less than 6-8 hours of sleep makes people less alert, impairs memory, and decreases their quality of life. Sleep-deprived people are less likely to exercise and participate in daily activities.[6]

4. Practice Mindfulness

While meditation isn’t a cure-all, becoming mindful of intrusive thoughts, like height insecurity, is the first step towards coming to terms with them. 

Studies have found that meditation can help with reducing burnout, depression, and stress.[7] If short men learn to deal with distressing thoughts over their height, so they become just background noise that bears no weight on their happiness, they’ll be able to focus on improving other aspects of their personality.

Consider looking into meditation techniques like Vipassana, which is a Buddhist method that concentrates on mindful breathing and encourages individuals to see or feel all senses on one plane of consciousness. [8] Such meditation increases self-awareness and allows participants to take notice of intrusive thoughts before they become debilitating. Our thoughts are simply thoughts and they don’t have to posses the weight they’re normally given or be something that controls our attitude, feelings or life. 

We know this sounds strange and it’s not a way to ignore the thoughts, but more so how to understand them and sit with them. Try out the introductory course in the app “Waking Up” and see if it makes a difference.

5. Use Comparison as a Tool

Though comparing oneself is often dismissed as toxic, people can also utilize comparisons in a healthy way too.

If a short man looks up to an athlete, an actor, or any other person who’s taller than them, they should focus on what makes this person so great instead of just their height and strive to achieve these qualities themselves.

Our height comparison tool allows anyone to see themselves to short celebrities, but still considered highly attractive, like Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise. This comparison might prove that height doesn’t define success!

6. Don’t Label Yourself

While labels can sometimes be an excellent way to establish identity, labeling oneself as short, hopeless, timing, shy, awkward, etc., can create a negative self-bias.

People can try reframing these labels – instead of perceiving themselves as shy, they can describe themselves as introverts, which doesn’t carry a negative connotation. Rather than being awkward, people may say they need to work on their social skills and emotional intelligence, spinning this label into something motivational.

Finally, instead of labeling themselves as short, men can say they’re below average height. This phrasing implies that it’s just a fact of life like any other characteristic people face discrimination over (race, gender, baldness, etc.) and must be mitigated and navigated accordingly, without self-hatred.

7. Increase Height Temporarily or Permanently

If all else fails and someone still feels they can’t overcome their distress due to their height, they can try wearing heel inserts or heel lifts in their shoes. These can make short guys appear an inch or two taller in everyday life, which improves confidence. 

Height increasing surgery is also an option as a last resort, and this procedure can increase height by up to 6 inches. Still, it’s an expensive and time-consuming process that comes with risks, so make sure to consult a healthcare professional before deciding to embark on this journey. 

References

[1] Anonymous. (2012, November 4). Height in sports. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Height_in_sports

[2] Hannover, B., & Kühnen, U. (2002). “The Clothing Makes the Self” Via Knowledge Activation 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(12), 2513-2525. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230193017_The_Clothing_Makes_the_Self_Via_Knowledge_Activation1

[3] University of Hertfordshire. (2012, March 8). Happiness: it’s not in the jeans. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308062537.htm 

[4] Craft, L. L., & Perna, F. M. (2004). The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 6(3), 104–111. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/ 

[5] Pasiakos, S. M., McLellan, T. M., & Lieberman, H. R. (2015). The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 45(1), 111–131. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169440/ 

[6] Cleveland Clinic. (2020, June 16). Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep (And How Much You Really Need a Night). Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/happens-body-dont-get-enough-sleep/ 

[7] Elder, C., Nidich, S., Moriarty, F., & Nidich, R. (2014). Effect of transcendental meditation on employee stress, depression, and burnout: a randomized controlled study. The Permanente journal, 18(1), 19–23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951026/ 

[8] Anonymous. (2003, May 9). Vipassanā. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipassan%C4%81 

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