These two syndromes can be known by a few names. Short man syndrome can also be known as small man syndrome or Napoleon complex, and tall man syndrome can be known as the big man syndrome. While these syndromes are just theories there is a lot of research that has been done for both, and they can cause mental health issues for some men.
Short Man Syndrome
Short man syndrome is a condition where men feel insecure and inadequate due to their small stature. For some men, their small height affects their confidence making them exceedingly aggressive or ambitious to compensate. Other ways that men compensate for their supposed small height include engaging in risky behaviors, buying flashy things, showing off, and domineering those people around them.
Research on this theorized condition has shown that men with this syndrome are more likely to be the jealous type and also suffer from low self-esteem and depression, which affects their mental health stability. They may also feel paranoid and distrustful as they believe that because of their small stature people are staring at them continuously and talking about them behind their backs.
Studies have shown that men who struggle with manliness, whether it be from height or other physical insecurities, are three times more likely to commit a violent assault with a weapon. Due to studies conducted worldwide, it is believed that genetically short men have an annual income of $1,600 less than men that are three inches or more taller. This may be due to their lack of confidence in themselves.
While history has shown that numerous men of small stature have achieved greatness and success, it is widely believed that they often did so due to a paranoid complex making them compensate for their perceived disadvantage.
Many smaller built men believe that taller men have an advantage in life and therefore feel that taller men have a better life compared to them.
Some of the beliefs are:
- They attract more women
- Deemed more successful
- More likely to marry and have children
- Tallness is seen as good genetics (from ladies)
- Better chances of impressing potential employers in an interview
- Taller people earn more money (80 % of senior executives being taller than 6 foot).
Tall Man Syndrome
There are two different theories about tall man syndrome. Some people believe this condition is when you down-play who you are by hiding your natural talents in fear of making people feel uncomfortable or unworthy. It is thought that being very good at something isn’t always necessarily a good thing as it can make others feel bad or hopeless.
Another theory about tall man syndrome is that success, fortune, and good looks can make you vain, selfish and feel a sense of the need to have power over the people around them. This can start from a very young age from small things like being taller than the other kids and taking what you want, even when other people are using it.
Narcissistic tendencies later in life can affect everybody around you. Misuse of power can ultimately be destructive. Relationships can crumble when partners are self-absorbed and believe that the relationship is all about them. This can lead to depressive states on both sides but especially for the person whose issues underpinned the problems.
Some may come to the realization that power isn’t everything, and are able to modify their behaviors, resulting in better-balanced and more fulfilling relationships.
Other, more egotistic people may move on without worries and be likely to do the same thing to the next person close to them, never learning their lesson, leading to a vicious never-ending cycle.