How to deal with a man who has short man syndrome

What Is Short Man Syndrome

Short man syndrome is a mindset where guys feel they’re shorter than average and will feel inadequate because of his height.

It doesn’t matter whether he’s your husband, your boss or your friend – a guy with short man syndrome will exhibit some characteristics. I know because I am a short man. These characteristics are likely from feeling insecure about his height at a younger age.  Maybe he was bullied for his height? This insecurity then feeds through to adulthood.

Check out this article if you are a short man and want to stop feeling so inadequate because of your height.

In the below article, I explain how to deal with a man with short man syndrome.

As a woman with a partner who has short man syndrome

A guy will generally want to feel like the more physically dominant person in a relationship. It’s only natural. When he doesn’t feel like this – maybe because his wife or girlfriend is taller than him, then it makes him insecure about his position in the relationship.

He’s no longer the ‘hunter-gather’ and protector. He no longer feels like the alpha male in the household, and is just a male. As a result of feeling emasculated, he may become increasingly moody or become short-tempered.

Here are some ways to help him feeling like the main man again:

1 – Compliment his other attributes

He might be handsome, muscular, intelligent or funny. Comment on those attributes regularly. Let him know that you admire him for more than his height. He will feel a surge of confidence that will make him forget his height when he’s around you.

2 – Don’t comment on his height or make fun of it

That’s a big no. By drawing attention to his height, you are highlighting that his height is at the forefront of your mind when you see him. Or at least that’s what he will think. Avoid innocent jokes about his height too. If anything, let him joke about his own height.

3 – Sex, love and affection

Similar to #1 above, if you can show that you still desire him despite his height – he will feel like a new man.

4 – Talk him up in front of your friends

A man loves it when you compliment him or talk him up in front of your friends. Even simple things like “John fixed the tap the other day which was a life saver” or “I’m lucky that Sid is great with kids”. When your partner knows that you value and respect him, it takes away from him feeling inadequate about his height.

5 – Clothing

Maybe your partner doesn’t help himself by wearing baggy or loose fitting clothing. In order to look taller, it really helps to wear fitted clothing. Select clothes for him that lengthens his silhouette. See this post here for style tips for shorter men, including examples.

6 – Physical activity

Does your partner walk around with a slouch, a pot belly? Does he have bad skin or bags under his eyes. A lot of this can be remedied with daily exercise.

Whether its running or gym work – the rush of endorphins you get from physical activity will do wonders for his mood. Get your partner to take up regular exercise and he’ll start to feel better about himself, less mood swings and have more zest for life. Being short will matter less to him.

Overall, being in a relationship with a shorter man will mean he will go through phases of feeling physically inadequate. This is where you need to highlight to him regularly how he is amazing in other areas. At the same time, help him become the best version he can be by improving his dress and physical appearance.

As an employee with a boss who has short man syndrome

Do you have a boss that is shorter than average and tries to stamp his authority on everyone? Does he always try to make himself heard, or come up with ridiculous suggestions or criticism just to feel like the main man? If so, he definitely suffers with short man syndrome.

Here’s how to deal with him at work:

1 – Humour him

Listen to his rants and entertain his ideas. Don’t go to war with him, but be diplomatic and genuinely interested in his opinion.

2 – Instead of challenging him, offer alternative solutions

He might throw out some ideas or instructions which you might not agree with. Instead of expressing your disgust at how crazy it is, kindly offer other solutions that you think would be better. He will want to feel like you’re not dismissing him completely.

3 – Cater to his ego

A boss who his generally shorter will feel like they need to shout loudest to be heard and seen. If you can cater to his ego in a group setting, that will do wonders for him and he will warm to you. For example, in team meetings comment on how your boss helped you with something that led to another result. Or in work social events, make him centre of the group conversation and comment to the group how your boss did something really cool.

He will already be feeling insecure because of his height and will want to overcompensate in his management position by being demanding and loud. All of the above things will help to disarm your boss, and make his easier to deal with.

As a friend of someone who has short man syndrome

If you have a guy friend that is rubbing people (including you) up the wrong way, then as a friend – you can be direct with him. After all, that’s your job as his friend right?

You can sit him down and explain that he needs to change his attitude because he is alienating people due to his short man syndrome.

He might hate you for a while, but it will dawn on him. But this is where you need to help him change his attitude and stop sub-consciously thinking about his height. There are several things you can suggest/help him with:

  • His posture
  • Dress and hair cut
  • Physique
  • Money and business
  • Mindset and attitude on life


In fact, one of the best things that I did as a short person suffering from short man syndrome was learning new skills and starting an online business. I did this from scratch, and you can do the same. Going down the entrepreneurial path bought a new focus to my life and I learnt digital skills that I use today in multiple online businesses. Having extra income makes you feel more confident and brings a feeling of security.

Without improving my self, health and finances – I would still be suffering from short man syndrome today!

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