Are Shorter Men More Angry Than Others?

You must have heard people using the phrase, ‘angry young man!’ And I am sure you haven’t heard anyone saying, ‘angry short man’.

But, there are some studies that have actually suggested that ‘angry short man’ might be an appropriate term to use as the likelihood of getting angry repeatedly is higher in shorter men as compared to that in taller men.

We often associate anger as an emotion that expresses irritability, frustration, or insecurity over things we feel helpless about.

So, what these emotions have got to do with the height of a person?

Is it possible that people who get angry more often or in a more aggressive manner do so because of their shorter height? If yes, how does height influence these emotions?

If you are eager to find the answers to these questions, keep reading.

We will have a look at whether shorter men are really more angry than others. We will also discuss the reasons behind these behaviors of shorter men and how their height, to be more precise, how being shorter, puts them on the wrong side of emotions making them angrier than their taller counterparts.

Let’s start with understanding the basics of this not-so-healthy emotion: anger.

What exactly happens when a person is angry?

Anger is a very common emotion that all of us experience from time to time. However, there are some people who tend to get angry more often than others.

And there are some who get angry even over trivial issues. Sometimes, these people may be more aggressive than others too. Anger may also be triggered due to the slightest hint of stress or opposition.

So, what do we understand by the term ‘anger’? Why do these people get angry? What exactly triggers anger?

Well… To answer this in simple words, we can say that anger could be one of the coping mechanisms people use against the situation they feel is adverse or stressful to them. It could also be an expression of helplessness and frustration.

This means anger may occur when they feel the situation is beyond their control and they are unable to manage it in a calm and controlled manner.

Anger usually erupts when a person realizes that simple ways like talking, giving advice, or having a discussion would not be enough to tackle the issue.

Some people also use anger as a strategy to control others.

So, if anger is just an emotion or a reaction to a situation, why is it so that it affects short men more commonly than taller men. Why do shorter men get angry more often than tall men?

Let’s find the answers to these questions. We will also try to understand more about this emotion as we move ahead and learn how it is linked to the height of a person.

What have research studies revealed about the tendency for shorter men to get angry?

Before we can find answers to why shorter men get angry more often, we first need to find whether shorter men are actually angrier.

There is evidence supporting this belief that anger is an issue found more commonly in people who have a shorter height.

One research study conducted by the researchers at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has helped confirm that shorter men do get angrier more frequently than taller men. [1]

Researchers have found that people who are shorter in height, especially men, tend to experience anger and rage more commonly than taller men. Shorter men are also likely to display the symptoms of aggression and violent behavior.

These findings are based on the analysis of the behaviors of a group of men with varying heights.

During this study, 600 men between the ages of 18 and 50 years were quizzed about their perception of the male gender. They were also asked to answer questions related to behaviors and self-image in relation to violence, drug-taking, and crime.

The answers to these questions were analyzed and grouped based on the height of each participant.

It was found that shorter men in this group responded to the questions more aggressively, especially when they were made to compete with taller men.

It was also found that men with shorter stature might have faced aggression and bullying in the past, which could have led them to adopt their behaviors or use anger or aggression as a defensive strategy.

It was believed that this strategy was an attempt to mask the feeling of inferiority complex brought about by their shorter height.

The results of this study have suggested that anger is indeed more common in shorter people.

And the reason for this tendency to get angry could be related to their lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. Shorter men are likely to show anger and behave in an aggressive manner as a way to exert influence on others.

It is hypothesized that these kinds of behaviors are adopted to them to be able to make up for their lack of or reduced influence and control over others due to their shorter height.

It is known that taller men have a natural advantage over shorter men as people are more likely to be in awe of them. People also tend to get influenced by a tall person more easily while they may not take a shorter person very seriously. This tendency creates difficulties for shorter men to make people listen to their orders, suggestions, or opinions.

This is why; they exhibit anger to assert their position so that they are taken more seriously and their suggestions or commands are followed by others.  

This study has provided a solid base for us to know that anger issues are more common in shorter people. This research has also given insights into the possible causes of this form of behavior.

However, further research was needed to confirm the findings of this study and dig deeper into the emotional upheaval that shorter men experience to ascertain the reasons for getting angry.

Let us have a look at another study that has thrown light on the possible causes of anger and aggressiveness in shorter people.

What are the possible reasons for anger in shorter people?

A team of researchers at Oxford University has assessed the impact of Short Man Syndrome on the emotions and behaviors of people and claimed that it is possible for shorter men to feel angry more frequently than taller men due to their higher vulnerability to stress and competitive situations at the workplace or in personal life. [2]

This study has reported that reducing the height of a person might increase his or her feeling of vulnerability due to which there could be a rise in the level of paranoia resulting in anger and aggressive behaviors.

Paranoia is also the clinical term that is often linked to the increased chances of anger issues and violent behaviors in shorter men due to Napoleon Complex. [3]

Let’s see some other findings that relate to this study linking the height of a person to his or her emotions, particularly anger.

It has been observed that being shorter in height makes people feel smaller than others. While discussing any issues with a person of more height, a short person may feel at a disadvantage.

Taller people can easily dominate others and assert their opinions and even intimidate others, often without even trying. Shorter people, on the other hand, have to struggle to be noticed. This makes short people feel paranoid and mistrustful. They are also likely to think that other people are staring at them or talking about them.

This is one of the reasons that can make shorter people get angry more frequently. It could be due to their helplessness or frustration at not being listened to or a way to gain other’s attention so that their opinions are heard. [4]

Additionally, being shorter may also lead to a feeling of being unlikeable and a fear of being denied their rightful position at the workplace.

These feelings can affect the behaviors of a person to a great extent.

You must have observed that taller people leave a favorable impression on our minds. It is also easier for taller people to make the first good impression. Being taller makes their overall personality more appealing. So, they do not have to try too hard to put across their point.

Moreover, the ease with which they can convince people or impress them instills a sense of confidence in taller people. So, they are able to give presentations, hold conferences, and discuss vital issues in meetings with a higher chance of success.

Sadly, the opposite is true for shorter people!

They are more likely to make a not-so-good impression in the first meeting with any person, whether in the personal life or at the workplace. They also have to struggle and work much harder to prove their expertise. They have to continuously show that they are skilled and are able to meet the responsibilities and challenges at the workplace.

This puts more stress on their mind and strain on their physical health.

These adverse situations can create a build-up of negative emotions in the minds of shorter people which is why they are likely to get angry, sometimes even at small issues.

They find it unfair that in spite of being talented, dedicated, and skilled at their tasks, they have to work harder to prove themselves while taller people get away without having as much talent and putting in an equal amount of hard work.

This also creates a sense of helplessness and unfair treatment being meted out to them for no valid reasons making them feel angrier.

All of these emotions including the loss of self-esteem, reduced self-confidence, paranoia, and insecurity can pile up and lead to what is called a short-man syndrome.

Let’s check what a short-men syndrome means and how it is linked to anger issues.

What is a short-man syndrome?

Scientists have confirmed that smaller men are more likely to act aggressively. These claims were made by the researchers at the Vrije University in the Netherlands who used money sharing conundrum called the Dictator Game to assess the behaviors of participants.

Here are the details of this study…  

The money sharing conundrum, popularly dubbed the Dictator Game, included in this study was aimed at testing how fairly the participants treated others. 

The game typically consists of 2 individuals, one of whom is given a sum of money out of which a small portion needs to be offered to a rival.

The researchers found that shorter men responded to this game in a more aggressive or competitive manner as long as there were no unfavorable repercussions.

Scientists have revealed that this form of behavior confirmed that the phenomenon called a short-man syndrome, sometimes called the Napoleon Complex, does exist and is real.

So, what exactly happened in this study was a group of 42 participants was split into pairs. Each of them was allowed to meet his opponent. Then, the participants were given some time to assess their opponents, before they were led to separate rooms.

Then, each of them was given a small sum of money, in the form of 18 tokens worth ten cents (7.36 pence) each.

They were asked to decide how much of the sum they would like to keep for themselves, and how much they would leave for their adversary.

This study has revealed that, on average, the shortest men who were around 5 feet, 7 inches (1.7 meters) in height, kept fourteen chips for themselves. The tallest men with a height of about 6 feet 6 inches (2 meters) kept only nine chips for themselves. [5]

But, when the researchers introduced the threat of repercussions, shorter men did not display much aggression to their rivals.

The researchers concluded that it was probably smart of short men to act in this manner because they usually have less opportunities to get resources. This study has affirmed the conception that the reason for anger in shorter men is due to them being put at the unfavorable and unfair end of the bargain.

Are insecurities at the root of anger in shorter people?

So far, we learned that the negative emotions of shorter people could be attributed to their sense of inferiority complex, reduced self-confidence, and a feeling of being treated in an unfair manner.

So, we can say that shorter men might have their own reasons to be fed up with their lot and get angry and aggressive.

Several surveys have supported these theories suggesting that shorter men usually have to work harder to meet the challenges and expectations. Studies have also shown that taller people are wealthier and more successful at work. They are also likely to be healthier and enjoy better love life than their shorter counterparts.

For example; one study conducted by a psychologist, Timothy Judge, has revealed that tall people earn a proportionately higher income than shorter people. He calculated that for every inch added to the height of a person, nearly $789 (£505) of income is added to his or her annual salary each year.

This means, on average, a person who is feet (1.8 m) tall can earn around $5,525 (£3,535) more than a person who is 5 feet 5 inches (1.67 meters) tall.

Also, when the author of a study, Malcolm Gladwell, polled the managements of the top companies in the US, he found that 58% of the chief executives they had appointed were at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, indicating the preferences of the management to hire taller people and entrust them with the position of higher authority and responsibility in their organizations. [6]

This reveals another reason why shorter people are more likely to be angry.

It is likely that the higher positions were given to the taller people not based on just their talent or experience but due to their overall personality.

If that is the case, then the shorter men in the same organization would have obviously felt that they were denied the opportunities they deserved.

This form of discrimination can create a sense of insecurity in the minds of short people. They might also feel the need to assert themselves and prove their talent more aggressively. These emotions are likely to trigger irritability and frustration explaining why shorter people tend to get angry more often.

Anger issues in shorter people from the perspective of interpersonal relations

It is not just the workplace or career where shorter people experience a form of mistreatment or discrimination.

They may experience similar challenges even in their personal life.

For example; they might find it unfair when a friend who is taller is able to impress the person of the opposite gender with better ease.

It is known that women usually like taller men while men do not prefer to date a shorter girl. So, shorter girls and boys obviously feel at a disadvantage due to their height with regard to their personal life.

This could be one of the reasons why shorter men and women feel angrier than their taller counterparts.

The perception created by their shorter height seeps into their personal relations putting them at an unfair disadvantage and causing them to feel frustrated and helpless leading to anger and aggressiveness.

Even sibling rivalry often seems to favor the brother or a sister who is taller.

It is too uncommon for brothers or sisters to have a huge difference in their heights. However, when that happens, it is the taller sibling who usually gets to have an upper hand.

The taller brother or sister may also get more attention from family members and is likely to be the favorite of all.

The shorter sibling might feel neglected in such cases creating anger issues.

So, the shorter sibling may try to gain the attention of parents and other family members by behaving in an aggressive manner. However, most often, this attitude can backfire making them being loved even less than earlier.

Parents may favor the taller sibling further and praise him or her for his restrained and controlled behavior while the shorter sibling would get reprimanded for showing anger and aggressiveness.

These consequences might worsen the situation for the shorter sibling due to which he may harbor a feeling of being discriminated against from childhood.

These feelings and negative emotions may later cause them to adopt unhealthy strategies like getting angry or aggressive with friends or at the workplace to assert their position, enable survival, or fight for their righteous claims.


Several studies have revealed that shorter men tend to get angry more often than taller people. Studies have also helped us analyze the possible reasons for anger and aggressiveness in shorter people.

Now there is a need for all to understand that these anger issues could be easily avoided by changing our perspective against shorter people.

The responsibility of controlling anger lies not just with shorter people, but also with other stakeholders who might have contributed to the reasons for these emotions.

Equal opportunities need to be provided to men and women based on their talent, skills, dedication, and hard work irrespective of their height.

We also need to understand that shorter people also have a beautiful heart and a helpful nature and so, they should be respected and cared for. 

This might offer an effective way to reduce insecurities or paranoia that shorter people have and boost their self-confidence and self-esteem.

A change in our attitude towards shorter people and considering them at par with taller people when it comes to their personal and professional lives could ease the stress on them making them feel happier instead of angry.