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Short Man Syndrome?

Joan JerkovichJanuary 25, 2014

The manager I have to answer to at work is a short man and I often think he comes off too strong because he is a short man. Is there such a thing as “short man syndrome”?

Yes there is and this has been a fun question to research because I’ve heard of “short man syndrome”, but didn’t know that it is also called the “Napoleon Complex”. Wikipedia reports that this slang term is characterized by overly aggressive or domineering social behavior that is related to a man being shorter than average. The “short man syndrome” label would not be one I would be proud to carry, as it is not complimentary, but is it based in truth?
One research study suggested that this syndrome might be a myth. It found that, in actuality, short men were less likely to lose their temper than men of average height. Another study found evidence that men who were 5 feet 4 inches tall (or short) were 50% more likely to show signs of jealousy than men who were 6 feet 6 inches tall. The experiments showed that they were jealous because taller men attracted more women.
In one species of fish that were studied, 78% of the fish fights (not fist fights) were started by the smaller fish. Not a good idea as 70% of the little fish who delivered the first bite, lost the conflict. I guess that means they got eaten by the bigger fish. What does a fish study have to do with humans and “short man syndrome”? Don’t ask me, ask Wikipedia. Maybe what this fish story is trying to tell us is to pick on people your own size!

Joan Jerkovich, BCC Joan Jerkovich, BCC
The Joan Jerkovich Show
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