Napoleon Complex or Small Person Syndrome.

Published: 06th May 2010
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Also called Short Man syndrome, Little Man syndrome or Small Man syndrome. What was originally called the Napoleon complex is a term used in referring to people who are short in stature with a complex regarding that stature. It also refers to people who are very competitive due to height constraints.

One Dictionary describes it thus: An angry male of below the average height who feels it necessary to act out in an attempt to gain respect and recognition from others to compensate for his abnormally short stature.

The aggressive behavior sometimes displayed is possibly a reaction to repeated discrimination about his height in the school, workplace or rejection by women because of his height. If the same behavior was adopted by a tall guy, no one would notice. His height can develop into an inferiority complex. The short person always assumes rightly or wrongly, that he is being pushed about by taller men, pushed to the point of explosive aggression toward his antagonist, this reaction can amuse the tall aggressor who keeps up his taunts believing the short person incapable of retaliation.

Scientific studies do indicate the short man syndrome does mentally affect the small person, his relationships with his peers and with women. It also shows that the small man to be much more jealous than taller men.

On the work scene, small men on average earn less than his taller peers, also hold fewer chances of promotion than taller people. The largest percentage of management positions are held by tall people, these can all add to increase his feelings of low worth.

Whatever the reason for the small person's aggression, it is a real problem in society and causes a lot of stress to that person, so is there anything that can be done about it? Is it possible to increase height? The answer to this question is one many thousands of short people would dearly love to know. We usually stop growing at a certain age, 18 for females and 20 for males. So can it really be possible to increase your height after these ages? With certain exercises, diet and other factors that affect body growth, it is claimed that one can measurably increase your height even after passing these ages. It has been claimed that the average person has the potential to increase his height by up to a staggering 4 inches.

There are ways to make you appear taller: such as in the clothes you wear:

1. Wear shirts and trousers with vertical stripes, no checked patterns. Horizontal lines or checked patterns have the opposite effect and can make you look short.

2. Wear one color where possible, both shirt and trousers of the same color will add to the illusion that you are taller, also, dark colors will make you look slimmer, hence taller.

3. Make sure that your clothes fit correctly; loose, badly fitting garments will reduce your perceived height.

4. Wear only thin belts.

5. Keep your hair short.

6. Watch your weight: being fat will definitely make you look shorter.

7. Maintain good posture: sit straight and stand tall, no slouching as it accentuates your shortness.

8. Shoes can be used to give you a little more height without going overboard.

Mervyn Penny is a retired Australian living in the southern Philippines. He produces a website called which is dedicated to health issues effecting the elderly and those approaching old age. He publishes the website under the "nom de plume" Mervyn Ballinger.

To reach the HealthyOldCodger site, click on the following link.

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