Hey Short Guys: How To Become Taller

An occasional trip over to the Short subreddit, or some other sites related to being height-challenged, almost always leads me to read  the occasional “poor me” woes of short guys. They have been beaten down and some have turned bitter. Frankly, I get their bitterness. But, if you have time to spend hours complaining on reddit, you have time to learn how to overcome the weakness of being short, which is a weakness in the dating market (whether you like it or not). So yeah, that is the bad news, but bear with me. Keep reading. I don’t think being short is really the weakness people say.

Tom Cruise is short (and crazy), but he get's ladies' attention

Tom Cruise is short (and crazy), but he get’s ladies’ attention (source: MTV Live)

Okay, this article is not going to tell you how to become physically taller. That is left to the fine and totally legitimate websites that promote leg-bone breaking, hypnosis (the great hypnotist Milton Erickson supposedly hypnotized a guy into growing taller, as told in the excellent book Ericksonian Approaches), stretching, and other questionable tactics. I misled a little in the title on purpose. I am going to tell you how to be perceived as more dominant, confident, and powerful by women, which, may I add, leads people of both sexes to estimate you as taller than you are when they remember you. These are also traits that women find attractive in all men, regardless of height.

When I was in high school I was always worried about my height. These days, I am 5’7″ on a normal workday, but closer to 5’8.5″ in my favorite badass black boots.  So yeah, I’m considered “short.” Back then, I was obsessed with my height, always comparing myself to other guys and women in that department. When I would see a shorter guy with a decent woman, I would take heart that I had hope.  I became an expert at determining how my height compared to those around me. And you know what this did? It immediately made me unattractive. I guarantee my insecurity showed to the women around me, given that they can read body language better than us dudes. I was in a negative feedback loop…my shortness led to insecurity which then made me doubly unattractive.

Women, when polled, like taller guys. Sometimes they advertise it to you. That is the bad news for short guys. However, when polled, people say all kinds of dumb things that don’t match up to what they actually do. Plenty of hot women date short guys. Besides, when polled, women list confidence as the most attractive trait in a guy. Yep, confidence. Humor and intelligence are high on the list too. When guys are polled about women, it’s mostly physical stuff that matters to us, like her face and body. Women tend to prefer guys with personality. In other words, looks don’t matter nearly as much to a woman as they do to you. So while she may prefer tall guys, she may overlook it if you have other traits that she desires. Guys do it too. We may overlook smaller boobs (if you prefer them large) if the body is nice, for instance.

In the animal kingdom, taller and bigger signals confidence and dominance. So among apes, cats, etc, size is probably a good indicator of testosterone level. Hence, women prefer taller guys because it seems to be a “tell” that these guys are higher in testosterone, and therefore will produce strong offspring.  This is why I believe, by default, women like tall guys. It is like a quick, unconscious analysis of a guy’s evolutionary value.

This is also why I believe height in a guy is an initial advantage, all other things equal, which means that if a woman is looking at two guys from afar, or during an initial approach, she will prefer the tall one to the short one. However, height is not necessarily what she is after. It is testosterone (signaled primarily by confidence, the number one desired trait of women in a man) she seeks. And, with the right moves, and a chance to interact, a shorter guy can prove he has the “T” necessary to compete. He just has to work a tad harder because her “quick take” is that short=low T.

You may think resting your social future on testosterone is crazy, but studies show successful people of both sexes have more testosterone in their systems. Women find men with more testosterone more attractive. And, studies show that confident body language (which women love) actually increases testosterone. A recent study showed women prefer dominant men to attractive men, which means that being confident (filled with Testosterone) can even trump being a tall all-American boy.

What does all of this mean? It means that increasing your testosterone is what it takes to be perceived as more attractive. The bad news is you can’t likely grow taller, but you can increase your testosterone levels naturally (no illegal drugs!).

Before I say more, remember that testosterone is not about some goatee wearing idiot in the gym with his hat backwards doing a hundred bicep curls while listening to Limp Bizkit songs. I knew a guy in high school like that. I think his arm was one big bicep; I think they absorbed his triceps, which he never worked. He rarely got women. Other guys kind of admired his ability to never leave the dungeon of a weight room our school had at the time, but women didn’t care much for him. Actually, far from the stereotype that higher T leads to incessant rage and the need to fight outside bars named after Jim or Bob, higher testosterone dudes are actually calmer and friendlier (yep, just read The Men’s Health and Women’s Health Big Book of Sex). In other words, the powerful, but calm and collected CEO of a local business is more likely to be pumped full of testosterone than the grunting guy in the gym who is just a grunt (pun-intended) down at the same local business.

A heartthrob at 5'2"...yeah Mickey Rooney back in the day

A heartthrob at 5’2″…yeah Mickey Rooney back in the day

So, how do you increase your testosterone? The first thing you need to do is exercise, with some aerobic intensity, on a regular basis. Add in some weight resistance, and you will get even more T. If you are fat, lose weight. Bigger waistlines=lower testosterone. Some supplements like Fenugreek may increase testosterone, but there is debate about that. I wouldn’t pin it all on an herb, although since it is cheap, I do take it.

Probably the best way to raise your T is to start acting confident. Even if you aren’t, act the part. Simply holding confident poses for a few minutes a day has been shown to increase testosterone. One pose that was studied is to stand over a desk or table and lean over it, spreading your arms out wide, claiming the space, just like any alpha animal would do. Do this for a few minutes a day for a testosterone boost. See, you just became an alpha male!

When you walk, walk with your head up and chest out. Develop swagger. Look people in the eye. State your opinion. Don’t agree with people all the time. Stop head-nodding to everything someone says. Get my point? All of this may seem awkward at first, but soon you’ll find, thanks to a cool positive feedback loop, that after you fake it for a while, it will eventually become natural, and one day you’ll just be confident, loaded with more testosterone.

So, this requires some work. Get in shape? Check. Lose weight? Check. Start acting confident? Check. Stop feeling sorry for yourself? Absolutely check. Maybe get off reddit for a while and meet people? Check.

Recently, nobody seems to care about my height. Nobody. Women tell me how hot, cute, etc, I am all the time. Many times they are ten years younger and sometimes taller than me. If they give me a hard time about my height, I turn it into a chance to flirt and tease them back. My “I-know-I’m-confident-and-I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-you-think-but-I’ll-gladly-flirt-with-you” attitude turns my height into a positive…something to flirt about.  And you know what? Because most short dudes are whiny, when I prove how confident I am, it wins me even more points. They are expecting to roll over me, make me cringe or cry, or perhaps score a few self-esteem points for themselves at my expense, and when I respond in a confident and charming way, I become even more attractive, because I am miles away from what they thought I would be. Got it?

Will there be girls that won’t find you attractive because of your height? Sure. There are girls that don’t find guys attractive for a variety of reasons. But with some basic tips you can radically up your value and level the field a lot.

So, men of short stature, quit whining and start winning. Buy our book Size Doesn’t Matter for specific dating advice for short guys. You won’t find another book like this guys. Also, our general flagship book, Be Popular Now, will help you to get started. I wrote another article related to obesity and testosterone that is worth reading if you want to start raising your testosterone. Also, this article was expanded to some degree in another article I wrote about women loving men with power.

There are two types of short guys in the world, those that are short and whine about it and end up lonely, and those that learn how to be confident and get more dates than most tall guys.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is author of seven self-help books, and an in-demand speaker and consultant. Over a million readers per year read his online content, and his writings have been referenced in many publications and news outlets, including Girls Life, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and BBC. He also writes for The Popular Teen, and other sites. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. […] interested, we wrote a general article about short men and popularity too, as well as one about how to become taller (in a […]

  2. […] or “the ability to provide and protect.” I (kind of) made this connection to power in a past article directed to shorter guys when I mentioned women probably are really looking for testosterone […]

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