Short and Ashamed

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q from United Arab Emirates: I feel shame whenever i meet my friends because they all are taller than me im 19 years old and my height is 5.4 only and my all other friends are 5.8 , 5.10 or 6 feet im the shortest one in my friends even my cousin is taller than me please suggest me some thing i really need your help and your suggestion.thank you

A: At your age, people haven’t accomplished all that much so they focus on superficial things like height to feel important. But a person can’t really take much credit for being tall. That’s about genes, not about effort. As an adult, people will be looking at what what kind of person you are and what you contribute to the world.

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Einstein, all short people, changed the world. Actors like Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and Tom Cruise entertain it. The music of song writers like Paul Simon, Prince, and Billy Joel and composers like Stravinsky and Beethovan enrich it. Go to for a list of short people who have had a major influence on the lives of others.

You don’t have control over your physical growth but you do have control over your accomplishments. Develop your talents so you become “big” in ways that are really important and your height will eventually cease to matter.

It’s not the size of the body but the size of the character and personality that ultimately counts.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Aug 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Short and Ashamed. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 29, 2015, from

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