Science

Beware: Short People Are Prone to Paranoia and Anxiety

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giant short height

Dear boys, I am sorry I am suspicious of your intentions when you approach me at the bar. I am sorry that when you compliment me on my hair, I grab the ends of my locks and scream, “Don’t take it!” in (usually mock) horror. But please understand, boys, that it really isn’t my fault. It’s apparently because I’m short.

Thanks to this Oxford University study, I now understand why I have bar hopping anxiety, because it shows short people are more likely to feel paranoid, inferior, and distrustful. CBS News reports that 60 women participated in the study, where researchers placed them in two virtually-simulated London tube rides populated by both men and women. They had one normal trip and one where their heights were lowered by 25 centimeters. Subjects were often unaware of the change and reported increasing feelings of incompetence and inferiority and started to feel mistrustful and paranoid towards other passengers — this could be anything from staring too long to having negative intentions directed at the subject.

“It provides a key insight into paranoia, showing that people’s excessive mistrust of others directly builds upon their own negative feelings about themselves,” said lead researcher Daniel Freeman. So I may be projecting. When someone tries to hit on me, anxiety comes because I can’t reach the high shelf for cereal, not because I’m not interested. So please, taller people, approach with careful consideration. Maybe you could duck, or stoop, or kneel down immediately so I feel tall and commanding. Just, you know, do it in a non-suspicious-inducing way.