Height and humanity


Height and humanity. Being at the top of the social ladder, living on the top floor of a building, and being taller than person x. For some reason mankind has a strange relationship with heights. Does this relationship have an effect on our mindset? 

Let’s dive into the strange world of height and humans. 

The average worldwide height of a man is 171 cm and for women it’s 159cm. Of course the average height differs per countries, the Netherlands having the tallest men (183.8 cm) and women (170.4 cm) on average. The country with the shortest people is Timor-Leste with the men having an average height of 160.1cm and the women 152.7cm.  Taking these numbers into account, it’s not strange that in the average relationship, the man is taller than the woman.

But does this also explain why height seems to be a thing in dating?

Most if not all dating sites include height in descriptions. There are enough videos and discussion to be found on the internet about ideal partner height or the difference therein. Some say that the difference in height create a sense of safety and protection. But could it simply be that it is because we mainly see relationships where the height dynamic follow the norm, that our preference lies therein? 

Height also plays a part of our perceptions of power and strength. Someone who is bigger than you has a physical advantage and can pose a danger to you. It is the reason that there are weight classes in various sports. This also makes it understandable that we might feel safe having someone tall/big on our side. In this day in and age having power has changed to monetary ‘height’ and celebrity ‘height’.

How big is you bank account and how great is your social influence!? Metrics that one would think have no correspondence to physical metrics. A quick height search tends to show otherwise. For example a great number of celebrity women are above the worldwide female average, with a great number of them being above the Netherlands female average. Quick reminder – the Netherlands average is approx. 11 cm taller than the world average. On the monetary front, most billionaires are above the average worldwide male height. This for both male and female billionaires. 

So how does this correspond to mindset?

Let’s start on the relationship front. When it comes to a relationship between men and women I think most of us agree that it is not the height that determines the success of the relationship. It is actually the mindset of those involved. However going against the grain always involves a strong mindset and self-esteem. And a relationship where the woman is significantly taller than her male partner is no different. This is due to opinions of people outside the relationship and that which society shows to be the norm. 

With the advent of virtual reality there have also been tests done on the effect of height with interesting results. Participants tended to feel safer when they were perceiving reality in the taller experience. Becoming a celebrity or climbing to the financial top, requires taking risk and in order to take risk one has to feel safety in other aspects of their lives. This innate feeling of safety due to height could be what helped celebrities and the rich attain their status, by going against grain while a sub-consciously using this sense. Resulting in most being taller than average.

But a strong mindset is not only being able to go against the grain, it is also how one uses power. Properly using power also involves the right mindset. As a society we expect those who are in the ‘heights’ to responsibly use their advantages. We expect the taller person to protect, the celebrity to show the right example and the wealthy to share.  

And as for the one living in the loft? 

Well enjoy the view for all of us …