The Paradox of Being Small

I had recently begun my addiction to podcasts. I don't usually provide feedbacks to stuff I watch, listen or read directly to the makers but there was one episode of 'Stuff to Blow Your Mind' that I had an opinion I wanted to share. I sent the email below:

Dear Robert, Christian and Joe:

Hi I am a polar bear from Svalbard.

I am just kidding. My name is Aubrey. I am a biology graduate and I really enjoy the biology references and facts you throw in each episode. I was looking for podcasts that would help me enrich my knowledge while I am doing chores. That's why I stumbled on your awesome podcast.

I wrote today because I just want to share my take on your episode Height, Health and Human Happiness. You had mentioned that small people are often stereotyped to having a Napoleon complex. I think there is a paradox on that belief. I am a very short woman. I tell people I am five feet tall but I may be shorter by an inch or so. Yes, people like me are believed to be loud, selfish and overconfident but I think for us those traits are even a necessity. If you see the world in my level, everything seems to be made for bigger people. Positions of leadership are not easy to assume since it is easy to look down on us (metaphorically and physically). In a world where everything seems to be bigger than you, it looks pretty scary. I would feel the need to outdo the people with average height and above. At times to succeed I have to be louder and more confident than the rest to be noticed. This extra perseverance to the the goal may be perceived as ambition, greed or selfishness by others. If society thinks that we have Napoleon complex, it is society that has made us so.

I enjoy being a small person. And I enjoy your show very much too! Hope you continue making mind blowing episodes.

With gratitude,


They didn't reply. But I bet they get virtually buried in hundreds of mails a day so I really didn't expect a response. That was alright with me. 🙂