When in a group, how often do you find yourself in the following situation:
You are out with a group of friends at a bar or a party, there is music playing in the background and everyone is talking and having a great time. Everyone except for you, because you are too tall to hear the conversations below. Instead, you are standing there looking around, smiling and nodding politely as you frantically try to hear what is being said.
Sometimes you try talking to someone shorter than yourself and you legitimately want to hear them but you can’t so you end up standing there, nodding and agreeing to everything they say. This makes it look like you are not interested in the conversation and because you are not contributing anything to the conversation you come across as a dull person.
Been there. Done that. Too many times.
It’s a terrible feeling and after a while you end up feeling frustrated and wanting to leave. The worst thing is that shorter people don’t realise this is a legitimate tall person problem as they themselves never have to worry about this issue so they automatically expect you to communicate with them normally.
This situation seems to plague tall people all the time. Every time I go out I see at least one poor tall person “lost in the clouds”. On a few occasions I’ve managed to get the other tall persons attention and form a somewhat instant bond with them as we both understand the problem at hand. It also makes for a great conversation starter or ice breaker if you want to approach a lost looking tall person.
I decided to write this article to outline some of the methods I use to try and minimise this situation from happening. It’s not always ideal and there are still occasions where I get stuck but I’ve found that implementing these tips has greatly helped:
- Whenever possible, and when with a smaller sized group of friends, try to get a bar stool and sit on it. Not only will this make you at eye level with most people but it makes you appear less intimidating and you can hear conversations much more clearly. This is more applicable when you are out at a bar.
- If you are at a party and are trying to talk to someone much shorter than you one-to-one, try to move the person (and conversation) to some chairs or the couch. Just like with point 1 above, it will bring you both to eye level and the conversation will flow easier.
- If the person you are talking too doesn’t want to move but still insists talking to you even though you can’t hear them, simply tell them your situation. I usually make a joke out of it to minimise any awkwardness that may occur. A majority of people will understand and have no problems moving somewhere where you are both on the same level.
- If the person talking to you is sitting down, don’t tower over them – you won’t be able to hear them clearly anyway and will most likely intimidate them. Simply crouch down next to them.
- If you do get stuck standing around and not hearing anything, don’t resort to staring at your phone, this will make your posture look bad and the people around you will assume you don’t want to talk at all so they are more likely to ignore you! Instead, stand tall and straight with good posture, smile and try to lock eye contact with someone around you and then proceed to either point #2 or #3 as above.
Some of these things might seem pretty obvious, yet, it surprises me how many tall people still put up with mediocre interactions when they could be connecting with people on a much deeper level. Do you have any other tips that I may have missed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Stand tall and be proud.