The words ‘hitting your head’ and ‘tall person’ go together as well as salt and pepper.
Ask any tall person how many times they’ve hit their head on something and you might be surprised by how large that number will be.
The world is simply not built with tall people in mind!
Being tall you are part of a small percentage of the world’s population that stands a head or more above the majority of people around you. In some countries the average height may be significantly shorter than your height. Take Japan for example: the average height for men is 172 cm and for women its 158 cm, I’m 196 cm tall so if I were to live in Japan I would would most definitely be an outlier.
In countries, where the average height of its people is shorter than you, most things (doorways, lamps, street signs, shelves and many more) will hang lower than what you may be expecting. This makes your head the perfect companion for a collision test and is the reason why it’s absolutely crucial that you pay attention (and stay mindful) when out and about.
I can best illustrate the importance of staying aware of your surroundings with two of my most painful and embarrassing head hitting incidents (that I can remember):
- I was out with a group of friends at a bar, we were all sitting on really low comfy couches around a small table, the conversations were flowing really well to the point where you lose track of time. After a while I decided to stand up and move on elsewhere. Still being in conversation mode I wasn’t really paying attention to the fact there was a really low hanging lamp (down to my chest when standing) right above the couch where I was sitting. As I stood up I ploughed my head really hard and fast into that lamp, causing it to sway (I’m surprise it didn’t break) and getting the attention of everyone in the room and a series of tall related comments and jokes. My head was sore for about 2-3 days after that incident. A few months later I was back at that bar and noticed that all the low hanging lamps had been removed; I’m thinking a number of people must have endured the same fate as me. It seems like such a silly idea: really low hanging lamps right above couches where people are sitting and drinking alcohol.
- During a recent ski trip to Japan I was staying in a “Westernized” multi-storey house. Shortly after getting to the house for the first time I foolishly, without even really thinking about it, went to use the bathroom and before I made it through the doorway…. BAM…. I hit my head on the door frame, much to the amusement of everyone else. I learnt my lesson about the door frame to the bathroom downstairs but unfortunately I didn’t knock any sense into me about the door frame to the bathroom upstairs. What’s worse is that I hit my head really hard on it, in the middle of the night, trying to muffle my groans of pain to not wake up the whole house. Embarrassingly these were not the only two times I hit my head on these two door frames. All up, during the 10 days I stayed in that house I must have hit my head at least 5-6 times.
My word of advice is to always try and pay attention to your surroundings and never assume for a second that you will fit through common, everyday things, like door frames. Hitting your head once or twice is probably not that tragic (unless you hit in on something really serious) but hitting your head many times over the course of your life may eventually do you harm. Stay alert, stay safe and protect your head!
Can you relate to this or want to share your embarrassing head hitting story? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Stand tall and be proud.
- Image credit for Homer Simpson hitting forehead: here