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Do You Use Your Physical Attributes To Your Advantage?

by Gip Plaster on October 25th, 2011

Part of living a simple, deliberate life is taking full advantage of the things in your life that can’t be changed.

While some of your physical characteristics can be altered with varying degrees of success, you’re generally stuck with what you have. You can use every physical situation and condition to your advantage if you want or you can dwell on your negative attributes and what you can’t be or do instead.

Seeing Eye To Eye

The guy who sat at the next table on a restaurant patio last Friday night was very tall. I’m a regular there for the live music, but I’d never seen him before.

But there are lots of tall people in the world, right?

No, actually, there apparently aren’t. I’m usually the tallest person wherever I go.

I’m only 6 feet 3 inches tall, so I’m hardly a giant. Still, I rarely see anyone who’s taller than I am. And I always check. It’s just a little thing I do.

Whenever I see a guy who looks tall to me, I make a point of passing near him to see if we see eye to eye. In almost every case, the supposedly tall person is an inch or two shorter than me.

The guy on the patio Friday night, however, was half a foot taller than me, causing those at nearby tables to wonder if he might be a basketball player.

Someone said he spoke with an accent, and the star player on the Dallas Mavericks is German, so maybe there’s a connection between the tall blond player 40 miles away and this tall, dark and handsome patio-dining Goliath. That seems unlikely, though.

Do Your Attributes Matter Much?

I love being tall. I’m not very good at sneaking around or entering a room unobserved, but I like being able to assess an entire room of milling people from my perspective and being able to stand at the back of a crowd and still see what the fuss is about.

I can’t really recall, though, ever really using my height to my advantage to get me something or earn me money. In fact, many people are intimidated by tall people.

If the Goliath on the patio the other night was actually a basketball player, then good for him. I’m sure everyone asks him if he is. If he was able to use his height to get him a basketball scholarship or a multi-million-dollar contract, then that’s even better. He’s using one of his physical attributes to his advantage.

I’m tall and I have very good vision (despite the computer vision syndrome thing). Those things count in my favor. I have a weak neck and achy hips. Those things count against me, I suppose. In every other way, I’m average.

I know some people who can’t hear, some who can’t see and some who are very short. I know people with more aches and pains than I have and some with fewer.

Using Your Attributes To Your Advantage

I’m proud of every one of my characteristics. Being a work-at-home writer and Internet entrepreneur doesn’t have a height requirement, and in some ways I feel I’m cheating on my community — the tall community — by not playing basketball or something. I manage to make it through the day somehow, though, without much guilt.

Do you use your physical features to your advantage? Do you do a good job of overcoming your least desirable attributes?

I have a big nose that’s a bit crooked and there are some scars on my right arm. My two front teeth are a little crooked. I’ve noticed the cute freckles I once had are congealing into spots. And those dark circles under my eyes never go away, even when I’m rested…

But I’m tall, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Some days, it’s tempting to think that nothing is my favor. But I was made a certain way for some reason, I’m sure. Are you getting full advantage from your unique characteristics?

I’m not, but perhaps I should be. Where does one purchase a basketball?

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From → Simpler Living

11 Comments
  1. Megyn @Minimalist Mommi permalink

    I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum…quite short (5’3″). I often use my tiny stature and size to my advantage. In large crowds, I can generally squeeze to the front of anything. I fit in tiny spaces. And I have the chihuahua/small dog complex, meaning I’m small, but feisty. My size is actually in my disadvantage in marriage though because I guess most guys (The Hubs at least) do not like super skinny girls. Oh well…it is what it is! Glad you have found the positives šŸ™‚
    Megyn @Minimalist Mommi recently posted 99%-No Internet Week

    • I’m just glad you commented on this post! Everyone else seems to be disinterested or away this week.

      It’s good to hear the other side. I can see advantages of being able to sneak around unnoticed.
      Gip

  2. Robin permalink

    I’m like Megyn in that I am tiny–4’10”, slender, with naturally curly, short dark hair, very fair skin and green eyes. I am outgoing and a veterinarian, so the combination of tiny but lively suits me well. Doing a Caesarian on an 1800 pound Holstein cow has never phased me–even though the calf usually weighs more than I do.

    Why not use your physical attributes?

    Oh–and every guy I ever dated was at least 6 feet tall, and my husband is 6’4″…which I never understood. Why weren’t the shorter guys interested?

    One thing I so like about you, Gip, is that you appreciate and see the positives in situations. I think you have a real talent for that.

    • Thanks for commenting, Robin. I seem to be in the minority here. Most of my readers seem to be smaller people. Who knew?

      I try to find the positive in every situation, even though those who know me well might not think so!
      Gip

  3. tammy permalink

    well…
    oh yes! i have actually been away. a wonderful trip to new mexico to see the grandchildren. two adorable boys who probably will be tall like their dad.
    as to me…
    i am 66. five foot two, eyes of blue. hair very grey. (i prefer SILVER).
    but get this…
    i just know i am starting to shrink!
    we do after a certain age. i don’t have osteoporosis either! just quietly
    shrinking!
    may turn out to be mammy yokum, yet. (look it up.)
    love ya gip!
    tammy j

    • I haven’t started shrinking yet, fortunately. Apparently lots of people have been away because I’ve commented on a couple of blog posts this morning that were days old and I was the first commenter. It must be a slow week for blog comments.

      Gip

  4. I can’t say that I have any particularly outstanding physical attributes. I’m of average height (5’10”), a little heavy but not obese (220#) and neither especially attractive nor ugly. I’m just pretty average. I suppose I could use that to my advantage by making it easier to blend in and avoid unwanted attention.

    I guess there have to be lots of us ordinary-appearing people so that others may appear to be exceptional. My individuality manifests itself in my personality, skills and abilities rather than in my physical characteristics.

    • Thanks for commenting, Mike. I don’t often think about how tall I am. It’s interesting that it’s usually seeing someone taller than me that makes me think about it. I feel ordinary most of the time, whether I am or not. I certainly don’t blend in very well, though.
      Gip

  5. joanna @ I Won't Be A Hoarder Too permalink

    I’ve had an eating disorder for the past ten years, and only now am I starting to learn to see that I have good features at all. So the question, am I using my best features to my advantage is a really thought-provoking question. Thanks for making me think. I’m really enjoying your blog and I’m looking forward to more posts.

    Joanna
    joanna @ I Won’t Be A Hoarder Too recently posted Two cups of coffee

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