You know them. You have them in your immediate circle. You know who I’m talking about.
Those with the crab mentality.
If you Google the term “crab mentality” you will find roughly 193,000 search results. So we can’t pretend that it is not a prevalent problem with our fellow human beings.
So what do we mean by the crab mentality? And what could you hope to gain by identifying its presence in the behavior of others around you?
A person with the “Crab Mentality” is someone who employs a selfish, short-sighted thinking/acting strategy that boils down to the attitude of “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” We’re talking about people who will work hard – even go out of their way – to hold others back, denigrate and pull even their own family, friends and associates down rather than have that person(s) get ahead or realize their dreams.
Know anyone like this?
I do, and chances are that you do as well.
Picture a pot of water that a cook puts on to boil in order to prepare the crabs for dinner. An interesting phenomenon occurs as the water is heating up. These live crabs (at least the smarter ones) will endeavor to get out of the pot. But when one of them starts to escape – the other crabs will pull it back down to prevent it from getting free and escaping. Even worse, it takes on a more malicious tone as they will wait until the freedom-minded crab has almost escaped the pot before they pounce and yank it back into the boiling water. Those crabs know that they’re screwed if they can’t escape – but they just can’t bear the idea of someone else daring to dream of escape – of ‘going for it’.
Not only is it a selfish, jealous and harmful mindset/behavior – but if the crabs in the boiling pot all worked toward the goal of escaping, then they could manage to help each other get free.
Does this mean you can’t get free?
Hopefully not. But if you’re planning on making good on your escape to a better life (I.e. getting ahead, striving to achieve goals, building a dream, etc.) then you will be wise to take an objective look around you and identify those around you that would do their best to keep you down and prevent you from attaining a better life.
You’ll be surprised by the people who will make efforts to keep you from your goals. It could be a co-worker(s), friend(s), and oftentimes a family member(s).
Shocking, you say?
They may not always be aware of the motivations behind their actions. As the crabs exhibit, it evidently comes from a primal place.
The best you can do is be aware of those that are the crabs in your midst. The ‘sneaky ones’ are those who will put on the ‘encouraging face’ for you and then work in a clandestine fashion to keep your from reaching your goals.
Know the people around you.
Not sure who fits in the category? Just ask them. Ask what they think of your goals and your chances of success. If at all possible, limit your contact with the crabbies (not always possible). Definitely make a point to limit the impact that they can have on you as you strive to reach your goals. They will work to distract you, argue with you, create unnecessary drama in your life, put additional stress on you and throw obstacles in your path.
If you really want to reach your goals and escape the ordinary, you must shake off the crabs in your midst. You may have to actually FIGHT them off. Oh well, no one said it would be easy.
Go for it.
If you weren’t aware of this mentality being present among people you know, then now you can be aware and start to identify, and mitigate the ‘haters’. Here’s to reaching your goals!
Onward and upward.