Crab in the barrell mentality

if I can’t have it, neither can you…

If one crab attempts to escape from a barrel of live crabs, the others will pull it back down rather than allowing it to get free.

The term “crab mentality” is used to describe a kind of selfish, short-sighted thinking that runs along the lines of “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” This term is widely used to refer to people who pull other people down, denigrating them rather than letting them get ahead or pursue their dreams.

This concept references an interesting phenomenon that occurs in barrels of crabs. If one crab attempts to escape from a barrel of live crabs, the others will pull it back down rather than allowing it to get free. Sometimes, the crabs seem almost malicious, waiting until the freedom seeking crab has almost escaped before yanking it back down into the barrel. Truth be told all the crabs could have gotten out of the barrel if only they could work together!

Some of us like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.
For two long crab minded individuals have targeted and destroyed those within our community that dared to make a difference! Remember that when you point a finger at someone three points back on you. When you utter or repeat something you hear without verifying it to be the truth you’re exhibiting crab mentality and can be sued for making defamatory statement.

A defamatory statement is defined as: A statement that tends to injure the reputation of a person referred to in it. The statement is likely to lower that person in the estimation of reasonable people and in particular to cause that person to be regarded with feelings of hatred, contempt, ridicule, fear, or dislike.

Let me share with you a true story. An elder from our community volunteered to help out at a community event. She was tasked with collecting and selling tickets at the entrance. Part of the ticket control process requires that money be removed from the cash pan, placed in an envelope then put in a bag that was hidden from view. Thought was that if anyone grabs the money pan and run off with it they would not get much.

Years later I was in conversation with a group of people form our community. Don’t exactly know how it came up, but one of the ladies shared with me why she and some of her friends doesn’t attend my events any more. Her reason was, “she does not like to support a thief”! Then she dived right into telling me how she saw this elder took money out of the money pan, and stick it in her bag and that was why they don’t attend my events any more.

She interpret what she saw, through the coloured lenses she must have been wearing that night! However she didn’t have all the facts and so for more than two years she wrongfully accused this elder of stealing. I am quite sure she shared her opinion with others, I hope however now that she knows the truth she will be as energetic in letting those she told, know that she was wrong!!!  Now that I think about it, she probably assumes that I am covering up for the elder…

Matthew 7. New International Version (NIV)

  •  Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
  • For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
  • Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
  • How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
  • You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

3 ways to recognize people with Crab Mentality

  1. They panic when others are succeeding. Aside from arrogance, you can also smell envy, jealousy and bitterness from this kind of people. They freak out when the people they look down on are rising or progressing beyond them. It gives them a terrible feeling of insecurity. That’s why they will try to pull them down, either by harsh words or by unkind actions.
  2. Their motto “if I can’t have it, neither can you”. They rather see everyone fail than let themselves fail while others are succeeding. People who have a crab mentality are selfish and they don’t have any sense of sacrifice. They rather let the team lose, than let it win if they’re not the star player.
  3. They blame others for their failures. What is more disgusting about those with crab mentality is that they will pull you down into the gutter with them.

Because of your crab mentality, you’re dinner…

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