What does the term, Crab Mentality mean?


Crab mentality, literally refers to the behavior of crabs which are put in any container. Some of the crabs may try to escape by climbing up but the crabs which are down and struggling to reach the top try to pull down the crabs which are on the top and thus prevent it from escaping to freedom. The term crab mentality is used colloquially to refer to anyone trying to better his circumstances but is prevented to do the same by others who do not want them to be successful. The crab mentality approach basically subscribes to the idea “I can't have it so I’ll not allow you to get it.”


What is the Metaphor in the term Crab Mentality?

The term crab mentality refers to the behavior of crabs in the bucket or pot who try to seek freedom. The crabs could easily escape one after another but they pull down each other and prevent anyone from escaping and in the process collectively suffer suffocation and death. The metaphor when applied to a human situation refers to the mentality of an individual or group that endeavors to pull down literally, any person who reaches for the heights of success. Less successful individuals with a selfish and constricted thinking consciously attempt to pull down those who are on an upward scale.


Where is Crab Mentality found?

Crab mentality is common in workplaces which have a very competitive environment. The struggling individual resorts to crab mentality to negate the successful efforts of another person. Such an individual is basically insecure and jealous and conspires to hinder the path of the one aspiring for progress. Co-workers who indulge in gossip and unfair means may be fostering an unfriendly environment in the office which may be detrimental to all the employees. Crab mentality is something that can be found in all segments of the society. Even charitable and religious institutions fall prey to the malady of crab mentality which can wreck its reputation in society.



Why do people engage in Crab Mentality?

Crab mentality is a kind of negative attitude which the people have towards other’s success. It is jealousy that prevents a person to hampers another’s progress. People having a crab mentality are all the time trying to bring their opponent down. These are the people who cannot do much to improve their own status or achievement. Instead they try to thwart the attempts of those who aspire to move up the ladder of success.


Why to Avoid Crab Mentality?

Like it is said every problem has a solution, there is nothing that cannot be changed. People can rise above the crab mentality and better their own position. Even if this seems to be difficult they can in the least stop behaving like crabs in a bucket by allowing others to chart their own progress. On an individual level it is possible to be the change which would bring forth a number of positive changes in the immediate environment such as growth, and prosperity. Crab mentality is not restricted to only individuals but can be seen in groups, communities and nations. For instance the developed nations can avoid the crab mentality by mentoring the developing nations and opening up better opportunities for them in the fields of trade, business and commerce.

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