If you put one crab in a small pot, it can easily escape. But, did you know that if you put several in a pot together, they instinctively pull each other back in anytime one of them tries to climb out. This is called “crab mentality.” They instinctively drag each other down and seal their fate together.
People do this all the time. A person is trying to eat healthy and ‘friends” want to tempt them with “treats”. They are made to feel like outsiders because they won’t share in all the “delicious” (i.e. unhealthy) foods. Maybe they are trying to quit smoking or drinking. Their smoking and drinking “friends” want to tempt them and will make them feel ridiculous for even trying to quit.
The unfortunate fact is that most of us may sometimes catch ourselves being “crabs” to others. If we feel the need to see others fail because seeing them succeed makes us feel bad, what does this say about us? Usually we don’t even realize when we are doing it. It’s just second nature.
The good news is that once we are aware of this “crab mentality”, it’s a pretty easy habit to stop. Fact is that if a friend is trying to accomplish something challenging to improve themselves, it will really make them feel great if we make it a point to be supportive. That’s what good friends do (even if they may be a little jealous). Being supportive of others feels good and makes us stronger people. It’s a great habit to develop. The bonus is that there is a good chance that we will be inspired by their efforts.
As I said, most people are not even aware that they are being ‘crabs”. It doesn’t make them bad people. If you want to hang out with them and do what they are doing, they will be there for you!
If on the other hand, you want to make positive changes in your life, break old habits or do something new for yourself, then you’d better find some new friends who support you in your endeavors and limit your exposure to people who drag you down. Otherwise, you just won’t ever make it happen!
In our martial arts classes fellow students are here to support and encourage one another. It’s our culture and new students get the message on day 1. We find that everyone has their own unique skill set. A culture of acceptance and encouragement is what makes success fun. No“Crabs” allowed!