Crab mentality is a widely used term in the Philippines given to Filipinos who always try to pull down other Filipinos who are succeeding in life and getting ahead of them. This trait is not unusual to us, as it’s actually one of the common bad habits of many Filipinos.
People with crab mentality are everywhere. You can encounter them on social media, where they are always busy criticizing instead of appreciating the news and stories about the achievements of Filipinos.
This attribute is also one of the major causes why our country is not progressing. It doesn’t promote unity, humility and responsibility. I believe we have to get rid of it for our personal and national development. And the first step to eradicate this negative trait from us is to be aware of it. We can all be guilty of crab mentality, and here are 10 signs that someone is having this unfavorable quality.
1. They are too proud of themselves and treat others as inferior beings. You can sense a breeze of arrogance from people with crab mentality. They feel like they have royal blood flowing in their veins, and they treat other Filipinos as peasants. When they earn some achievements of their own, whether big or small, they brag it to everyone to position themselves higher from the rest of the Filipinos. And that is why they will always look down on you, especially if you’re a Filipino who came from the province or a “probinsyano/probinsyana”. They can be racist to their own race – the Filipinos. Oh, I mean they can be racist to other regional races of the Philippines.
2. They panic when their comrades are happy and improving. 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 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. You will see them giving bitter comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. They can be irritating, as they may spoil your own little achievement or happiness. So watch out!
3. Their motto in life is “if I can’t have it, neither can you”. They rather wish everyone will fail than let themselves fail while others are succeeding. They represent the “crabs in the bucket” metaphor, where the crabs can easily escape from the bucket, but instead, they grab and pull down each other in a selfish competitive manner which prevents any of them to escape, resulting to their collective demise. In other words, people who have a crab mentality are selfish and they don’t have any sense of sacrifice. They are actually the opposite of Filipinos who are known to love “bayanihan” or communal work.
4. They are full of positivity for themselves but full of negativity for others. They only see the good things in themselves, but they’re blind when it comes to their negative characteristics. When it comes to how they view other people, it becomes the opposite. They only see the bad things of other people while they’re blind to their positive deeds. That is why instead of appreciation, what you will get from them are nothing but negative criticisms. Some of these criticisms are valid while others are just invented to mess up your achievements.
5. They blame their comrades for their failures rather than help them. What is more disgusting about Filipinos who have a crab mentality is that they will pull you down further when you’re already down. When Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) turned the lives of many Filipinos in the Eastern Visayas into the darkest part, the “crabs” were nothing but blamers instead of becoming the helpers. Rather than giving us a hand, these “crabs” broke our already broken souls and hearts. And the saddest part of this, these “crabs” include some public officials who are supposed to give us first-hand public service.
6. They treat their comrades as competitors. It seems like the words unity and cooperation are not in their vocabulary. They always treat other Filipinos as competitors instead of teammates. You can find this kind of people everywhere. In a basketball team, in your office, and even in a cooperative organization, they could be there. Again, envy, jealousy and selfishness cause them to refrain from cooperating. Instead of giving victory to the whole company or team, they just want to grab all the success for themselves. And just like what we discussed in #3, they rather let the team lose, than let it win without making themselves as the star player.
7. They don’t know a thing about compassion. Compassion is a great virtue that enables us to understand the feelings of other people. It lets us walk in other people’s shoes and appreciate the lives they are living. But people with crab mentality lack compassion. They are inconsiderate and ignorant of the many people they are offending. They don’t care about the many hearts they are breaking. Well, what can we expect? They only care for themselves.
8. Yet they act like they know everything. You can’t argue with them because they act like they are the most knowledgeable people in the world. They are active critics but they don’t accept criticisms thrown to them by other people. They don’t need your advice. They don’t want to hear your opinions. Just try to correct them if your dare.
9. They spend most of their time talking about people rather than discussing ideas and solutions. Again, it’s because they treat people as their competitors. Instead of thinking about the brilliant ideas and solutions that can make the Philippines a better country, they spend most of their time ensuring that no other Filipinos can become better than them. When our nation faces a crisis, they will be more active in talking about how people become worthy of suffering rather than discussing the solutions that will help people end their sufferings.
10. They will never admit that they have a crab mentality. And that’s the mystery of it, they will never admit that they have that kind of mentality.
This article is only supposed to be informational rather than judgmental. Even I, when I was still childish, I admit I have some of the signs of having a crab mentality. I was jealous, envious, bitter and a bit selfish. But if we stay in this mentality, we will not grow as a person. And definitely, we will not grow as a nation. Therefore, while it’s still early, we have to be aware of this negative attitude or habit. Then we should get rid of it, not only for ourselves, but also for the whole nation and the next generation.