“Crab Bucket Syndrome”

“Crab bucket syndrome,” or “crab mentality,” is observed when crabs struggle to get out of a bucket but are pulled back down by the others below. It is said to be an image of what people do to one another out of jealousy, self-preservation, or herd mentality. Of course, crabs are just doing what they are designed to do: to reach for, grab, and pull themselves around on the objects surrounding them. However, we can see this happening in our society as well. People aren’t naturally supportive of those succeeding or living a radically different lifestyle than the norm. Omar Itani writes that the crab mentality says, “If I can’t have it, neither can you.” He adds, “Here’s what you and I need to realize: Sometimes, we’re the victims of the crab effect, and sometimes we’re the instigators of it. Sometimes, you’re the one being pulled down, and sometimes you’re the one doing the pulling” (Omar Itani, “Beware of ‘the Crab Mentality’: How Your Environment Shapes the Way You Think and Behave,” Curious, October 23, 2020, https://medium.com/curious/beware-of-the-crab-mentality-how-your-environment-shapes-the-way-you-think-and-behave-4d46a15307ab). The Bible calls us to not play the childish games of jealousy; rather, we are to love those around us.