I’ve heard many different speakers and authors describe the phenomenon of crabs in a basket. If you put one crab into a basket, it will climb out. If you throw several crabs into a basket, then none of them are able to climb out. Because as one crab starts to climb, the other crabs grab hold of it and drag it back down to their level. A lot of us have social environments that are full of crab people.
My last post was about “mental inertia,” so let’s talk a little bit about “social inertia” (I thought I might have actually coined that phrase but as it turns out it already has a definition at reference.com).
You will rise or fall to about the same level as the people you spend the most time associating with. Your closest friends have the same hobbies, same level of education, probably close to the same incomes. So, you attempting to change any of these things may cause them to get crabby and drag you back down to their level. You are breaking habits when instead of going to watch a movie, you invite them all to a motivational seminar. You are defying tradition by going to night classes on financial planning, rather than going bowling with them on Thursday nights. And they might actually turn negative on you if you start making more money than everyone else.
Your friends might be thrilled to see you driving a brand new Mazda that you financed, but turn their noses up in disgust at your brand new Ferrari.
Not every peer group is like this, but I’m guessing this sounds familiar to a lot of people. The world is predominantly negative, so it stands to reason that most of your friends will be negative, too. Just be prepared, if you have a goal to grow and change your current circumstances, there is the possibility that you will have to separate yourself from the crab people.