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When people think that for them to succeed, others must fail—they feel powerless and exhibit a fear of failure—every time a crab tries to get out of a bucket, other crabs will pull it down when it gets close to escaping.
The crab mentality comes under different names. For example, in competitive Singapore, the term "kiasuism" (or "fear of losing") is considered a "positive trait": exam-smart students win government scholarships and are groomed to be politicians and CEOs of government-linked companies, who are then paid an obscene salary.
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by MathPlus February 13, 2017
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Crabs in a bucket can easily escape from the bucket one at a time, but instead of doing that they pull each other down whenever one rises to the top - thus insuring their collective demise.

This is analogous to the behavior of a person who diminishes or pulls down anyone else who achieves or is about to achieve success greater than their own.
Crab mentality: We all like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.

If I can't have it, no one can have it.
by mythical89 June 05, 2009
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