3 min read

Like crabs in a bucket...

At the desk, 8:49 a.m.

What do you know about crabs in a bucket?

If you put a single crab in a bucket, it will easily climb out.

If you put two or more crabs in a bucket, no one is climbing out. If a crab tries to make a run for it, the other crabs will pull the crab back into the bucket safe and sound.

Or so the saying goes. I have never spent that much time around crabs, so I don't know if this happens or why it happens.

I do have quite a bit of experience with people.

What's true for people is that if you are in a group and one person starts to do well - make more money, have more success, date someone more handsome, or whatever - the group will do everything in their power to pull the person back into the group. They will bully, ambush, reject, abuse, and brow beat the other person until they are as fat, lonely, broke, bitter, depressed, or whatever the group norm.

This is how groups work. This crab mentality is a simple fact of life.

"Show me your friends, I'll show you your future" John Kuebler

The science shows that good behaviors are passed from friend to friend. If your friends drink and drive, you'll drink and drive. If your friend are angry or bitter, you'll get angry and bitter. Violent crime in one area of the city will encourage more of the same violent crime in the same area!

We are under constant and tremendous socio-biological pressure to conform to the norm - whatever the norm is! We are, in essence, always in a bucket.

Every once and a while, it's good to look around you and see who's there.

The 'snarky' woman who never has a kind word to say about anyone. Sure, she can be funny, but do you want to be like her?

What about the guy who drinks too much and sleeps around?

That neighbor who tells you all the dirt about everyone, do you want to be like her?

That man who's obsessed with working out, do you want to take on the same obsession?

What about those folks you're friends with just to support? Maybe they're in a bad spot, a bad relationship, or struggling financially and you're their supportive friend. It doesn't matter. Spend enough time with them and you will be just like them.

We become like the five people we are around the most. These people can help you reach your goals or make damned sure you don't get there.

What's it going to be?  Who are you going to be like?

Maybe it's time to do some spring cleaning of your social network. Time to clean out your Facebook list of people who drag you down. Time to stop following those folks on Twitter who have nothing nice to say about anyone. Time to let go of the relationships that don't work.

Fill your life with people who inspire you, cause you to reach for the stars, encourage you to try something new, or even just nice people. Want to learn to garden? Find a gardener. Want to knit more? Follow a prolific knitter. Looking to cook at home more? Follow a cook on Pinterest.Want to learn a new skill? Find a blog that teaches you step by step how to do it.

More than ever before, great, nice, funny, friendly people are just a click away. You can use a little nice in your life.

Just remember, the crabs you're around now aren't going to necessarily love that you're changing buckets. You may get some sniper attacks (cruel words said in passing) or get shunned at social settings. It's not always pleasant to change your life.

It's your life.

Get in the bucket you want to be in.