Crab Mentality and Filipinos
I have been in business for a decade now and have dealt with many nationalities. The majority of my dealings have been fairly positive and I constitute that the negative dealings that I have had have been down to individuals rather than nationalities per se. However, one must be cautious of stereotyping nationalities. Some might say the British are pompous and autocratic. Others may describe the Americans as obese. Whilst others may see the Germans as icy, blond and blue-eyed. These descriptions are stereotypes and are indeed not my own opinion.
However, taking into account that stereotypes is a belief system which needs to be overcome, there must also be an element where nationalities need to consider why they have been stereotyped. Being a Filipina myself, I am sad to say that I have met a handful of Filipino’s who have crab mentality. Crab mentality is a way of thinking best described by the phrase “If I can’t have it then neither can you”. It is about envy and can involve putting people down, not allowing others to flourish or when they do flourish, finding fault with their success in order to pull it down or simply having the mindset that “I’m better than you”.
Crab mentality is prevalent in most areas of life but I am going to emphasise it within the business realm.
I had a conversation with a good colleague of mine who was recommending our company to another organisation. He conveyed to me their conversation. He was asked first off before even describing our principles and our work ethic, if we were Filipino to which he said ‘yes’. They replied ‘Oh, we don’t work with Filipinos’ which he thought was ironic and simply stupid because they themselves were Filipino.
I’ve worked with Filipino’s who try to learn every aspect of the business, try to steal clients and go off on their own business venture only to fall flat on their face.
Do Filipino’s have an incredible appetite for greed? Greed of success or money? If we could all work together and combine specialised skills and knowledge we could accomplish bigger and better things where everyone would and could benefit but it appears that the thinking of our race is one of narrow-mindedness.
Whilst on a shopping trip in the Philippines with my father, I was stuck in the supermarket line for not less than 30 minutes. When I went to inspect what was going on, I found one teller putting items through the till and one packer. The customer or should I say a line of customers on various other tills waiting for the packer to finish packing. Is it so hard for the customer to assist with the packing in order for the time to pass quicker? Four hands are better than two right?! I was so annoyed at the fact that the customer just stood there with their arms folded whilst their items got packed. Could this example of crab mentality be a minute reason or a contributing factor why Philippines is still a developing country?
‘It is said that we Filipinos have crab mentality and so we do not attain the progress and prosperity we have long been aspiring for, that it is practiced only by us Filipinos, and that we will remain a poor nation if it is not plucked from our selves’ says Royeca for The Philippine Studies
In light of that I have found 2nd or 3rd generation Filipinos who have been brought up in Western Culture do not have the above traits. Maybe education is the key after all….