Crabs in a Barrel

You just lost 20 pounds, although you still have another twenty you want to lose, people are definitely starting to notice. You feel confident and beautiful for the first time in ten years. You’re wearing that DVF wrap dress that has been living in the back of your closet since Lincoln was a child and your make-up is on point. Co-workers have been complimenting you. Feeling great, you walk into work and a so-called friend says, “WHAT are you wearing? It’s almost as if your sense of style went away as soon as you started that ridiculous diet.” You’re hurt and deeply confused.

You just got promoted to team lead. You’re pretty excited because not only is it a dream come true, but it’s more money. The only downside is you’re now the supervisor of people you used to work with. There’s been some rumblings around the water cooler, some strange looks and sudden silences when you walk into the room. Suddenly, you realize you’re not invited to the baby shower, of a co-worker. Two months ago, you were sitting with the lunch bunch discussing the details, party favors and games. Now you’re persona non grata.

You’ve just published your first novel. Although you were given a small advance, somehow your book has taken off. Locals are talking about you. Social media is abuzz and you’re beginning to believe dreams really do come true. As you’re discussing a question about your book at work with a few co-workers, another “friend” tells you she finds your book boring. “Have you read it?” “No, the topic is boring.” You’re hurt and puzzled by this so called “friend”. “In fact,” she says, smiling,  “A few others think it’s boring as well.”

Can you relate to the three scenarios, or something similar? I know when I was promoted to Curriculum Specialist (a leadership position), and then Assistant Principal I was suddenly very much alone. People stopped talking to me, I was told, “I’d changed.”  I was suddenly no longer a friend or confidante. It’s true, it’s hard to remain friends with someone you may have to write up, or correct but I wasn’t even given a chance. Of course I’d changed. I had to. I had to dress and act the part. A true friend would expect that, a jealous one would not.

It’s hard to believe that people don’t want you to succeed. It’s the old crabs in a barrel mentality. If you’re a crab trying to get to the top of the barrel, you will get pulled down. Understand that true friends support one another. My best friend was at my Assistant Principal confirmation, was ready to fight on my behalf when I was wronged and supports everything I do, even though she may express concern. True friends want you to get promoted. True friends are ecstatic when you take off the weight. True friends are fine if you surpass them.

Let it be known that your health can suffer, as frenemies try to pull you down. You may question your leadership skills, ask yourself if you really have changed for the better, or question your success and deservedness. Attempt to see through these negative people. Misery loves company. A friend is not in competition with you. Friends don’t want you to be sick, as you continue to remain overweight. Ask yourself if it’s time to make a clean sweep and empty out the friend bank. You’re better off without negative people in your life. Trust me.



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2 thoughts on “Crabs in a Barrel

  1. Great Read!!! Yes I know this all too well!!! What is the saying keep your enemies close I guess in this case frenemies….hmmm I wonder how true that is??? Not sure if I would want them anywhere around! You are so right a true friend will support you no matter what!!

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