RT Cunningham


How Soon Can My Wife and I Escape from the Crab Mentality Around Us?

crab mentality My days of living in the Philippines are numbered because of the crab mentality I’ve had to deal with for more than 10 years. I don’t know what that number is yet because my wife, Josie, and I have a lot to get done.

The part that ticks me off the most is that my mother-in-law, who lived with us in the United States for more than 10 years, is fueling that crab mentality in her children (other than Josie, of course). She sides against Josie in every argument.

What does “Crab Mentality” mean?

This excerpt from a short Wikipedia page explains it in part:

The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to negate or diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.

It’s not as simple as that. Two of Josie’s siblings (she has eight still living) seem to think she’s rich compared to them and that they deserve her financial help with everything, regardless of their own income. Those are just the two who’ve been vocal about it.

We’re Selling the House before we Leave

The value of our property is over five million pesos (more than $100,000 USD at today’s foreign currency exchange rate). Whether we can get that much for it is yet to be seen. We have to make the house presentable again. It needs some minor repairs and paint. The back yard fencing needs to be finished.

With the crab mentality exhibited by Josie’s siblings, I fully expect them to tell her she should give the property to one of them instead of selling it. The siblings that live in this compound are already living here without paying rent or for the water supplied to their houses. My mother-in-law pays the water bill for that side of the compound every month. The only thing they’re required to pay is their own electric bills. They want everything for free.

I’m Depressed

I moved here in 2006, intending to live here until the day I die. It isn’t panning out that way. I’m depressed because as thick as my skin is, the crab mentality has gotten to me. Would you believe the two siblings I mentioned actually blame us for the way they live? They have children – I didn’t make them. If I did, then I would be responsible. But I didn’t and I’m not.

I’ve had a nasty head cold for the last few days and I’ve been unable to do some of the things I normally do. I’ve had plenty of time to reflect. My younger son told people years ago (when he lived here) that my money supply wasn’t unlimited. That I was on a budget just like everyone else. They chose not to comprehend the meaning and continued to hound me. Well, I’ve had enough.

It won’t happen this year but we’ll be leaving this crab mentality behind as soon as it’s financially feasible for us to do so. My mother-in-law is in the hospital again and once again, I’m footing the bill without any help from any of them.

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By RT Cunningham
September 6, 2016

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