Crab Theory – It’s Really Weird But It’s True!

Having been working as a digital nomad for many years now, I often find myself pondering why more people don’t adopt the lifestyle.

It offers enormous advantages, and very few disadvantages.

The number one dream in many surveys is taking some time off and being able to travel the world.

Now, as a self-confessed ‘nomad’, I am actually living pretty permanently in Chiang Mai, but I love the idea that I could pick myself up and move at a moment’s notice.

I don’t often (largely due to recent world events), but I can, and in the near future I will.

In a way, it’s really ironic that a digital nomad could be static.

So, what’s stopping more people acquiring the skills, and giving themselves this option?

I always used to wonder about this until I came across an interesting reason called ‘crab theory’.

I love finding these little nuggets of information that have wider implications.

Crab theory is the phenomenon that arises from putting a quantity of crabs in a bucket, you know, like we all did when we were kids at the seaside.

If you take the time to observe, what you will witness is fascinating. 

Most crabs seem to accept the new reality and don’t do much, but a few try and explore…

They assess the new status, decide it was better before and start to climb the walls.

Trying to regain their freedom.

However, now comes the interesting part.

Some crabs will search for those trying to seek a way out and stop them.

They quite deliberately clamp their claws around the ‘would be escaper’ and halt their progress.

Deliberate sabotage of another’s attempts, in other words.

I am not a psychologist, but it seems some crabs act to keep the social order together, even if it means they all share the same fate, good or bad.

I’m convinced this theory can be translated to humans.

I’m not convinced it’s malevolence all the time, more a state of mind that the current group should stick together, even if it means sacrificing the dreams of an individual.

In reality, this means that some people will oppose your dream if it means the social construct is in jeopardy.

They are fearful of you leaving, or even exploring options that could result in you leaving.

Not everyone is like this. Your best friends will wish you the best no matter what you decide, but the fact is, some people will.

It appears to be human nature as well as crab nature.

Today’s world is changing fast and I think more people should equip themselves with the knowledge ‘to climb the wall of the bucket’.

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