So why do you sometimes feel like your successes make you the target of criticism, gossip, or outright sabotage? You may be dealing with the social phenomenon known as “tall poppy syndrome.”
What is tall poppy syndrome?
Tall Poppy Syndrome occurs when a person’s success elicits attacks, resentment, or criticism of them. The act of belittling a target person in order to devalue their success to please their ego.
A 2018 report examining the extent of tall poppy syndrome in the workplace found that nearly 9 in 10 respondents (mostly women) felt their achievements were devalued in the workplace. Almost as many said they were left out, ignored or silenced after a success.
Women and men were equally likely to engage in this behavior, whether they were co-workers or supervisors. About half of the respondents said that even their friends had participated in their belittlement. One in ten admitted to having done it to others.
The success of the fairer sex and its impact on men:
A rendition of actress, producer and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra’s speech on an American show hosted by James Corden, made us tilt about the sexism that has led to the tall poppy phenomenon between men and women.
She expressed this: “Men and women are not equal, we are not supposed to be equal, but we are supposed to have equal opportunities, and that is the most important! We are physiologically, physically and intellectually different. There is no way for us to be the same entity, and we shouldn’t be, because it has nothing to do with feminism. We have to respect the fact that men and women are completely different. But feminists demand equal opportunities without judging their decisions which are about to be taken, isn’t this the same freedom that men have enjoyed for so many centuries?! While women are still fighting for this, we as women do not need to be judged in the same way as men. »
Although we seem to be slowly closing the equality gap, even people with the most basic level of computation will quickly realize that more effort is needed to correct the imbalance.
Women are present in force in education than in leadership, is this a coincidence?
In another scenario, if women are in the majority in the teaching profession, why are they in the minority in management positions? Let’s be clear from the outset, the reasons why the imbalance persists are multiple and complex. It is certainly not so simple to say that discrimination occurs when hiring principals.
But there’s a train of thought coming to many stations around the country that could bring a ray of hope to what many see as an intractable problem. This idea is not limited to the teaching profession, but applies more broadly to leadership positions in business, government, nonprofits, and charities.
However, it is important to note that this syndrome is not limited to one sex or the other. Both men and women can be victims. Therefore, we cannot change a whole society, but we can change our perspective of seeing things and accepting the obvious reality.
The tall poppy syndrome is universal.
Tall Poppy Syndrome is considered universal, meaning it exists in all cultures. In fact, it might even be hardwired into our brains. Studies have shown that when people see a successful person, they experience a negative emotion called “envy.” It is believed that envy makes people put down the successful person in order to feel better about themselves.
How to deal with Big Poppy Syndrome?
What can you do if you think you are a victim of tall poppy syndrome? First, recognize that it’s not about you. It’s not up to you to ease someone else’s pain, it’s up to them. But you can take care of yourself in the following ways:
Focus on your internal reasons for doing your best.
Take stock with yourself: are you proud of what you have accomplished? Give yourself the same support and encouragement you would give a good friend. Make sure you don’t place too much importance on external voices of approval.
Set and maintain good boundaries for yourself.
Understand your needs and know your limits. Communicate them clearly and enforce them. Don’t expect others to respect your boundaries if you don’t.
Turn to people and activities that support you and energize you.
Pay attention to your feelings. When you notice yourself feeling triggered or drained, look for people and activities that make you feel more alive. Note that this is not the same as numbing uncomfortable feelings through substance use or getting revenge on people through gossip.
Know who you can talk to to gain perspective.
Consult with people you trust so you don’t lose perspective. Avoid getting carried away with negative thoughts and distorted versions of reality.
Explore the possibilities of finding a more supportive environment.
If your situation does not seem to improve, do not hesitate to study other possibilities. You will be able to look back on this episode with gratitude if it ends up leading you to a situation offering greater happiness.
Seek professional help.
If you’ve been a victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome, a psychologist can help you explore obstacles, learn self-awareness and self-care skills, and make the changes you need to be fulfilled and happy. .