Black Women don’t support one another enough. There, I said it!

Often we refer to it as the “Crabs In A Barrel” mindset which essentially means we fear helping another will somehow interfere with our ability to attain greatness. I will be the first to admit in my younger years I hoarded knowledge that would have made things easier for another sister who was trying to find her way. Instead of trying to lift her up, I joined in the ranks of women that sat around and talked $h!t about everything she was doing wrong. While everything in my spirit let me know this behavior was wrong, my insecurity kept me in the “Petty Betty” state much longer than I would like to admit.


I am proud to say that growth and my strong desire to be a better person has put me on a different path where I know that sharing knowledge and wisdom with another will play no part at all in my quest for excellence. In fact, sharing knowledge and wisdom has done so much for my growth as a human being.

I have been reflecting on what we could do better as women to put this “Crabs In A Barrel” mindset to rest. Here are a few things I have come up with:

Accept the fact that we will never attain perfection. Recognizing this has in no way affected my drive for excellence. But it definitely has done a lot to help me chill and not take myself so seriously. This in turn has helped me connect better with others. Not fearing judgment from others (of course, I am human and my feelings get hurt) has caused a shift where I do less judging. A judgment free zone allows us to let our guard down so that we can have real conversations that will help us to flourish as women.


Stop acting like the sh%! from our past didn’t happen. Now I AM NOT telling you to get out there and put ALL OF YOUR BUSINESS in the streets! But those of us that have experienced a little more life than others have to stop acting like we followed a rule book to get where we are. We have all had to overcome some obstacle or hurdle because of poor decisions we have made.

Talking about some of our poor decisions with others will reduce the pressure that younger generations feel to be perfect. This is incredibly important. I strongly believe that pressure for perfection thwarts ones growth and potential. Think about it. How many people do you know play it safe because they fear being laughed at and ridiculed if they do not accomplish the goal?  Imagine if we embraced mistakes and didn’t make people feel so bad about failure. We would create a society where more people are willing to take chances. Chances that will benefit all of human kind. Chances that will make them happier people. Imagine a world where we had happier people.


Encourage one another. Why do we live in a world where negativity comes so much easier than positivity? How many times have you held back your positive vibes just because you are being hateful? How many times have you refused to greet someone with a smile? How many times have you refused to acknowledge something positive another person is doing for no other reason than you are being a “hater”? How many times have you decided you didn’t like someone because you couldn’t appreciate how dedicated they were to reaching their dream? How many times have you decided you didn’t like someone before you even got to know them? If you have done any of these things I will share a mantra that has worked for me, “DON’T HATE, CELEBRATE!”

Sisters let’s join in the fight against the “Crabs In A Barrel” mindset. United We Stand, Divided We Fall!

Just my thoughts!

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

2 thoughts on “CRABS IN A BARREL

  1. Not all together certain that this social dynamic is exclusive to Brown females, not saying you implied that it is. It’s obviously more noticeable and impactful when it happens within the demographic circle we spend most of our time in.

    It’s like “I expect that from them, but Et Tu Brute?

    For years, I thought only Black men shot each other in the streets. Boy, was I wrong.

    I’ve always believed there’s three sides to every story. There’s my side, your side, then there’s the truth in the middle. When it comes to crabs in a barrel, I think the same thing applies.

    The thing is we’re part of a tribe where our affluence, privileges, and nice toys are taking generations to obtain, because of our starting point. Some of our klans were either smarter or more determined, or bolder with ventures than others, which results in varying levels of success. You also have to consider geography, access to resources, and intra-racial friction.

    You can go back to when some family was the first on the block with a VCR or a nice family car. Some became such peacocks, that they deemed their children to good to play with others in the neighborhood.

    A soldier I knew in Germany bought a clean BMW. His statement was “Man, I lost a lot of friends ’cause of that car.”

    How the hell you lose a bunch of friends, buying a car? Clearly, the story can’t be that simple.

    But in surgery, I’ve seen caucasian female nurses talking trash behind one another’s backs, as well as caucasian Male surgeons. It’s just part of human nature: competitiveness and envy.

    But it does suck when it’s one of the homies.

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