Tall Poppy Syndrome

The Tall Poppy Syndrome is a somewhat pejorative term primarily used in most English and other northwest European nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down or criticised simply because their talents or achievements seem to elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.
The idea is that taller poppies are cut off more quickly because they appear to be more visible. Some argue that the tall poppy syndrome is an almost universal phenomenon and that it is more common in some other cultures. The concepts of janteloven ('Jante's law') in Scandinavia and A kent yer faither ('I knew your father') in Scotland seem very similar. A similar phenomenon exist in the Netherlands, where it is called maaiveldcultuur ('mowingfield culture').

By focusing on the supposedly bad things about a more successful person, and even propagating the spread of such, one can elevate their own sense of one's own (diminished) self-worth by comparison. But what the Tall Poppy Syndrome really is is of course an inferiority complex with a fair dose of resentment mixed in.

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