The Procrustean Syndrome: Why is the one who stands out despised?

When a person appears in life and at work with an inability to recognize the ideas of others; or you are afraid of being outdone professionally; or envy breaks out intoxicating all kinds of relationships, you may not have the clarity necessary to make decisions in the best way.

Is that the Procrustean syndrome, a denomination based on Greek mythology, which has devastating consequences for organizations and, especially, for those who suffer from it on both sides.

Stopping the initiatives of those most prominent is usually one of the great evils that are suffered on a daily basis. Procrustean, the mythological character, he has a destructive fondness for cutting off the feet and heads of those who stick out.

This innkeeper from Attica, in the middle of the hills, offered accommodation to travelers. There he invited them to rest on an iron bed. While the visitor slept, he gagged and tied him to the four corners of the bunk, and not only that: if the victim was tall and the body protruded, he did not hesitate to saw off the parts, such as the feet, hands, or head.

He even had different types of rooms: a very small bed for tall people; one excessively large, to dislodge it with hammer blows, and another adjustable. The condition was that Procrustean always got his way.

In the real world, there are also problems around the corner, in family, friends, work. They are people who, as long as they do not accept their limitations, will have such a management of their impulses with the sole objective of submitting and degrading you, even to totally destructive levels.

That is why people who excel in any field are attacked a lot

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When they are unaware of their actions:

1. It affects them emotionally when someone else is right and they are wrong. In these cases, emotionally overflowing in such a way that they cannot control themselves and are totally destructive.

2. They think they are empathetic, but in reality they judge from their egocentrism the reactions of others. The ego blinds them and they disconnect from the reality, sensitivity and empathy of balanced beings.

3. They usually talk about teamwork, listening, tolerance, exchange of ideas … but always as arguments to be heard, not to listen. They destroy everyone else, since they always want to be right, no matter how unusual their arguments.

When they are aware of their actions:

1. They have fear to meet people who are doing well, are proactive, have more knowledge, skills or initiatives than they do. If they find it, a sense of distrust and discomfort. They despise them, they hate them and they will not cease until they subdue them and even make them disappear from their lives.

2. They focus their energies on limiting the capacities, creativity and initiative of others so that their own deficiencies are not exposed. They are extremely aware of the activities of those who excel; and they always have an ace up their sleeve to revile them, make them look ridiculous and weaken them with any kind of tricks.

3. They are able to modify their initial positioning if, in doing so, they delegitimize the other. This means that they are highly contradictory, making them untrustworthy.

4. They tend to seek the complicity of others to, among all, end the one who stands out more than them. They form cliques, gossip, make other people dirty, and highlight it as personal conquests. His victims, like the Procrustean of the Greek myth, become, in his unconscious, "Trophies of war."


  • Stay as serene as possible.
  • Notify the Human Resources area.
  • Design a safety net with a few highly trusted colleagues.
  • Report when assaults and annulments reach intolerable levels for the person.
  • Face the search for a new job immediately.
  • If there is a superior with listening skills, share it confidentially and articulate possible solutions (it really works).
  • Do not be overwhelmed.
  • Interpose gestures of self-protection against attacks that may occur.
  • Do not justify the one who despises us.
  • Understand that the problem is in the other, and not in who is despised.
  • Find positive ways to cope.

Remember to follow these steps if a person close to you shows Procrustean Syndrome. It is important that you stay calm and go to a person you trust to resolve the situation.

Have you experienced a similar situation?

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