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The phrase "Tall Poppy Syndrome"


  

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  1. 1. Does the phrase "tall poppy syndrome" make you feel...

    • Arrogant jerks deserve what they get.
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    • Don't be a small minded git. Let the poppies grow!
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From an Australian actress’s explanation in a Vanity Fair interview, it sounds like gifted children being cut down if they outshine their peers do fall under the category of people being persecuted under tall poppy syndrome as well.

 

“Robbie explains in a new Vanity Fair cover interview that Australians have a way of making sure people don’t get too big for their britches:

 

“There’s a thing in Australia called tall-poppy syndrome. Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty prevalent thing — they even teach it in school. Poppies are tall flowers, but they don’t grow taller than the rest of the flowers, so there’s a mentality in Australia where people are really happy for you to do well; you just can’t do better than everyone else or they will cut you down to size.â€â€

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/margot-robbie-australias-outlook-on-success-2016-7

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This thread is the first time I've ever heard it.

I've only heard the term on this board as explained by some of the Aussie boardies.  Perhaps it is used elsewhere but I haven't heard it.  My understanding is that it refers to outliers - particularly

The smartest, most talented or outlying kids, I mean the ones who are not just "above average" enough to show off and scoop up prizes, but rather the ones who are on a different plane in whatever way?

Ah. There is another cultural disconnect then. I think this thread isn't for me. (Just that I can't contribute meaningfully.)

 

You aren't the only one.  I'm not following this conversation at all.  I thought it was my brain fog.  LOL

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Ha! Did not know that. Have never heard 'poppy' used to refer to gifted child. That is good to know :) Now I understand the animus!

This blog “crushing tall poppies†is often quoted/linked on Facebook with regards to gifted children. Might be where the association of tall poppies to gifted children came from.

 

http://crushingtallpoppies.com

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I don't have cultural baggage with the term as I only know it from discussions of gifted children here and on a Facebook group. "Poppy" has come to be shorthand for "gifted child" in some of my, mostly online, circles, and it does leave a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I think this is because I've heard it used to complain about other people's reactions instead of discussing ways to improve situations. Like, "my four year old poppy screams whenever she is treated like a child! Her Sunday school teacher just doesn't know what to do with poppies!" Then the feedback is mostly, "I know, people are the worst. The don't get how sensitive and mature our kids are."

I may be overly sensitive because I try really hard not to come across that way with my kids and worry that I'll get lumped in with "those parents"

 

Ew. 

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The people who have only heard it in context of the gifted said that. You have started a thread on a very culturally specific idea and are now reacting when people of another culture who have only heard of it in a different context aren't talking about it "correctly ".

 

Nope. If that were true, I wouldn't have been putting in the disclaimers like "in an Australian context."

 

 

And now we find this was a disguised way to complain about your ex and not an honest question about a phrase. No wonder people are confused.

 
Nope.
 
Not sure what I've done to earn the assumption from a generally reasonable person that I'm being a jerk either. PM me about it, if you like.
 

 

Ah. There is another cultural disconnect then. I think this thread isn't for me. (Just that I can't contribute meaningfully.)

 

 

Except you already did, and I displayed appreciation for that upthread.

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Sorry for being rude and snappy. You shouldn't have gotten the whip tail of my crankiness. Hope you can forgive me. 

 

Now I know that 'poppy' can refer to 'gifted child' in the US, I understand better why posters were unhappy with what I said.

 

Thanks, Sadie! I apologize, too, I should have realized we all had some kind of misunderstanding happening in the thread. 🙂

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I never knew that 'tall poppy syndrome' wasn't a expression used in USA until this thread. i think it has been an instructional thread all round

It's used. I've heard it and said it. I was talking about gifteds or even just especially hard workers being treated in a less than ideal way when I have, though.

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Another who has heard people referred to as tall poppies only in terms of highly excelling children, occasionally adults.

 

Could someone explain the Australian meaning to me again? I don't think I am quite grasping it.

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I had never heard this phrase until I met my dh, who is an Aussie. 

I could be wrong but my observation is that in Australia there is a bit more pressure to fit in and that the predominant acceptable culture seems to be working class (not that everyone is that, but that seems to be the presentation to make).  So both of our countries can have superficial ways of presenting ourselves and it seems to me that Aussie way is that the pretense is that you need to act not quite that smart or quite that rich as you actually may be.  If you don't you risk being a tall poppy.  At which point one will not fit in (be like everyone else) and there will be glee when the tall poppy is cut down.  

 

Until your explanation, I'd spent the entire thread trying to figure out if being a tall poppy is a good thing or a bad thing. 

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 But isn't that preferable to people taking themselves ever so seriously and importantly ?

 

Tall poppy syndrome has it's drawbacks, but I do appreciate the lack of self-reverence it insists upon. 

 

A little reminder that for all one's brilliance, one is a mere speck in the universe, never goes astray. 

 

I have found that many people don't take the tall poppies seriously enough. Do you really want to cut down the smart geeks who are running the world? By running the world, I mean running the technology and the infrastructure, such as the power grid, nuclear power plants, etc.? Because we need these people. We need these people far more than we need people who have a goal of fitting in. We need people who are capable of doing these things we all rely on and we need them to be confident people who are aware of their abilities and able to perform with maximum effort and maximum results. 

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