Are you suffering from tall poppy syndrome

The term originates from Livy's History of Rome, Book I, which tells the story of Sextus.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Sextus put to death all the important people in his town of Gabii after his father Tarquinius Superbus symbolically cuts off the heads of all the tall poppies in his garden.

The Australians and New Zealanders have hijacked this story to suit their own views that no-one should ever get too big for their boots, lest a terrible fate befall them. This fear of appearing smug or self-satisfied and inevitably being brought down a notch also affects the English. Although we now live in an era of self-promotion, PR and publicists, one must always seem surprised by and truly sorry for one's success. Besides, we all know that anyone who believes their own myth has a series of much worse syndromes to contend with. Treatment for Tall Poppy Syndrome is twofold: either resign from the top job and be a loser like everyone else, or get used to the view from above. But whatever you do, never tell anyone how much fun you're having.

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