On schadenfreude and other sorts of enjoyment -Juli Fraga in NYT:
‘Finding joy in another person’s good fortune is what social scientists call “freudenfreude,” a German term that describes the bliss we feel when someone else succeeds, even if it doesn’t directly involve us. Freudenfreude is like social glue, said Catherine Chambliss, a professor of psychology at Ursinus College. It makes relationships “more intimate and enjoyable.”’
‘“Schadenfreude is one way we try to cope with jealousy and vulnerability,” said clinical psychologist Emily Anhalt, co-founder of Coa, a mental health app. It’s an “ego protector” that shields people from pain and reinforces social bonds within a group, like when joy erupts among sports fans after their rival faces a humiliating loss.
Indulging in too much schadenfreude, however, can backfire. One study found that schadenfreude on social media can ice out empathy, making people less compassionate toward those who differ from them. Other research suggests that delighting in the mishaps of others can actually lower a person’s self-esteem, especially when they are comparing themselves to high achievers.
Indulging in too much schadenfreude, however, can backfire. One study found that schadenfreude on social media can ice out empathy, making people less compassionate toward those who differ from them. Other research suggests that delighting in the mishaps of others can actually lower a person’s self-esteem, especially when they are comparing themselves to high achievers.’
‘“Too often, we think of joy passively,” Dr. Franco said. “We see it as something that comes to us, instead of something we can generate.” But you don’t need to wait for someone else’s good news to exercise freudenfreude, she explained.
Cultivate joy by inviting others to share their victories. You might ask: “What was the bright spot of your day?” or “I could use some good news. What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?” Asking about other people’s wins turns you into a joy spectator, giving you a chance to witness them at their best.
Experiencing more freudenfreude doesn’t mean you’ll never root against a villain again, but being able to reach for happiness is inherently beneficial. “As delicious as it is to delight in our enemy’s defeats, celebrating our friends’ success — big and small — helps us all triumph in the end,” Dr. Chambliss said.’
Read the article here.
I love the concept of freudenfreude.
But if freudenfreude has won, literature and religion will have come to an end, at least literature and religion as we know it.
It’s a bit cynical to believe that we will never be able to overcome jealousy and hatred.
A famous Dutch sociologist remarked that admiration is jealousy in disguise.
Some parents are jealous of the achievements of their offspring, but others are truly delighted.
Freudenfreude is always a possibility, and the bridge from schadenfreude to freudenfreude is called indifference. Indifference is our foothold into the world of freudenfreude.