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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Schadenfreude

Updated: Jan 2

 

 

Admittedly, I find it a little challenging not to express joy or pleasure concerning the suffering of some people. After all, I’m a fallible human being and it’s easy to rejoice when those who I perceive as opposing me end up failing at one point or another.

 

The term for this experience is “schadenfreude” (shaa·duhn·froy·duh). Describing the word, one source states:

 

It’s obvious that schadenfreude is not an English word—it’s German, and it’s made up of the words Schaden, which means “harm” or “damage,” and Freude, which means “joy.” By definition, schadenfreude means finding joy in someone else’s misfortune.

 

I imagine that I’m not alone in the experience of schadenfreude, as I suspect the reader also understands this matter from a personal perspective. Expanding upon this matter, one source claims, “Researchers have found that there are three driving forces behind schadenfreude – aggression, rivalry, and justice.”

 

Perhaps a person who once dismissed your romantic affection for another individual is later cheated on by the one chosen over you and you felt joy, as though some form of cosmic justice was dealt to your former love interest. That’s schadenfreude.

 

While I don’t intend on making a case about how the experience of schadenfreude is morally wrong for all people, I try to use unconditional acceptance as a means of keeping matters in a healthy perspective for my own life—especially when communicating this experience. For instance, among some blogposts I’ve intentionally not written are:

 

  • Expressing joy when many Hollywood writers and actors went on strike after years of pushing what I consider unwanted and unnecessary diversity, equity, inclusion, and access propaganda in shows and films

  • Cheering in delight while sharing that The Marvels tanked at the box office, after Marvel Studios used feminist nonsense to infect an entire genre of superhero movies

  • Communicating pleasure when rightwing and leftwing members of various sociopolitical institutions discovered how free speech rights actually work when faced with the litmus test of the 2023 Israel-Hamas war

  • Posting about amusement in relation to how despite the fact that the mockingbird media has declared that Ukraine’s victory over Russia is inevitable, it’s obvious that Ukraine cannot defeat their more formidable foe

  • Laughing at the many times President Joe Biden as fallen, as this same individual has slammed the United States economy to the metaphorical ground in a similar manner

 

There are many blogposts of this nature which I’ve chosen not to write. Although I may actually experience schadenfreude regarding the aforementioned examples, I don’t want to gloat over the misfortune of others.

 

After all, it may likely be only a matter of time before the prosperity and success I’ve managed to currently enjoy comes crashing down around me. My irrational beliefs about adversity of this sort are difficult enough to process as is, let alone when experiencing the expression of schadenfreude from other people.

 

Therefore, I practice unconditional acceptance of myself, others, and life as a whole in order to keep myself tethered to a balanced perspective regarding reality. How about you, dear reader? Do you like how you behave when experiencing schadenfreude? If not, I may be able to help.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

D’Alessandro, A. (2023, November 12). ‘The Marvels’ meltdown: Disney MCU posts lowest B.O. opening ever at $47M — What went wrong – Sunday update. Deadline. Retrieved from https://deadline.com/2023/11/box-office-the-marvels-1235599363/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 11). Catering to DEIA. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/catering-to-deia

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, February 9). Feminism. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/feminism

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, July 12). Intentionally cancerous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/intentionally-cancerous

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, October 19). Mockingbird media. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/mockingbird-media

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, February 25). Unconditional other-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-other-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

Montanaro, D. (2023, December 9). The economy is a trouble spot for Biden despite strong signs. Here’s why. NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2023/12/09/1218291541/biden-economy-inflation-jobs

Ticak, M. (2019, May 8). Schadenfreude–What does it mean? Grammarly. Retrieved from https://www.grammarly.com/blog/schadenfreude/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). 2023 Israel-Hamas war. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_Israel%E2%80%93Hamas_war

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Joe Biden. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Russia invasion of Ukraine. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_invasion_of_Ukraine

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Schadenfreude. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schadenfreude

Wikipedia. (n.d.). The Marvels. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marvels

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