Q & A – What is Shadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is a German word that describes the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction derived from the misfortune or suffering of others. It is often used to refer to the joy someone may feel when witnessing or hearing about the failures, mistakes, or hardships experienced by another person.

The term “schadenfreude” is a combination of two German words: “schaden,” meaning harm or damage, and “freude,” meaning joy or pleasure. Although the word itself is German, the concept of deriving pleasure from others’ misfortunes is universal and can be found in various cultures and languages.

Schadenfreude can manifest in different ways and to varying degrees. Some people may experience a mild sense of satisfaction or amusement when witnessing a minor mishap, while others may feel a stronger and more malicious delight when observing significant setbacks or failures.

It’s important to note that while schadenfreude is a widely recognized phenomenon, it is generally considered to be an unkind and morally questionable emotion. Taking pleasure in others’ suffering can be seen as lacking empathy and compassion. Cultivating a sense of empathy and understanding towards others is generally considered a more positive and compassionate approach to human interaction. 

© Linda C J Turner

By Linda C J Turner

Coaching and Therapy
Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy.
Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist.
REIKI Master.
I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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