The Feeling of Schadenfreude, an experience with the dark side of joy

To better understand this topic, I’m gonna need you to drop the myth that any one emotion is remotely ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Drop it. In the end of the day, all you are left to do is to simply feel them.

However, it all goes without saying that our emotions are indeed complexed. Feeling emotions to later identify what they (really) are and how they came about is the best way to working through it. You must allow your emotions to flow.

Life doesn’t exist in shades of black and white, and this same principle applies to our emotions, too. There are times we may feel sad, which may come off as a generally negative feeling, albeit a normal emotional response to pain, there also exists its darker counterpart, despair.

The same goes for the feelings of anger and hatred.

Love and lust.

Faith and greed.

But what about our happiness? Could a word that sounds as purely innocent as to what it means really have such a negative, extreme aspect? Is our happiness capable of bringing harm to oneself and to others?

Allow me to introduce to you a really cool-sounding German term Schadenfreude, which means “defective joy“. This oxymoron is used when a person’s sense of pleasure is derived from the pain and calamities that befall on others.

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