Oh, don’t we all know this? Don’t we all agree?
It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re evil. Sometimes painful things just look funny. Like slipping or tripping over something. And the Germans, God bless them, have a word for it! (No, I didn’t just find out and went to immediate “I NEED TO BLOG THIS!” mode, but I just felt like doing it.)
So, first thing. Definition.
And everyday life is just teeming with perfect examples! Here are a few:
- When a friend spills drinks/sauce/anything and have to mop it.
- When your friend’s couple gets a temper tantrum and your friend has to deal with it. (Not the serious ones that lead to fights and tears, though.)
- Someone gets hit by a random flying item and no blood sprouts out. There’s likely a mix of sympathy and gladness that it didn’t happen to you, resulting in rapid movement of air inside our bodies we call laughter.
- Taking someone’s stuff and watch them frantically look for it.
- Pranks. Self-explanatory. Pure, intended schadenfreude.
See what I mean? And if you don’t find these funny, you’re either too uptight or have a golden heart. I just hope you’re the latter.
I’m a BIG follower of schadenfreude. It’s how I get through life. It’s how I express gladness, that the bad things may happen to people around me I care about, but at least it’s not me. That’s the beauty of it. It shows a sense of selfishness. It’s a part of human nature we’re prone to.
As long as we don’t get hurt, it’s okay.
That’s why we react differently to things that happen to other people. One friend may be okay being teased for the way he/she looks, and you decide to join in the fun. He/she may be lightly offended, but it’s not serious. It’s just slightly annoying. You laugh it off together. No hard feelings. But some may take it to heart, and that’s when the funny stops, doesn’t it? It’s not schadenfreude anymore because at this point, you also feel pain looking at them being pained. Again, it’s selfish. You don’t find it funny because now you’re feeling pain too.
I’m not in the mood for gobbledygook right now, so let’s just cut this short.
You can’t get rid of schadenfreude. It’s useful human nature. It’s a way of expressing ourselves. It’s not always nice, but people just aren’t. Still, it has the power of making bad things seem better. Anyone who could take a laugh and laugh along with all the problems they’re facing is an awesome person. You can use it to measure how good people are. When things take a turn and stop being funny, but they still confidently smirk, it’s time to question just what kind of “friendship” you have.
Personally, I think the best kind of person is someone who won’t try and look nice and concerned if I fall on my butt just because they’re trying to keep a good image when they’re actually stifling. That’s disgusting. I like people who’ll laugh anyway, but still help me get up.
They enjoy themselves, distract me from my pain (unconsciously sometimes), and underneath all that grinning, they really, truly care.