Have you ever heard of this German word?
According to Merrium Webster: scha-den-freu-de means a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.
Basically, one feels enjoyment when others fail. Other people’s FAILURE is a stimulant to these types of people. It’s as though they get a high from it.
The word failure has been running through my mind lately. And you know me…..When something sticks in my head I have to confront it. So today I choose to let my fingers do the talking and research this ugly word called “failure”.
When I see others celebrate another’s failure my immediate reaction is heartbreak. How can someone be so cruel/evil? But as I research I am finding out that this act of cruelness is quite common. Schadenfreude in German means a mixture of joy and evil. It is generally regarded as morally evil. To enjoy other people’s misfortune is diabolical. The joy that is found is one of the worst traits in human nature since it is closely related to cruelty.
A major reason for a person being pleased with the misfortune of another person is that the person's misfortune may somehow benefit that person that is thriving on creating misery; it may, for example, emphasize their superiority. This is mostly found in working relationships where two people share a small space. For example; a common station, or position.
But hold on. There is good news and bad news about this miserable human condition. The good news, YOU are on the right track if you are doing something high-risk and is your passion. The bad news, there will always be others that would love to see you fail instead of being helpful. If you run across people that are helpful, hold onto them tight and treat them well because they are few and far between in today’s high speed world, the dog-eat-dog society, the sink or swim motto….. and shall I go on? I do believe you know what I’m talking about.
Through my life journey I strongly emphasize “get to know yourself”, know your “station”, know where you are going and know where you want to be in life.
Here is a quote from Tennessee Williams that I love and want to share with you: “A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.” Survived with grace? I love Tennessee William’s direction. But what’s more pernicious than that idea is that our insecurity is often heaved upon us by other people. It is thrown at us by the people we surround ourselves with. They try to convince us that we are what we are and we’d better just live that way, because that is what we will always be. For real? Says who? Show me the chapter in the life (my life instructions) instructions on predetermined stations. If you are one that accepts the common external station advice you can expect sub-par outcomes all the time.
I don’t know if the urge to see others fail makes some people feel good, if it’s in their genes, or if it’s the “green-eye” of jealousy but I do know one thing, when the evil-traited one sees you doing something that they never took the time to work towards, they can’t hide the hate. It just comes out like a huge green monster. And their joy in your failure will not make them blink an eye. It will not cause them any kind of pain, pity, or heartache. They will always bask in their glory. Do you really want to give that evil-hearted person the satisfaction? I know I don’t.
Everywhere you look in today’s society there is always going to be someone pointing out what is wrong with you. Your looks don’t measure up, your career is not where it should be, relationships fall apart, money is an issue…..Nothing in your life is the way it is supposed to be, and people are eager to let you know how you have disappointed them.
When you hear this over and over you truly start to believe that you are flawed. You begin to wither inside thinking bad thoughts about yourself. “I am not worthy”. This self-dread can cast the darkest of shadows. Do you ever feel like you fail every day? As hard as you work, do you feel like you get nowhere? And you fight daily to keep your head above water? If you are struggling with these issues, you are truly in a danger zone. The little voice inside your head is repeating over and over, “you are not good enough.” Then you find yourself apologizing for not being good enough:
You’re sorry you can’t do well enough at work – you failed
You’re sorry that you became ill and caused a set-back at work – you failed
You’re sorry that chaos is causing others misery – you failed
Taking on the burdens of others will always make you feel unworthy. “Why can’t I fix it?”, “Why can’t I find a solution to ease your unhappiness?” These kinds of thoughts will wreak havoc on you (I am tired of giving so much of myself). When you internalize so much un-self-worth and self-doubt, your body will absorb it. Your muscles will tense and your insides will become sick. Have you ever noticed that you will usually become ill after a very stressful time? That is your body saying, “STOP! Take a break.” You need to take care of yourself if you want to be any good for someone else.
So you had a job that didn’t work out, your relationship crashed, your grades were not up to par…..BIG DEAL!! Use all of these as learning experiences. Define the true you and don’t let anyone else’s actions detour your worthiness. If you want, or need things to change it is up to you. Only you, you alone, YOU can make things change. You have the ability to do it. DO IT!
Never apologize for not being good enough, for struggling in life. You are a person with value who deserves happiness, fulfillment, and true direction. Let your inner spirit soar to great heights knowing that things will be fine. Let the ill-hearted (Schadenfreude) live with their own battles. I am a strong believer in KARMA. What you put out will always come back to you.
Keep life filled with happiness. Be that helpful person that is hard to find. Someone will notice you and hold on tight.
Hugs for always,