Schadenfreude Vs Mudita
You smile when someone fails,
You smile in someone’s pain,
You enjoy the misfortune of others,
You are Schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude is a German term which explains the feeling of joy when someone else in pain is observed. The reason being that to look at and enjoy someone else’s pain is the best way to feel better about oneself. Generally, one with low self esteem and poor self confidence are found to be Schadenfreude. Such people regularly feel threatened by high achieving successful people. Most of us must have experienced this evil feeling with us at least at some point of time. However, to good souls simultaneously feels sympathy and empathy for the others. Extreme cases shows a serious mental anomaly. A person with Chronic anxiety and depression may also see his pleasure in other’s failure. Its really deprives humanity out of the soul if the person smiles seeing someone in pain and enjoys out of this. Studies suggest that the hormone Oxytocin is secreted which is responsible for the pleasure in Schadenfreude.
The Buddhist philosophy of Mudita is the opposite of Schadenfreude. This means happiness in someone else’s pleasure. Buddhist philosophy generalises this concept of Mudita, thus preaching to feel the happiness with the happiness of friends and foe alike. Hence, a state of ultimate happiness and no sorrow is achieved. Mudita is the first step towards a spiritual life. This is an antidote towards Schadenfreude. When one finds joy in the happiness of others, the chances of a delighted life are multiplied many folds. This joy is inhaled thus making its manifestation in one’s own behaviour, action and making the life beautiful. Believe me! Happiness is not a limited commodity in this world. Its ample spread all over! The only limiting factor is one’s ability to imbibe it. Mudita is a way to enhance inter-connectance with happy people and thus exponentially enhancing the happiness and joy of one’s own self.