Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why do we enjoy Schadenfreude?

On May 9, the Dutch entry for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest did not make the finals. Before, there was lots of gloating. Several languages have sayings, like Schadenfreude (German), “The misfortune of others tastes like honey” (Japan), joie maligne (French), or geen beter vermaak dan leedvermaak (Dutch).

So, why do we experience pleasure at the misfortune of others?

Big Think-2019: “Because humans are constantly comparing themselves with one another, status lies at the heart of schadenfreude. Like seen above, we enjoy it when something bad happens to high-status people; taking others down a peg can make us feel like we ourselves have gone up a peg.”

Other articles come to similar conclusions: BBC Science Focus-2021, Forbes-2018, Guardian-2018, Science ABC-2022, Scientific American-2010 and This Jungian Life-2023. The 2022 Science ABC article aso provides several theories and/or psychological explanations:

Did I feel Schadenfreude? No. I did have several (competing) thoughts: (i) they did deserve the criticism; (ii) they were victims (eg, minor league playing in major league), and (iii) pity and empathy. I think, feel and believe they were lucky to be kicked out of the first semi-final. Now, it’s time for healing.

“Humor is just Schadenfreude with a clear conscience.”

A quote by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), a German philosopher.

[You] Love To See Me Fail (2019) by Bars and Melody
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album+song

[Chorus: Charlie]
I know you love to see me fail, you love to see me fail
First you blame it on the look, now you blame it on the fame

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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