Schadenfreude: 9 reasons you feel joy seeing other people’s failures

You hardly enjoy making mistakes and failing. You feel uncomfortable when you give the wrong answer to a question posed, when you stumble during an important speech, or when you find yourself in second place, participating in an important struggle. But at the same time, you may enjoy watching someone else take a loser position.

There are many reasons why embarrassing situations can give you pleasure. We have collected a few of the most common ones.

You are jealous of other people’s abilities and successes

Envy can make you rejoice at other people’s failures. Even if you and the other person have roughly the same level of knowledge and skills, you may feel the injustice that someone else achieves the desired goal easier or faster than you. Subconsciously, you will believe that a person deserves more respect than yourself because you have succeeded in realizing your inner potential, and he has something to be proud of.

That is why you will be so pleased to see his failure. Just imagine: you envied other people’s talents, skills, successes, and then saw how the person made a mistake.

You increase your self-esteem

Perhaps you once got into a situation where you made a mistake or experienced an awkwardness and received a lot of criticism, offensive jokes, or malevolent glances in your address. Watching the people around you fail can be an excellent way to increase your self-esteem, mainly if you are used to being overly careful and not taking even justifiable risks.

You begin to feel better, realizing that you were not the object of ridicule this time. You join the majority, in some cases even making caustic jokes along with the rest of the commentators.

You transfer your own insecurity to others

You can rejoice in other people’s failures because of the terrible self-doubt that prevents you from trying yourself at something. You are afraid of failure and come up with many negative scenarios to convince yourself to stay in your comfort zone.

And when any of the plot generated by your imagination is embodied in reality by the people around you, you rejoice at the realization of your righteousness. You receive confirmation that your fears are not unfounded, and you continue to fuel your insecurities. And you don’t feel so bad, realizing that you could be in the place of the person who failed.

You divert attention away from your flaws

You can rejoice in other people’s failures because they allow you to divert attention from your shortcomings temporarily. Both you and the people around you focus on a mistake or an awkward situation that happened to someone else. You can make fun of the person or try to oppose him. In any case, you will be glad that no one remembers your failures due to someone else’s failure.

You feel justice when the person who annoyed you suffers

Let’s say that once a person did something bad to you, and for some reason, you could not put him in his place or take revenge on him. The thirst for justice has lived in you for a long time, and you hope that someday a person will find himself in a similar unpleasant situation.

And the moment he fails feels shame and embarrassment, and becomes the object of universal ridicule; you will feel that everything has fallen into place. Your offender finally got what he deserved. Moreover, you may even feel sorry for such a friend, but the very fact that he experienced the same emotions as you once did makes you incredibly happy.

You enjoy discussing other people’s failures

You can enjoy discussing other people’s failures in the company. Gossip, rumors, and general dislike for someone, no matter how sad it may sound, bring the team together. People like to savor the mistakes of their acquaintances, remember how one of their friends or colleagues got into awkward situations, criticize the words and actions of others. You can relate well to the person who has failed but still is happy to share how you watched his shame.

Your main problem is that you do not always understand that such discussions are unpleasant for a person. You do not see any negative in this, and for you, other people’s failures are just an excuse to make a witty joke and start a dialogue with someone.

It is easier for you to find a common language with people who fail

If you rejoice in other people’s failures, you do not always wish the people around you suffering. It may just be easier for you to communicate with those experiencing failure than to find common ground with successful and confident ones.

Those who periodically find themselves in awkward situations become much more accessible in communication because they create the impression of being simple and their people on the board. With them, you are not afraid to be yourself; you are not afraid to say or do something wrong, which saves you unnecessary stress.

You learn from other people’s mistakes

Nobody likes to learn from their own mistakes. But looking at other people’s mistakes, analyzing them, and adjusting your plan of action simultaneously is much safer and more enjoyable. You can draw certain conclusions based on other people’s failures, and they will allow you to achieve your goals in the shortest possible time, without acting blindly and without taking risks. In essence, you will be moving forward along a road previously trodden by someone else.

You expect failure to prove to the person that you are right

Sometimes you can be sure that you know better than the other person what decision he should make. But your advice, even with sufficient argumentation, will not always be heard and used. People always do what they think is right.

When someone who does not take your advice fails, you can experience inner satisfaction. You understand that you were right, and you hope that the person will regret his decision and change his view of the situation.

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