Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Scha-den-freu-de/n: taking pleasure in the misfortunes or others - esp. boastful friends, unscrupulous colleagues, billionaire bakers, and celebrities who are famous for no good reason.

I was fascinated by an article in this month's Marie Claire (page 86) that discusses the love hate relationship we have with other people's success.  Summed up by this quote, 'We're fascinated by people who pull out in front, but we hate them as well' - John Portmann.

So why is it that while we applaud people who blaze their own trail to success while waiting for them to make a mistake? When they do, we criticize them more harshly than those who made a slow climb to success.  Is it jealousy of their courage?  Is it discontent with our own circumstances?  Is this a misery loves company effect?

Here is what I have learned in my own life.  That when you are happy in your own circumstances it comes far more naturally to be happy for others.  Not that I have ever wished bad on anyone but it is easier not to begrudge people their successes when you are pleased with your own.

This entry doesn't really have a moral, just an interesting article if you want to pick it up.  Got me thinking.


1 comment:

Ebony Jewel said...

I totally agree with your comment about when you're happy in your own circumstances it comes far more naturally to be happy for others. I've got too many friends who aren't happy in their own circumstance, which makes them constantly criticize what I do.

I am willing to help anyone "get to where I am" if they are willing to help themselves, but what I'm not willing to do is allow people to walk all over me, use me, and then turn their backs on me. Doesn't work that way & it seems that sadly some of my friendships are turning out that way...BUT...there are going to be haters EVERYWHERE you go, so I just shake it off and keep it movin!