Friday, June 6, 2014


SCHADENFREUDE: Pleasure derived from 
another person’s misfortune.
Origin German: from Schaden 'harm' + Freude 'joy'

Do you have a friend whose face lights up when you tell her bad news about yourself? Who pumps you for every last detail and proceeds to tell you where you went wrong and how she never does? 

I don’t mean the satisfaction we all feel when someone gets their comeuppance, but those who are actually pleased when you’re doing badly. Sad to say, these ”friends” are usually women. Some men do a similar thing minus the “joy” part; they’re usually just severely judgmental.

Of course these people can’t be real friends, but you can have fun with them anyway. When you run into them socially and they ask if you’re well, with an expression hopeful of the contrary, tell them in great detail how well things are going for you. Exaggerate, embroider, invent, fabulise, glamorise, champagnise. 

If your house is flooded, tell them you’re having a giant fish tank installed under the floor. If you’re broke, say you’re following a famous minimalist guru and you’ve attained Nirvana. Your clothes are unfashionable and shabby? It’s shabby chic, don’t you know. Not taking a vacation this year? You must supervise the installation in your house of a hall of mirrors and musical fountains like Versailles. You look a little tired? Just got back from Cannes, the festival is quite grueling, n'est-ce pas? The possibilities are endless.

But, no matter how much they squirm, look pained and prompt you to confess to unhappiness, never ever admit to anything remotely negative. It’s got to be all euphoria all utopia all the time.

People small and spiteful enough to enjoy others’ misery are not very bright and quite gullible. By playing with their shameful weakness you can amuse yourself no end and drive them absolutely crazy.
                           SCHADENFREUDE, FRIENDSHIP, BRAGGING

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