Thursday, October 4, 2012

“Schadenfreude”

I was still a Livejournal gal when I first encountered the word “Schadenfreude.” I came across the word in a box of drabble prompts, back when I was still actively churning out flash fictions for my fandoms. For some reason, there was relief when I found out there’s a term for this kind of thing:
Roz Cast Schadenfreude, n- a German word that refers to the pleasure derived from failure or misfortune of others.
As far as I can tell, it doesn’t take rocket science to know when some people are secretly happy when you fail—or even just when you make mistakes. It baffled me a lot. I mean, why? I don’t want to bill it as insecurity, or an odd reaction that rushes into some people’s system because it makes them feel better about themselves, but that’s all the conclusion I have.

Here’s the thing: no person has it all. No one's perfect. Like, I’m not perfect, and I don’t mind flaunting my flaws as if they’re hard-won trophies. Kind people throw me nods and cheers for the things I think I do well, and I’m extremely thankful for them. But if there’s one thing I can say I’m ridiculously proud of about myself, it’s that I don’t have this “schadenfreude” mentality. It is possible to be comfortable in one's skin. If I’m sorry for a person, I’m genuinely sorry for him—I don’t need to subscribe to some chameleon techniques when I’m actually stifling a secret mirth inside me.

This post is brought to you by utter disappointment (some people won’t stop giving it to you).

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