Schadenfreude is a type of negative thinking that affects a large percentage of the population. It is the type of thinking in which a person takes pleasure from seeing or hearing about the...
Schadenfreude is a type of negative thinking that affects a large percentage of the population. It is the type of thinking in which a person takes pleasure from seeing or hearing about the misfortune of others. It is a very low frame-of-mind, which typically stems from low self- esteem. Any sense of pleasure derived from the misfortune of others can be classified as schadenfreude, even if it is the tiniest spark of satisfaction.
The reason why some people may have adopted the schadenfreude way of thinking is usually because of a sense of failure, incompetence, or inferiority. In a professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, schadenfreude thinking is a very infamous culprit to œill-intentions and digression in recovery. As this type of negative thinking comes from low self-esteem, it is very understandable why so many in a rehabilitation program would be privy to such thoughts. Individuals in rehabilitation are often at a ˜rock bottom' point in their lives in which they are just beginning to make repairs. It can be daunting to take on what may be numerous problems, all stemming from one source: oneself. As an individual struggles with the numerous problems that need to be righted and changed, it is common for them to stack themselves against others to compare nearly every aspect of their lives inward and outward.
This becomes problematic because a recovering individual may begin to focus more on others rather than themselves, which is where their focus needs to be in order to successfully complete a program. Anything can be considered œsuperior to people who often engage in Schadenfreude thinking. Events such as graduation from a rehabilitation program, a new job, a new haircut, or a love interest are all things that could cause envy in another individual; many other examples can be made of such perceived superiorities. As soon as this ˜superior' person experiences any type of failure, which can be great or minimal, the person engaging in schadenfreude thinking will take this as a great triumph. They will look at is proof that the other person is not so great and more on the level of the unhappy individual. As you can tell this is a very unhealthy way of thinking.
Schadenfreude can be dangerous in rehabilitation. It can manifest in the way that if one person relapses, another will take it as the green light to do so as well. It perpetuates the idea that as long as others are making mistakes, bad choices or experiencing misfortune, it is okay for them to do so as well. It brings about a total halt in progress, especially if an individual uses schadenfreude as an excuse to relapse.
While many people, in and out of rehab often engage in schadenfreude thinking, it is very possible to stop this kind of negativity. First and foremost the behavior must be identified as negative and harmful. Next, with the willingness to change, an individual can learn to focus on themselves and leave the triumphs and failures of others out of the mind's eye. Meditating on personal problems and solutions can help banish the negative thinking that includes comparing oneself to others' situations. A kind of meditation that is especially helpful with schadenfreude is œloving kindness meditation, in which an individual wills good fortune, love, and appreciation to others whom they may otherwise feel negative about. Getting rid of schadenfreude and other negative patterns of thought will definitely take hard work and time before it is completely absent. Stopping this negativity will result in higher self-esteem and general well being.
Since 2002, A Center for Addiction Recovery has been helping families find the courage to find recovery from eating disorders and process addictions, as well as drug and alcohol addictions such as heroin addiction, cocaine addiction, and prescription medication abuse. A Center for Addiction Recovery assists patients in restoring their lives by embracing a way of life based upon the 12-Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and by applying a variety of recovery therapies. For information on our treatment programs and therapies, visit us at:
Center for Addiction Recovery “ Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-570-4562
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