Self-Care Tip #227 – Find out about your bridge between choosing and being chosen by guilt.
Sometimes we think people who do wrong should feel guilt. But how many of us improve ourselves or others in response to guilt? And because this is a self-care blog (wink), I have tooled around with what it is all about and if it is a positive self-service. In my meanderings I remembered, Schadenfreude. (Isn’t that a marvelous Americanized German word?!)
Schadenfreude is different from guilt, although often in the same company. It is a natural response in which we find pleasure at observing another’s demise or suffering. I speculate that when we see someone feeling guilty and suffering from that guilt, even against our better natures we experience a degree of Schadenfreude, i.e. pleasure. Because we moralize things, we responsibly feel shame when insight dawns on Schadenfreude, but “it just is.” It is a part of who we are in this time of humankind’s history.
However would we go so far as to say that we want people to feel guilty when they do wrong because of the motivating reward that Schadenfreude has on us? For example, Mom is disciplining her children and just won’t stop until someone cries. I remember hearing jokes about this in mommy groups when my kids were a bit younger. …Mom thinks silently,
I’m suffering so I want to see you suffer.
Even though we maturely and grandly empathize (the counterpart to Schadenfreude) with the kids, there is a simultaneous “secret Schadenfreude” (a private feeling) that goes on at their failure. The blend of both can be confusing.
As we continue to travel the bridge between voluntary and involuntary, we are learning more about how choice remains regardless which side we are looking at. For example, if guilt and Schadenfreude are so natural, so biological, so reflexive, we look for our choice.
I become trapped in my own guilt. Yes it is about perspective but what to do when even changing your perspective provides no relief, only a different source of constraint?
Questions: I can’t help but wonder what you think about this? Where and what is your bridge between choosing and being chosen by guilt and other negative emotions? How do you choose when guilt and other negative emotions come involuntarily and inappropriately to context? Please tell me your story.
- Schadenfreude Beddy (deadbeatpoetsf.wordpress.com)
- “Schadenfreude” – A Bully’s Satisfaction. By ABC. (antibullyingcrusador.wordpress.com)
- Someone Else’s Misfortune (benjyandme.wordpress.com)
- The dark side of friendship (psychologytoday.com)
- Guilt Furiously Chasing You Is Commonly Experienced In Illnesses Of The Brain (friendtoyourself.com)