This week Jake is talking with Richard Smith, professor of psychology and author of The Joy of Pain.
How do people come to who they are and their sense of themselves? Richard Smith tells us that one of those ways is through social comparisons. How good we are at things is a comparison of ourselves against other people, but this can cause problems when we focus too much on how we measure up to others. We can often develop envy due to comparing ourselves to others, and this envy can become a major problem in our lives if we focus too much on it.
We often don’t admit it, but we as people do take pleasure in someone else’s pain at times. We like to see our enemies fail or that celebrity we envy have a run of bad press. Joy in someone else’s pain is known as schadenfreude and it lives within our society, even if we don’t acknowledge it.
Listen in as Richard talks more about schadenfreude and how it can make us feel better about ourselves or lead to problems within our own lives.
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