While schadenfreude we (now) know, it also has a happier cousin, called freudenfreud. What is this?
Enjoying someone else’s success or happiness is what is referred to as “freudenfreude” by social scientists. This term, derived from the German word for joy, refers to the happiness we experience when someone else achieves something, even if it has no direct impact on us. According to psychologists, freudenfreude acts like a social bonding agent, making relationships more enjoyable and intimate.
Some call this positive empathy, ie. the ability to feel and experience someone else’s positive emotions.
Studies have shown that experiencing freudenfreude can foster strong relationships and increase our sense of belonging. For example, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that people who experienced freudenfreude in response to their friends’ successes reported higher levels of life satisfaction and more meaningful relationships.
This is all no different from what the Gita or my Guru says. Just live for others, and dedicate our lives to helping those around us.