What is Freudenfreude? How to Create More of it.

by | May 1, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Over the last eight years, I have been learning the German language. One unique term I have been introduced to is called “Freudenfreude”.  Freudenfreude means finding pleasure in another person’s good fortune. It is inspired by the German word for “Joy”, that describes the bliss we feel when someone else succeeds, even if it doesn’t have a direct impact on us.

Freundenfreude functions kind of like vicariously living through someone else’s wins. When cultivating a sense of freudenfreude, our friendships actually benefit greatly. According to  Catherine Chambliss, a professor of psychology at Ursinus College and the author of “Empathy Rules: Depression, Schadenfreude and Freudenfreude.” “There’s a theory called capitalization theory: It’s the idea that when we share our joy, our joy increases.” When you feel joy for others, it actually creates more joy for yourself from within. Who wouldn’t want more joy? In a study in 2021, researchers examined positive empathy’s role in daily life and found that  it also propelled kind acts like helping others (The Experience of Empathy in Everyday Life, 2021″. Freudenfreude also enhanced relationships and improved overall mood.

So what is the opposite of Freudenfreude? Shadenfreude means rejoicing or getting pleasure from the misfortune of others. When our ego gets hurt with our own shortcomings, we try to cope with our envy, jealousy or vulnerabilities by seeking delight in Shadenfreude. Clinical Psychologist Emily Anhai says ” It’s an ego-protector that shields people from pain”. Yet in an ironic twist research suggests that rejoicing in the mishaps of others can actually lower a person’s self-esteem and decreases mood.

So how do we cultivate more freudenfreude in our lives?

  • Start by inviting others to share their good news.

  • Celebrate others wins.

  • Show active interest in someone else’s happiness.

  • Share credit for your successes with other’s.

By cultivating more freudenfreude, we deepen our relationships by providing healthy support in positive times just as in trying times. It also helps build a social fabric of people who will be there for you when you also have successes. “Celebrating others successes big or small, helps us all triumph in the end”~Dr. Chambliss


Hello There, I’m Amanda

I love inspiring others to explore the essential connections between mind, body and spirit. I teach skills to build your healing practice and offer courses and retreats based on sacred modalities for modern times. Let’s get this journey started!

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