why are we pleased with others misfortune

    why are we pleased with others misfortune

  • 1 They give a self esteem boost

    When a person sees someone suffering, he usually gets a self esteem boost because of knowing that he is safe from that specific danger. If for example a person saw an accident he might feel better about himself because of realizing that it didn't happen to him.

  • 2 Appreciating what they have

    When a person sees others suffering he might appreciate what he already has. If a person saw someone being taken to jail then he might appreciate the life he already has. This effect is usually felt after horror movies such as Saw & hostel.

  • 3 They feel superior

    All humans strive for superiority whether they are aware of this fact or not. When someone sees others suffering he unconsciously feels superior to that person and this makes him feel good about himself.

  • 4 Channeling jealous & hatred

    People who hate others or are jealous of them usually enjoy seeing them suffer. Those people think that it's fair for the ones they hate to suffer and that's why it makes them feel good.

  • 5 They Feel lucky

    Most people don't consider themselves lucky but when they see others suffer they momentary think that they have better luck, which this makes them feel good about themselves (See why some people believe in luck).

  • 6 Makes them satisfied with their progress in life

    People usually compare themselves to their friends and peers to determine their own overall success. If a person got fired from a job, his peers might instantly feel more satisfied with their jobs simply because it becomes apparent to them that they have better careers than the other person.

  • 7 Their interests are against people

    If someone sold his stocks then the stock market collapsed, most probably he will feel good even though all the others who haven't sold are losing money. The fact that the person's interests are now against others makes him enjoy seeing them suffer.

  • 8 They are very competitive

    Some people are very competitive and are always comparing themselves to others. Those people can easily get delighted when bad luck slows down others hence increasing their chances of winning.

  • 9 Does the person deserve it?

    If a person believed that someone doesn't deserve to be punished then he might feel pity when anything bad happens to that person. If however, that person believed that the same person should be punished then he will feel good at his misfortunes (See why people hate others).

  • 10 Might be connected to sadism

    People who are sadistic usually enjoy the suffering of others. Sadistic people usually feel inferior and like to see others suffering in order to feel superior to them.

  • 11 More than one reason combined

    So many reasons put together could contribute to such feelings. The desire to be better than someone, envy plus believing that this person deserves to be punished can all contribute to the joy that is experienced as this person suffers. Usually more than one reason causes this feeling.

  • 12 They are direct competitors

    People are more likely to enjoy the suffering of others when they are direct competitors. For example an employee might feel good if another employee who competes with him on the same position had a fight with the boss.

  • 13 The punishment must not exceed a threshold

    People feel good when others get punished by punishments that seem fair. If a person you hate had a car accident you might experience some pleasure, but if he lost a limb then you will feel pity instead. What determines those feelings is the perceived fairness of the punishment.