Thursday, January 3, 2019 Launceston Books & Magazines
A commuter barges part you on the stairs - and then misses his train.
Your 'perfect' co-worker doesn't get that promotion.
Someone else's child is having a meltdown in the supermarket.

So why are you smiling?

Schadenfreude - enjoying the pain and failures of others - is an all-too-familiar feeling. It has perplexed philosophers and psychologists for centuries but, in a time of polarised politics, twitter trolls and 'sidebars of shame', has never been more relevant. Recent studies have shown that we smile more at a rival's loss than at our own success. No wonder we're said to be living in the 'Age of Schadenfreude'. But why can it be so much fun to witness another's distress? And what, if anything, should we do about it?

Frank, warm and laugh-out-loud funny, Schadenfreude makes the case for thinking afresh about this much-maligned emotion - and perhaps, even, embracing it.
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