Sounds like an awful thing right? Well, it’s in the Emotions Dictionary and I have been researching it. It’s not scientifically proven, but articles I read suggest that most people feel this emotion at some point in their lives, and some people experience it often. I have a friend who, I think, needs to feel this frequently, because sometimes I sense her using me as the bait...lol! Just based on the questions she asks. They are questions where I suspect she knows that the answer will make me feel bad. But surprisingly, she is still a dear friend and sometimes I oblige her because I know it makes her feel good. I realized after many years, it has nothing to do with me...it has all to do with her insecurity. And it’s all perfectly normal and part of life.
So why not write about it? I’ve lightly touched on this emotion in my novel, where one very minor character, an employee gloats when another falters. However, lately, I have been toying with the idea of writing some schadenfreude for my protagonist. I’m always trying to make her relatable, not too perfect. But it makes me nervous. It’s a kind of unspoken emotion because although it’s common, it’s not very noble. In fact, some people believe the reason there is no English word for it is that we don’t like to admit it exists. I’m concerned that her having feelings of schadenfreude may make her too unlikeable.
What are your thoughts on writing schadenfreude?
Do you have any great examples to share? (Your words or others')