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Dear Silver Unpolished: “Schadenfreude”

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Dear Silver Unpolished;

I can’t believe I’m writing this to you but I need an opinion about a sensitive matter and I know you’ll keep my name confidential.

I’ve always been a slightly overweight female. I’ve never had any interest in exercising. I guess being overweight bothered me but never enough to do much about it.

My boss is a workout nut and wanted to find a way to motivate our team in a creative way. So this past Christmas he bought everyone a Fitbit and implemented an office-wide competition with some really cool incentives. To my surprise, I willingly accepted the challenge and began exercising on a regular basis. I got into a steady routine, started eating better and have actually lost fifteen pounds since January. I feel great and look great too.

Here’s where things get a little “unpolished” as you would say.

Ten days ago I threw my back out. I’m not sure what I did but I’ve been in a ton of pain and as a result, there’s no way I can exercise.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been advised by my doctor to completely refrain from anything overly strenuous until further notice. I’m worried this mishap will cause the weight I worked so hard to lose to pile back on.

I’m upset this happened because I was really on a roll but I’m even more upset about something else. Call me crazy but it seems like my co-workers are happy I got injured and not just because of a silly office contest that I now have no chance of winning. Their behavior toward me feels different. It’s not like they would outwardly admit it but I get the sense they are secretly excited my motivational weight loss mission has abruptly ceased and I’ll get heavy again. Am I paranoid? How can so-called colleagues who I also consider my friends be happy I am down and out?


It Doesn’t Make Me Happy That They Are Happy


Dear It Doesn’t Make Me Happy That They Are Happy;

It doesn’t make ME happy either that you think these so-called friends are happy about your injury.

I am sorry you got hurt. I know how awful it can be when your body is out of whack but if you listen to the doctor and take the necessary steps to mend properly, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. You’ll see!

 Now, to address the more sensitive issues at hand. Are you paranoid? I don’t know; but what I do know is the phrase SCHADENFREUDE and there’s nothing delusional about it. Have you heard of this? Schadenfreude is a German word and it literally means “harm-joy.” It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune.

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Pretty fucked up that there’s a name for that kind of catty bullshit, huh? 

I’d like to believe finding pleasure in others’ unhappiness is complete nonsense; that it doesn’t exist; especially among friends to boot. BUT regrettably I guess it does. Sucks, right? Why in the unpolished world would those close to us get off on seeing us fail? It’s a tough pill to swallow; Trust me I know. Sadly, that pill’s been caught in my throat one too many times. 

 I’m not saying your colleagues are dancing the Horah that you’re out of commish but it’s possible there may very well be some schadenfreude going on here!

My unpolished advice?

Don’t let the disingenuousness of others drag you down. Stay true to yourself and continue to be an empathetic and compassionate individual; one who wouldn’t dream of feeling schadenfreude toward anyone. Just because others may get a fix from your flubs doesn’t mean you should ever stoop to their level. Rise above their jealousies, insecurities and/or whatever further questionable vibes may be spewing your way and try to focus all your attention on healing both physically and mentally.  “Exercising” your mind is crucial and it will help to keep you healthy until your body is ready to catch up! 

JUST TO YOU LET YOU KNOW…. I’m rooting for you sistah! I totally got your back; whether it’s injured or not! 

Good luck and keep me posted.

Ciao for now,


Just to let you know..this is where you leave a comment.

8 responses to “Dear Silver Unpolished: “Schadenfreude”

  1. I love this topic and hate people like this!! There is nothing worse than when people are happy by our misfortunes!! I always learned that people who are unhappy or jealous of others are unhappy and insecure within!! Thanks Silver for always having something amazing to say!!

  2. Have you considered these are your own thoughts and not your colleagues? There is a wonderful book called The Four Agreements. One of the agreements is never assume. Assumptions can lead to unnecessary upset and drama . Perhaps you are making up a story that isn’t even true. Instead of assuming people are happy that you are hurt. Ask them. Then you will know exactly where you stand . My guess is likely with a group of co-workers who care about you ! Another agreement is do not take anything personally. Usually words that come out of people’s mouths are a reflection of how they are feeling about themselves. Usually it has little to do with the receiver of the communication . My advice stay focused on being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you that you can be! Now that is a confident contest worth winning!

    1. @Stacy…. Great insight. I hope the reader who wrote in sees your comment!!!! Your advice is spot on!

  3. “Exercising” your broken mind can be a little bit crucial and it will help to keep you absolutely healthy until your body is ready to have a new catch up!

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