Mansi asks: Why do we revel in another’s misery?

Have you ever had an instance where you thought something you really shouldn’t have and then blurted it out, too?

I try to have my verbal filters in place for the most part … but sometimes the thinking happens after the speaking.

Like last week when I blurted out “I am so glad it wasn’t sunny for you in Jamaica!”

Who says that to someone returning from a vacation in the Caribbean “untanned?” That’s such a big no-no on so many levels.

I’ll tell you who. The person who herself was in Cancun where the maximum temperature was a cloudy 70 degrees fahrenheit!

It wasn’t just that I said it … it was also the fact that I thought it.

Just because I didn’t have the most ideal weather on my vacation shouldn’t make me feel glad that someone else’s vacation wasn’t perfect.

I mean, how does it affect me in any way, shape, or form that so-and-so didn’t have the best time ever? It doesn’t make my trip more satisfying.

But still … knowing what I logically know, my first instinct was to react with glee. It’s not really malice or meanness … it’s just that unexplainable feeling of momentary satisfaction … followed by a LOT of guilt.

My husband called me out on it saying, “This is just so wrong.”

And I knew it. I was ashamed of feeling that way. But, I just couldn’t help it.

What is it about someone else’s misery that makes us feel thankful? Why do we not want anyone else to have a good time when we aren’t? Why are we subconsciously so petty?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I’m hoping that someone out there reading this will be able to empathize and explain.

I don’t want to hear a “It’s ok” — because I know it’s not. It’s never ok to wish anyone ill or want nothing but the best for friends.

But I do want to know why we allow ourselves to be pulled into the deep, dark trenches of ill will…

What’s your take?

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F Mansi asks: Why do we revel in anothers misery?

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  3 comments for “Mansi asks: Why do we revel in another’s misery?

  1. January 8, 2011 at 2:58 am

    I am guilty of feeling this way too – many times. Misery loves company, so we immediately try to pull others in our situation when we are feeling that way. We also use this as a way to pull ourselves out of our misery….it’s not the right way to do so though. I have become much more conscious about this and have succeeded in greatly reforming my thought process…..

  2. PoojaNo Gravatar
    January 8, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I agree with Shachi’s comment — misery loves company.
    Mansi, just to make you feel ‘better’ ;) , let me tell you that we had an awful trip to Brazil last week. It was a lot of work to book tickets, renew my passport, get visas and take such a long flight. I naturally had a lot of expectations from the vacation.
    Let’s just say the non-ideal weather was only one of our problems.

  3. January 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Mansi, new visitor here, thanks to Vidya’s shoutout at Bragbin and am so glad to have discovered yet another fun, frank and intelligent read. Look forward to be here more often and participate in engaging convos.
    Best wishes,

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