Operation Self Reset With Jake Nawrocki

Few people will easily admit to taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But who doesn't enjoy it when an arrogant but untalented contestant is humiliated on American Idol, or when the embarrassing vice of a self-righteous politician is exposed, or even when an envied friend suffers a small setback? The truth is that joy in someone else's pain--known by the German word schadenfreude--permeates our society.

In The Joy of Pain, psychologist Richard Smith, one of the world's foremost authorities on envy and shame, sheds much light on a feeling we dare not admit. Smith argues that schadenfreude is a natural human emotion, one worth taking a closer look at, as it reveals much about who we are as human beings. We have a passion for justice. Sometimes, schadenfreude can feel like getting one's revenge, when the suffering person has previously harmed us. But most of us are also motivated to feel good about ourselves, Smith notes, and look for ways to maintain a positive sense of self. One common way to do this is to compare ourselves to others and find areas where we are better. Similarly, the downfall of others--especially when they have seemed superior to us--can lead to a boost in our self-esteem, a lessening of feelings of inferiority. This is often at the root of schadenfreude. As the author points out, most instances of schadenfreude are harmless, on par with the pleasures of light gossip. Yet we must also be mindful that envy can motivate, without full awareness, the engineering of the misfortune we delight in. And envy-induced aggression can take us into dark territory indeed, as Smith shows as he examines the role of envy and schadenfreude in the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Filled with engaging examples of schadenfreude, from popular reality shows to the Duke-Kentucky basketball rivalry, The Joy of Pain provides an intriguing glimpse into a hidden corner of the human psyche.

 

www.operationselfreset.com/joy-of-pain

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After 15 years as a professional educator, inspiring students and fellow educators, I decided enough was enough (not getting a lunch, being scolded for doing what’s right for children, and not being able to go to the bathroom when I needed to were just three of the deciding factors!). I knew at a soul level that I had to find a way to blend my love of the written word and my motivating, upbeat leadership style into something that would allow me to help others in a way the school system wouldn’t.

In just six months, I planned my exit, left my career as a tenured teacher, and launched my own company (The Writing Whisperer) because I knew I could no longer keep my passion and truth locked away. I now work with small business owners and writers in a variety of formats, some of which include content marketing, copywriting, branding word work, private memoir coaching, and journaling. My main mission is help writers of all varieties tap into the power of using their words to spread their messages, both in business and personal writing.

I am also passionate about advocating for doing what is right for our nation’s children and teachers. Because I left the public education system, I can now talk openly about the issues teachers are facing day in and day out, without fear of repercussion. I am a writer for The Huffington Post, as well as a professor at Brooklyn College. Above all, I am a teacher for life.

When I’m not speaking, teaching, or helping people write, I love to spend time with my husband Michael and my cat Shakti, as well as run long distances, bike the busy city streets, travel to far away lands, make tasty vegan meals, and live life to the fullest —my own way.

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