Mitfreude (#269)

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In this episode, I talk about success – not your success, but other people’s success – and how you view it.  I talk about the concept of mitfreude and schadenfreude.

How do you want others to view your success?  With joy or not? I share what I feel is a pretty easy formula if you prefer mitfreude.  Have a listen, and let me know what you think.

Full transcript below.

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Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:05

Hi, everyone, and thank you for joining me for another solo Friday episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast powered by WINDJECT Studios. Today I want to talk about how you feel about success, and not your success so much, but other people’s success. So my partner, Larry, who I was partners with for 20 years, I remember him telling me to always be careful about how much of your success you show, especially with staff, to the people that you work with, because they’re never really going to be happy for you, never going to be really happy with your success. And when he told me that, and he said it more than one time, I thought, oh, you’re just being a skeptic. Maybe you had a bad experience with someone, and not everybody’s like that. I still don’t think everybody’s like that. I think what ends up happening is people judge how they feel about your success by how they feel about you. And so you’re the one who I think impacts how people think about your success more than success itself, however, that’s defined. 

I was listening to the James Altucher Podcast, and that’s one of my favorites, and he was talking about this concept of mitfreude and schadenfreude, which is hard to say, and it made me think about success a little bit because mitfreude is basically means having joy in the success of others. And maybe you might call that an abundance mindset. So you’re not comparing someone else’s success to yours, you’re just happy that they have had or are having whatever success they are, and, schadenfreude is different; schadenfreude is when you get pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune. 

So when I heard it, and Larry wasn’t talking about these things in the same context that I am, but when I heard that, it really made me think about, about success and how people feel about your success. I feel like people that are easy to like and not egocentric, and who are humble and care about other people, they realize that it’s a team that leads to the success of everybody, and no one can do it alone. It’s those people that seem to attract the mitfreude in all of us, because all of us have joy in us that is channeled towards other people. We’re happy for other people. 

But on the opposite side, there’s this thing that people have success, and I don’t need to name any examples, but those who take credit for everything. They think they know everything. They are never wrong. They’ll never admit that they’re wrong. And they’re just not nice people. They are bullies, and they are entitlists, and they’re all these other things. Those people make you suspicious, and they make you angry. And I feel like those are the traits that bring out the schadenfreude in people. I don’t think most people are naturally deriving pleasure from another person’s misfortune, but when you’re one of those people that has sort of gotten to the top of the mountain and done so on the backs of others, or at least that’s the perception that you give off or that people get from you, you bring out this this thing and that’s not probably who they want to be, but it’s who they think they need to be. It’s kind of like get-back time, you know, when you fall off that mountain, and you’ve been one of those people, the schadenfreude in all of us sort of comes out. 

So my point today is very simple. If you want people to feel good about your success, make them a part of it. You know, make them a part of your success. And if you want people to derive pleasure from when you fumble, or when you’ve fallen down, then don’t invite them into your success. Make them think that your success is above them and not the result of something they did to help you. It’s sort of a pretty easy formula. If you want people to feel good about you, feel good about them, make them feel good. And if you want the opposite, do the opposite. So that’s my lesson for today, mitfreude and schadenfreude. 

I do thank you so much for investing your time and energy in me today. And until next episode, maximize your greatness.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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