Personal Health

Schadenfreude among colleagues is contagious

If someone in the workplace is treated unfairly, respond to colleagues, often with empathy – but sometimes with Schadenfreude. This happens especially when people consider each other as competitors. In the worst case may be, the Schadenfreude is even contagious.

Most of the employees have already experienced, as a colleague has been moved here. Most of the studies on this subject describe that uninvolved colleagues to sympathize with the Victims and the perpetrators to Anger feeling. The economist Jamie Gloor of the University of Zurich, however, too simple. She has found that some people benefit from the mistreatment of others, and under such conditions, gloat, and flourish: &quot may arise;Gloating is more directed against the most prominent and envied employees. Unfair treatment may increase the chances for coveted rewards."

The researchers distinguish between a righteous gloating – for example, if the victim due to the misdeeds of the past, the poor treatment "verdient" has – and the ambivalent Schadenfreude, it is tempered with the joy at the misfortune of others, of guilt and shame feelings. Especially in the case of the supposedly-justified Schadenfreude can lead to a vicious circle that leads to initially uninvolved colleagues begin to treat that Person unfairly.

The authors therefore recommend that the competitive dynamics in the workplace to counteract, by a common vision developed and more team-based than individual incentives. An inclusive climate contributes more to reduce the outside since feelings. Clear policies and procedures can be envy and resentment can be avoided.