Stephanie Tran, Broadside Correspondent

While I wouldn’t say I prescribe to any belief system in particular, I would say I like to stay away from the Seven Deadly Sins. You know the ones: pride, lust, sloth, anger, gluttony, greed and, of course, envy. Over winter break, sloth and gluttony reared their ugly heads again, but envy began to creep in too. And where envy leads, “schadenfreude,” German for, “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others” is sure to follow.

It’s a little surprising that this term hasn’t popped up more in American popular culture, especially considering its insidious and already prevalent presence. No matter if another person did or did not deserve their pain, you can’t deny that sometimes you derive a little bit of smug satisfaction from his or her troubles.

Feel slightly guilty about that? Too bad you probably started feeling schadenfreude way back in elementary school. The boy with the coolest sneakers just got them soaked and you feel happy? Schadenfreude. The most popular girl just tripped down the stairs and you’re feeling smug? Schadenfreude. Your despised teacher got sick for three whole weeks and you’re celebrating? Schadenfreude.

But school isn’t the only place where schadenfreude shows up. Reality shows, with their relationship dramas and angry catfights, are probably your biggest source of schadenfreude right now. Even if you don’t know that certain model or survivor personally, you certainly can enjoy seeing him or her be humiliated on national television. Schadenfreude could even crop up in work, especially with the competition for jobs out there right now. Instead of feeling sorry that your obnoxious co-worker didn’t keep their job, but you did, you feel schadenfreude.

You probably feel schadenfreude on a daily basis. It’s hard not to laugh at people when they’re down. But ultimately, concentrating on the good things in your life, instead of the bad ones in others’ lives, will make you feel better about yourself. Of course, I myself found the term while browsing through a fashion magazine, which did contain some awkward celebrity photos to laugh at. So I should probably think over my own schadenfreude before I tell you all to do so. But until that happens, your atrocious outfit still makes me laugh.