The Compersion Matrix

Schadenfreude —a German word that refers to deriving pleasure from someone else’s misfortune

  • Three Stooges; Wile E. Coyote
  • Smiling when your ex gets dumped

Empathy — the ability to feel and experience another person’s suffering

  • Rushing to the hospital when your ex gets in a car accident
  • If Moe actually blinds Curly, it’s not funny anymore

Mudita / Compersion — taking pleasure from someone else’s happiness

  • Mudita — enjoying other people’s happiness in general
  • Compersion — enjoying your partner’s happiness even if it’s not with you

Jealousy / Envy — at what point does your capacity for compersion lose out to jealousy or envy?


What if Jealousy isn’t a bad thing. What if it’s too much of a good thing.

Like your favorite song cranked up so loud that it hurts your ears.

Because, let’s be honest, your goal isn’t to be with someone that no one is attracted to.

Or someone who has no life outside the relationship whatsoever.

No friends, no sex appeal and no life.

So at what point does your capacity for compersion — your ability to be happy for your partner’s happiness — lose out to jealousy, envy, insecurity, or possessiveness?


(Read the six-part series on jealousy here.)