Empathic joy

Happier than if something great happened to me

Empathic joy is when a person derives pleasure from the good fortune of others. Sounds simple. Cleverly scalable too: why rate-limit your experiences of pleasure to the occurrences of your own good fortune, when you could theoretically bask in happiness whenever someone has a lucky break.

Yet there are myriad factors that make this simple, logical concept hard in practice. Scarcity is one that comes to mind – where one person’s gain implicates another’s loss. In many cases this holds true, and the inquiry can end there. We are the product of years of evolutionary efficiency gains.

But careful consideration could uncover pockets of abundance where scarcity might have been previously assumed, and therein lie veins of happiness to be tapped.