Mudita, not pride, is what we experience when we enjoy another’s achievements

Mudita, not pride, is what we experience when we enjoy another’s achievements

What do you call it when you experience happiness in another's achievements?

My family and I recently celebrated a significant event in my daughter's life and among other things, she delivered a beautiful and thoughtful speech. After the event many people approached me, congratulated me, and noted that I must feel proud.

I obviously accepted their generous compliments but I must admit I also felt uncomfortable with the word "proud" as to me, that seemed to assume that I should be taking some credit for her achievements. Now I did help her prepare and practice her speech and I guess I've contribute to her upbringing over the last 13 years BUT the positive emotion I experienced on that day was NOT due to any feeling that I'd done something significant but more so, I was glowing and felt happy because she was happy; I was pleased because she'd achieved (not because I had).

So, given one of my top strengths is a love of learning I did some research and I discovered a new word…


What I learned is that the word "mudita" has Buddhist origins and is effectively a synonym for joy. But, and this is an important but, it's a different type of joy and happiness, one in which the joy and happiness is experienced due to the success and good fortune of others.

You can check out the full definition and explanation on Wikipedia HERE and I very much encourage you too because the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this form of happiness, joy and pleasure experienced because someone else is experience joy and pleasure (or achievement or some other positive emotion) is one of the most satisfying and enjoyable forms of positive emotion there is (especially as a parent but also, as a coach, therapist, friend etc).

So when have you experienced MUDITA, joy for someone else's success? Let's share our vicarious pleasures HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page : )