You’re a 21-year-old college Junior.
For extra credit, you go to the psychology building to be in an experiment.
The experimenter has you sit alone in a room with a computer. She has you play a computer game against another college student in a different room.
If you win, you can blast the other student with a 90-decibel white noise machine.
If you lose, the other student can blast you.
FIRST GAME: You lose.
Your opponent does NOT blast you.
SECOND GAME: You win.
Do you blast the other student with white noise?
If you answered “Yes,” you might be an “everyday sadist.”
This 2013 study—and a related one where people could grind up live bugs—explored the concept of everyday sadism.
NOTE: There wasn’t actually another student getting blasted with white noise. No bugs were actually hurt in the other experiment.
Everyday sadism involves taking pleasure in others’ suffering.
In my experience, everyday sadists are the staff members who actually enjoy enforcing rules at work. It allows them to make someone suffer but pretend they’re just “doing their job.”
Another sign of an everyday sadist?
They love to seek out the most vulnerable when they are enforcing the rules. Those experiencing homelessness, mental illness, etc. make easy targets since they can’t retaliate.
Consequently, homeless folks are highly triggered and upset by everyday sadists.
What can you do with this information?
In my experience, everyday sadists are the first staff members to get punched.
If you don’t enjoy other peoples’ suffering, you’re safe. Kind of…
The second staff members to get punched are people who accidentally look like everyday sadists.
This could be a problem for you.
How do you avoid accidentally looking like an everyday sadist?
It is actually quite easy. Make sure when you are enforcing the rules, you show a little sadness about it. Make it clear that you don’t enjoy enforcing the rules.
Showing a little sadness at work will increase your safety more than any other thing you can do.
To learn more about why everyday sadism is a trigger for those experiencing homelessness, watch the short video above.
Have a great week!