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"The adjective frubbly is used in the United Kingdom to describe the feeling of compersion."

Really? As a long term UK resident I've never heard it.

-- 10:44, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Well it's not widely used, and certainly not an official word. Probably wouldn't be that notable at all, but it has the mention in the Guardian. Mdwh 15:21, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

"Compersion" sounds like specialized lingo of a particular non-mainstream group, which is fine, but I don't think it probably belongs in the emotion footer in with more widely-recognized emotions. I have nothing against making up new words to describe concepts like this, but I don't think it should be grouped in with emotions that appear in a dictionary. --Micah Hainline 16:37, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Umm, you need a definition of emotion. If your emotions are all largely biological, then jealousy is an emotion but compersion is not. Otoh, if your emotions include a cultural/interpretive side, you'll nee to include compersion. It maybe best to just leave it in the list for now. frubbly vs. compersion is just another silly UK word vs. US word situation. Frubbly will never have its own article. But you don't need much usage to justify merely mentioning it here. 01:45, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Is this really an emotion?[edit]

I would tend to believe that based on the description, this isn't really an emotion, but rather a specific scenario which brings about another emotion.-- 03:37, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

But if you say "another emotion", it's still an emotion. Whether that emotion is labelled "compersion" or not is a matter of labels. I think what you are asking is, is the emotion described here actually the same as some emotion known by another name? Mdwh 03:41, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I've experienced this emotion before. I would say the feeling is as unique as it's opposite jealousy is. --Krsont 19:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm more inclined to describe this as a facilitator of emotion. For example: one does not feel jealousy. They feel anger based on the circumstance known as jealousy. In the same manor compersion gives one the feeling of happiness based on the circumstance that compersion describes. However emotion is not as defined as this and therefore allows for multifaceted emotions such as jealousy and compersion. Just because human social history has suppressed wide spread acceptance of these circumstances doesn't mean we can't define an emotion such as compersion. That is my opinion. Compersion is real and I've felt it[1]. Sukima 04:47, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Obviously you've never felt real jealousy. It feels distinct from anger. -- (talk) 19:58, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

I think this is a good question. On the face of it we seem to have here a composite state, which consists of an emotion (happiness, pleasure) TOGETHER with an eliciting thought (namely the thought of ones partner being in a relationship with some other person). DADEW 22:01, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Personality theory[edit]

Random integrative note: As a specific instance of an Enneagram subtype counterpassion? -- Formerly the IP-Address 03:32, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


"It doesn't need to be sexual, and this distinguishes it from erotic excitement in watching another person or persons behaving sexually, known as voyeurism."

I've removed this line. First, I believe the comment about it not needing to be sexual in nature is already covered by the previous sentence which is substantially more general.

Second, nothing in the definition of compersion has anything to do with watching--which would be intrinsic to the definition of "voyerism" as opposed to simply fantasizing about someone being sexual--or with sex. The line "...positive feelings one gets when a lover is enjoying another relationship" is telling here: nothing in the term "relationship" necessarily implies sex.

Third, they are different emotions. As mentioned in that line, voyerism involves erotic excitement, as opposed to "positive feelings."

--Nachtrabe 03:20, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


"The experience of taking pleasure when one's partner is with another person"?????? This sounds like a PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER! This "compersion" is not natural and is illogical. I've never heard of this term and doubt it actually exists, but since wikipedia is overrun by extreme-liberals, I guess there's nothing I can do about it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:15, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Just because you haven't heard of it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. --Marc 23:16, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Isn't this masochism? (talk) 03:59, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

No. Masochism means deriving sexual pleasure from receiving pain. It has nothing to do with this. Marnanel (talk) 01:13, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

If one takes pleasure from pain, wouldn't it be easy to confuse the pain with pleasure? Maybe it is pain, one just doesn't "notice" because they take pleasure from the pain, thinking it to be genuine pleasure.

This whole subsection doesn't seem to be moving the discussion forward in any npov way. My comment isn't going to help that, but with the hope of de-mystifying things, I'll just add that there may be forms of compersion that sound less strange to people, such as: feeling joy for an old ex-, with whom you've remained friends, when he or she finds a new lover; or feeling joy for a very close (platonic) friend or family member who has found a new lover (or just gotten married, or they've had a baby) and who therefore is spending far less time with you than you are used to (both jealousy and compersion might happen in that case). While the term "compersion" seems to have been coined and primarily used by the polyamory community, the concept of feeling joy at someone else's love-life, even when it brings you no direct benefit, is probably familiar to many. --Ajasen (talk) 01:16, 25 November 2007 (UTC) (talk) 03:01, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


It says: "Compersion can be said to be a form of empathy; i.e. pleasure that a loved one is experiencing a good thing in his or her life."

That's all well and good, but I don't think that's the only possible form this takes. I know a woman who likes it when her boyfriend sleeps with other women, not because she's happy for him, but because she feels like "she's got a real man" (her words); it changes her perception of him. Now, is this covered by some other term, or does this also fit into Compersion? Or is it just something peculiar about this girl? Might be something to consider, though I obviously can't substantiate it because I'm no expert on the subject. --PheonixSong 18:31, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Compersion is defined as experiencing joy for someone else because of something good they have (i.e., the opposite of jealousy). So, that wouldn't be compersion. — Saxifrage 19:43, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I would have to disagree with saying that’s not compersion. In that situation most people who would experience jealousy would definitely be jealous. She is definitely reacting in a manner opposite of jealousy. Even the statment: "Compersion can be said to be a form of empathy; i.e. pleasure that a loved one is experiencing a good thing in his or her life." would define her situation. She is experiencing a positive feeling to what I would expect her Boyfriend would consider a good thing. By the definition given, that senareo fits. Even if her explination is that she feel like that makes him a "real man", she also said she likes the feeling. If thats still not compersion then the definition does need to be revised.


I don't know for sure, but maybe the topic is encyclopedic. As it stands, the article is just a fairly complete dicitonary entry. It already appears in wiktionary. DCDuring 00:07, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I vote against deletion. Hermitage 16:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I also believe this should be an entry and might be compared to (which is interestingly not linked to the emotion framework). I'll note that i came to the Wikipedia to check on more details about the term. -- 06:52, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I vote against deletion. While this entry is mostly definitional, the concept is potentially encyclopedic and the article is a useful start to that. Paxuscalta (talk) 07:52, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I hope with my edits that the page now looks more encyclopedic. It had been a while since I looked at the NYT article, so I forgot that compersion was never referred to as such and was couched in a discussion of human development. I will look at other Wikipedia pages to see if I can connect the compersion entry to them. VS 78 (talk) 16:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


I removed a PROD tag because if the article is proposed for deletion, it needs the full discussion that would be brought about by an AFD. But it might be well to make a further effort for additional sourcing. . I would personally imagine the concept is discussed as well as the word, but I know the literature on this sort of topic is difficult to find, so I have added a "moresources" tag. Those who support the article, consider it a challenge. DGG (talk) 10:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand the reasoning in the first sentence above. You removed the tag because it would have provided the discussion you say is needed? That would be like a store taking the sign down to get more business. Can I use that reasoning elsewhere in WP? DCDuring 14:21, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
A PROD means the article will automatically gets deleted. I presume he means that this article should only be deleted after a full discussion on AfD (and I agree). He didn't take a sign down, he put one (or rather, two) up. Mdwh 16:59, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Compare to "Mudita"[edit]

mudita is an ancient Pali word meaning something like "sympathetic joy", or joy at the joy of others, or the opposite of Schadenfruede. I went ahead and added it to the See Also: section since the Mudita article already cross-links back to compersion. It may also be worth looking at the "mudita" entry to see ways in which the "compersion" entry might or might not need to be expanded in order to avoid being "unencyclopedic". Can someone help with etymology and the place of "compersion" within academic psychological frameworks? Or a bit of a historical thread; i'm sure that "compersion" is not the first English-language attempt at a word, phrase, or expressed-concept to mean "the opposite of romantic jealousy". I can hardly imagine that Shakespeare or Wordsworth didn't tackle the theme, for example. --Ajasen (talk) 00:18, 25 November 2007 (UTC)


What's the etymology of the word? Anyone able to trace it's first usage? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:31, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I did trace down the origin, from one of the original Kerista members who claims to have been present (and whom I find believable). For your curiosity, he says it was created by the group via Ouija board (a device of which Kerista made extensive use for decision making), prompted when a couple of the female members were discussing positive feelings they had about their male partners with others and thought "there ought to be a word". It was not consciously invented from any roots. Alas, I don't believe there is any Wikipedia citable source for this origin, so even if true (and I believe it is), we can't describe it here.

And sorry, if schadenfreude isn't on the list of emotions, then 'compersion' is a lot more minimal than that. It's just a subset of the complement to schadenfreude 'happiness caused by the happiness of others' which doesn't actually exist in common usage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:31, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

"schaudenfreude" and its opposites are general. This is related to sexual jealousy specifically--as the opposite. I think some of the skepticism to this concept is based on a feeling that there is no actual alternative to sexual jealousy. DGG (talk) 15:59, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Uh, that's a little supercilious.
I am polyamorous, and the reason I am so, is more than any need for multiple partners myself (although I have), but because I've never felt jealousy in a specifically sexual context, and therefore feel no need to limit my partners in who they love. And in them doing so, I have, indeed, felt happy for them. Now we've gotten my unneeded and utterly anonymous qualifications out of the way -
I still have issues with the word 'Compersion' being included in the emotions template. Y'know the 'no original research', and NPOV thing for Wikipedia?
It means that we document things as we are, not as we'd like, and when it comes down to it, Compersion isn't in common usage as a common emotion. There's only two news results available on Google news, and they actually appear to be drawn from Wikipedia, not the other way around.
Hell, it's not in my spell-checker.
As a definition for a use in a certain subculture (and not , it barely scrapes by (ie better suited to wiktionary), but putting it in the emotions template seems slightly promotional. - (talk) 08:58, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

(Personal?) disagreement re: "opposite of jealousy"[edit]

I have removed text in the entry that is not referenced. It claims that many polyamorous people disagree that compersion is the opposite of jealousy. This content was already on the page when I found it, and Sim conners dressed it up but did not add a reference. Just trying to maintain NPOV on the entry. Here is the text (from Sim conner) that was removed:

"It may be possible to experience one (or more) forms of jealousy while still feeling compersion. For example, one might feel exclusion jealousy because he fears his partner will spend more time with a new lover and less with him. But at the same time, he might feel happy because he has seen how happy his partner is about her new partner. Therefore, some who practice polyamory believe it is possible to experience some form of jealousy concurrently with compersion."

If folks think it is important to keep, please add a reference. VS 78 (talk) 15:22, 6 November 2009 (UTC)VS 78

I believe that it is true (from experience and observation) that it is quite possible and not uncommon to feel mixtures of "jealousy" and "compersion"; further I believe it's very relevant given that some people seem to prescribe compersion as an antidote to jealousy. But given that the term itself is marginal (in Wikipedia protocols), I suspect that it will be hard to find a suitable reference. We'll have to wait until there is more research to validate such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Cases in the News[edit]

Is this really an example of compersion? Alzheimer's does not assume a specific notion of identity. I would argue that the person she loved and had a romantic relationship was no longer present. This seems like an attempt to manipulate the facts to lend credibility to the idea. I actually think compersion is possible, at least in some people, but I think it's meant to apply to polyamorous situations. Was O'Connor still having sexual relations with her husband. It's unlikely he could even consent. It doesn't even say whether he knew her to see her. The article also tries to make a pseudo-scientific and ageist distinction between "young love" and "old love," essentially arguing that young love is selfishly motivated and inferior. This doesn't seem like the best case to make for compersion. This could, perhaps, be expanded into an "example" section? I know Satre and de Beauvoir had open attitudes towards sexually. Did they have anything about this? I'm no expert, I just feel that examples should be rigorous rather than questionable. Dooga16 (talk) 08:36, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Given that the New York Times article doesn't actually use the term 'compersion' (although it appears to be discussing a similar concept), it should probably be removed as off-topic. Robofish (talk) 23:11, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

It looks like there were some edits to the opening paragraph recently. I corrected some apostrophes and also made the description more accurate. The original line "commonly used to describe enjoying multiple romantic or erotic partners coexistently and/or elapsing over time" implies that the joy is from the first person experiencing the relationships. But compersion is when the person feels joy for their partner, not for their self. asciiman (talk) 04:59, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

There seems to be a number of issues with this page that I believe could best be fixed by merging this page with Polyamory or something similar. First of all, it's important to point out that Wikipedia isn't a dictionary or a slang, jargon or usage guide - see WP:NAD. The term seems to be a jargon term that is used exclusively within the polyamory community. Of the eight citations listed on this page, two of them come from clearly unreliable blog sites, another one is a broken link, three come from books that appear to be self-published and aren't accessible on the internet, and two more make no reference to the term. Wikipedia policy, as per WP:NEO is not to allow neologisms. That means "To support an article about a particular term or concept we must cite what reliable secondary sources, such as books and papers, say about the term or concept, not books and papers that use the term." After my own searching, I can't find significant secondary neutral sources referring to the term - it seems to be exclusively used within a particular community, and thus may not be notable for its own page. I also quote from WP:WORDS: "Neologisms are expressions coined recently or in isolated circumstances to which they have remained restricted. In most cases, they do not appear in general-interest dictionaries, though they may be used routinely within certain communities or professions. They should generally be avoided because their definitions tend to be unstable and many do not last. Where the use of a neologism is necessary to describe recent developments in a certain field, its meaning must be supported by reliable sources." The word doesn't appear in general dictionaries, and it's being used exclusively within a certain community. I think instead of deleting the term it could be merged into the Polyamory article. mikeman67 (talk) 17:33, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

I think merging some of the material to polyamory could be appropriate, and some the content should perhaps appear in the mudita article, since compersion and mudita seem to encompass nearly identical concepts. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 18:03, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Note: On the article discussing schadenfreude (the opposite of mudita), there is a section titled "Neologisms and variants". Perhaps the mudita article could have a similar section where it discusses compersion. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 18:17, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't have anything to add, really, other than my support for the merger. As much as I hate to see it go, Mike's arguments are bang on. There's absolutely no reason I can find to keep this page. RobinHood70 talk 09:22, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and nominated the article for deletion, Prototime and RobinHood70, over here. Please feel free to share your though on this, I'm hoping to get more of a discussion going on this. mikeman67 (talk) 14:15, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

This utterly unacceptable. Compersion is a way of approaching life with your partner and does NOT require a Polyamory arrangement to exist. Compersion has more to do with understanding your own and your partners desire to explore and experience life. Compersion as a concept descends from Hedonist [1] principles and has more to do with [2] Utilitarianism than anything else. We run workshops and have just started a website because the notion of Compersion is growing - what a ridiculous time to choose to downgrade it. Contact me on for further clarification. Happy to edit and extend the existing wikipedia entry to improve ranking based on the rating system used.

  1. ^
  2. ^