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Recently I've become interested in police interrogations, and noticed a lot of criminals seem to have a smirk or what I perceive as some form of masked enjoyment or satisfaction. It's how I would perceive my reaction to be when I know I'm getting away with being the imposter on Among Us.

Is there a word for the satisfaction or enjoyment of having gotten away with lying or manipulating, or more broadly general mischief?

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    I like the word smug: having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements. The perp gave a smug grin. But while smug is because the perp pulled off a good lie, smug is pride any achievement, not only a nefarious one.
    – rajah9
    Feb 4, 2021 at 14:15
  • Really like smug too. Thanks!
    – Nick Bull
    Feb 5, 2021 at 13:01

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I think self-satisfaction in criminals is a kind of sinister self-satisfaction combined with disdain for the others, and you could name it a gloat. "Gloat" is a verb, but can be used informally as a noun. It means:

dwell on one's own success or another's misfortune with smugness or malignant pleasure.

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  • I'll give you it, this seems best! There's nothing specific to that exact emotion, so I'll preface it with something suggesting delinquency
    – Nick Bull
    Feb 5, 2021 at 12:57

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