Predicting Or Manipulating The Future

The other night I watched Zoolander 2.  During one part of the film (and this isn’t giving too much away), Zoolander is manipulated in to doing a series of things by believing that he should always do the opposite of what he’s told.  It reminded me of something a whole lot more serious whereby someone can be manipulated in to do something that, actually, that other person wants to do.

This is something known as “projective identification”.  I’ve spoken before about narcissistic projection, where a narcissist begins to recognise a weakness in themselves and so gives it to someone else instead.  It’s something I noticed in retrospect when it happened to me.  At the time you can’t work out how someone is seeing something in you that had never crossed your mind and that you still can’t fathom by piecing together all the information you have.  Then a series of events are kicked off and you recognise that it was the other person with that insecurity and that it’s not you all along.

Projective identification works similarly, but is better explained by calling it something else I’ve seen it described as – negative fortune telling.  The examples I’ve heard about how where one partner accuses the other of something so often that the accused decides to actually go out and do the thing to really give the accuser something to go at.  The kick in the balls is that it’s actually the accuser that wants to do the thing and lives it vicariously through the person that they’re manipulating.

It all got me thinking about how far someone needs to be pushed to get them to do something.  In some instances, as with Derek, he’s just dumb and thinks he’s doing the right thing because it’s the opposite of what a bad person is telling him.  With narcissistic projection, you’ve never done the thing at all and probably never will because you’re far more secure than your abuser.  But with projective identification, I’d be interested to know how much of doing the act is a way of getting at the accuser and how much of it is the accuser giving you motive to do something that you actually want to do in the first place?

For example, if you didn’t want to have an affair because you knew it would cause irreparable damage to a partnership, would you really do it just to give someone something to shout at you about? Or is the accusation just fertiliser for a seed that has already been starting to sprout?

With that in mind, is it immoral to think that someone probably the wants the same thing as you and so calling their bluff by suggesting that it is something they will never do?  Kind of daring them to do it?

You say you’ll be home today
But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay
You say you’ll be coming home
But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay

I bet you won’t stay here with me, my darling
I know that you like to be free, my darling
You say what you like, you do what you want
But you don’t have to stay with me if you don’t want
You don’t have to stay with me

You say you’ll be coming home
But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay
You say you’ll be home today
But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay

I bet you won’t stay here with me, my darling
I know that you like to be free, my darling
You say what you like, you do what you want
But you don’t have to stay with me if you don’t want
You don’t have to stay with me

But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay
But I bet you won’t stay
I bet you won’t stay

I bet you won’t stay here with me, my darling
I know that you like to be free, my darling
You say what you like, you do what you want
But you don’t have to stay with me if you don’t want

I Bet You Won’t Stay by Kinks

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