BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from - Repetition Compulsion

BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from - Repetition Compulsion - We all know someone who complains bitterly about his abusive boss, only to take another job with the same kind of person. Repetition Compulsion is Freud's term for such (often unknowing) destructive behaviour. He theorised that people who repeat their painful histories are trying to gain control of things that threaten them. An RC sufferer will volunteer to help on a project when everyone else stays silent (with good reason; it's a dumb idea). When it goes wrong, he gets abused by the same (dumb) man who suggested it. RCs can also be pleasure-seeking: the man who beds most of the female support staff may be suffering just as badly. It's just that he'll get promoted (because his boss does the same thing), while the pain-loving RC will get kicked aside. Treatment is psychiatric, unless the doctor confuses RC with RSI.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor - helen@kirwantaylor.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

We all know someone who complains bitterly about his abusive boss, only to take another job with the same kind of person. Repetition Compulsion is Freud's term for such (often unknowing) destructive behaviour. He theorised that people who repeat their painful histories are trying to gain control of things that threaten them. An RC sufferer will volunteer to help on a project when everyone else stays silent (with good reason; it's a dumb idea). When it goes wrong, he gets abused by the same (dumb) man who suggested it. RCs can also be pleasure-seeking: the man who beds most of the female support staff may be suffering just as badly. It's just that he'll get promoted (because his boss does the same thing), while the pain-loving RC will get kicked aside. Treatment is psychiatric, unless the doctor confuses RC with RSI.

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