is this like a real like imperius curse

Detecting imperius curses

There are patterns of psychological manipulation that have very similar effects as the imperius curse described in Harry Potter. When you’re on the receiving end, it can be very hard to figure out what’s going on and resist.

One way to tell is watching how you change when you’re around someone, especially if you’re not comfortable with the changes. Double especially if they emphatically say that they are not trying to influence you and would never try to influence you.

For instance, if your views change dramatically around someone else in this kind of pattern:

  • You normally think one thing
  • When you’re with this person, your views dramatically change
  • When you’re not with them, you can’t understand why your views changed
  • Or you might even find the views you adopted in their presence repulsive
  • But it keeps happening over and over when you interact with them

Especially if this happens when you try to contradict them:

  • You: I don’t agree with you about x. I don’t see myself that way. I don’t believe that.
  • Them: Why are you telling me that? What makes you think I ever told you what to think?
  • (And then, somehow, you still end up thinking the thing while you’re with them. And not thinking it when you’ve been away from them for a while.)

This can also happen with actions. Sometimes imperius curses mean that being around someone affects what you do. It can mean you do a lot of things you don’t think that you want to do. It can mean being really confused about why you did the things.

Particularly if this happens when you try to avoid doing the things:

  • You: I don’t want to do x.
  • Them: Did I ever say you should? All I did was ask.
  • (Then you somehow still end up doing the thing. And when you’re not with them, you don’t think you want to do the thing and aren’t quite sure how it happened.)

Another pattern:

  • They say they’re not trying to influence you.
  • You try to express a different opinion or desire or choice
  • If you’re trying to express a thought or desire, you don’t get to complete the thought or process why you think it
  • Instead, the conversation drifts into their opinion
  • You end up feeling like you agree, and complying with it
  • It’s not really agreement, because you weren’t really able to think about what they are saying and what you think about it, and why you think what you think
  • It’s being prompted into an emotional state in which disagreeing with their position feels impossible or petty, and in which surrendering is a relief

When you try to express a choice:

  • They pretend that you didn’t express a choice
  • And keep talking about it as though a decision has not been made
  • (And maybe say some things that might be reasonable if you hadn’t already made a choice and expressed your choice)
  • (Or some things that would make sense if you’d asked for their advice)
  • They also say some things that are just prompting you in the direction they want you to go in
  • And somehow, the conversation never stops until you give in to what they wanted
  • (And, often, not until you feel like it was your idea and reassure them that you agree with them, or maybe even thank them for their help)

Another pattern:

  • They say something awful about you in a tone that sounds loving and compassionate
  • The way they speak to you makes it hard to realize that any other opinion is possible.
  • You might end up thanking them
  • (And then possibly getting angry hours or weeks later when the effect wears off)
  • (And being really confused about what happened).

These are a few examples. There are many other ways this can play out.

Changing your opinion in response to someone else’s ideas is not bad in itself. Neither is changing your mind about what you want to do. Those are both important things to do in a lot of situations. The reason that imperius curse effects are bad isn’t that people subjected to them change their opinions or desires. Changing can be good; it’s the *kinds* of changes that imperius curse effects cause that’s the problem.

Imperius curse effects are bad because they short-circuit persuasion and induce compliance. They create emotional prompts that feel like believing something, even if you haven’t actually been persuaded of it. Or prompts that feel similar to wanting to do something, even if you don’t actually want to do it. It makes it hard to tell that the other person ends somewhere, and that your thoughts and feelings matter and might be different from theirs. It’s an intense violation, and it can be hard to detect and resist. I think knowing about the patterns helps some.

tl;dr The effects of the Imperius Curse described in Harry Potter are very similar to a form of non-magical emotional manipulation that happens in the real world. They trick people into feeling like they want things they don’t want, or like they agree with things they don’t agree with. There are some patterns they tend to happen in. Knowing about the patterns can make them easier to detect.

im so sick of all this lord voldemort hate on tumblr dot com i mean yeah i know he murdered harry’s parents and tried to kill harry multiple times as well as so many others and tried to take over the magical world but like he had a really sad childhood??? i bet that made him really sad :// plus he had to spend 14 years without a body i mean can u IMAGINE what that must have been like for him?? not to mention how during those years so many of his “friends” abandoned him and acted like they didnt know him …. not only that but they pretended he used the imperius curse on them like what kind of betrayal.. he was so lonely and had nobody to turn to… they came back to him eventually but only when he proved himself to be powerful, they didnt like the real voldemort, just his power.  also i mean personally his quest for immortality was very relatable imo, like can u blame him for wanting to live forever ???

plus he was pretty hot as a teen <3

Okay but for real I’ve always wondered whether consensual use of Unforgiveable Curses was permitted in the wizards game world. Because like

A) Crucio has some pretty obvious uses in S&M play

B) Avada Kedavra can be used for assisted suicide and the like, but most importantly

C) the Imperius curse would be super super useful for forcing yourself to do shit you don’t want to do but have to.

Imagine you’re sitting on the couch and you don’t have the willpower/executive function/spoons/whatever to get up and do the dishes. So you’re just like “Honey, can you Imperius me?” And then she comes over, waves her wand at you, and suddenly you’re up doing the dishes. Especially since canonically being under the effects of the curse is super relaxing and it doesn’t take an ounce of willpower to obey. Just think about how much tedious shit you could get done.