What do I mean by this:
Sadistic praise is when the principal says something to the constrict that in a positive dynamic would be a compliment, but instead functions as emotional torture in some way. (Note: this is distinct from Your Approval Fills Me With Shame, where the villain compliments something the hero does not see as a positive quality at all. Here, the subject of the compliment is not a problem – the problem is the person doing the complimenting, and why they’re doing it).
This tends to come in two flavors of what makes it sadistic.
- It’s a threat. This tends to be common for compliments on the constrict’s endurance, strength, courage, etc. In this case, a statement by the principal like “I can see why they call you the brave one” usually implies some form of “I’m going to do horrible things to you”, whether in the form of “torturing you will be very entertaining”, “I’m taking this as a challenge and you are going to lose”, or something else.
- It’s a form of negative closeness. This is the one sided kind, and is therefore intended to be violating and disturbing. It’s a violation of the constrict’s emotional boundaries. Complimenting is a form of personal interaction, and here the principal is engaging in this interaction without consent, toward a person who has the opposite of a reason to welcome absolutely any level of social or emotional intimacy from them. As such, it’s a way of inflicting psychological torture.
I’m not sure. I think this falls into the category of things I’d need to try to figure out how I feel from/about them. I definitely do want to try and experiment with it.