Updated: Sep 16
Have you Ever Been Conned?
I often have individuals come into my office with various stories of being a victim of a con artist. I believe it is important that everyone recognizes the signs of a con artist.
How con artists are able to con people
Con artists have an uncanny understanding of human psychology and they pick their victims very carefully. They have also cultivated over time a set of skills, which is utilized to earn the trust of unsuspecting victims. They tend to exude a lot of charm and confidence which make them very convincing. They also tend to victimize people who are more inclined to use others to achieve self-affirmations. Many of them have well-rehearsed lines and phrases which they utilize over and over again with different people. This is like their ‘tried and true’ trademark. They sound especially convincing because it makes themselves believe in their own lies.
How to spot a con artist
The basic principle of the con artistry and male/female relationship issues are rather similar. For example, many women look for ‘prince charming’ and that is exactly what most con artists pose to be. Therefore, my advice to all: judge a person by his/her character not by skills. Skills can be learned/taught while character cannot be. Also, don’t judge a person by what he/she says, but what he/she does.
What to do if you just discovered you’ve been conned
The most natural tendency is to blame yourself and think you are stupid, etc. but that is not going to help you. An inclination to trust people is a sign of good heartedness; however, trusting people blindly can be self-destructive. Learning from your past experiences, changings your behavior pattern, and valuing virtues over style are most critical.
What to do with if your family member/friend is a con artist
The best approach a family member or a friend can take is to confront him/her directly. The con artists have a very complex set of psychological issues. These include narcissistic tendencies (insatiable ego), anti-social traits (includes lack of conscience) a deeply seated lack of self-esteem, strong urge to control others, etc. The only way to totally help a con artist is to get him/her psychological help from professionals. Many of them may not be conscientiously aware of the motivations for their behaviors.