Con artists – sociopaths - Narcissists
Definitions of a con artist:
- A swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim;
- A person who defrauds or swindles others after first gaining their trust;
- A person adept at lying, cajolery, or glib self-serving talk.
According to the Free Dictionary the synonyms for ‘con artist’ are chiseller, defrauder, grifter, scammer, swindler, and gouger.
- All people are able to be a con-artist to some extend in certain circumstances. Personality analyzers in fact claim that one out of three persons has the personality of a con-artist.
- Although they are the minority, females are quite as able as males to be con artists.
This article is about people who are con-artists in all circumstances.
Perhaps only true skeptics may sometimes be able to identify a skilled con-artist at first sight, but it is important to realize that anyone can become this fraud's victim.
Con artists should never be underestimated!
- They are experts at gaining the confidence of others;
- They are well-known for their intelligence;
- They are extremely smart with highly creative imagination and discernment of human behavior.
- They are charming with above-average persuasive powers;
- They con their own parents, siblings and children. (Although people may know the con-artist in their own family, they nurture the hope that he might change any day for the better. Remember: Love covers truth and lies.)
- They are smooth operators, shrewd intimidators, manipulators and actors par excellence;
- They thrive on the knowledge that people tend to believe only what they want to believe;
- They discourage their victims to make contact with relatives and friends; they tend to convince their victims that all relatives and friends hold the righteous and just in contempt;
- They live in self-denial; renouncement is their forte;
- Because they are inherent dishonest, they are not able to trust others. They justify their actions to so-called wrongs done to themselves by liars, cheaters, stalkers and con-artists! (Judging others by themselves.)
- When they are confronted they retreat, pretending that being in a state of defense is beyond their dignity. They will rather accuse their victim of neuroses, paranoia, or when lacking sufficient vocabulary and/or knowledge about mental disorders, use any defaming words.
“Nobody should ever feel embarrassed if they have been victimized by a con artist.” – Bradley Skolnik.
"There's a sucker born every minute." - P. T. Barnum:
Many con artists are sociopaths.
(The word 'psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by 'sociopath').
Con-artists may be trapped in the condition called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). People with NPD expose a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), They have an unsaturated need for admiration and respect. They lack empathy, believing that all people, (except themselves), get exactly what they deserve in life and thereafter. If they believe in heaven, they believe that they will be one of only a few who will enjoy the privilege of admission.
NPD is closely linked to self-centeredness, megalomania, superiority complex, egotism, vanity, selfishness, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder.
Individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, though their inability to tolerate criticism, along with their lack of empathy, makes it almost impossible to work cooperatively with others and to accomplish success as a normal employee or honest businessman. Their tendency to exploit others, their sense of entitlement, disregard for others and constant need for attention adversely affect all their relationships.
Glen Owens Gabbard, suggested NPD could be broken down into two subtypes.
- The OBLIVIOUS subtype as being grandiose, arrogant and thick-skinned, presenting a large, powerful, grandiose SELF to be admired, envied and appreciated. This self is the antithesis of the weakened and internalized self that hides in a generic state of shame.
- The HYPERVIGILANT subtype as easily hurt, oversensitive and ashamed, neutralizing devaluation by seeing others as unjust abusers. This type does not fend off devaluation; they are obsessed with it.
According to research a person has to meet five or more of the following symptoms in order to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder –
- A grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
- Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
- Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special and unique people;
- Rarely acknowledges mistakes, imperfections/shortcomings;
- Requires excessive admiration and respect;
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations;
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends;
- Lacks empathy - unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them;
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitude.
“Sometimes you trust someone who turns out not to be honest. There are a lot of things that happen in life that don't turn out the way you're given the impression that they will. And I think that's all kind of a con. But I think we've probably all been hurt.” ~ Sigourney Weaver
What motivates a person to be a con artist?
It stands to reason: Only personal needs will motivate people to be con artists. Most of the time it will be financial needs, but in many cases financial needs are merely the bottom layer of many layers, such as the need for comfort, security, a safe haven and love.
How will a con artist exploit you?
A con artist will identify your needs and expectations, then pretend that he is the only agent capable of producing the satisfaction you need. His motto is: “Working smart instead of hard.”
He may exploit you via -
- A financial spam: He will exploit your greed; he will pretend to be capable of filling your bank account with a lot of money. He will try to sell to-good-to-be-true investments, or convince you that you’ve inherited a fortune, or offers you an irresistible, well-paying job in a foreign country.
- A leisure spam: He will exploit your need for a holiday; he will pretend to be the rental agent of holiday apartments.
- A romance spam: He will exploit your need to be loved; he will pretend to be the perfect lover and husband.
- A religious spam: He will exploit your need to live forever in divine luxury; he will pretend to be God’s personal agent with the right to lock and unlock the gates of heaven.
Why have I been a victim of a con-artist from January 2010 to May 2010?
Credulous, sympathetic, curious women who love challenges and adventures easily 'fall' for a con-artist. Challenging reality and in particular men pretending to be ideal husbands and lovers, is a game they cannot resist. Too often my kind of woman don’t really want a husband or a lover, but they need to re-convince themselves that they are better off alone and independent.
These women – at least most of them – might identify a con-artist in time. Then they will hide whatever they are not willing to lose, and they will line up their friends and relatives as rescuers in case of emergency, and they will wait for the right moment to get rid of the proverbial fly in their soup. Cautious, but curious, they will venture into the mind and soul of the con-artist, knowing that he will soon spin himself into a pupa with his own furtiveness.
Challenging a con-artist is like going on a trip to a foreign country, or like being part of an expedition tasked to explore life on another planet, or like enrolling for a course in human behaviour. Sadly, none of these ‘adventures’ are free of charge. The financial AND emotional implications might take years to settle.
Typical Con-Artist Quotes
(Some of these quotes are also notated by The Playground)
- I had everything but gave it up…
- I gave her/him/them all my money and possessions…
- I was/am successful… I achieved my goals, only to realize that they meant nothing…
- Let me give you some advice… let me help you… let me give you a dream…
- It is all about you… not about me… I am nothing… you are everything…
- It's a sure thing… God says…. Statistics proved…
- What I can give you, will be worth everything for you…
- I’ve met/know the best of the best people… all sorts of people… nobody can fool me…
- Let me tell you about my adventures…
- I know I promised not to do this/that any more, but….
- We’ll see… Let me think about this… I’ll come back to you…
- Don't look at me; look at the statistics… the Bible… the evidence…
- So, who are you after all? You are nobody… You are the scum of this earth…
- (And on the same day:) You are the best… Next to you I am a fool…
- When you talk I listen…
- I'm successful/happy/contented because I am what I am…
- Put your money/life in my hands, and I'll make you rich/happy…
- I'll take care of you… I’ll do this/that for you… you can count on me…
- By the way, will you do me a favour…
- Let’s do it this way…
- Let me take you away… you deserve only the best…
- Trust me… I am always honest… I will never lie to you… I will never embarrass you…
These are mostly the ordinary things said by most men to the woman they love. And yet, they could be the words of a con-artist!
According to Google there are 96,700 confessions of con-artists on the Internet. Here is an extract of only one -
“... I saw the film, "Elmer Gantry" which was about a vacuum cleaner salesman turned to a tent preacher in the 1920s... Talking and telling stories came natural to me.... I started reading the Bible and checking out local churches... Everyone thought I'd gotten religion and was pleased... they started to encourage me... I saw hundreds of people giving money to people who talked about God... so I became a ‘religious’ pillar of the community... There is one thing I can say with absolute certainty: Religion is the home of some of the greatest con artists on the planet...”
All con-artists will sooner or later unmask themselves with one sentence: “Send/give me money.” Regard this as a sign to run for the hills.
Also beware! Before unmasking themselves, some con-artists may blindfold you with a gift or two paid with your own money.
“Each man is the architect of his own fate.” - Appius Claudius
Read my personal experience of a con-artist -
- Courting disaster with a con artist: A true story - Martie's Foyer
The next morning I found to my surprise a comment on my post - “Lady, you are never alone! God is always with you!” Now what more could I have wished to hear in my condition?
Recommended hubs ~
- 10 Famous Con Artists
If you are looking for some of the most famous con artists though, then number one would have to be.....
© Martie Coetser
Published date: 09/28/10
Updated on: 04/01/13
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2013-04-01 19:14:56
Title :: Con artists – sociopaths - Narcissists
Category :: Article Hub
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