Con artists, also known as grifters, scammers, schemers, swindlers, hustlers and crooks, take advantage of trusting and unsuspecting victims. Con artists see anyone who is lonely, insecure, unprotected, in poor health, or are innocent or ignorant as a “mark.” Vulnerability of any kind makes you vulnerable to con artists.

About Con Artists

Emotionally, con artists are children who get their thrills by hurting other people. It is as though the negative and positive poles in their psyches have been reversed. Negative is positive and positive is negative. What really makes them feel alive is taking life. Isn’t that sad?

Neal CaffreyCon artists love to play games. They get their thrills by tricking you out of something. Or when they can sell you something that is “too good to be true.” Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and you are being “conned” into believing otherwise.

Con artists are some of the most likeable and believable people you’ll ever meet. They often have professional training and expertise in their fields and use their experience, information and skills to overwhelm and dominate you.

So don’t feel stupid if you fail to recognize them immediately. Once a con artist has victimized you, it is easy to be victimized again.

Con Artist or Emotional Manipulator?

The main difference between con artists and emotional manipulators is conscience.
Emotional manipulators have a conscience and can change their behavior.
Con artists don’t have consciences and won’t change their behavior.
Con artists and emotional manipulators can look alike.
It’s important to spend time with a conniving person so that you can determine which type you are dealing with.

Con Artists:

Psychopaths are the most disturbed con artists.
They lack a conscience, have criminal minds and are highly aggressive and power-oriented.
They can kill in cold blood.

Sociopaths also lack consciences and have criminal minds.
Also aggressive and power-oriented, they typically don’t kill.
They are thieves, manipulators and use Mindf*ck to win at their games.

con artist2True con artists have devious minds that focus primarily on winning financial and sexual games.

The most brilliant and talented hide in transnational institutions such as banking, high-tech companies, politics, real estate development and business. Here they have access to unlimited financial and managerial resources, can cook the accounting books and hide behind shades-of-gray laws and regulations.
They do as they please without any concern of getting caught.

True con artists don’t worry about breaking laws or hurting other people.In fact, they often have a deep desire to hurt their victims and are willing to use violence and intimidation to manipulate into giving them what they want. They not only have unconscious revenge as part of their mental makeup, they find special pleasure in watching other people suffer

Emotional Manipulators

Emotional manipulators connive but are not criminal, just neurotic, passive and emotionally manipulative.
They have a conscience, but it is weak and poorly developed.
They are passive and often lower functioning people who use emotional dependencies to manipulate and control people. Typically they aren’t really interested in power because they have little desire for material things.
Emotional manipulators fall into three categories: parasites, bullies and narcissists/borderlines.

Parasites get by from living off others. Not liking to work, they hang out on the fringes of life—napping, watching television, pursing hobbies and living off handouts from relatives and friends. They look like victim underachievers who are depressed. Eventually they get tagged as “losers.”

Bullies live in the center of the spectrum. This group of emotional manipulators has a weak conscience, and isn’t smart or motivated enough to go after big money and big power. No, these people want revenge and use indirect power to control people around them. Jealous and envious of those who are more capable, they show up as teachers, bureaucrats, divorce lawyers, office managers, and middle management types.

Narcissists, typically men, have consciences. They are often bullies who are aggressive, are after big money and big power, and will do whatever it takes to get them. Narcissists hide out in institutions and have inflated dreams and wild ambitions, high IQs, driving natures and strong wills. All con artists are narcissistic, but not all narcissists are con artists.

borderlineBorderlines have consciences and work through passive power. Typically women, they manipulate by acting weak, helpless and inviting rescues by others. They are neurotic, and somewhat able to look at themselves and change their behavior. The red flag for borderlines is drama—even hysteria—plus iron-fisted control of everything around them. They are the micro-managers with drama.

Sorting It All Out

It is very difficult to determine whether a person is a true con artist or an emotional manipulator if you haven’t studied the topic a bit. And it’s even difficult to sort this out if you were exposed to con artists and emotional manipulators as a child. This may actually attract these kinds of people into your life to help you learn discrimination and discernment. It will also force you to protect yourself from them.

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