Many men are quite good at it. Quite good at getting you to believe what they want you to believe. Here is how they do it. Here is how you can avoid falling for it.
You might think that the “con” in “con man” man is an abbreviation for convict. While many of these guys should be locked up, that is not where this word of warning comes from. The very popular “con man” term is short for “confidence man.”
Let me pause here for a moment to see if you are feeling “conned” by me yet. I am doing my best. Did you catch any of my moves yet? You probably did, because I’m not that good at it. (Later, I’ll tell you why I know somethings about the game and why I’m not very good at it.)
My first “con” attempt was to gain your confidence by putting an explanation point in the title of this article. I thought it might give you some confidence that I knew what I was talking about.
I then tried to enhance what fear you already have about being the victim of a con man. I stated with the article title directing you to not let yourself be taken advantage of. If you had confidence that this wasn’t a potential weakness of yours you might have not have clicked on this post. I tried to make you more afraid of being manipulated by reminding you that, “many men are quite good at it.”
I hope that you noticed this article was written by somebody named David and you figured correctly that this article is being written by a man. This hopefully sets you up for believing that being a man, I now what I am talking about when it comes to “con men.” If you are a woman, you may think that I am going to let you in on some men’s club secrets, that us men use to manipulate you women. If you are a man, you might think that I know more than you do about mind manipulation. Trust me, I do.
If you are still reading, you might not have any confidence in me at all. At least not yet. You may be still reading mainly to reassure yourself that you are already quite savvy at spotting con jobs and are wanting to find nothing new here to confirm this assessment of yourself.
If you are a gifted con man, you may be still reading because of your narcissism. You are hoping to have a reason to gloat over how much more you know than me. I tried to rope you in by my self depreciating parenthetical remark, “ ‘Later, I’ll tell you why I know somethings about the game and why I’m not very good at it.’”
If you are a great con man, you may still be reading because you think that I just must have something you could add to your bag of tricks. If you haven’t read anything new to you yet, I have confidence you will read on to be sure.
Now, have you noticed how I have been addressing you the reader directly? Are you feeling like you and I are having a personal conversation? Do you feel like I care about you? I am hoping so, but not for the reason you may think.
Okay, I may be about to lose you. You may think that I am a true sleaze ball with some balls, no doubt with something to sell. Let me assure you I am not. I have no book or seminar to offer you. I have no website to direct you to that I will profit from if you visit it. I am not even getting paid to write this. I don’t want you to contact me so I can try to seduce you. Do you believe any of this? Am I in your confidence yet?
I don’t really care if you are or not. If you read this article to the end you will see this to be true. What is also true, is that I am not a very good con man. I am not very good, because believe it or not, I do care about you. The best con men are nearly incapable of giving a shit about how what they are doing will hurt you. This is why they are so good at faking it. There is nothing like being great at faking compassion to make a man great at faking compassion. Think about it.
If somebody really cares about you, they are often at a loss for words, or they repeat the same thing over and over again, or they hesitate or do other things that give away that they lack confidence with what they are suggesting, even when they think that they are confident, when they suggest to you what they think is in your best interest. Someone who actually cares about you is forever picking up on cues that what they are suggesting may have upset you, or hurt you, or might be misunderstood by you, or cause you to feel guilty when that was not their intent. The caring persuader doesn’t always even recognize their caring is wrecking their “smooth talking.”
The con man stays smooth because he is not distracted by being aware that if you do what he wants it may hurt you big time. Sometimes, getting off on hurting you is his primary intention. What better way to play that game then to get you to let down your guard, because you trust him.
This might be a better article, if I gave you seven things to look for to spot a con man, before the damage is done. Some people have confidence in lists, like the Ten Commandments. I don’t want to do that to you. Even the best con men can get conned. I don’t want to think it is simple to avoid.
Having said that I will offer you my list:
If you have great confidence in what a man is suggesting you do, be very careful about deciding to do it.
Always remember rule #1.
I learned a thing or two about “coning” from counseling men with substance abuse disorders. I don’t want to suggest that all men with substance abuse disorders are “con men”, just that many are, particularly when it comes to raising money for their habit and in denying that they have a costly addiction or two or three.
I could write a little about my training as a professional social worker, to help you believe that I know a thing or two. I could throw in some studies on the art of conning, so I could write, “research shows…” or “scientists have found..” This might raise my believability. I am going to do neither.
I have confidence in you. I have confidence that if you take some time to think about what I have written here you will be better able to spot a con-job better than before you read this article. I have confidence, because believe it or not, I care about you.
If you want to dismiss all that I have written, because I didn’t say that there are “con women,” too, I will be sure to keep this sentence in the article: There are con women, too.
If you are a man who often tries to get your needs met, by pretending that you care about somebody when you don’t, here’s my advice: consider psychotherapy.
Many more women talk to therapists than men. Many men don’t like to be told what to do or how to think. They may try to model their thoughts and behavior after other men and women who they think are successful. They have some confidence in thinking that what works for other people might work for them, too. Most psychotherapists don’t work that way. Most psychotherapists do a good deal of listening, which helps them help their clients to have more confidence in themselves.
As a client talks to a psychotherapist, the client can listen to himself at the same time and be amazed at how much they know about themselves. The client can be amazed at how much they know about what they need to be be doing more of or less of to get what they want and to move away from what they don’t want.
Most psychotherapists give advice, too. A man’s thinking that leads up to whether of not to accept the advice can be quite interesting and helpful.
To experience the power of psychotherapy it is important to have some, but not too much confidence in the psychotherapist.
One of the more common cons, is a man pretending that he wants counseling from a potential sex partner, when in fact, he wants sex. Maybe a little cash and borrowing your car, too.
So beware the man who wants your advice or who loves it too much.
If you had enough confidence in me as a writer to read this far, I hope you don’t feel that you were taken. I hope you will look for me again at goodmenproject.com, because, trust me, I care about you.
If you are a “con man” and are pissed off that I just blew some of your cover I am glad that I just wasted your time. If the thought of stopping your game frightens you, then I didn’t waste your time at all, because facing fear has always been a man’s way to begin transformation.
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