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Why we fall for the con

All of us who have been conned by sociopaths ask ourselves, why did I fall for it? How could I have been so stupid to trust him (or her)?

Well, it turns out that there’s a chemical reason—oxytocin. According to an article on Psychologytoday.com:

Social interactions engage a powerful brain circuit that releases the neurochemical oxytocin when we are trusted and induces a desire to reciprocate the trust we have been shown—even with strangers.

Read How to run a con, on Psychologytoday.com.

Link submitted by a Lovefraud reader.


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30 Comments on "Why we fall for the con"

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Thank you Donna.

Great article and specific to the point.

Even reading articles and others posts on LF causes an oxytocin release feeling and thus we bond and feel for others and want to help them. And we appreciate their help, and it helps us feel cared for and listened to.

On the other hand, ADRENALIN (maybe that is our “gut feeling”)..FEAR….adrenalin puts me into the PROTECT mode and I have no pity for those who are trying to con us, or who piss us off! Protection is for GOOD people.

Maybe that’s why sociopaths stalk do-gooder organizations. People there are highly motivated by oxytocin, which is released when they feel like they’re helping someone.

By the way, if anybody remembers my “Chrissy” story about the now 19-year-old kid I was mentoring — major oxytocin for helping someone so adorable! — I got sucked in again yesterday, when she apologized for what she did. But not really. I held her ass to the fire pretty good about opening the doors that are presented to her — rather than pulling this con where she solicits everyone’s help and then threatens to self-destruct anyway — the little “troubled teen” act. I’m going to hang tough on that one. Maybe she’ll get it. Maybe not. Either way, I’m not in the line of fire because she knows I’m keeping score now. And yelling.

We only know what we know and are willing to learn from others.

I don’t know your Chrissy story. Bless you! for being a mentor!

That is so true to open the doors that are put in front of us. They are there for a reason. It helps if they have window in them, of course!

Thanks for the “bless you.” I mostly get “What kind of an idiot are you?” Chrissy makes a game out of getting into messes and claiming she’s a victim — in front of the person who tried to show her how not to get into that mess. I called her bluff.

May not be a live link, but below an interesting article on Science Today about the P’s…
Just last night I was talking with freinds about the P’s latest con…and the comment was (from a fellow victim who still doesn’t quite get the P factor) that his behavior makes no sense…ie why lie and withold $$ from me when he could just make a deal and move on. Well- I said, because most of what he does makes no sense…blowing up his career, skipping the country etc etc…in other words, when we try to apply RATIONAL motivations and behaviors to these people we end up in a dead end.

So this little study makes things pop into place. Their brains are hard wired to care about the prize more than the risks of whatever their game is at the time. Brings me back to the greedy monkey that wont’t let go of the peanuts in the jar…even tho’ the jar is chained to the ground and he will starve.

Often times- the most resistance I get to people believing that my P could actually be what he is – is that the behavior I describe makes NO SENSE- and outwardly – he appears very calm, rational and sensible.

So this little gem clears up a lot for me at least- now if we could only figure out how to float the ultimate PSN “reward” just past the edge of some big cliff………..ha ha..: )

Psychopaths’ Brains Wired to Seek Rewards, No Matter the Consequences

When people dont get it, the way I explain the behavior is that he must have control and drama!!… otherwise, life is pretty boring just raising children etc.

When outsiders see the constant need for stimulation and intolerance of boredom…its easier to grasp.

I have also noticed that he would rather stir up a controversy over money in order to visit and pay the PC ; than just to give me the money requested for the children…cuz I have to pay the PC too!

I think he has been wired to need conflict to feel “normal”..rather than the opposite. He came from a high conflict/drama family. I am determined to raise my kids in peace..no addictions to drama!

There are some great articles in psychology today, which are easily reached via this link to the one article about oxytocin.

It is easy to go from one GREAT article to another on this on line version of the “magazine.”

Many of the subjects we discuss here have some very interesting articles on them located there.

🙂

Wheels in motion baby.

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