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Sociopaths, Liars, and Con-Artists

Are these people human beings at all?

By Rene Volpi Published 2 months ago 6 min read
Sociopaths, Liars, and Con-Artists
Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

If a person has to lie, it’d only be acceptable if it was for the entertainment of others, like an actor, for example. Or a child’s storyteller. The rest are doing a disservice to themselves, and to anyone who knows them.

Why do people lie?

Any good guess is a great guess. Insecurity, attention seeking, and being embarrassed by their own fake identities. And worst of all, to impress others, to take advantage. To profit from their lies.

Everyone heard of Pinocchio, who grew a longer nose every time he told a lie. As incredible as this sounds, I wish that would actually happen. Nobody likes an extremely long nose, growing as they speak, so problem solved.

Unfortunately, science hasn’t developed that prospect that I would call an advancement, so we must wait.

But that would be a splendid solution. No more liars, no more victimisation. Less crime, nicer noses, and everybody lives happily ever after.

Almost like the great film “Clockwork Orange”, where Malcolm McDowell’s character convulsed as soon as the thought of violence passed through his head. A very cruel, obsessed with provoking chaos, and profiting from his crimes, got what he deserved. Saying more would spoil the ones who haven’t seen it, so I’ll stop here. But the idea was phenomenal. And truly, we must do something about these creeps. Who likes a liar, after all? What purpose do they serve toward the evolution of the human species? They deserve ugly noses.

Society's Naïveté

Do we constantly deserve to be deceived? Because maybe we get what we merit. If it's too good to be true, as we heard the saying, why don't we listen? Getting what we deserve… we allow it, don’t we?

Some liars are taking this strange phenomenon to a new level of sophistication. Some make such a lovely, comfy living out of it, we could almost say, well done, lad! You’ve really made the great! Congrats! Cheers, mate! …but wait. What are we saying? He is a crook!

These professionals have accomplished the impossible, aiming for the stars and making even the stars themselves feel humbled and honoured. Nothing is off-limits. There's a feeding frenzy because of the spectacular, incredible stories they tell.

Both participants, the con artist and the would-be victim, are in a quick-fix heaven. Both participants find themselves caught in the moment. The further the liar delves, the brighter the spotlight shines, the deeper they're ensnared by the dopamine rush. And the listener can’t get enough because, let’s face it, we love to hear stories about easy money, the fast pace of life, and the glory of being on top.

It’s a rush. That’s why it becomes so easy to fall for a con artist. That’s true talent. They make an excellent living with it because they’re so good. A magnetic personality, a profound understanding of people, and the building of a craft that self-feeds on more of the same.

Almost perfect; their game only needs practice to become flawless. Give it time. They are relentless.

While they enjoy an audience, they typically prefer working one-on-one with a major customer. It's a safer option, quick to disconnect, and once the target realises, it's already too late.

No different from a magician on stage. They are almost the same. A magician fools you with a magic trick that leaves your head spinning. That’s what you paid for. A thief and a liar do the same thing, but you pay him later. More than an admittance ticket worth. You clap for one, but cry for the other, while both have played a trick on you. The only difference was the legitimacy.


There is no distinction between a cheat, thief, or liar. It’s all in the con game. If you are not careful, and even if you are, you’ll hurt in the end. Most likely financially, but emotionally as well. Just like a robber in the night, you got taken, and it was so subtle, you had no time to react, as you got caught in the “movement”. That’s what their actions are: Movements.

We’ve seen ballet dancing, we’ve seen floor exercises from nimble athletes that defy gravity and the art of the dancer’s feet in motion. The thief and the liar perform the same show, but he goes home with your money. And the show was a fantasy in your head. In a circus, performers on the trapeze defy space and time with such precision that you observe them completely mesmerised by those synchronised movements. Hard to believe a human can do that, indeed. The liar-thief stuns you just the same. Again, you laugh and rejoice for the former and cry in despair for the latter.

They don’t need your clapping after their deed is done, only before the coup de grâce. Cashing in on your supreme adoration, they end up with your booty, and you end up with your sorrows.

The Most Vulnerable Victims

We live in a hard world, full of pain, disillusionment and tragedy, and nothing is off-limits any more. Maybe it never was, but some say it’s getting worse. Let’s dig into that possibility…

Snake oil salesmen have always been around, liars and con men have always been at arm’s reach, but like this? You wonder. The answer is in that old saying that history repeats itself. So, yes, it has. The liars from yesteryears do not differ from the ones from today, nor do the con artists.

The only difference is the level of sophistication and the internet in today’s scams. That blew them up into the high stratosphere. Great for them, terrible for us.

Worse, in all these times, science fell asleep and got us instant coffee, but not the Pinocchio nose.

Are these sociopathic elements so pathologically immersed in their “crafts” that they see no difference between a filthy rich Bel-air or Côte d'Azur prospect victim and a lonely old lady living off her life savings? They might know what they’re doing with absolute certainty, but does that matter at all? The answer is a resounding No.

To them, they are all colourless subjects for the taking. The best they say to excuse themselves and provide a defence when arrested is: “If it wasn’t me, the next guy would have.”

Time is money, and money is time. Therefore, a waste of time is a waste of money.

And the world keeps ongoing, and unfortunately for the ones who fell for them, there was no “live happily ever after.”

But if they get their day in court, sometimes they get the satisfaction of seeing them have to pay with a stiff sentence.

Where is Pinocchio when you need him?

Stream of Consciousnessfeaturefact or fiction

About the Creator

Rene Volpi

I'm from Italy and write every day. Being a storyteller by nature, I've entertained (and annoyed) people with my "expositions" since I was a child, showing everyone my primitive drawings, doodles, and poems. Still do! Leave me a comment :)

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    Just curious. What do you think of adults who tell make children believe in Santa Claus, Toothfairy, etc?

  • Test2 months ago

    Rene Volpi your exploration of lying and deception offers a thought-provoking commentary on the complexities of human behavior and the challenges of navigating a world where deceit can have far-reaching consequences.

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