Wanting to Believe

Why we become victims of deceit

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A man becomes a victim of a fake investment. A customer is deceived by an advertisement and buys a useless product. And a girl falls prey to a guy who only wants her body. Perhaps all of us have been victims of users and manipulators. And yet despite this, it is still difficult to clearly identify the people who are authentic and who are not. Otherwise, if it were that easy then there would no longer be any fools.

But is it really a matter of distinguishing between people with benevolent and malicious intent?

The process of manipulation involves some form of deception that is hard to detect. The individual attempting to manipulate will use a facade that is not easy to pierce. But what should be alarming is that the manipulator will target individuals with certain character traits. Some would argue that gullible people are those easily victimized. But what makes a person gullible?

When the manipulation involves money, the lies will usually take the form of financial promises that are unrealistic. And advertisements will sell products that cater to the needs of the insecure. But when it comes to romance, the lies will consist of flattery. And the girl will eventually want to keep hearing the compliments. And flattery mixed with promises of undying love makes her susceptible to what comes next.

But what makes an individual the unsuspecting target of such deceit? People who have low self worth and are desperate for a better and happy future tend to fall for the manipulator's deceptions. They actually want to believe the lies and false promises. And they realize that they have been victimized only when it's too late.

People yearn for acceptance, for approval and for positive feedback. Even having money may just be a means to become popular or to obtain the attention and affection that a person may be missing. Buying ineffective products that would supposedly boost one's self image is merely another manifestation of this need. And seeking love from the wrong person may just be a means to fill an emptiness deep within oneself.

To avoid becoming victims of manipulators, it is first necessary to acknowledge one's emotional needs. Next is to accept that not everyone will exhibit genuine concern for one's welfare. And lastly, it may be wise to consider whether an individual has a hidden personal agenda before doing anything else.


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