By nature, we are predisposed to believe everything and anything that is said to us. Life experience, however, teaches us that what is said is not necessarily true. In fact in today’s world, lying is so prevalent that for just about anyone in the business world the implied assumption is quite the opposite – that there is a hidden agenda behind what ever is being said.
However, even though our survival instinct leads us to be skeptical, our need to believe remains in no way diminished. This creates an internal tension inside us. On the one hand we need to believe, while on the other we cannot allow ourselves to trust those around us. This creates an untenable situation for us psychologically, a psychic paralysis which is not sustainable over time.
Therefore, in order to resolve this dilemma, at some point we must place our skepticism in abeyance, placing our trust in someone or something. So then in whom do place our trust? Is it in the most trustworthy individual who we have taken time to vet, or the one who’s most skilled at penetrating our psychological defenses? Obviously it is the latter, as the former is simply too cumbersome. This then leads to an end result which is counter intuitive. The more ‘sophisticated’ we become the more easily we are fooled. As the players and the environment become more and more skilled at deception, and we become more skeptical, it becomes more and more likely that it is only the skilled manipulator will be the one who wins our trust.
Then when we are misled and taken advantage of once again, we become more cynical, more suspicious. Our critical factor becomes stronger and thicker, our loneliness intensifies, and our mental stability becomes more tenuous. This then only makes us increasingly vulnerable to being manipulated. This then explains why we as a society never seem to wake up, and fall ourselves time and time again for different variations of the same cons. Be it Junk Bonds, Enron, Mortgage-backed securities, or Medicare, the packaging changes, but underneath, the Game is the same!