Narcissists are notorious for their manipulative tactics, using various strategies to control and exploit others for their own gain.
One such insidious technique they employ is known as “future faking.” This manipulation involves making grand promises and commitments about the future to draw you in, only to consistently fail to deliver on those promises.
By using future faking, narcissists can create a false sense of security, trust, and hope in their victims, leaving them emotionally invested and vulnerable to further manipulation.
In this article, we will explore 17 examples of how narcissists use future faking to manipulate others.
17 Examples of How Narcissists Use Future Faking to Manipulate You
Recognizing these patterns empowers you to set healthy boundaries and break free from the web of deceit spun by these manipulative individuals. Remember, you deserve genuine love, respect, and a future built on sincerity and trust.
1. Promising to marry you or talking about marriage while showing no real commitment to moving the relationship forward:
When a narcissist talks about marriage or makes promises to marry you, it may give you a sense of security and hope for a future together. However, this promise often remains empty and lacks any tangible steps towards making it a reality. The narcissist might use the idea of marriage as a manipulation tactic to keep you emotionally invested in the relationship while avoiding taking any genuine steps to move it forward.
They may use vague excuses, such as needing more time or waiting for the “right moment,” to delay any concrete plans for marriage. The promise of marriage becomes a tool to keep you emotionally attached and maintain control over the relationship, without any intention of following through on their commitment.
2. Discussing plans for having children together but avoiding any concrete steps or responsibilities in that direction:
Similar to promises of marriage, discussions about having children together can create a sense of shared dreams and future. Narcissists may talk enthusiastically about starting a family and raising children, but they often shy away from taking any meaningful steps or accepting responsibilities associated with family planning.
They may continuously postpone the idea of having children, using excuses such as career priorities, financial concerns, or personal issues to delay the process. This tactic keeps you invested emotionally, believing that a family is in your future together, even though the narcissist has no genuine intention of fulfilling these plans.
3. Making grandiose declarations of undying love and devotion, but failing to demonstrate consistent love and care in their actions:
Narcissists are skilled at using words to manipulate emotions. They might make grand declarations of love, promising to be your ideal partner and soulmate forever. These declarations can be deeply moving and create a strong emotional bond, making you feel cherished and valued.
However, the narcissist’s actions often contradict their words. They may not show consistent love and care, fail to prioritize your needs, or display self-centered behaviors. This inconsistency between their declarations and actions leaves you confused and emotionally invested in the hope that their words will eventually align with their behavior.
4. Proposing exciting travel plans or adventures together, yet never following through or making excuses when it’s time to plan or execute them:
Narcissists use future travel plans and exciting adventures as a means to keep you engaged and hopeful about your shared experiences. They may talk about dream vacations, exploring new places together, or embarking on thrilling adventures, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation.
However, when it comes time to plan or execute these adventures, the narcissist may continuously postpone or make excuses, leading to disappointment and frustration. By dangling the prospect of these exciting experiences, they keep you emotionally invested and hopeful for a future that never materializes.
5. Promising to change negative behaviors or patterns that have caused issues in the relationship but not making any genuine effort to do so:
When confronted about negative behaviors or patterns that cause problems in the relationship, a narcissist might acknowledge their flaws and promise to change. They may express remorse, claim to be working on themselves, and pledge to become a better partner.
Unfortunately, these promises of change are often short-lived, and the narcissist rarely follows through with genuine efforts to improve. Instead, they may revert to their old behaviors once they feel they have pacified you or that you are back under their control. This manipulation tactic keeps you emotionally invested, hoping for positive change that rarely materializes.
6. Saying they want to build a life together and share a future, yet avoiding discussions about long-term commitments or joint decision-making:
A narcissist may verbally express a desire to build a life together with you, sharing a future filled with love and happiness. They might talk about living together, making joint decisions, or working towards common goals.
However, when it comes to making concrete plans or decisions about the future, the narcissist may avoid discussions or give ambiguous responses. They may use evasive language, claiming to be unsure about commitment or needing more time to figure things out. This tactic keeps you emotionally invested and hopeful for a future with them, even though they are unwilling to make any genuine long-term commitments or share in the responsibilities of building a life together.
7. Making extravagant promises of financial support or gifts, but never actually fulfilling these commitments:
Narcissists may use the lure of financial support or extravagant gifts to entice and manipulate their partners. They might promise to take care of your financial needs, offer luxurious gifts, or shower you with material possessions to create a sense of dependence and indebtedness.
However, these promises often remain empty, and the narcissist rarely follows through on their commitments. They might use various excuses to avoid fulfilling their promises, such as sudden financial difficulties, unexpected expenses, or blaming external factors. By making extravagant promises without delivering on them, the narcissist maintains control over the financial aspects of the relationship and keeps you emotionally invested, hoping that they will eventually fulfill their pledges.
8. Talking about buying a house or moving in together but stalling the process with constant delays and excuses:
When a narcissist talks about buying a house or moving in together, it can create a sense of progress and shared goals in the relationship. However, they often use these discussions as a manipulation tactic to maintain control and emotional investment without any intention of following through.
They may constantly delay or stall the process, citing various reasons such as needing more time to find the perfect place, financial constraints, or external circumstances. By keeping you in a state of anticipation, they maintain power over the direction of the relationship and ensure you remain emotionally invested in the idea of a future together.
9. Expressing interest in pursuing common interests or hobbies with you but never making the time or effort to engage in these activities together:
Narcissists often mirror their partners’ interests and passions during the early stages of a relationship to create a sense of compatibility and shared experiences. They might express enthusiasm for your hobbies and interests, leading you to believe that you have a strong connection.
However, as the relationship progresses, the narcissist may lose interest in these activities and show little genuine effort to engage in them with you. They might prioritize their own interests or dismiss your hobbies as unimportant. By initially showing interest and then withdrawing it, they manipulate your emotions, leaving you feeling neglected and longing for the connection you once had.
10. Claiming they will introduce you to important people in their life (family, friends, colleagues) but always finding reasons to postpone or avoid these introductions:
Introducing you to significant people in their life, such as family, friends, or colleagues, is an important milestone in a relationship. A narcissist may promise to introduce you to these individuals to give the impression of deepening emotional intimacy and commitment.
However, they may consistently postpone or avoid these introductions, providing a range of excuses to justify their behavior. They might claim that their family is not ready to meet you, their friends are too busy, or that their colleagues are not relevant to the relationship. By keeping you isolated from their social circle, the narcissist retains control and prevents any potential interference or influence from those who might expose their true nature.
11. Using future events like holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries to promise memorable celebrations, but failing to deliver on their plans when the time comes:
Narcissists may use special occasions and celebrations as opportunities to promise extravagant or memorable experiences. They might talk about lavish plans for holidays, elaborate birthday surprises, or romantic gestures on anniversaries, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement.
However, when the time comes, the narcissist may fail to follow through on their plans, offering excuses like unexpected work commitments, sudden emergencies, or blaming others for their inability to deliver on their promises. By using these events to make grand promises without fulfilling them, the narcissist maintains control over your emotions and keeps you invested in the hope of future fulfilling celebrations.
12. Suggesting that they see you as their soulmate and envisioning a future together, but displaying a lack of commitment or consistency in the relationship:
Narcissists may initially idealize their partners, viewing them as their soulmates and expressing a desire for a future together. They might talk about growing old together, sharing dreams and aspirations, and creating a lasting bond.
However, their words often do not align with their actions. Despite the grand declarations, they may show a lack of commitment or consistency in the relationship. They might become emotionally distant, neglect your needs, or engage in behaviors that undermine the foundation of trust and emotional connection. This inconsistency leaves you feeling confused and emotionally invested, hoping for the fulfillment of the promises they made, even though they lack the genuine commitment to make them a reality.
13. Promising to prioritize the relationship and spend more quality time together, but maintaining their usual self-centered behavior:
A narcissist might recognize that their self-centered behavior is causing issues in the relationship and promise to prioritize spending more quality time together. They may acknowledge the importance of the relationship and express a desire to make it work.
However, despite their promises, the narcissist often fails to make any meaningful changes in their behavior. They might continue to prioritize their own needs and desires, neglecting your emotional needs and the relationship’s well-being. The promises to spend more time together remain hollow, as they consistently prioritize their own interests and activities over investing in the relationship.
14. Expressing interest in working through relationship issues with therapy or counseling, but avoiding taking any meaningful steps towards seeking professional help:
When confronted with relationship issues or conflicts, a narcissist may suggest the idea of seeking therapy or counseling to address these problems. They may claim to be open to the idea of professional help and express a willingness to work on the relationship.
However, this suggestion is often just a manipulation tactic to placate you and avoid taking real responsibility for their behavior. They may never follow through on actually seeking therapy or counseling, offering excuses like not having enough time, not finding the right therapist, or questioning the effectiveness of such interventions. This tactic allows them to maintain control over the narrative of the relationship without genuinely addressing the underlying issues.
15. Talking about joint financial planning or investment opportunities but keeping you in the dark about their own financial situation or hesitating to share responsibilities:
Narcissists may discuss joint financial planning, such as saving for the future or investing together, to create a sense of partnership and shared goals. They might talk about a prosperous future and financial security as a couple.
However, when it comes to sharing financial information or taking concrete steps towards financial planning, the narcissist may be evasive or hesitant. They might keep you in the dark about their own financial situation, making it difficult for you to make informed decisions as a couple. This manipulation tactic allows them to retain control over the financial aspects of the relationship and prevent any potential interference or criticism.
16. Pretending to be supportive of your dreams and aspirations, but showing little genuine interest or offering meaningful encouragement:
Narcissists are skilled at mirroring their partner’s desires and aspirations, especially during the early stages of a relationship. They may express enthusiasm and support for your dreams, making you believe that they are your biggest cheerleader.
However, as time goes on, their support often wanes, and they show little genuine interest in your goals. They might dismiss your aspirations as unrealistic or show a lack of enthusiasm when you share your accomplishments. This manipulation tactic keeps you emotionally invested, hoping for the validation and support they initially portrayed, even though it rarely materializes in the long run.
17. Making declarations of love and commitment during moments of conflict or after causing emotional harm, using future promises to manipulate you into forgiving or overlooking their hurtful actions:
During moments of conflict or after causing emotional harm, a narcissist may make grand declarations of love and commitment to manipulate your emotions and mitigate the consequences of their hurtful actions. They might apologize profusely, promising that they will change and be a better partner in the future.
These declarations are often short-lived, and the narcissist rarely follows through with genuine efforts to change their behavior. They may use these promises as a way to manipulate your forgiveness, avoid taking responsibility for their actions, and maintain control over the relationship. Once they feel that they have pacified you, they may revert to their old behaviors, leaving you hurt and emotionally invested in the hope that they will fulfill their promises in the future.
How can I recognize future faking in a relationship with a narcissist?
Future faking in a relationship with a narcissist involves making grand promises about the future while failing to follow through on these commitments. Examples include discussing marriage or children without any concrete steps, planning exciting events without executing them, and making declarations of love during conflicts to manipulate forgiveness. Pay attention to inconsistencies between their words and actions as a key indicator of future faking.
Why do narcissists engage in future faking?
Narcissists use future faking as a manipulation tactic to maintain control over their partners. By making promises about a beautiful future together, they create a sense of hope and emotional investment, which allows them to exploit their partner’s vulnerability and keep them trapped in the relationship despite their harmful behaviors.
How can I protect myself from falling victim to narcissistic future faking?
Being aware of the manipulative patterns is the first step to protect yourself. Establish healthy boundaries, prioritize your emotional well-being, and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to question the narcissist’s words and actions. Remember that genuine love and commitment are demonstrated through consistent actions, not just empty promises.
Do narcissists believe their future faking?
Narcissists often do not genuinely believe their future faking promises. Their primary goal is to manipulate and control their partners emotionally, and future faking is a tool they use for this purpose. While they may temporarily convince themselves of the sincerity of their promises during the act of manipulation, they are unlikely to have any genuine intention of fulfilling these commitments.
Is future faking a form of Gaslighting?
Future faking and gaslighting are related but distinct manipulation tactics used by narcissists. Future faking involves making false promises and declarations about the future to keep their partner emotionally invested in the relationship. On the other hand, gaslighting involves distorting facts, denying reality, or questioning the victim’s sanity to undermine their perception of reality and make them doubt their own judgment. While future faking can be a component of gaslighting, they are separate tactics with distinct purposes.
How do you respond to future faking?
Responding to future faking requires awareness and setting healthy boundaries. Recognize the pattern of empty promises and inconsistency between words and actions. Trust your instincts and don’t ignore red flags. Communicate openly with your partner about your concerns and expectations for the relationship. If the future faking continues without any genuine effort to change, consider seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. Ultimately, prioritize your emotional well-being and consider ending the relationship if the manipulation persists and shows no signs of improvement.
It is important to remember that genuine love and commitment are demonstrated through consistent actions, not just empty promises. If a partner engages in future faking without genuine efforts to change, it may be necessary to reevaluate the relationship and prioritize one’s emotional health and happiness.
In dealing with narcissistic future faking, knowledge and self-awareness become powerful tools in breaking free from the web of deceit and manipulation. By recognizing and understanding the tactics employed by manipulative individuals, one can foster healthier relationships built on trust, respect, and genuine love. Remember that everyone deserves to be in a relationship where their emotional needs are met and where they are treated with kindness, sincerity, and consideration.