5 False Promises of the Narcissist


Words are our tools. They come readily to us and we much prefer them over actions as they use so little energy. We have no sense of guilt, remorse or conscience that we are easily able to make promises with no intention of ever keeping them. You on the other hand hate to break a promise and we know that your adherence to this means that the effect our broken promises is significant against you and will allow us to draw fuel. You will be familiar with the nature of the broken promises if you have danced with our kind already but you may not know what we actually mean when we say certain supposed promises to you. If this dance is new to you, not only will you not know what is being really meant when we whisper these words to you, but you may not realise that this promise will not be kept. Here are five of the most-used promises we issue, that we always break and this is what we really mean when we say them.

  1. I will always love you

I know that you love to hear such bold proclamations because they appeal to you as a love devotee. Indeed, you have been conditioned to believe strongly in the concept of love. I won’t always love you, in fact I will not even begin by loving you because I am incapable of feeling what you know to be love since it has been denied to me as an option. I understand what love is to you however because I am surrounded by people like you telling me what it means and it appears in books, on the television, on the internet, in films and advertisements. It is easy to understand what love means to you but impossible for me to feel it and therefore I can never love you. What I mean when I tell you this is that I am telling you what you want to hear so you will remain with me and provide me with the fuel that I crave. I am telling you that I will actually always want you so long as you give me what I need. My desire to be with you is entirely conditional on you furnishing me with fuel.

  1. I will repay you

I will borrow money from you because of my sense of entitlement since either I have none and I want yours or I have plenty and I still want yours. If I have no money I need it and therefore I will want to borrow it from you. I will of course promise to repay you in order to induce you to lend it to me in the first place. I will then make repeated promises to pay you: –

“I am a little short this month, I will have it for you next month.”

“I am due a bonus in two months so I will pay you from that then.”

“I had an emergency and had to use the money for that.”

“I am not able to work at present but since you love me you won’t mind waiting will you?”

“If you really loved me, you would not ask for it back.”

Those of our kind who lack financial resources want the money for obvious reasons but also in order to strengthen the link between them and you, so that you have reason to remain in contact with them and to allow them to trot out excuses and reasons which will eventually provoke you through exasperation, frustration, irritation and upset.

Those of our kind who have ample financial resources do not have any intention of making repayment. Instead we use this borrowing of the money as a bridge between you and I and as above it is all about keeping a hook into you.

When we promise to repay you, we will not do so. What we are telling you is that we want to create a method of ensuring you are connected to us and able to draw fuel from you.

  1. I won’t hurt you

Of all the broken promises this is perhaps the one which does the most damage. We are actually telling you this: –

“I won’t hurt you as long as you comply with what I want.”

It just so happens that we always omit the last nine words. We regard you as our appliance, an extension of our will and you are expected to do what we want. Provide potent positive fuel, succumb to our demands, run around after us, say yes when we want yes and no when we want no but you must guess which is correct. We want you obedient, compliant and submissive. Navigate your way through this maze successfully and you will not be hurt. Unfortunately, for you nobody is ever able to do this because you will always have to be hurt because we want fuel. You have to be hurt because no matter how hard you try you will always cause a criticism which will wound us and therefore we have to defend ourselves by lashing out and hurting you. You have to be hurt because there are even those of our kind, the malignant and the greater who delight in doing so.

The hurt will always visit you somehow.

  1. I will be faithful

We cannot be faithful. We need fuel too much. Although most of it will come from you we need it from other sources as well and this will result in our infidelity. Infidelity comes in many forms, just as fuel does. To some it may be sharing long and intimate conversations, to others it is a kiss, to others it is sexual touching and to others it is full blown sexual intercourse. Our desire for fuel combined with our massive sense of entitlement and our failure to recognise boundaries means that we will be unfaithful. Add to that our lack of accountability, our failure to feel guilt or remorse and you stand no chance of ever ensuring that we remain faithful.

We say this because you want to hear it. This is most often used after we have been exposed as committing an act or acts of infidelity and we are concerned that you will leave us and thus take away our primary source of fuel when we have not secured a replacement yet. We will pledge that we will be faithful moving forward in an attempt to prevent you from causing a cessation to our supply of fuel. These are empty words. We will be unfaithful within the week, maybe not even that long, just so long as uttering such a promise stops you from going.

  1. I will change

No I won’t. Even if I could, which is highly unlikely, why should I when there is nothing wrong with me. Everything I do is necessary to ensure my survival and my remaining elevated and superior. Just because you and others do not like the way that I behave does not mean that I have to alter what I am. I know however that you love to think that we can be cured of whatever ill it is that we suffer from. You want us to become better and different and naturally if this means we can get you to stay, do what we want and keep providing us with fuel we are content to tell you that we will change. We are experts at adopting false expressions of contrition as well to accompany this empty promise.

This vacant promise actually means

“I will carry on doing what I am doing and nobody will ever stop me.”





  1. HG quotations to live by:

    “Blimey! I know this is the mouth a lion. It will bite me because it is a lion. I really should stop putting my head in there shouldn’t I?!’”

    I just may have to print this one out in bold, block letters and then laminate it for my wall…after I clean up the coffee I spit out reading it.

  2. Having had a hoover today – could you please tell me how long the Thought Fuel of a MRN lasts please Chewy, after an initial grand hoover was ignored months ago?

    (I also escaped and blocked him before the IGH.)

  3. Had a hoover today.

    “It’s been almost a year :(”


    Pretending he’s bothered about anniversaries of certain events. Pah.

  4. HG
    I have a question and can not find a place to ask so I am asking here.

    I asked for a photo of the narcs work space. I was sent a picture of an empty space. I replied I did not know why he did not what me to see the actual work space, his reply was “I’m not sharing. All mine”.
    I replied “Well now I know where I rate”
    I was immediately given a corrective devaluation.

    The question is why? Did I challenge him some how?

    Thank you

        1. It was perceived as affecting his control. Implement GOSO.

          How was my saying “well now I know where I rate” impact his control?
          Is Implement GOSO at the end of all your replies now or am I just special?

          1. You are challenging him through the comment because you are suggesting that he is being dismissive/unfair/unkind towards you and thus he is not the good person he believes himself to be.

            However, you are focussing on the wrong thing. You are trying to decipher his behaviour when you are unable to apply the reason for this behaviour.
            You should be asking yourself this question – why, after all this time, am I still not implementing no contact despite having been told to do so on repeated occasions? The answer of course is because of your emotional thinking, but you are the only one who can do something about it.

            I have told you that the hole you keep putting your head in is actually the mouth of a lion.
            You keep asking – ‘why did he not bite me that time’ or ‘why did he bite me slightly that time’ or ‘why did he chew my ear off’
            When you should be asking yourself ‘ Blimey! I know this is the mouth a lion. It will bite me because it is a lion. I really should stop putting my head in there shouldn’t I?!’

          2. HG
            Haha. The lion’s mouth was humorous but true, and a great example. Love when you give clear examples such as these that jolt our logic.

          3. Kim E
            I understand your disappointment/frustration at the answer of GOSO, but I don’t believe HG is being flippant or just repeating himself for the sake of brevity. He is trying to help you by shifting your focus to what is within your control.

          4. NA, I know HG is looking out for me. He gave that example about the lion during our consult and we both laughed about it.He told me he was going to keep up on me about NC and GOSO

            I am just having a really hard time with going NC. I know I need to do something. I feel sad all the time (about to cry now) unless I am texting with him. I know he does not do what he does on purpose as it is who he is. I have never thought I can fix him. I have never wanted to change him. I actually feel guilty about going NC as he has never done anything cruel to me. I don’t hate him I don’t think I “love” him. I do enjoy being with him and talking to him.

            Yesterday was my birthday. We were texting Friday and he asked what day it was on. (for the 4th time) I told him. Sure enough, last night I got a happy birthday text but when I heard his text sound, I kinda cringed.

            I know my LT is in there. It comes to the forefront a lot. I just need to convince my ET that ……..I feel like……my ET actually says ” I cant believe it was all an illusion.” Maybe the romantic stuff in the beginning was but now we talk about work and home and kids and school……day to day stuff.
            And yes I know, “Kim, dont you want someone in your life that you share with 7634987675234763 other people?” I gave a great speech to FOTS about this exact subject but can not take my own advise.

            Any suggestions on how to make it easier on me? I know there aren’t. I just have to bite the bullet.

            Thanks NA for stepping in on my comment to HG. I also know that I will need another consult with him…………………so lost!!!

          5. Kim E
            I’m sorry that youre having such a hard time. I can tell you til the cows come home that you do not need to feel guilty about no contact and it’s something you are doing FOR you and not AGAINST him, but it doesn’t change the fact that you do. You have consulted with the best in HG and I really dont know what I could add except that I hope you try your hardest to adhere to it. Not because you need to please anyone here, but because people you know (any many more that you don’t) want better birthdays for you to come.

            Can you maybe start with one small thing until you have another consult and committ fully to GOSO? Change his text sound to that of a lion to remind you of HG telling you that you are putting your head in the lion’s mouth again?

          6. NA. I truly believe I need to see more of the “real (haha)” him. I have always basically been in the golden period. The first time I left was because I found out he was married (not proud of that…life time pattern…another story) but allowed myself to be hoovered back in as I had found HG and knew what a hoover was. That hoover started 1/18 and the formal relationship was back on 4/18.
            Since then it has been the “nice” guy always polite, always answered texts, lunches. BUT recently, not sure why, the corrective devaluations have shown up and Friday night and this morning I believe I was given silent treatments.
            Knowing myself the way I used to be, I will get tired of the games…CD, ST…and say FU.
            I am sure this is ET talking with a wee bit of LT thrown in. That is my baby step you asked me about. Adjusting my work & train schedule which was my first baby steps is old hat now as he knows what they both are.
            Appreciate you lady.
            Get some more popcorn going with some Rum and coke thrown in as my movie is not quite over yet.

          7. HG, I understand and completely agree that it is on us to make the determination to say “enough” regardless of the “why is this happening?” I respect that and know you are 100% correct. However, what happens though for when it is the answer of “why” that leads to the decision to finally GOSO? When left to my own mind, if I can’t understand why, I will naturally tie the behavior or words to something else and rationalize in a way that allows for the person to be human and not mean intentions. It usually is only when it seems there is deeper intentions can I go “not what I want around.”

          8. 1. Some people can handle the ‘why’ as part of the process of GOSO.
            2. Some people, because their emotional thinking is so high, cannot handle the why (yet) therefore they have to be told to GOSO and the whys come later. The only why they can handle at that point is ‘because he or she is a narcissist’ Breaking it down any further is a waste of time, not because they are stupid (they understand what is being said) but they cannot APPLY it because their ET is so high and it will not let the logic of the why sink in.

            I had a client who spoke to me every week. Every week she asked me the same questions (why this, why that) and she KNEW she was asking me the same questions week in and week out. I would always start by telling her she needed to apply GOSO before I would then break it down for her (I did so because ultimately it was her consultation that she paid for. I am content that I have given her the right advice re GOSO and how it is too early to process the why, but if she insists on the ‘whys’ then afterwards I will address that). She was an intelligent woman but why was she failing to be able to apply the understanding and make sense of it? Because her ET was sky high. Why was that? Because she was still living with the narcissist. The narcissist was bringing back women and sleeping with them in front of this person yet she still stayed. Why? Because her ET was driving her to remain even though she was suffering and being tormented blatantly. I managed to get her to go and stay with her sister for one week and maintain some degree of no contact (which of course was a vast difference to what she had been doing). At the end of that week, whilst still at her sister’s we spoke and then she began to realise why she had to apply GOSO and why it was too early to get full answers. Why did this happen? She took that step, albeit a small one but it was enough to get her started, of applying some form of no contact and removing herself from the daily and sustained interaction with the narcissist and thus her ET began to reduce. As it did so, this created room, allowed logic to permeate and thus she could see how her conduct was preventing her from moving forward because she had lost insight owing to the high ET owing to the daily presence of the narcissist. She then made arrangements to stay with her sister for longer. Her ET reduced further, she then began to understand more and apply that understanding which in turn enabled her to apply logic and reduce her ET further. She arrested the cycle.

            She is now 8 months’ solid no contact.

          9. HG,

            Thank-you for sharing this example. (So glad you were diligent in encouraging your client to GOSO – and I hope that she is feeling more free of the fog and on her way to healing; 8 months is fabulous!).

            I’m not judging your client – because we all, at one point, have put up with questionable behaviour for far too long – but your example just goes to show that emotional thinking paired with lack of resilience to respond (for many different reasons) is a powerful mix.

            I didn’t have any ‘whys’ at the time…but for me the tipping point was the realization that ‘staying’ was far more dangerous and detrimental than the option of leaving – and leaving, at that time, was fairly dangerous and risky to be honest – even though ‘leaving’ was fraught with unknown factors. The danger of staying finally made itself ‘known’ to me; so the ‘unknown’ was looking a lot more appealing – so to speak.

            Is this ‘tipping point’ something that you will be addressing in The Cliff?

          10. Indeed.

            No, the tipping point re ET is a different matter compared to the tipping point in The Cliff.

          11. Great description HG. That is how it worked for me. Until I went NC, I would spend hours trying to figure out the whys (before finding this site). I’d think I had answers but then I’d see him again, it would all fly out the window and I’d start to second guess myself. It took 6 months NC to be able to see through him and stand my ground.

          12. Sometimes some of us need the head in the lions mouth to feel the brunt of it. Reading and knowing is one thing, experiencing is another. Our ET allows the latter but to whose expense? Be kind to yourself. You will get there Kim!

          13. Thank you, HG, for your response! That was very clear to understand the differences especially with the example! That’s great that she listened to you, took the steps she was able to do at the different stages to ultimately get her freedom!

            Kim, I understand what you are saying. It is hard to walk away when it seems that the hurt you do feel is something you feel your strength can handle. I am the type who needs to know “why.” I have found, though, that I am spending a lot of energy on why mine did or said what he did and not on my motivations. I have to “force” my mind to switch and then answer questions like:
            Although I can handle what he dealt out, why am I willing to?
            What is going on in my life (i.e. he is a distraction)?
            What am I afraid of (i.e. why do I keep going through it if I don’t have to)?
            If he is only hurting me in a way that I can handle, then why am I spending so much time and energy trying to make sense of it all or trying to prepare for the next round?
            Don’t get me wrong, the “why” on his part is important for me to be able to make that switch to try to understand mine.

            Accept you for where you are. Your gut is telling you something. If you can’t go cold turkey, then long term thinking may be too much. As HG’s example shows, sometimes the baby steps are what is needed. As NA asked you, is there a step you can take right now? I like her phone ring of a lion. I used a picture of a shelf and changed his name to “Actions not words” in my phone. I don’t know how quickly you respond, but maybe you can delay your responses. If there is a trip or something you always wanted to do, can you? Then you can have something to look forward to and turn your mind to when it wants to think about him. It is good that you are talking to HG and letting him help you.

  5. 2 and 4.

    An initial grand hoover months ago. “Oh, and I’ll pay you back. It will be in about a year’s time though – when I’m sorted” :/

    “If we become official, I will NEVER cheat.” (DLS)

    I’m not waiting for the hoovers any more. And I don’t feel hurt from the silence. He makes my skin crawl. The next stage will be ‘who?’.

  6. One thing that is finally becoming clear to me now is that words mean nothing. Especially to a narcissist. The fact that I spent so much time all spun up over things he SAID that didn’t align with how he ended up behaving – well, shame on me for not knowing better and for putting so much stock into his empty words 🤬

    1. Joanne, The irony is that words are everything to a narcissist, and yet they me nothing! Don’t beat yourself up, this is the one skill they are excellent at doing! Lies, lies, and then more lies!!

      1. FM1T
        Ugh. I wonder if I will ever get to the point where I’m not shaking my head in complete astonishment that I fell for it all 😡

          1. Joanne, If it makes you feel any better, I still remember things that were said and think, my god I must of been on some kind of drug to not of caught that line of bull shit! 🤦🏼‍♀️

          2. FM1T, do you ever post something here about what happened in the relationship then go back and read it and think “wtf was I thinking?” Sometimes I write about my situation then think “man that girl was crazy to put up with that”. Narcs aside, I think most empaths are good at judging someones character. Throw a narc in and it’s like everything that we’re wired for is all jumbled up.

          3. Lol FM1T, it’s just so ridiculous looking back. I guess we were just under some sort of spell 🙄 🤦🏼‍♀️

    2. Joanne, Look at what a hard time people have with Trump, whose words also mean nothing. I think it is a really good example of what we all struggled with. I mean Trump says that his father was born in Germany when he was actually born in NY. Who does that? A narcissist. Lots of people out there are still addicted to and continue to put stock in Trump’s empty words.

      The thing that is so cool about HG is that he steps outside of all of this and looks at himself as a clinician would – puts himself under a microscope – and uses himself to teach us. It takes an amazing amount of self-awareness and objectivity to be able to do that and to be able to explain to us why things work this way. It is also depressing because it is such an effort – which just shows how complicated and dangerous for others the disorder is.

      1. SMH
        The thing is, at least for me, I am a super skeptical person. I don’t easily trust people and I always assume anyone being nice is doing so because of some hidden agenda. I question everyone’s intentions always. I questioned his (my narc) intentions for a long time. Eventually he was able to convince me of his “sincerity” when he just wouldn’t give up. Generally when I feel someone is being disingenuous, I distance myself immediately. The fact that I lingered in this situation with him, eventually bought into all of his bullshit, knowing better (and seeing so many red flags) is just unbelievable to me. I think it just comes down to the fact that normal, decent people would just never talk like this – words upon words about their feelings and words which will cause someone else’s feelings to intensify to such heights, in such a short amount of time. I try not to be so hard on myself for it because they are expert actors, but knowing I KNEW better the whole time makes it hard to swallow and because of my own poor judgement, I’m left with this stupid lingering addiction.

        And yes, seeing things from the way HG lays it out, it IS dangerous. I’m grateful mine was short lived as I have a very clear picture of how things would’ve evolved had we gone further. It sickens me.

        I am cautiously hopeful that HG is able to use his keen self awareness to better himself as a partner in his new relationship.

        1. Joanne,

          Don’t be hard on yourself. We have all gone through it. I am probably more trusting than you are, maybe because it takes more effort to be skeptical and I am lazy about interpersonal relationships. But I think we all would say that we saw red flags and ignored them. I sure did. You are right that normal people wouldn’t talk such a good game, so the narc is the defective one, not you (or us – we all think we’ve been stupid). Better to push your anger outwards than inwards. Better yet not to have any at all (or you will get to the point where you don’t).

          The narc isn’t sitting there laughing to himself and saying she’s so stupid – I got one over on her. Oh no. He has moved on to someone else and/or he doesn’t have the self-awareness to actually plan a grand design to manipulate you (us) or to even realize what he is doing. The ‘grand design’ is really just a series of disconnected steps/reactions that result from the narcissist’s need for fuel, which, as HG says, is mostly instinctual.

          Mine wanted what he wanted in the moment, and one thing led to another. Kind of like Trump with his cultists promising them the moon, sun and stars because he wants the attention (fuel), and before you know it, they are all ensnared and the world is in danger. Are they stupid? Maybe. Yet as you say, normal people wouldn’t do what Trump does so normal people don’t have any defenses against it.

          My narc was actually very short-sighted precisely because of his fuel needs. I was the one with the long term plan because he lied to me at first and I never ever forgave him. But he was too caught up in his fuel needs to anticipate that sometime down the road, I might make him pay. Of course he also did not think that he had done anything wrong, so why would I try to punish him for something he did not do? It’s all part of the head-spinning narcissism. What it all came down to was that he could not see ME. All he saw was fuel.

          My plan was to get as much information about him as I could and use it against him if I had to. It took two years to reach the point where I had what I needed and needed to use it (both of those things had to happen – I had what I needed long before I needed to use it). When we got to that point, which again was because of HIS NEED FOR FUEL, I was ready. Our whole relationship was book-ended by his fuel needs. My last words to him were that I was sorry but I simply could not get past the fact that he had lied to me two years previously.

          1. SMH
            “Mine wanted what he wanted in the moment.” I think that is the key statement and I guess why they are so comfortable with saying whatever is needed in order to get it. Fuel.

            Are you able to share how you made him pay? And did revenge make you feel better?

  7. If you read down further in no. 3 HG points out that his kind will always end up hurting you no matter what you do. The pleasing maze cannot be navigated because it is not fixed. A victim of narcissist abuse may succeed navigating for a short time but finds that the construct of the maze has changed. You are trapped and unable to please because you don’t know the rubric any longer. Then comes the onslaught.

  8. I have heard every damn one of these statements. So sickening and so true. Thank you HG. Everytime I even entertain breaking NC I just come here and read and it gives me all that I need to stay away from that piece of shit of a human being.

  9. Thank you HG- your books, videos and posts have helped me put my entire life into context. Thousands wasted on ignorant therapists. If I had only discovered you sooner You are the ultimate Great: A true Anti-Hero. Knowledge is power> allows us to shed guilt and heal. AND avoid unknowingly entangling ourselves with your kind in the future.

    Kudos (and yes sip the sweet tertiary fuel, you deserve it).

  10. Number 3 is wrong! It states I won’t hurt you as long as you comply with what I want. Even when we comply with what they want, they still find away to hurt!

    1. yes even when you are in the servant role giving your all, in fact i think this is when you most get hurt. The sadistic chip takes over.

      1. Nikita, I honestly more then you know, understand what you just said! Sweetie I don’t have a word press site. I only signed up for the blog. 😘

    2. Dear foolme1time,
      Absolutely, exactly, spot on, so true, here here !
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        1. Dear Mr Tudor,
          Now see here, I’m neither here nor there ……so there, you hear, if you’re there
          Sorry … couldn’t help myself here . 🤣
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. No, HG explained the correct phrase. It is short for ‘hear him’ as a command to listeners. Many people incorrectly think it is ‘here here’ .

          2. Don’t start HG! You are not my English Literature teacher! You should also know by now I just type! Not even that since it is on my phone. Emotions HG! I am pure emotion!! ⛽️ want some?? 🤣🤣

        2. Dear Mr Tudor,
          Oops ….my apologies ….. “hear hear” NOT ” here here” ….you are absolutely correct (as always)
          This is why you are a brilliant writer and master of the English word and I’m not 🤣
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

Vent Your Spleen!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.