What Is Future Faking?


I will tell you later.

What did you feel when you read that sentence above after being drawn by the title of this article? Disappointment? Irritation? Annoyance? Amusement? A familiar tightness in the chest? A mixture of all of the above?

Future faking is a common manipulation used by all narcissists.

Lesser Narcissists – often, lacking in sophistication, instinctive, vague, can be of questionable provenance.

‘I want to see you again.’

I want to marry you.’

‘I will buy you that mansion’ (Even though the narcissist has no money and no job).

Mid Range Narcissists – often, subtle and more sophisticated, instinctive, more likely to be specific, more likely to be plausible

‘I want us to go on holiday this summer together, somewhere like the Maldives.’

I can see you and me as a married couple, I want to marry you in the Autumn next year by the latest.’

Start looking for that new car I will buy you, why not have a look at the Mercedes dealership over at Pleasantville?’

Greater Narcissists – infrequent (Greater Narcissists are more likely to deliver), greater sophistication, sometimes instinctive but usually calculated, highly plausible.

‘I have e-mailed you some houses to look at. I really like the fourth and sixth ones in the list. They are in the countryside so there will be room for the animals to roam as well, but not so far away as to make getting to work a chore. You have a look at it and let me know what you think. We can talk about this over dinner.’

What is Future Faking?

It is the imposition of control and acquisition of fuel in the NOW using a FUTURE event.

Read that sentence again.

It is the imposition of control and acquisition of fuel in the NOW using a FUTURE event.

Our victims find future faking upsetting, bewildering and infuriating. Why did he promise to marry me and never do it? Why tell me we would live together if he never intended to go through with it? Why arrange to have dinner with me and then fail to show up, not even texting me to say he could not make it?

There was never any intention to deliver on the original statement but you were conned into thinking that the intention was genuine.

Why were you conned?

  1. Future Faking is an easy manipulation to use because it relies on a spoken/written intent with no associated requirement to deliver. Thus it is very low in energy expenditure and as you know, we like to achieve the maximum outcome with the minimum expenditure of time, energy, money etc.
  2. You as an empathic victim operate on the basis that if you say you will do something, you will (unless there are exceptionally valid reasons) deliver on that promise. Therefore you expect others to operate to the same standard of behaviour. You are goaded into thinking that since the person you are entangled with is similar to you (because you do not know he or she is a narcissist) they will behave in the same way as you, i.e. deliver on the promise.
  3. Your emotional thinking wants you to continue to engage with the narcissist. Therefore it corrupts your empathic traits for example,  Honesty, Love Devotee and/or Decency into believing that the narcissist will deliver on this stated intention because that is what honest and decent people do. We are neither honest or decent – you however do not know that or you fail to abide by the logic of knowing that when your emotional thinking soars. The former scenario occurs when you do not know that you are ensnared by a narcissist and therefore you are led into thinking this person will operate the same as you. The latter is when you know you are dealing with a narcissist and you know about future faking (or you do not know you are dealing with a narcissist but you have noted (logically and based on evidence) that this person keeps promising things and does not deliver) BUT notwithstanding this fix of logic, you fail to take heed of it because of soaring emotional thinking outweighing it. An example might be   ‘This is the third time he has promised to take me to that new restaurant, but he blew me out the last two times. He was clearly sorry to have done so, I could tell, so I don’t think he will do it a third time.’
  4. The corruption of your Love Devotee trait would involve some grand romantic gesture and again your emotional thinking overrides logic. An example would be ‘I will take you to the Maldives next month’ You know he has no money and no job so how can he afford it, thus it is questionable that he could ever deliver on this but you fail to pay attention to this Future Faking by either

a. Thinking it is a lovely, romantic gesture and ignoring completely his lack of apparent resources to achieve this;

b. Thinking it is a lovely, romantic gesture, you are not sure how he will pay for it but he must mean it so he must have something up his sleeve to achieve this (savings, he has borrowed the money, he has a magic wand) ; or

c. You know he cannot deliver but you think the intent is sweet anyway and you do not mind that he cannot deliver. Indeed, you will end up paying instead or not go and you do not mind.

Future Faking is nothing to do with the narcissist changing his or her mind. It is nothing to do with you making a mistake, annoying the narcissist or messing things up so the promised event is not delivered (although of course a combination of our Blameshifting and your emotional thinking corrupting your empathic trait of Guilt) will make you think that you have derailed the opportunity to travel to the land of milk and honey.

When the Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist issues a promise or statement of intent with regard to some future event, whether it is ‘I will mow the lawn’ through to ‘I am taking you on a 90 day world cruise’ or from ‘I promise I will see you next Friday night’ through to ‘I am marrying you some day’. There is a very high risk that this is Future Faking. Occasionally there will be delivery (this is more likely in the seduction phase) but usually there is not.

The Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist  means it when it is stated (thus when you suggest they are not going to deliver they will be mortally offended by this Challenge Fuel issued by you)  and lash out in order to assert control. The original Future Faking statement is instinctively issued (and believed by the narcissist) in order to assert control you and to gain fuel. Thus

Narcissist : ‘I will call you tomorrow and we can arrange to go for dinner on Saturday night.’ (Future event, spoken statement (low energy) for the purpose of controlling the victim).

Shelf Intimate Partner Secondary Source Victim : ‘That would be great, I am really looking forward to seeing you again.’ (Control maintained in the instant, positive fuel gained)

Following day

Narcissist calls and converses and makes arrangement for Saturday night with victim. Control again maintained in the instant, victim’s pleased and enthusiastic responses provides positive fuel.

Saturday comes. The narcissist has a Hoover Trigger from a different Shelf IPSS and the Hoover Execution Criteria are met for him to hoover that appliance by going out for dinner with that person. This is because the narcissist had an instinctive need for control over that person in THAT MOMENT and there was no need for control over the First Shelf IPSS because that person was under control. The narcissist does not attend dinner with the First Shelf IPSS and does not even message to cancel because the narcissism does not deem it necessary. There is no emotional empathy therefore the narcissist does not instinctively feel behaving this way is ‘bad’ and should not be done. The narcissist may not have any cognitive empathy and no façade management, therefore there is no need to send a message cancelling. The narcissist is unaware that such a step would be seen as the polite thing to do. A narcissist who has cognitive empathy MIGHT send such a message cancelling the dinner IF the instinctive need for control deemed this an appropriate step, otherwise because of the sense of entitlement (the narcissist does whatever he or she wants, when he or she wants and with whoever he or she wants) and the innate lack of accountability ( I am not accountable to anybody for what I do) then the narcissist fails to turn up to the dinner date with the First Shelf and goes off with the Second Shelf because in THAT MOMENT this was the best outcome for the narcissist.

The fact that the First Shelf Victim may become angry with the narcissist is not at the forefront of the Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist’s mind. The consequences of that anger or upset are down the line and therefore not of importance. What matters is NOW, not yesterday, nor tomorrow, but NOW. The narcissist will deal with the collateral consequence of his failure to turn up as he sees fit and when he sees fit (again sense of entitlement, lack of emotional empathy and lack of accountability). This might be issuing an excuse claiming the First Shelf never confirmed with the narcissist (Blame Shifting and the Revision of History), focusing on something else (Deflection) or ignoring the First Shelf (Silent Treatment) . These are further manipulations. The anger of the stood up First Shelf Victim manifests as Challenge Fuel and the response of the narcissist (whether active or not) is a manipulation instinctively occasioned for the purposes of asserting control again by quelling the challenge (and gaining fuel to boot).

The narcissist does not change his mind. Consciously (when Lesser or Mid Range) he meant to deliver BUT unconsciously his narcissism meant he is highly unlikely to because it is not about the achieving of the future event (which is what victims mistakenly focus on) it is all about achieving control NOW and this is used by referring to a future event to achieve that, hence future faking. The Greater will either issue the promise and deliver (having greater resource and ability to do so) or issue the promise knowing there will be no delivery (calculated future faking) because the Greater deems this the best allocation of resources in order to achieve control and fuel.

For the majority of you, you will have encountered this from a Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist and it is instinctive, frequent and all about controlling you NOW by promising something later.

31 thoughts on “What Is Future Faking?

  1. Kim e says:

    Is it odd that my MRN never did this to me no matter when I was a CIPSS or DLS? I was always nervous and prepared myself for getting blown off but it never happened. If we made plans for 3 days from today, I might not hear from him until that day of and then he was like a kid telling me….”only 3 hours til go time”.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No. He did not need to future fake because his other manipulations had you under control.

  2. K says:

    Yes, that is definitely Future Faking.

  3. Bibi says:

    HG, no one explains it as you. When you wrote this, “Read that sentence again,” I needed to anyway. It is the crux of the issue.

    The Mid Ranger dangled the carrot, ‘Maybe I will open up to you someday…’

    The Lesser bf from my teen years, who left me outside waiting for him in the cold for hours, ‘I was getting laid,’ he said, when I asked why he failed to show up and not bother to call (this was the mid 90s so no texting).

    He promised to meet me at my uni that night and never showed up. What a piece of shit. I was friends w him on FB up until a couple of yrs ago wherein after reading your blog, I asked myself, ‘WTF are you thinking? Defriend this douche,’ which I did.

    Future faking, man. It leaves us with hope. Hope sucks. It is a con-artist in itself. Other future fakes by a Lesser include, ‘We need to fuck’

    ‘Baby, I can’t wait to fuck you.’

    ‘Baby, we will fuck someday.’

    LOL. Very enticing.



    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed, Bibi.

  4. Joy&Love says:

    Ok, I see you mentioned a post on The Narcissist and religion. I’ll search for that.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Jolly good.

      1. Bibi says:

        I like when you say that, HG. It is cute. 😀

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Thank you Bibi, but I am far from cute.

          1. Bibi says:


  5. Joy&Love says:

    I experienced this many times and it used to drive me crazy. Couldn’t understand why one would make these promises, not deliver and not have the courtesy to call or text. There was never a real apology or acceptance of responsibility. I was even accused of being controlling when I pointed it out. Now its finally clear. Thanks for another great lesson HG.

    On another note, does the N ever forgive. I get the concept of fuel from victim contrition or spent anger, when there is a breach, but is there forgiveness even when these don’t occur. I get the sense that there is none from the Greater and maybe from the Lesser or Mid range.

    Also, based on my Christian worldview, and in trying to understand this ‘disorder’, the Narcissist irrespective of the reason, has made himself a god in his own eyes and god in the eyes of the victim. This is manifested through the desire for total control. Its interesting because the real God offers forgiveness, choice, and free will and not control. What do you think, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Any forgiveness is not genuine, but is part of the manipulation. A narcissist may well state that he forgives someone in order to maintain a facade, control the appliance and draw fuel. The act that the narcissist has apparently forgiven will be resurrected and used against the appliance at a future stage, should the necessity of control require that. Should the victim point out that the narcissist forgave them, that will be Challenge Fuel and the narcissist will respond through the Twin Lines of Defence in order to assert control once again.

      1. Joy&Love says:

        Any forgiveness is not genuine, but is part of the manipulation.

        Thank you Mr Tudor. Is the behaviour the same with moms, and are moms a kind of super appliance.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Read Fuel.

  6. AR says:

    I felt annoyance and irritation.

    Thank you HG, great article.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome AR.

  7. Tappi Tikarrass says:

    I’m compelled to share some songs with all.
    I was cooking dinner when the first song came on, thought to myself maybe some narcsite blog readers will enjoy and relate. Bit teenagy I spose but I like sharing music- and receiving music. Music is one of the joys of living, for me anyways.
    I hadn’t heard it for years, I loved the whole album the songs come from when it was first released-Central Reservation.
    Perfect for a Sunday. Mellow. Poetic.
    Hope you enjoy, whoever bothers to listen.

    Beth Orton- Sweetest Decline


    Beth Orton- Pass in Time


    Beth Orton- Stolen Car


    Beth Orton- Stars All Seem to Weep


    My ex would use future faking as a way to make up after arguments and in respite periods after his silent treatments. If it suited him, a few would be realised.
    I felt like a fool for falling it for quite a while but reading here helped me get over myself- and him.

    1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

      Dear Tappi,
      I did bother to listen and can appreciate your interest in her style and appeal 🎼
      I had not heard of her before, so thank you for sharing lovely one
      Always learning on this blog !
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        She’s a gem.
        So glad you enjoyed.

        I don’t think we’ve ‘talked’ directly to each other before and I just want to say that I find your comments very wise in such a delightful and positive way.
        I love your style Bubbles!

        1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dear Tappi,
          Awe ☺️…..you’re too kind, hugs Tappi and thank you
          I could resonate with the importantance and meaning behind your comment and you went to the trouble of listing the songs, (I worked in the music industry many light years ago and appreciate all genres) …. even some heavy metal haha
          I’m delighted we’ve finally “talked”
          I wanted to let you know you are definitely worth the “bother” lovely one
          Heartfelt thanks Tappi, lets do this again 😊
          Happy listening 🎶
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

            Dear Bubbles
            Reading your reply warmed the cockles of my heart. A virtual hug to you too.

            I’m the same, I have a wide taste in musical styles. Different types of music for different types of moods!

            Sometimes it’s overwhelming thinking of all the good music to find out there. It’s one of the few good uses of the internet.

            Like everything, commercialisation can make it difficult to find the genuine stuff…. but it’s out there. One of the benefits of music sharing with like minds is gaining access to music you may not have found yourself.

            If there’s any music you’d like to share in future, don’t hesitate! Xo
            (Promise to keep the music relevant to narcissism HG!)

          2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest Tappi,
            I’m so happy your heart is warmed with cockles … makes me happy
            I look forward to any other song suggestions you may share …. regardings narcs of course 😂
            Thanks precious and virtual hugs flying your way too
            Ps …. a lot of my music favourites are on vinyl ….haha
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          3. Tappi Tikarrass says:

            You’re too cool for school Bubbles
            Vinyl is the best medium invented so far for non-live music listening.
            The warmth and depth of sound on vinyl is unsurpassed. Which is why it’s had a resurgence in recent years! Of course it’s become a scene but I try not to judge too harshly.

            I still have all my records (and my mums) from my childhood and teenage years. I was precious with them then and even more so now. I made the mistake of putting a Xmas gift record on the back dash of dads car on the way to a Xmas lunch and it melted! I had to wait months for a replacement. Lesson learned!

            I almost lost my collection to my ex husbands new partner. That’s a long story. Cut a long story short, I got them back. They are now locked in my bedroom, safe from pilfering hands.

            I’ve been listening to Bobbie Gentrys album Delta Sweete this morning after learning about it via Ms Ortons IG. It’s fantastic. Wow, what sensual timbre in her voice (like yours HG). Bobbie is a talented person (again, like yourself HG).

            Do you still listen to your records Bubbles? Xo

  8. Em says:

    My ex husband lesser always promised to take me to India. Never did. Always promised if I left he would take the kids abroad and I’d never see them again. Promised to celebrate our anniversary when we got to 25 yrs (23yrs wasn’t an achievement) never quite made it to 25.
    Promised to do dishes do ironing cut grass. Rarely did. Would get mad if I reminded him.

  9. Enlightened says:

    THIS behavior I know well. I have been an unwitting victim of this type of control many times in my life. Thank you for explaining it! So what do we do to take back the control?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome, Enlightened.
      You implement a solid no contact regime and you reduce your emotional thinking so you implement that no contact regime and maintain it.
      This will ensure you do so

  10. Pingback: What Is Future Faking? ⋆ NarcTopia
  11. Cyn says:

    My mid ranger mixed it up by actually following through on some big stuff now and then (to regain control) which allowed the other future faking to be excused longer. Near the end though I got to just rolling my eyes or smirking when he dangled a carrot; which of course was an insult after all he had “invested” in me and in us… how dare I ask him to do that which he had suggested?! Why must I always question him?! Besides, that wasn’t what he said. I must have heard him wrong etc etc etc …. lol eye roll.

  12. Soon to be sparkling! says:

    Yes, you got me there HG! I got the smack of; all of the above.

    I knew in my heart that all the future faking was nonsense.

    At the start I believed it all, but then I could just feel that something was off

    The last time he tried it with gusto! He told me that he had told his family in the Czech Rep all about me and that they welcome me. He told me that we had been invited to Christmas with them at the end of the year. He asked me what I thought about that.

    I told him that it was lovely that they knew about me and how happy that made me. I also said that it sounded wonderful but that we both knew that it was just a fantasy. He went a bit cold after I said that. I presumed he knew for sure then, that I knew, that it was all smoke and mirrors. I just couldn’t get swept up in it as I had been led and disappointed by him just so many times before.

    Things weren’t the same between us after that.
    He knew he’d lost my faith in him.

  13. michellegedwards says:

    Thank you for saying, the supply did nothing wrong. That’s so important to remember. The future faking promise was never going to happen in the first place. Wow. Just wow.

    1. Pati says:

      HG Would future faking be that my N didnt go for his vasectomy after my last pregnancy that he planned on going.? He made me cancel and keep rebooking the appointment half a dozen times .he still hasnt gone it’s been 6 years Coward.

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