Knowing the Narcissist : 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 over 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 arrangements 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.

Inform others, please share this article to your social media.

Learn about the ways you can be manipulated here

America : You Are Being Conned

27 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : What Is Future Faking?

  1. KitKat says:

    One of the things I gain from being a student of HG’s are the opportunities for self-actualization and inner growth.
    I’m embarrassed to say, but there are traits and manipulations of narcissists that I recognize in my myself.
    I’ve realized that I use future faking to appease people in the moment quite a bit.
    It’s a really messed up thing to do.
    It doesn’t feel good to know how my empty promises have made people feel, but I’m grateful for the insight because I can do better from now on.
    Has anyone else had similar realizations from HG’s work?

    1. A Victor says:

      Yes. A lot actually. I have come to realize that much of the time I chose those behaviors because I didn’t know a “normal” or

      1. A Victor says:

        Oops, bumped send.

        I didn’t know a “normal” or healthy way of relating to people. The really great thing about it though is that once I see it in myself and learn new ways to relate, I am able to choose not to do those things if I don’t want to. And usually I don’t want to, with non-narcs. With narcs I just try to stay away from them.

        I actually see it the most in my interactions with my kids, probably because I’m around them more than other people and we already have had patterns established. They have been open to changing patterns and improving communication and our relationships which I am grateful for. This is one of the places I can see the narc behavior so much, my mother cannot see patterns or any need to change even when it’s been told straight to her. Even having lost 2 of her 3 children completely and having one in ANC with her.

        This morning my son came into the room I was in but he hadn’t seen me, I said “Good morning” . It dawned on me at that moment that this is something my mother does all the time, she’ll say something from an unseen place or the next room. It is very annoying to us. So later I asked my son if it had bothered him, he didn’t even connect it to how my mom does it at all. He knew I was simply greeting him. With her, we know she is looking to take something from us, one or more of the prime aims.

        So even when I may do something a narc does, my motivation will not be to obtain the prime aims. Even if my goal is to manipulate a situation so as to deal with it later or never, (I do the same thing you do at times) it is still not manipulation like a narc does it. For them the manipulations are non stop, for me this is usually an isolated event.

        One last thing, I do see those behaviors surface more when my ET is up or when my emotional empathy is eroded for some reason. Why am I Behaving Like the Narcissist helped me understand this better.

        1. KitKat says:

          A Victor, I am so glad I saw your comments! Almost missed them; luckily I saw them while going through closing out windows.

          You’ve hit the nail on the head about not knowing healthy or normal ways of relating to people. We grew up with narcissistic coping mechanisms as our models. It’s like being taught to cheat at sports, and now as adults trying to learn the rules of the game on our own.

          I like what you said about the fundamental motivation behind actions being what distinguishes narcissist manipulation from narcissistic behavior.
          When we know better, we do better; we embrace self-improvement.

          Your children are fortunate to have a mother such as you. It’s very loving to check in with them, and ask them about how they experienced a situation. That validation of their feelings is parenting goals 🙌

          1. A Victor says:

            Hi KitKat, I’m glad you found my comments. I appreciated your question and was hoping a few more would comment also. Thank you for your kind words about my children, that means a lot. Take care. 🙂

          2. NarcAngel says:

            Identifying intent helps. Non narcs may future fake to appease others in the moment in order to spare their feelings rather than reject them outright or cause a continued awkwardness. The recipient may also recognize it as such and not be feeling as bad as you imagine because they know they have done this themselves on occasion. This is not the intent of a narcissist in future faking and empty promises. Nor would there be the recognition and acceptance described above.

        2. Bubbles says:

          Dearest A Victor,
          Your “good morning” certainly hit a raw nerve with me lovely. My mother was always formal to us. I’ve always related “good morning” to the work place or when you meet strangers I very rarely say it, only if I have to, usually it’s just ‘morning’ ….in the nicest way haha
          Our daughter ‘jokingly’ has digs at me regarding the similarities between myself and mum now…..she knows she gets a reaction from me haha. Yes, she’s got great narcissistic traits hehe

          I don’t think I’ve ever been normal haha

          1. A Victor says:

            Hi Bubbles, thank you for your comment! I can so relate, I’ve never been normal either! So many hang ups, in my case anyway. It is very frustrating at times. Just things others seemingly do so naturally and for me it’s always a struggle.

            My kids will very occasionally tease me about being like my mom also… They know it will get me going! But also, I know it’s from a place of fun and they don’t mean it.

            Hope all is well in your world! 💕

    2. Bubbles says:

      Dearest KitKat,
      Yes, you are not alone lovely. I’ve discovered more about myself since being here than ever before.
      My whole life has been like an ‘unsolved crime’, underneath I’ve always been messed up…..always will be. We all have narcissistic traits KitKat, it’s not ‘all’ bad haha
      What about that ol favourite, ‘must catch up for a coffee, I’ll give you a buzz’ or ‘be in touch’ and never do !!! Future faking hehe
      We all hate getting phone calls haha

      I really had identity issues because of the need to please, be liked and loved. I felt by copying others I would fulfil that need. Subconsciously, I dressed to please others and bought the same trendy item because I would be seen as ‘fitting in’. I did the same with decorating my home. I’d second guess everything, I could never really find my own identity or individualism in taste and style, I took a bit here a bit there and tried to tie it all together, which ended in an eclectic mish mash from all the people in my life…. bit like my brain haha
      I never saw it as mirroring or copying, I just wanted to be liked or loved.
      I dread to think of what others thought now. No one knew of my upbringing as I never disclosed it. Growing up, I had trouble having long term friends as they all betrayed me in some way plus I have issues trusting people. I was very much deprived of the norm.
      Since being here these past years, I’ve decluttered my home, wardrobe and people. I used to dress louder and now I’m very understated, quieter and more introverted. Less in more now. My head space is calmer.
      I’ve always wondered if others here have felt similar

      Thank you KitKat for raising the question 💕

      1. A Victor says:

        Bubbles, I have felt and done similar, not quite there same, I think I’ve become more confident and assertive than I was but still not loud at all and still very introverted. But as far as sorting things out in my head and decluttering space and people, I can definitely relate! Thank you for this comment, it is a whole side of this process that is overlooked sometimes I think but not unimportant for sure.

        1. Bubbles says:

          Dearest A Victor,
          Me too, I am very assertive now even though I’ve always displayed confidence. I won’t let people manipulate me and I literally question everything. I say NO with extreme confidence now
          Quite frankly, I’m at that age, whereby, I just can hahahaha
          Seriously, look at where we all are now ……we’ve all changed
          I’m no longer the same person I was when I came here !
          All thanks to our illustrious coach

      2. Bubbles says:

        Ps …..ohhhh I forgot to mention, we moved house 10 times when I was in school …hence the short term friends!

        1. A Victor says:

          Oh wow! We moved 10 times before I was 12!! I have serious attachment issues due to that, plus due to other stuff of course! 😂

          Nomads we were!

          1. Bubbles says:

            Dearest A Victor,
            Apart from military kids moving all the time, I thought I was the odd ball for having move from house to house. It really screws you up !
            I remember renting a tiny little place in the country when I was living at home just to getaway for peace and tranquility, it was my sanctuary for awhile. I couldn’t afford to leave home, I decorated it, read and listened to music (no tv), then drive back home reluctantly to mum and my stepdad on a Sunday night only to be given the daggers.

            Ironically, I ended up moving several times myself when I left home. I just couldn’t settle. Weird isn’t it ? Definitely a nomad at that time. I guess the pattern becomes habit forming and ingrained somehow. Happy to report I’ve been in my current abode for nearly nearly 30 years now……finally haha

            I too have attachment, plus abandonment issues and much much much more hahaha 🤪

          2. A Victor says:

            Oh Bubbles, once I was an adult, I wanted to stay in the same place forever! I did manage 22 years in the house where I mostly raised my kids, longest time spent in my life. I do love to travel but I want a familiar home base to come back to now.

            We are all messed up aren’t we?! Haha, how did we make it this far at all! I think for me there is coming a point very soon where I just live, not worry about all the crap from before, I just need to do some living! 😃

      3. Asp Emp says:

        Hello Bubbles 🙂 I read your comment with interest (as usual, of course 🙂 ). I loved how you suggested that your life was like “unresolved crime” (crime?! Mystery is the word, I would suggest 🙂 ). I found what you had to say really relatable because I wanted to be understood more than anything, as it seemed that quite a number of people I met were not (laughing now…..) speaking my ‘language’ if you can understand? I never had an issue with how I ‘decorated’ my home, the pictures I have do not “match” but they do, somehow, fit together within the room. It could be a theme, or, a colour. I have to say that I have found some people’s house ‘decorations’ very bland! Having said that, it is since coming to KTN blog that there are so many different types of people with different backgrounds / cultures / perceptions etc. Interesting to consider that (I think), the more you understand about yourself, the more, in some way, accommodating of other people’s “way” of doing things? Maybe it is also about being in better control of your own life that ‘permits’ it? I think that because I did not totally understand myself, my past (why parental narcissist hurt me bad, etc), loss of father, insecurity, etc, I used objects around me to ‘fill’ in the missing ‘gaps’ without realising I was doing it – similar to why an unaware narcissist assert control & need fuel? I found, one day, that I felt suffocated by all the stuff around the house. I purged. Massively. Around 3.5 years before I found KTN. Maybe for some of us here, we get ‘filled’ with so much psychobabble of narcissistic pasts that it re-manifests itself by us through surrounding ourselves with tangible objects (like hoarders, while narcissists have their ever-growing lists of various, compartmentalised ‘appliances’ that they do not let go of) because we do not realise what it was that we really needed = HG’s work.

        Thank you, Bubbles, for writing your comment. It gave me opportunity to think (and write) 🙂 xx

        1. Bubbles says:

          Dearest AspEmp,
          I found your comment all so fascinating AspEmp, as always, thank you
          I can see the ‘mystery’ aspect, however for me, it’s an ‘unsolved crime’ because it was intentional and premeditated. I still don’t have concrete evidence as my mother ‘deliberately’ destroyed it all.

          Funny you should mention how your decor fits. ME TOOOOO ! Mr Bubbles and I combined our ‘stuff’, it a real bitsa, but blends superbly and it’s the warmest of homes and everyone loves coming here, it has a calm relaxing yet luxurious atmosphere. Very inviting! No one ever wants to leave hehe

          I’m not a white walled type of person, although quite a number of people I know are. First thing they do is paint every wall white. I enjoy warm tones along with warm lighting and comfort. Bland, I’m definitely not hehe

          I tend to agree Asp Emp, I probably used objects to fill a need and void in my life. You see that with hoarders, usually some trauma triggered them. Having said that, my mother is a hoarder however she had a relatively good affluent childhood….. it sure what happened to her …..never will I guess !

          I can’t walk into female clothing shops that display busy patterns, it’s too suffocating for me….I have to leave. Does my head in 🤯 along with the funky wafting of nylon, polyester and synthetics 🤢

          You’re right with Mr Tudor’s work, like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day AspEmp, I’m still under construction hehe 😉

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Hello Bubbles 🙂 Delighted to read what you have to say 🙂 I think some empaths are just simply more sensitive to their surroundings (probably increased sensitivity in regard to the 5 human senses?) compared to others, hence the preference of ‘toned’ down rather than white walls. Yes, hoarders collect to fill ‘gaps’ (I’d seen programmes, rather interesting to what some of they had to say why the do it). In regard to man-made materials, the smell of, again, I think some empaths are ‘repelled’ by synthetic materials. I absolutely love the smell of leather 🙂 I really do not know what it is about it! Yes, I avoid certain clothing shops because it is all naff & tacky materials, it’s nothing to do with being snobbish, it is just some people may have less tolerance for it (hahaha).

            Maybe the tolerance ‘levels’ are also something to do with being forced as children and as people get older, the less they have?

            Good to see you around, Bubbles and thank you for your response 🙂 xx

          2. Bubbles says:

            *Sorry, NOT sure what happened to her ……never will, I guess !

          3. Asp Emp says:

            I understand what you mean, Bubbles. Parental narcissist did not talk about her childhood, neither did my aunt. Why? I’ll never know the facts. I think it is partly because when we got together as a family, those kind of conversations did not really occur as such, not even for example “oh, yes, do you remember when we went to….”. Only the adulthood, not the childhood. Very strange really. 🙂

          4. Joa says:

            I smiled to myself as I read this thread.

            I am “mixed”, extroverted introvert 🙂 I need both, with a predominance of the second and sudden outbursts 🙂

            I also like warm colors. “Warm house” – yes. Although I exaggerated a bit with the colors, when my daughter was born. Then I couldn’t look at them and I was relieved when I repainted it after some time, to “more subdued warmth” 🙂

            Even the workplace. My office is clearly distinguishable from other offices – all similar. Both when it comes to the color of the walls (I forced a break out of the boring template) and decorations, details, flowers, that I bought with my own money and chose myself. Including decorative boxes with hand creams 🙂 If I was fired, I wouldn’t go out – like in the movies – with a cardboard box under my arm, but I would have to make 3 rides by car 🙂

            Recently, I bought a large anthurium and a coffee tree, in beautiful ceramic pots for my office and put them on one side of my desk. When I open my laptop, shiny, smooth leaves frame my screen. I can look at them, when I’m thinking or when I’m tired. It helps me a lot to relax, because the pressure, chaos, control, stabbing and investigative mania in my company are starting to reach their zenith.

            As for the materials. Cotton only. Even as a child, I could not tolerate other materials – there were many “battles”, tears, frustration and screams with my mother, who put me on woolen sweaters (I scratched a lot), turtlenecks (I suffocated – for the same reason I don’t wear necklaces, chains). Thin tights? Torment. I prefer bare legs. And I don’t care about the dress code.

            I am a good emploee. Fire me or you have to put up with me.


            I hate it when someone says: “We need to meet again” or “We’ll be in touch.” I usually say: “I don’t think so, unless we meet again by chance” and add an extra smile to soften it 🙂

            With those I meet, it is not necessary to say such nonsense.

            And don’t ask me casually: “How are you doing? – if you don’t want to know. I’ll tell you exactly, what has been absorbing me for the last few hours or a few days 🙂

          5. Asp Emp says:

            Joa, interesting to read what you say here, not surprising though 🙂 Hypersensitivity to the environment around oneself, and, the materials on the skin. Natural materials & nature matters to some people more than others because of the heightened sensitivity, just like natural daylight may be preferred over fluorescent lighting in offices. Thank you for sharing 🙂

          6. Bubbles says:

            Dearest AspEmp,
            Ahhhhhh, good ol leather …..divine !!! Mr Bubbles has this gorgeous leather jacket, yummmmm ….soft as !
            Personally, I’m a cotton/linen girl. My mother tried to put me all sorts of rubbish ….I hated it… was what SHE wanted me to wear. Forced me to wear singlets and I continually overheated and fainted. I felt so constricted, couldn’t breathe …..I’m more loosey goosey now haha
            To this day she still criticises me for wearing pants…..’it’s not ladylike’, even though up until her continence problems she always wore pants ……go figure !!!!
            They never stop do they? Judges and criticises people allllllllll the time.
            No wonder we have issues haha 😂

    3. NarcAngel says:

      Yes. Came for confirmation of others and stayed for the education, which included self. It’s all been very eye opening and in some ways life changing.

      1. TBS says:


    4. TBS says:

      Everyone has narcissistic traits to some extent .. even those people you know that prove themselves to be the truly empathic and most caring of individuals. I am fortunate to have a couple of those people solidly planted in my life.
      I do recognise many narcissistic traits in myself (and some in them as well).
      Sometimes with me these have been shown to be extremely strong and disconcerting.
      It worried me a lot when I first began trying to understand narcissism .. but not so now.
      It is the intention and dynamic behind of the action that matters, i.e. I am not a narcissist.
      I am, however, a flawed human being with a large “mixed bag of lollies” of emotions, intentions, fears & aspirations, and that’s OK. ☮️

      1. Bubbles says:

        Dear TBS,
        “I am, however, a flawed human being with a large “mixed bag of lollies” of emotions, intentions, fears & aspirations, and that’s OK”
        I totally agree, beautifully said, thank you

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