Future Faking, A Manipulation Strategy Used by Narcissists

The narcissist will make you believe that a sensational future awaits you if you stick with them. However, as time passes, you'll discover it was all a hoax.
Future Faking, A Manipulation Strategy Used by Narcissists
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

“We’ll go on a sensational trip, you and me”, “We’ll make a thousand plans together and have the best life ever”. F uture faking is a common device of the narcissistic personality. It consists of captivating someone with big plans to gain their trust and create an emotional bond with them.

However, this house of cards eventually collapses and every one of those aims end up dissolving like sugar in a cup of coffee. Little by little, the narcissist’s partner becomes aware of the deception. Then, they start to feel regret for having placed all their trust in someone who, at the end of the day, completely manipulated them.

However, there’s something else. Narcissists don’t just lie about future plans but short-term ones too. In fact, they lie in any circumstance, especially in the courtship phase and at the beginning of a relationship. They do it to excite their partner and to emotionally control them with the promise that sensational things are going to happen.

“He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.”

-George Elliot-

Couple eating in a restaurant and making use of the fake of the future

Future faking and the narcissist

Starting a relationship with a narcissistic personality is like living in a fairy tale for a few months, then ending up trapped in the villain’s lair. Research works conducted by the universities of Münster and Leipzig (Germany) reveal some interesting information in this regard.

The study claims that people with narcissistic personality disorder are often adept at captivating and making a good impression on first dates. Furthermore, they’ll usually maintain the relationship for a few months.

However, for the partner, maintaining a long-term bond with a narcissist is practically impossible. For this reason, it’ important to know how to recognize the seduction dynamics that they usually use to attract new victims.

Falsifying the future is one of their best maneuvers. Let’s take a closer look.

A false future

Future faking consists of constructing a falsehood about the immediate tomorrow or the more long-term future. It involves making someone believe that what’s to come is going to be the best ever.

The narcissist uses this resource for a clear reason. It’s to awaken the interest of another in them. Furthermore, it’s to reinforce their trust and ignite their enthusiasm by showing them a glimpse of a wonderful future ahead.

Their plans are elaborate, detailed, and credible

Narcissists are extremely effective, thorough, and calculating in the way they craft this fake future. For example, they might convince their partner of their love of nature and concern for the environment by saying how keen they are to live in the countryside. They’ll give elaborate details of their plan and everything will seem more than convincing.

Their partner will be fascinated by their noble intentions and values. They’ll be convinced by the rich vocabulary they use and bowled over by their apparent humility. However, over time they’ll discover that nothing they said was true. Indeed, they’ll find out that those values the narcissist defended so vehemently don’t even exist.

Future faking, a strategy that goes unnoticed

Generally, one thing that’s usually quickly noticed about the narcissist is their use of compliments. They act like natural flatterers and don’t hesitate in highlighting the virtues (real or fictional) of the person they’re trying to woo. However, unfortunately, the person on the receiving end doesn’t see what’s coming.

The narcissist will talk to their partner about the trips they’ll take together, the restaurants they’ll go to. In fact, they’ll talk of great plans that appear both extremely credible and exciting at the same time. This is future faking. It involves lies that narcissists feed to their partners daily and in small doses to maintain the excitement in the long term.

Narcissists will never admit their lies

Psychotherapist Joseph Burgo is the author of The Narcissist You Know. In this book, he makes an interesting statement. It’s the fact that narcissists never see themselves as liars. Nor will they ever admit that all those plans they spoke about were false. In fact, they’ll have a thousand excuses up their sleeve as to why those proposals, goals, and promises never actually came to fruition.

What’s more, one of their common strategies is denial. Indeed, they won’t hesitate to insist that they never came up with such a thing and that their partner imagined it all.

Sad woman victim of the falsification of the future

Lack of emotional empathy and destruction of hope

If there’s one thing that’s painful for all human beings, it’s seeing their hopes and dreams fall apart. When those expectations are connected with the person they’ve fallen in love with, the impact is all the more damaging. Faking the future erodes trust. It means discovering that none of their promises are going to be fulfilled. It means realizing that they’ve been captivated by lies. However, this isn’t the only thing.

In fact, the narcissistic person doesn’t experience any regret for what they’ve done. That’s because they lack emotional empathy. This means that they don’t feel what others feel and, therefore, they’ll never assume responsibility for their pain. The impact of these experiences on a partner can be traumatic.

To conclude, the tricks used by narcissists are usually sophisticated. Indeed, they’re masters of deception and architects of the most effective manipulation. For this reason, you never see them coming. Therefore you shouldn’t ever criticize yourself if you find yourself trapped in one of their nets.

Remember, it isn’t your fault. The fault lies entirely with them, the future faker.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.