Narcissists have many methods of controlling their victims and making them dance to their tunes, and one of the most devious and manipulative is future faking their preys.
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.
1. 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).
2. 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?’
3. 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 on 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 nor 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)
The narcissist calls and converses and makes arrangements for Saturday night with the victim. Control again maintained in the instant, victim’s pleased and enthusiastic responses provide positive fuel.
Related: The Art of Deception
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 at 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.