Why do narcissists engage in future faking?
The line between sincerity and insincerity is nearly invisible for people with NPD. At the moment that they are enthusiastically planning a future with you, they might actually feel sincere. However, they are not factoring in that they should wait before sharing their fantasies about a rosy future with you. They feel free to change their mind at any moment.
When their infatuation wears off and they lose interest in fulfilling the future plans, they can easily rationalize the change in their thinking. Here are some of the things narcissists tell me about these situations:
I meant it when I said it. It just didn’t work out between us. Why blame me?
He is not who I thought he was. He fooled me. I don’t owe him anything.
She should have realized that I was just trying to be entertaining.
It was fun while it lasted.
Sometimes narcissists use future faking intentionally as a seduction technique. This is particularly cruel because they know from the beginning that the glowing picture that they are painting is totally fake. They have no intention of actually doing any of the wonderful things that they have promised to do with you. They are simply exploiting your desire for a loving, long-term relationship and saying anything that they think will achieve their aims.
Another reason for future-faking is that many people with NPD are poor conversationalists. They tend to develop a set of stories or strategies that they believe show them in a good light and use the same ones with almost everyone. Elaborate future faking can be a substitute for real conversation and a way to avoid actually showing real interest in the other person.
Future faking is a courtship strategy that involves painting a glowing detailed picture of the wonderful future that the two of you will have together that is actually unlikely to happen.
Narcissists use future faking to enjoy themselves, entertain someone they are interested in for the moment, and as a way to get sex and validation. Even when they start out believing their own hype, the other person is likely to end up hurt and disappointed.
Written by: Elinor Greenberg Originally appeared on: Psychology Today