Home Family & Relationship How to Recognise and Counteract Future Faking by Narcissists

How to Recognise and Counteract Future Faking by Narcissists

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Narcissists are masters of manipulation, and one of their most potent tactics is “future faking“. This involves making grand promises about a shared future to lure you into a relationship. Understanding this tactic and how to spot it can save you from emotional turmoil.

What is future faking?

Future faking is a manipulative strategy where someone promises a future together to gain your trust and affection. They might talk about marriage, moving in together, or other significant life events. However, these promises are often empty and are merely a means to an end.

Why do narcissists use this tactic?

Narcissists crave validation and control. Future faking allows them to achieve both by making you emotionally invested in a future that will likely never materialise.

Manipulative individuals often use deceptive tactics to gain control over others.

How to spot future faking

  • Too good to be true. If someone’s promises seem too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Speedy commitments. Be wary if they are rushing you into making life-altering decisions.
  • Inconsistencies. Pay attention to discrepancies between their words and actions.

The emotional toll

The emotional toll of being ensnared by future faking can be overwhelming, leaving individuals questioning their own judgement and worth. This form of manipulation can create a cycle of hope and disappointment that wears down a person’s emotional resilience over time. The constant oscillation between promise and letdown can also lead to trust issues, making it difficult for the victim to form healthy relationships in the future.

The experience can result in a heightened sense of vulnerability, making individuals more susceptible to further manipulation. In severe cases, the long-term psychological impact may require professional intervention to help the individual regain a sense of control and self-worth.

Protecting yourself

To safeguard yourself from the pitfalls of future faking, it’s crucial to establish and maintain strong boundaries from the outset of any relationship. Be wary of individuals who make grandiose promises or plans early on, as this could be a red flag signalling manipulative behaviour. Consulting with trusted friends and family can offer an external perspective that may help you identify inconsistencies or warning signs you might have overlooked.

Seeking professional advice from a psychologist or counsellor can provide you with coping strategies and tools to better assess the situation. By taking these precautionary steps, you’re not only protecting your emotional well-being but also empowering yourself to make informed decisions in your relationships.

Final thoughts

Recognising the signs of future faking and understanding the manipulative motives behind it can equip you with the knowledge to sidestep the emotional snares set by a narcissist. Awareness is your first line of defence; by staying vigilant, you can more easily discern when someone’s promises are genuine or merely a tactic to control you.

Trusting your instincts is crucial, as your gut feeling often picks up on subtleties that your conscious mind might overlook.

Don’t be afraid to walk away if something feels off; it’s better to protect your emotional well-being than to stay entangled in a toxic situation. By adopting these proactive measures, you’re taking control of your own emotional landscape and reducing the likelihood of becoming a victim of future faking.



Lucinda Sterling is a certified relationship counsellor specialising in emotional manipulation and narcissistic abuse.

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