Future faking is a term found in the narcissistic abuse community, and this term means exactly what it sounds like. Future faking is the act of promising something in the future, but without any real intent or sincere effort towards keeping that promise.
Future faking can take many forms, but it always presents a future promise that caters the needs and desires of the person being manipulated. The person doing the manipulating benefits from this lie, and this lie can be used to serve many purposes.
Future faking is used to get another person to make a huge life change that benefits the needs or desires of the person making the promise.
A controlling parent might tell an adult child that they will provide some grand thing for the adult child if they will just come back home to the parent. The parent has no real intention of doing what they claimed they will do; they just want to regain control over their child. When the time comes to do as they said, they will find a reason not to—and the reason will almost always be the fault of their child.
A woman might promise a man children if he will marry her, but she has no real intentions of being a mother. She just wants the man bound to her in marriage as a means to control this person and to keep him from leaving her. Once they are married, the wife will find excuses for not having children, then blame the husband for being so selfish as to expect her to sacrifice herself for children.
Future faking is used to make the person being manipulated more kindly disposed towards the person making the false promise.
For example, someone might promise to do some kind thing for you. Maybe this person detected a need that you have, and they promised to help in the future, even though you never asked for help. The help they promised never comes. This can happen with well-meaning people, but some people have a habit of making such promises then backing out of them, and it would seem as though they make these promises just so they can look good at the time.
Future faking is used in the form of false repentance or change of heart so that the person who was treated poorly will continue in the toxic relationship.
For example, someone might treat another person badly, then when the abused person threatens to leave or does leave, the abuser will feign repentance and remorse, promise to do better, and coax the person into staying. Some changes might be made for a time, but the abusive person slowly or abruptly retreats into their old ways.
We can all do this when we struggle with a behavior. However, those who are future faking will later refuse accountability for those same actions once the person they abused is feeling safe and their guard is down. They will blame shift, deny that there is a problem, or otherwise gaslight the person who they were supposedly repentant towards.
Future faking is cruel because it plays off of the needs and desires of another in order to fulfill the purposes of the person who is doing the manipulating, and they never pay up. They crush the people they are dealing with and they blame others when that promise is never fulfilled, or they deny ever having made the promise. This causes anxiety and mistrust within those who are being manipulated as well as dependency on others.
As with all narcissistic abuse, this can happen in any circumstance that involves human relationships such as romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, at the workplace, and within the realms of religion and politics.
Future Faking from a Christian Perspective
As a Christian, there are future promises that I count on, but unlike those who fake the future, I know Jesus is true. We know that Jesus will return and establish His kingdom, and we know that we will inherit eternal life with Him in this Kingdom.
Although this is a future promise, Jesus provides us with evidence of this salvation, even now. He provides us with His Holy Spirit, which is the “earnest of our inheritance.” Through the Holy Spirit, we experience the Kingdom that “comes not with observation” as the ways of God are written into our hearts, changing our natures overtime and freeing us from the kingdoms of this world.
There are many people who mock the promises of Jesus. They might accuse Him of future faking or accuse us of being foolish for believing in Him, but we can stand firm in the faith because our faith is accompanied with divine persuasion.
The faith of a Christian is not blind faith, and it is not believing without seeing—though it is in a sense. Although we do not yet see all things fulfilled as promised, we are given a kind of spiritual sight that convinces us of our faith in Jesus, and we experience a relationship with Him that is anything but blind.
He speaks with us, leads us, comforts us, and works mightily within us. Though the things of the spirits of God are foolishness to this world, we will not be moved because our King is still on the throne, and we can trust in Him.
Never let someone tell you that your king in heaven is dead. He will return at the appointed time, and everyone will bow before Him.
Never let the kingdoms of this world future fake with you—promising a manmade eutopia and freedom from the pains of this life—so long as you bow down and worship their system, denying the One true God in the process.
As a Christian, I know that suffering in this life is expected, and not only is it expected, it is necessary for my growth into a son of God. Jesus suffered the cross, and He makes all suffering bearable—even though it might seem unbearable. Lord willing, and if the grace of God will abound towards us, we will endure suffering for His sake rather than fall for the future fakes of another kingdom that promises peace and safety only to steal, kill, and destroy.
As a Christian, I do not want to future fake Jesus by claiming Him as my Lord yet living my own life as I please without regard for Jesus and His ways.
We cannot future fake the Son of God and expect to gain the promises He made to us. God is merciful, but He will not be mocked, and God the Father will not allow those who claim the blood of the Son to do so without real dedication to Him.
Jesus will work sincerity in all who belong to Him, even if it means tearing down all else that we trust in—including all of the future fakes of this world.
Sin is the greatest future fake.
It seems pleasurable at the time, but it only leads to death. Jesus died to provide us with freedom from sin, so let us continue seeking Him so that we have assurance from the One who is always true to His word as we cast off the lying ways of this world and the prince thereof.
I am not a mental health professional. These “recovery” articles are written with knowledge that is based on life experience and research.
Life can teach us a lot about trauma, but Jesus provides the best remedies. If you have a story you’d like to share, if you want to learn more about the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, or if you just want someone to talk to, reach out in the comments, through private message, or email.