Spotting Deceptive Promises

The other day, I was at a coffee shop and overheard two therapists talking loudly about a new symptom in patients that they called “Future Faking”. Of course, being the curious eavesdropper that I am, I had to learn everything I could about this term that I had never heard before and began my Google searches. I want to share with my readers what it is and how we can ultimately avoid it, since I’m sure some of you may engage in this behavior yourselves or be involved with others who Future Fake.

“Narcissistic people tend to use future faking as a way to manipulate the person they are in a relationship with. These individuals get a keen read on what someone may want out of a relationship and spin a fantastic depiction of their shared future together to keep the person engaged in the relationship and to prevent them from leaving.” –Thriveworks

“Someone may talk about long-term commitments, future vacations, or even marriage and kids very early in a relationship,” says clinical psychologist Lauren Kerwin, PhD.

Maybe it’s not even a friend or partner, but a boss promising a promotion or significant advancement in your career that never materializes, even after years. Or your coach, if you play sports, overpromising you a position or playtime that you never receive. Future Faking happens regardless of the circumstances. It’s a tactic to keep good people around for the benefit of the other person who is overpromising. Paying attention to actions over words will be key to recognizing the signs of Future Faking.

In the realm of any sort of close relationships, there exists a phenomenon known as “Future Faking.” This term refers to the act of making grand promises or painting an idealized future with no intention of following through. It can leave individuals feeling deceived, hurt, and disillusioned. In this post, we will delve into what Future Faking is, explore its potential impact, and discuss strategies to avoid falling victim to it. 

Defining Future Faking

Future faking occurs when someone makes promises or commitments about the future that they have no intention of fulfilling. It often involves creating an illusion of a perfect future together, filled with dreams, plans, and aspirations. However, these promises are empty and serve as a means to manipulate or keep someone invested in the present.

Recognizing the Signs

To protect ourselves from Future Faking, it is crucial to be aware of the signs. Some common indicators include:

a) Excessive talk about future plans without concrete actions.

b) Making promises without setting specific timelines or taking steps towards them.

c) Consistently avoiding discussions about practical details or commitment.

d) Repeatedly changing or retracting promises without valid reasons.

The Impact of Future Faking

Being subjected to Future Faking can have significant emotional consequences. It can lead to feelings of disappointment, betrayal, and a loss of trust in both the person and future friendships and relationships. Recognizing the impact is essential for taking proactive steps to avoid falling into this trap.

Strategies to Avoid Future Faking

a) Communication and Clarity: Maintain open and honest communication with your friend or partner. Discuss expectations, goals, and timelines to ensure alignment and avoid misunderstandings.

b) Observe Actions: Pay attention to actions rather than just words. Consistency between promises and actions is a positive sign of sincerity.

c) Take Time: Allow relationships to develop naturally over time. Avoid rushing into commitments based solely on future promises.

d) Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your intuition. Take the time to evaluate the situation and make informed decisions.

e) Set Boundaries: Establish personal boundaries and communicate them clearly. This helps in identifying and addressing any discrepancies between promises and actions.

f) Prioritize Self-Care: Focus on your own well-being and personal growth. This ensures that you are not solely dependent on someone else’s promises for your happiness.

Future Faking can be a painful experience, but by understanding its nature and being vigilant, we can protect ourselves from falling into this trap and wasting time with friends or lovers who have no intentions of actually keeping their promises to us. By maintaining open communication, observing actions, and prioritizing our own well-being, we can build healthier and more authentic relationships. Remember, it is essential to invest in friendships and relationships that are built on trust, respect, and genuine commitment.

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