Don’t Fall Prey to a Narcissist’s False Promises

When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you’ll quickly realize that they tend not to follow through on their promises. They may act like they care for you and want to give you the world, but it’s all an act.

Below, we’ll dive into reasons not to fall for a narcissist’s promises, even if they seem genuine.

Narcissism and Future Faking

If you’re realizing that the narcissist doesn’t follow through with what they say they’ll do, it’s time to learn about future faking. This concept explains a lot of the narcissist’s failed promises. 

Future faking occurs when narcissists talk about wanting a future with you. They may discuss getting engaged, marrying, buying a house, or having children together.

Typically, these future-focused discussions happen early in the relationship. The narcissist makes promises about the future, to give the impression that they are committed to the relationship. 

Ultimately, future faking is a form of manipulation. By making promises about the future, the narcissist convinces you that they are highly invested in the relationship. 

Once you perceive them as being highly committed to you, you’ll be more willing to devote your time and attention to them. Additionally, you won’t be taken aback when they take advantage of you, such as by borrowing money or living with you rent-free.

Through future-faking, the narcissist gets exactly what they want: you devote all your time and attention to them, which you’ll be willing to do, because you’re convinced you’ve met your lifelong partner. 

The Role of Love Bombing

Another way that narcissists hook people at the beginning of the relationship is through a tactic called love bombing. This involves showering you with affection, attention, and promises for a blissful relationship. 

Unfortunately, these promises will never come to fruition. By showering you with affection at the start of the relationship, the narcissist succeeds in getting you to fall head-over-heels in love. 

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You’ll probably think that you’ve found your perfect soul mate, and the relationship will feel like the fairy tale romance you’ve sought. As time goes on, you’ll realize that the narcissist can’t really live up to their promises.

After they’ve hooked you, they will begin to change their behavior. They may start to insult you, disappear for hours or even days, and act as if you don’t mean anything to them. This is part of a cycle, in which they initially shower you with love, only to devalue you as time goes on. 

Since you fell for the love bombing, you’ll simply work harder to win the narcissist’s affection back. If you still believe the promises they made during the love bombing phase, you’ll convince yourself that you must have made a mistake, and that you’re responsible for returning the relationship to the blissful romance it once was.

This is exactly what the narcissist wants: for you to believe the promises they made at the start. As long as you believe these promises, you will allow them to continue to take advantage of you and break your heart.

You must understand that the narcissist can’t keep their promises; it’s just a manipulation tactic. They may return to the love-bombing phase from time-to-time, but the toxic cycle will continue, and they’ll be back to devaluing you before long. 

Narcissistic Fantasies

Also crucial to understanding that you should never trust a narcissist’s promises is the contribution of fantasies. People with narcissistic traits tend to fantasize about ideal love, power, and beauty.

At the start of a relationship, they may believe you are their ideal match. As such, they will put you on a pedestal, convinced that you are their perfect lover, perhaps sent to bring them happiness finally. 

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They will promise you the world since they see perfection in your eyes. They’ll quickly talk about settling down, building a family, and spending their life with you. 

The unfortunate truth is that this is just a fantasy. No one is perfect, and as soon as the narcissist realizes you’re a human with your own flaws and quirks, the fantasy will come to a screeching halt. 

Once the narcissist no longer views you as their perfect soul mate, they will begin to treat you differently. They may become cold and callous, or perhaps discard you for someone else.

You’ll be left shocked, wondering what happened to the promises the narcissist made to stay committed to you for life. 

Narcissism and Lack of Empathy 

Narcissists, by definition, are self-centered and lacking in empathy. This is another reason it’s a huge risk to believe any of their promises.

A narcissist may promise you a happy life together, but only because it serves their needs. They don’t truly intend to be a supportive, loving partner to you. They just want to play on your desire for loyalty and commitment so they can get what they want from you.

Sadly, this has nothing to do with them actually wanting to keep their promises to you. The narcissist’s motivations are entirely self-centered, and they aren’t particularly concerned about you.

Because the narcissist lacks empathy, they won’t care about hurting you. When they break their promises to you, they’ll be unable to identify with your hurt feelings or negative emotions. 

Master Manipulation 

Finally, narcissists are master manipulators by nature. They are willing to exploit you to get what they want out of you, which requires some degree of manipulation. 

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Someone with manipulative traits cannot be trusted to follow their promises. They will tell you what they think you want to hear, so you will comply with their demands. 

Since a narcissist is such an expert manipulator, they may deny ever making promises to you. For instance, if they talked with you about wanting to get married, they may later deny ever having that conversation when you bring up a proposal a year later. 

Signs the Narcissist is Making False Promises

If you’re still not convinced the narcissist is untrustworthy, consider the following signs their promises to you are false:

  • They repeatedly fail to do what they say they will do.
  • They promise to do something for you, but later deny ever having made that promise.
  • When you mention how their lack of follow-through affects you, they may become angry or defensive or find a way to blame you for their behavior. 
  • They promise to change their behavior, but only when you threaten to end the relationship. 
  • Their behavior is hot and cold; one day, they talk about spending the rest of their life with you, only to withdraw and give you the silent treatment a few days later.

The Bottom Line

Narcissists are notorious for failing to keep their word. They may promise you everything your heart desires, but the chances they will follow through are slim. 

Narcissism is all about arrogance, self-centeredness, and lack of empathy. This means narcissists will use manipulative tactics, including making promises they never intend to follow through with, to get you to remain devoted to them. 

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