Common Hoovering Tactics

After ending a relationship with a narcissist, the narcissist will NOT take it well.  No one likes rejection, of course, but narcissists take that dislike to an entirely new level.  Many have been known to stalk & harass their victims to punish them for rejecting the narcissist.  Most however, do something known as hoovering.  Hoovering is when a narcissist tries to lure a victim back in to the relationship.  It is yet another very good reason to have nothing to do with the narcissist once you end the relationship.

Narcissists have many ways they try to hoover in their victims.  All are sneaky & confusing for a victim unless the victim is aware of what the narcissist is up to.

Often, they will have their flying monkeys talk to you.  They will explain how sorry the narcissist is & how miserable life is without you.  When I broke my engagement to my now ex husband, several people told me I should get back with him because he was miserable without me.  No one cared how I was without him, only about him.  The guilt I felt was intense, which obviously was the goal since it made me return to him.

The narcissist may “accidentally” run into you at the coffee shop or grocery store, & use this supposed chance meeting to tell you how much they miss you as an attempt to hoover you back.

Narcissists may use special days to their advantage, such as sending you a lovely card & gift on your birthday, or reminding you that today would have been your anniversary.  This is to make sure you think of them favorably & give them an excuse to talk to you

Narcissists aren’t above using a crisis to their advantage either.  If you have had a serious problem & the narcissist learns of it, he or she may try to contact you claiming to be concerned about you.  Or, if the narcissist has had a crisis, he or she may let you know, saying they thought you would want to know.  These are only about getting their foot in the door.

Items also can give a narcissist an excuse to contact a victim after the relationship is over.  They may ask if you have some item of theirs, even knowing you don’t have it.  It’s merely an excuse to reach out to you.

Sometimes narcissists may use technology to hoover.  They may text you, claiming it was for someone else, then try to start a conversation.  They may call you, asking if you called them, then when they say they look at their phone, they mistook your number for someone else’s, but since you’re talking, how are you?  Some will even send a message, then ignore your response.

If they can open the door of communication in any way, they absolutely will do it.  Doing so probably means they will tell you how miserable they are without you & how much they have changed.

When things like this happen, don’t be foolish as I was with my ex!  Be aware of what is happening.  They are only trying to hoover you back for their own benefit, not because they love you.  Remind yourself that they don’t miss you, per se.  They miss how you made them feel.  They miss how they could control & manipulate you.

Never forget that the primary interest of any narcissist is that narcissist.  No one else really matters to them.  This means they only want you back because you can benefit them in some way.

Remember the tactics & why the narcissist is doing these things.  These things are done only to manipulate you back into the relationship so the narcissist can abuse you further.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Common Hoovering Tactics

  1. Great post! Sadly, my ex-husband uses these techniques on the kids. I am glad he stopped doing it to me, but I have discovered that there is no “normal” communication possible with this personality disorder. I am suppose to keep him informed of doctor appointments for the kids- no response and no honoring his agreement to help pay….yet is taking me to court for things that could be solved with a text!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!

      Ugh… I’m sorry, I forget how old your kids are. Are they old enough to realize what their father is doing?

      There really is no normal communication with these people. It’s incredibly frustrating isn’t it?

      That is ridiculous! Typical narcissistic behavior though it seems to me. Make mountains out of molehills but on their end anything goes. My ex was that way too.. said it really hurt him if when he told me he loved me, I said in return, “I love you too”. The “too” made it sound like I felt I had to say it, not that I meant it. He also got on me about my weight even though I wasn’t overweight. Yet, he pushed for some pretty horrific sexual things & that was totally acceptable. Crazy how they think!

      Liked by 2 people

      • My kids are 13 and 11. The 13 year old is getting it, but the 11 year old is currently being dragged to court because she isn’t going to supervised visits until she has gone through gradually increasing steps at her therapists recommendation. We go to court Jan 22, and she is set to go to visits by the first of February! It has cost a lot of money to respond to motions and prepare for court….praying and hoping for wisdom.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this as this described my birth mother to a tee. It is well written and the examples given are relatable. Thanks for sharing this


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