Narcissist hoovering is a term used to describe the tactic of drawing an individual back into an abusive relationship by exploiting their vulnerabilities.
It typically involves false promises, manipulation, and guilt-tripping in order to regain control over them. This can be done through gifts, compliments, and other forms of bribery or coercion.
The term “hoovering” comes from the brand name vacuum cleaner because toxic people such as narcissists often display a behaviour pattern of trying to “suck” people back in after they’ve left the relationship.
The goal is typically to make their victim feel powerless or emotionally drained.
The word hoovering is often used to describe the manipulative behaviour of a narcissist who tries to suck you back into a relationship with them after you get away from them or they have discarded you.
The narcissist may reach out to you sporadically or they may hoover you constantly, but either way, their goal is to regain control over you.
The narcissist may make promises to change their behaviour, but they never do.
In fact, the narcissist will probably go back to their old ways as soon as they have you wrapped around their little finger again.
Examples of Narcissist Hoovering
Here are some examples of how narcissists may employ hoovering tactics:
- Complimenting you excessively and providing lavish gifts in an effort to win your affections again.
- Telling you what you want to hear and constantly assuring that things have or will change.
- Pretending to be less aggressive or controlling than they actually are in order to draw you back into the relationship.
- Apologizing for their bad behaviour and promising they will go to therapy.
- Guilt tripping you for breaking up with them.
- Bringing up shared memories as a way to get closer and attempt reconciliation
Protect Yourself from Narcissist Hoovering
If someone is trying to hoover you, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your wellbeing.
Here are a few tips on how to do this:
If possible, try not to respond at all. Silence can sometimes be the most powerful response when faced with such manipulative tactics.
Acknowledge what is happening but do not engage further. Stay assertive and firm in your decision if it’s one that you’ve already made.
Seek support from family and friends – talking through your experience can help provide clarity while also affirming your decision.
By understanding the dynamics of narcissistic hoovering, you can better identify manipulative behaviors and take steps necessary for protecting your own mental health.
How can you deal with Narcissist Hoovering?
A narcissist who is trying to hoover you back into their orbit could send you flowers or a gift, or even try to contact your friends and family members in an effort to get information about you.
Prepare for anything the narcissist might do in order to reel you back in, and remember that it’s important to protect yourself from their manipulation.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the narcissist’s manipulative behaviour:
Set firm boundaries
Let them know that any form of hoovering will not be tolerated and that, if necessary, you are willing to terminate all contact with them.
Make sure they understand that your boundaries are non-negotiable and that you will not give into their attempts at manipulating or controlling you.
Hold firm in your position and do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of.
Go Low Contact
This will help to keep their manipulative tactics at bay.
If they do make requests of you, be aware that they may be trying to emotionally manipulate you and resist the urge to give in.
It can be difficult not to give into their persuasive behavior, but it is important to remember that doing so only enables them and can set a dangerous precedent for future interactions.
Go No Contact
If the narcissist persists in not respecting your boundaries, you may need to escalate from low contact to no contact.
Don’t respond to their emails, texts or calls.
Block the narcissist on social media and block their number on your phone and WhatApp.
Most important of all, don’t meet up with them, even if they promise to behave.
Remember that the person who is currently acting like you are the centre of their universe is exactly the same person who treated you so badly in the past.
Narcissists never change. Stay strong.
Lean on Your Support Network
Surround yourself with people who support you and have your best interests at heart.
This will provide not only emotional support but also a healthy distraction from the narcissist’s attempts to hoover you back into their life.
Building your self-esteem by focusing on the people in your life who accept and care for you is essential in helping you resist any manipulation or demands for attention or approval from the narcissist.
Talk to a Therapist
Seek professional help if needed, especially if the narcissist hoovering behavior is making you feel threatened or scared in any way.
Talking to a therapist or other mental health professional can help you cope with any anxiety or depression caused by being on the receiving end of narcissistic hoovers, as well as work on creating healthy boundaries that prevent further exploitation from this type of toxic individual in the future.
Final Thoughts about Narcissist Hoovering
It can be difficult to stand up for yourself and break away from a narcissist, but it is essential for your wellbeing. Narcissist hoovering is a a manipulative tactic that seeks to pull you back into an abusive relationship with the narc.
Leaning on your support network and setting firm boundaries can help protect you and empower you to make decisions that are in the best interest of your own mental health and self-respect.