Why should you be concerned about the different types of hoovering?
I mean, you’re an intelligent, reflective, and cautious person. You can typically smell deceit from a mile away.
But, perhaps there’s room for more vigilance. Here’s why…
The breakup between you and the narcissist happened a while ago. It’s been a tough road, but you’ve progressively been able to move forward from the abuse they put you through.
You feel like you are finally able to let go of some of their negative energy and live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.
And then, you get a text. Or an email. Or you notice them liking your Facebook posts.
It’s the narcissist, and all those old feelings come rushing back.
Depending on the message they send you, your tattered self-confidence might be coupled with guilt, anger, or any number of overwhelming emotions.
You may even question whether the narcissist is really a narcissist or if you were just being “sensitive,” “dramatic,” or “emotional.”
What is happening? You’ve just experienced the narcissist’s hoovering, a tactic often used to suck you back into a relationship.
It’s easy to think there’s no way you’d ever consider getting back together with this person – that is, until they use one (or more) hoovering tricks.
In this article, we’ll examine some of the most common scenarios to expect from the narcissist and hoovering so you can combat them.
Watch the video here.
The Narcissist and Hoovering – 10 Tricks Narcissists Play to Get You Back
To prevent being sucked in by these hoovering tactics, it’s important to understand narcissists themselves.
They don’t have any rules. What seems out-of-bounds to you isn’t too far-fetched to them at all. They will do anything they can to get you back, to suck you in just like a powerful vacuum sucks up the dirt in your carpet.
As soon as you fall for one of their tricks, they feel fulfilled. It’s not about you – it’s all about them. And this is why narcissists come back — to be in a relationship with someone – because of what they can get out of it…it’s also why the abuse kicks in again, often worse than before.
They simply want to see if they still have an influence on you…and if they are successful, that’s all they want, and they’ll go back to abusing you very quickly or ignoring you for weeks.
You don’t need to fall for their tricks. Here are ten common hoovering traps narcissists use to ensnare you.
1. Pretending the Breakup Never Happened
This is one of the tricks narcissists play that will totally throw you for a loop. You’ve broken up – of that you’re sure. You haven’t been together for a while. In fact, perhaps you’ve been on a few dates with other people and you’ve heard through the grapevine that they have, too.
Suddenly, though, you get a bouquet of roses with a “Thinking of You” card attached.
What a sweet sentiment. It takes you by surprise, to be sure. But nonetheless, it’s sweet and you start to think about the good times you two used to have. Before you know it, you’ve called them to thank them for the flowers and you’re sucked back in.
2. Telling You How Much They Love and Adore You
There’s little more that people want to hear than the words “I love you.” It invokes feelings of happiness and of being valued. It makes you feel like someone understands you and wants to be with you.
Narcissists understand these basic human needs to be loved and will use the words “I love you” and “I adore you” as a weapon.
They will tell you that you’re their soul mate and that the two of you are meant to be together. How could they feel something so deeply if it wasn’t meant to be?
These proclamations feed upon a person’s need to feel loved and the fact that most people have a romantic ideal in the back of their minds. True love is supposed to be dramatic. It’s supposed to be like Romeo and Juliet. True love is pain, joy, and everything in between.
But this kind of “love” is really more of an unhealthy obsession than it is honest-to-goodness true, healthy love.
3. The Reminiscent, Sentimental Hoover
A narcissist knows that you two had some good times in the past. They’ll count on your recollection of those times and try to feed off of it.
They may send you an email full of nostalgia and sentimentality, reminding you of that time you two went on a romantic vacation. Or, they’ll tell you that they watched a movie and thought of you or found an old photo of the two of you.
4. The “Accidental” Contact
This can happen in one of two ways.
First, there’s the “Oops, I meant to send that text to someone else” response. Or, the “Hey, did you try to contact me?” message.
Either way, this is one of the cowardly hoovering tricks a narcissist will use to engage you in a conversation.
If you respond to their text or social media message, you’ve started the ball rolling. They’ll respond back with something like, “Wow – it’s been a while. How have you been?” And then you’ll feel rude if you don’t answer back. Or, they’ll make you feel humiliated, insisting they weren’t trying to reach you and want nothing to do with you.
Pretty soon, you’re stuck in a full-on conversation or email tsunamis with this person, which is a prime opportunity for them to try and reel you back in.
5. There’s a Crisis
This one will pull at your heartstrings. After all, this is a person that you cared for deeply. As toxic as they were to your life, seeing another human being go through a crisis breaks your heart.
The narcissist will use various crises to suck you in. It might be an issue they’re having on their own. Or, it could be an issue with one of their family members.
Getting a phone call or text that they or someone they love has been in a serious accident or has developed an illness moves your heart. It can motivate you to take action to comfort them or try to help them in some way.
Oftentimes, though, the crisis has been exaggerated or doesn’t even exist.
6. They Get Someone Else to Test the Waters
This is a common strategy of the cowardly narcissist. They want to hoover you back in, but they don’t want to get their ego bruised by a face-to-face rejection. So, they send a mutual friend or one of their family members, whom you felt a connection with, to contact you.
The narcissist thinks that by getting someone else to test the waters out for them, you’ll be more likely to cave.
7. They Apologize Over and Over
Of course they’ll never act like a jerk again. It’s easy to fall for that line the first few times, but when the behavior doesn’t change you know it’s all a big lie. Just because they’re apologizing now doesn’t mean they’ve made any miraculous, life-altering changes. That’s not likely to happen with people who are narcissists or sociopaths.
8. Baiting You With Facebook Likes
When we see someone looking at and liking our Facebook posts, perhaps even leaving comments, we might think they feel affection towards us. If it’s someone we’ve ended a relationship with, it might appear that they are feeling remorseful about things they may have done to hurt you.
However, when it comes to narcissists, this is not the case in the least.
This is not the narcissists’ first time around the block. Due to the nature of their past relationships, they have fairly good reason to believe you will be on the lookout for their engagement with your posts. It’s called “dipping”. In the same way that you are watching their interaction with your posts, they are simply ‘dipping’ in to see if you’ll take the bait.
It’s really a coward’s lazy way of hoovering. It doesn’t require really engaging with you, yet they can try to soften you up via the internet to see if you’ll fall for their false interest. And if you do give in to their Facebook hoovering, don’t be surprised when they promptly block you without warning.
9. Having Flowers or Gifts Delivered to Your Home
Giving gifts is not something narcissists do out of an innate desire to be kind or thoughtful. When narcissists give you gifts, they consider it an investment in themselves. At the very least, they use gifts as a sort of spackle to cover the gaping cracks that have occurred due to the emotional earthquakes you’ve endured.
Some narcissists offer generous gifts to throw you off balance, especially if they were greedy and stingy in the relationship. In their minds, if they give you a gift, they’re hoping it will make you think they really care.
Other narcissists hate spending their money on other people. To give you a gift is actually somewhat painful for them, but they will do it as a last-ditch effort to try to tug on your heartstrings and let them back in. However, don’t be fooled into thinking they’ve had an epiphany and finally see your value. Once you cave in to their selfish agendas, they will go back to abusing you the same as before.
Just ask every person who’s ever given into a narcissistic hoover.
10. Offering You The One Thing That Means More to You Than Anything Else
A narcissist’s command of the English language varies from one manipulator to the next.
But the one thing they all have in common is masterfully using words to convey the one, heartfelt message you’ve been dying to hear from them all along.
If getting engaged and making a family is important to you, suddenly they’ll offer to take you shopping for rings.
If you have always wanted them to be nicer to your kids, they’ll offer to take your children out on an adventure and apologize to them for being such an a-hole.
If you’ve been dreaming of the day they’d stop being unfaithful, they’ll say they’ve entered therapy for sex addiction.
All of these are shining examples of future-faking, however. In reality, the narcissist has absolutely no plans to do any of these things. They’ll just find better ways to commit their relationship crimes on the down-low.
What You Can Do to Retain Control of Your Power
Narcissists are game players. They know how to talk to suck people in and how to keep their partner(s) stuck under their thumb.
It’s vital to your health to remember that narcissists are always out for what they can get from another person. The only person they care about is the person they see in the mirror every day.
Breaking up with a narcissist is a blow to their ego. They don’t like it. But their dislike of the situation goes beyond the hurt nearly everyone feels when they go through a breakup. How dare you break up with them? How dare you win! It’s a twisted ‘Game of Thrones’ that plays out in the narcissist’s mind.
And narcissists will play whatever tricks they have up their sleeves to try to suck you back in and get you back under their control.
Don’t fall for it. You already left once. The most important thing to do at this point is to keep moving on. Don’t look back.
If you haven’t already, take steps to completely cut ties with your ex. Change your phone number. Block them from emailing you or contacting you on social media and Skype. Find a new place to hang out during your downtime. Make new friends.
Do whatever you need to do to get as far away from the narcissist as possible. It’s the only way to continue on your path of emotional health and wellbeing.
Stand Your Ground, Be Strong – You’ve Got This
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can do a number on your emotional wellbeing. You doubt yourself, your value, and your decision-making skills. Narcissists love to make their victims feel like they need the narcissist to survive.
Now that you’ve been out of that relationship for a while, you may feel stronger – like your old self, the one before your run-in with a narcissist.
Those feelings can quickly be quashed, though, with a narcissist and hoovering. Those dark, heavy, overwhelming feelings come rushing back.
But you have the power to resist a downward spiral.
Feeling those old, negative feelings doesn’t mean you’re weak. They’re simply familiar – a reaction to a toxic, energy-sucking person who is trying to get back into your life. It’s completely normal to experience this reaction.
It’s vital to remember, though, just how powerful you are. You were powerful enough to get out of the relationship. You were powerful enough to get help to work through your feelings of self-doubt and tattered self-confidence.
And you have the power now to stand behind your boundary lines and keep your ex as far away from you as possible. Don’t ever feel obligated to give your power to them again.
How To Protect Yourself Against Hoovering and Stand Strong
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