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  • What Does It Mean When a Narcissist “Hoovers?”

    They said the worst things to you. They were cruel and cold. They made you feel unworthy and not good enough. Just as you begin to heal and move on, they suddenly contact you out of the blue.

    If the above sounds familiar, it is possible you’ve experienced “hoovering.” Hoovering describes a narcissist’s attempt to manipulate you back into their cycle of abuse. Hoovering can occur in a variety of ways and can be very confusing to the recipient. Read below to understand why a narcissist may hoover and how you should respond.

    Why a Narcissist Hoovers

    A narcissist hoovers for their own personal gain and NEVER because of genuine feelings for another person. Most narcissists hoover to regain control or power in a relationship or to support their inflated ego with attention.

    Additional reasons a narcissist will reach out:

    • Power
    • Control
    • Attention
    • Validation
    • Sex
    • Admiration
    • Ego boost (they want to know that you’re still an option)
    • Boredom

    How Does a Narcissist Hoover?

    There are a variety of ways a narcissist may hoover. These methods range from extortion to sending a simple text or email. Sometimes the narcissist will make contact indirectly by reaching out to friends or family to deliver a message to the intended target. A narcissist may play upon a tragedy, illness, or disaster to get someone’s attention, or even threaten to hurt themselves. Ultimately, there is no limit to what a narcissist may be willing to do to regain control or admiration.

    It’s important to know that not all narcissists hoover. Narcissists are less likely to hoover if they suspect rejection or believe someone sees through their manipulations.

    How to Respond When a Narcissist Hoovers

    Don’t engage! If possible, you should ignore the narcissist and block their number and social media accounts. If going no contact is not an option, the next best approach is to act neutral and indifferent towards the narcissist. The more boring you appear to the narcissist, the less interested they will be in you.

    Psychotherapy for Narcissistic Abuse

    I am a trauma therapist specializing in narcissistic abuse recovery. I use a trauma informed approach to help break the cycle of abuse. Contact mtoday to get started with therapy. 

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