When Co-Parenting With A Narcissist.
The term hoover is used to describe the behaviour of a narcissist that comes back to try and suck you back into their toxic games, to treat you like dirt, to discard you all over again, they come back to try again so that they can exploit you. They want to try and break you too. They want you to let your guard down so that you let them back in. They either want to hurt you or start another relationship with you.
Some of you may have already been through this, some not, and if you’re lucky enough, some narcissist’s never will try to hoover. Those on the lower end of the spectrum, with not much going for them, will only test if it’s easy with little or no effort. Some will try if it’s easy enough for them. Some narcissists love a challenge, some of which will go for it even if it’s 15-plus yrs since you last spoke.
Narcissistic people like to let you know that they are around, but they may not reach out to you. They may walk past and say nothing. They do this to make you question yourself all over again. Why haven’t they spoken? They saw me? They are hoping that your emotional thinking drives you. They know most of us want closure. Or, to get things off our chest, They want us to let down our defences. They are relying on our emotions so that we chase and approach them. Once we’ve dropped our guard, and made that first move, they can creep back in.
We need to reduce the risk of the hoover by any means possible to protect ourselves, which isn’t easy when we have children with them. A narcissist absolutely loves any emotional reaction from others, happy, sad, angry, hurt, joy, they don’t care if it’s negative or positive, just any emotional reaction, and they will use their own children to get those reactions, they don’t care for their children’s feelings, they counter-parent as all they care about is getting at you, and making you look like the bad guy.
If they have someone else to get lots of attention from, they are more likely to leave you alone. If they can not get any reaction from you, they will usually find someone else or go back to an ex that hasn’t yet woken from the nightmare spell a narcissist puts us under.
If you can, the best action Is no contact, change your phone number, blocking all their friends and family. This isn’t possible when you are co-parenting.
When co-parenting, you need to maintain a maximum level of minimal contact. Minimise face-to-face contact at all costs, so they can not pick up on your body language because you are an empathetic, kind, polite person and an emotional thinker. You may struggle to keep your tone of voice flat. They are very good at trying to get any reaction from you, do parent’s s evening at separate times. The narcissist will only be going to get to you. When they realise you are not at these events, they will soon stop unless they’re trying to date the teacher!
If they walk up to you out of the blue and ambush you, you simply get out of the situation as fast as you can. Just don’t say a word and walk away. You may think a narcissist would enjoy this as a reaction. Narcissists hate to be ignored, why they might smear your name, they may tell others you were rude and walked away, again this is simply to get a reaction. Hence, if anyone asks you, just say, “They are allowed their opinion of me“, and change the subject because if that person is telling you, they will most likely be a flying monkey after the gossip and be filling the narcissist in on what you say. Deep down, narcissists hate it when people will not engage with them and walk away if it’s a situation you can not just walk away from, remove yourself as soon as you can, do not engage in conversation with them, and do not ask how they are. Suppose you can just zone out and stare at a tree etc. Avoid giving them any sort of gesture or hand signal, just stick your hands in your pockets, and do not attack them with words in any way, they’ll be hoping you do this, even if you want to, you must resist any urge to tell them what you think of them, they are hoping that you do this and they win by it. Remember, merely saying nothing and walking away hurts them more than any words could.
Do all communication in writing. You have time to think about what you put, edit what you put, and make what you put brief. Also, if ever needed, if they try mediation because they claim you’re impossible to talk to about the children, this written evidence will show the times you said they could have children and the many times they let the children down.
To sum it up, them getting no emotional response from you limits their opportunity to hoover.
Narcissists look for a trigger to try and hoover you back in these can be.
- If you’re physically around.
- They reach out through friends.
- Eye-line if they can see you and wave at you.
- Telephone you or messages and emails.
- Simply you crop up in the narcissist’s mind if they think of you, they may come and hoover.
Please remember they do not want you back because they regret, love or miss you. All they miss is what you did for them. It’s all about them.
If you look happy and content, they are likely to feel envy, then try and get an emotional reaction out of you or try to get back together with phrases like “ You’ve changed, you’re like the person I first met “ remember yes, you have, and yes you are because they destroyed everything about you because you didn’t know they were pathological manipulators. Now you do. Stay strong, and don’t let them in again. They rely on the trauma bond they made with you, to reduce the risk, follow all the above advice, limit all contact, keep it to the point and be about children only.
You being happy seriously wounds a narcissist.
If you have any evidence of their damaging behaviour towards you, they are also less likely to hoover, as they’ll not want this getting out and ruining the false self that they show everyone else. Narcissists fear exposure, why they gaslight and never give closure.
Stay strong and stay safe.
Click the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.