The narcissist’s hoover is named after the vacuum cleaner brand hoover, as the narcissist only wants to suck you back in, and once they have achieved this, once their own selfish needs have been met, they will then treat you like dirt again, and discard you all over again.
Be it days, weeks, months or years. Most narcissists will, at some point, come for the hoover.
If it’s before you have recovered or after you have recovered, you may suddenly get a message from the narcissist, or if you have children with them, they might unexpectedly change how they talk to you. When they do this, you may feel so many emotions from anger to guilt, and your self-confidence might go, and you may wonder what they will try. Next, you might still question whether they are a narcissist, and your self-doubts might creep back in.
You may think right now that there is no way you’d get back together with this person. Or you might still have the trauma bond and want them back. Unfortunately, they are extremely good at what they do, and most people have gone back at least once, often a lot more than once, especially if you didn’t know what they were. We do, however, learn, and at some point, we break free, and we stay free.
Remember, the narcissist does not respect boundaries or rules; they are not accountable; they believe they are always right; they believe they should have all the control and all the power. They think they own you and should be able to have you back whenever they choose. It’s never about you, and it’s always what the narcissist wants. They believe they are entitled to have what they want when they want, and they can throw almighty tantrums from the silent treatments to the rage to try and exploit others and get their own way.
As soon as you fall for one of their manipulative tactics, they have got what they need. They only come back to get what they need from you or a relationship. Here are a few things to watch out for when they come back playing nice.
If you are still questioning if they are a narcissist or not, write down all the ways that they have hurt you in the past, narcissistic or not. If they are toxic and make you miserable, you can go it alone, take those baby steps, recover and move on to a much happier life. Do your best to find new positive things that you love doing and make you feel happy, to keep yourself busy and your mind occupied.
These are a few common examples of how a narcissist might hoover.
Hoover 1. This could be a Message. If you are in contact over the children, they might change how they message you. If you don’t have children, they might try and email you or use a friend via Facebook if you’ve blocked them.
Narcissists do this to test the waters and their chance of getting you back. You may feel lonely; you may want that apology, don’t do it, no reaction, no contact, often. If you react negatively, they will accept this also and use all they can to hit you with more messages to get those reactions from you.
Hoover 2. You haven’t been together for a while, then they send you a nice gift which gets you thinking about how nice they could be, so your message to thank them, and you’re drawn back in.
You remember how sweet they could be. No, it’s just a trick, no reaction, no contact. Their admiration face has come out to play, to suck you back in as you have something they want, keep your borders up and keep them away from your territory. If you’re feeling weak, which a lot do until recovered, write down all other times they played nice, you showered them back with attention, then what happened? Did it cycle back to the end? Start journaling about each and every good thing you’ve achieved since you split up, no matter how big or small, to remind yourself why you need to stay free.
Hoover 3. If you still see them in person, they might start telling you how much they have missed and loved you, that you are their soulmate, and they see this now. You, like so many others, might think things will be different this time. It will not. No reaction, no contact. Just respond with. “That’s interesting,” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.” If face to face. Tell them, “I don’t feel that way.” And leave it at that. You do not need to explain why to them. You need to know your why? As to why you will not go back? If you can not remember in a moment of weakness, and most have those moments have them written down to remind you. At the same time, have positive things written down as to what you are going to do with your life now you are free. Take action to achieve your new goals and dreams.
Hoover 4. They may suddenly get in touch asking you about a good time you had had together or somewhere you visited together, something you did with the kids, anything to bring up good memories. You could then feel ashamed of how things ended. Again it’s a trick, no reaction, no contact. If you’ve reached a better, happier place, you are allowed to remember the good, you lived those moments, yet recognise the reality of the relationship in its entirety, not better than it was and not worse than it was, just as it was. How you truly feel when around them.
Hoover 5. The accidental contact, they may bump into you somewhere, or they may send you a message then pretend it was for someone else. You might then start to think about them again. Stop no reaction, no contact. Just as you might have finally evicted them from running around your mind rent-free, and that most likely took time and self-work to do so, then suddenly boom, they are back, you are allowed to think about them, don’t question if they have changed, instead think they have a disorder, one that you did not cause, one that you can not change, and one you can not control, it’s who they are, however, you can take back control of your thoughts, give yourself ten minutes or however long you’d like, acknowledge to yourself. “I’m going to reminisce. I know they are toxic. Then I’m going to do????.” And go do something that takes your mind elsewhere, watch something funny, call a friend, read a book, clean, run, do yoga, whatever you enjoy doing for yourself, and bring all your mind and attention onto that present moment.
Hoover 6. They may apologise, the false apology, if they say they’ll change, remember you’ve heard it all before, it’s all lies. You might want to clear the air with them. No reaction, no contact. You don’t need to clear the air with them, only yourself. Observe the false apology words for what they indeed are, manipulation to use you again, don’t Absorb, as you’re a genuine, kind, caring person. Most want to believe their apology. Look for times you have in the past, only for them to hurt you again. An apology without changed behaviour is just further manipulation.
Hoover 7. There’s a crisis, the victim pity play, they will use fake illness for themselves or for family members, as they know the empathy you have will mean you want to help. You want to rescue. You might feel bad not doing yet. Run for the hills. It’s a trick, no reaction, no contact. They are no longer your problem. Ask yourself, would they come to help you if it was the other way around? If you really need to help them, call and inform their family or friends, and leave them to deal with them. It’s ok to be selfish towards those who are never there for you.
Hoover 8. They might ask a friend or family member to contact you for them. You might be curious. You might not want to look rude by not replying to their family or friends. Again tricks, lies and manipulation, no reaction, no contact. The best is no response. If you do respond, keep it single. “O.k.” Or “thanks.” Don’t tell them anything about you, as that information shall be fed straight back to the narcissist.
Hoover 9. Calling you up to say they’re moving away, would like to see you one last time before they leave, so you meet for a coffee. You’d like closure, and it’s another trick. No Reaction, no contact. If they have you on the phone, just say “thank you, but no.” Do not arrange to meet them.
Hoover 10. They will beg, make great promises for the future, tell you they will change, cry, yell, shame, threats, try to guilt trip, blame shift, and make false accusations. No reaction, no contact, If you left them, and they win you back. It will be worse as they’ll try to punish you for abandoning them.
They will try being sweet at first, or vulnerable, or add the pity play, and they might act like they are sorry. It’s a lie to hook you in, no reaction, no contact.
If your boundaries are solid and that doesn’t work.
They may tell you that you’re a horrible person.
They may then shift onto how amazing their new partner is, and they don’t need you anyway. Or that they just want the best for you.
Your standing is firm, and your boundaries are strong. They will go after what matters to you the most and go all out to destroy it. They’ll tell you what a rubbish parent you are, or that no one likes you.
They may leave you alone for a while, even years, and then they’ll start all over again.
The narcissist knows how to suck people in, so remember they are only in it for themselves. They only come back and try the hoover if they believe they can gain something from you. Not because they love or care for you.
Do not fall for their tricks. Keep moving forward, no contact, grey rock, stay strong, and enjoy your freedom. Narcissists know they can pull exs back in, that trauma bond lasts, and it is completely normal to want to go back, but you need to remember how bad they made you feel. No reaction, no contact, grey rock.
You can, and you will recover from this.
Overcoming your loneliness after a narcissistic relationship. If the break-up is new or the children visit the other parent, and you are at a loss with what to do with yourself.
We all do have a need for human connection. There are six human needs, and we have the fundamental human needs for survival, such as air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink and shelter. A great man named Tony Robbins discovered the six personal human needs which are.
Love and connection.
There is an excellent online test to find what your top two human needs are, so you can work your life around what fills your needs best. Now once you meet three of these needs, you become addicted, whether these are met positively, negatively or neutrally. Once you hit three, you become addicted to a narcissistic relationship with a parent, partner, boss or friend. You can meet all six of these needs and become addicted in a negative way. So finding something positive that meets three of these needs helps with recovery. If you enjoy doing something and become positively addicted, Recovery from a narcissistic relationship will be much easier as your mind will become focused elsewhere, so long as you don’t self-sabotage, as abuse is so addictive, we often come out with self-doubt and talking to ourselves how the abuser did, so working on healing these and our insecurities while finding new hobbies to fill out time can help speed up those baby steps.
Learning something new, where you meet or help others, can fill the need for growth, connect, significance if assisting others to, and uncertainty if fresh, then certainty once you’ve started a new routine.
People can help others in all areas, HGV drivers delivering goods if that’s what you enjoy, hairdressers, shop assistants, web designers, cake makers, builders, Gardner, business owners, the possibilities are endless. It is all down to finding what you like. If you want it and enjoy it, you will create the drive to keep you going when it gets hard. As life does get hard, we are all here to learn. We are all here to grow. We all make mistakes along the way. It’s just our first attempt in learning. It’s no matter how many attempts we take, so long as we keep trying new methods until we find the one that works for us. We were all babies once. We didn’t give up learning and growing. We kept going. Somewhere along the way, that drive might have gotten sidetracked, and that’s ok. We just go again. You are special, you are capable, and you can do what you’d like to do for yourself.
If you’re feeling lonely.
Try not to worry about feeling lonely right now. Others have been there and got through it, and can you too.
To be alone, it means you are physically alone.
To be lonely is a physical state of mind.
So you can be alone with yourself and not feel lonely.
Or, as you probably realised during the narcissistic relationship, you can be with someone and feel lonely.
Face removing the toxic people from your life.
Accept the loneliness and embrace it. It’s all about taking the small steps to get to where you want to be.
Step 1. Stop telling yourself you are lonely. It’ll not help, tell yourself. “I’m good with my own company.” Then do some of the following things until you are.
Step 2. Create a vision of where you want to be in six months, write it down, focus on it, and then take the steps to get yourself there.
Embrace your loneliness. Your time is now yours to do what makes you happy, to find what you enjoy, to do things that give you inner joy, have a break and do what you want to do.
Step 3. Create new routines for yourself and how you want to do things now.
Step 4. Call a friend, and sometimes they might say no, that’s fine. People are busy. Others they might say yes, great.
Step 5. Focus on your quality of friends, not the quantity.
Step 6. Learn to be happy with your own company. Join groups of people with similar interests to your own, and find new interests. Volunteer, or give something back. It really helps you. As Charles Dickens said. “ no one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” find something you’re interested in that’s creative and do it, even if it’s just singing in the shower.
Step 7. Be true to yourself, don’t people, please, do what makes you happy, do what feels right for you. Find one thing you are, then take note, then find another, then take note, keep asking yourself, “ what do I enjoy,” “who do I want to be.” “ who am I.”
Step 9. Remember creating yourself new hobbies and new routines, takes time so take your time to do the baby steps and find things that you enjoy.
Step 10. Work on your presence￼. Right now, you need to focus on the moment, focus on today, don’t be distracted by worrying about the past or the future. Live in the here and now. Whatever you are doing at every moment of every day, focus on the task you are doing if you start obsessing about the past. Bring yourself back and concentrate on what you are doing right now,
Step 11. Everyone has insecurities, and everyone has dreams, everyone eats, everyone has strange quirks, take a genuine interest in others, learn what you do have in common with people
Step 12. Relax, don’t rush yourself through. Take time out and do what you want to do for yourself.
Step 13. Reach out to others, either to get the help and support you need or to help support and advise those in need.
There is nothing wrong with feeling lonely. Embrace that feeling. It’s there to help you learn who you are, others have, and so can you. It will be ok, and it will work out. Just believe in yourself and take the steps to create a new happier life for yourself.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
The narcissist illusion,