What To Do When a Narcissist Hoovers You?

Getting caught in the relentless pull of the narcissist’s hoovering is going to subject you to a world of pain. The hoovering might be charming and alluring, but don’t be fooled! The narcissist has a gameplan. 

From spotting those subtle signs, to building bulletproof barriers – I want to have you covered in all ways possible.

What you do when a narcissist hoovers you is going to affect your life in huge ways.

So – you’d better do the right thing!

I happen to know what the ‘right thing’ is…

What is Hoovering?

One of the most wrapped manipulation tactics a narcissist uses is that of hoovering. 

Typically, you’ll see hoovering looking like:

  • Flattery
  • Excessive apologies
  • Promises they’ll change
  • Reminding you of the ‘good times’ you shared 
  • Pretending to be unwell
  • Getting family or friends to persuade you to re-engage
  • Having a lot of calls, emails or texts
  • Grand promises

It’s enough to make you feel ill, right?

These tactics work though, and that’s because they’re done so seemingly authentically. Victims feel the hoover’s pull, and it doesn’t take long before they feel wanted again.

It’s all done to pull you in and start the cycle of abuse back up. The trouble is, because you’re looking to feel better after the discard, you’ll take anything. 

Dodging the Narcissist’s Trap

How you dodge the hoovering is going to be down to how much you have seen it all before, and understanding how it never resulted in a happy ending. 

Hoovering might feel great at the time, but that’s the ultimate plan for the narcissist. That way they get you back to a place where they can start to wear you down again.

See also  Will a Narcissist Come Back After Dumping You?

Enough is enough!

Breaking Free from the Narcissist’s Grip

I’m going to say this just once, so listen up, and listen well.

You cannot break free from the narcissist’s grip unless you repel the hoovering. 

Stop buying into the fakery. Stop seeing it as love, when it’s not.

Stop thinking, “Maybe it’ll be different this time.”

Stop telling yourself that you’ll make more of an effort to keep them happy.

Nothing you do will change this pattern. If you keep allowing it, it will become something you get stuck in until the end of time. 

Outsmarting the Narcissist’s Hoovering

This isn’t a case of playing the narcissist at their own game. When I set these kinds of missions for you with ways to rise above them somehow, this is not about punishing them.

Your intent should be to rise above whatever shockingly toxic tactics the narcissist has in store for you. It’s about redeeming your self-esteem, and not flailing into the same traps all over again.

It’s exhausting, and I know you are better than that. 

That all being said – you want to know what to do when a narcissist hoovers you, right?

There are four things I always advise people to do.

Here they are. 

Understand What Usually Happens

You’ve just spent the past few months or weeks being totally ignored and discarded by the narcissist. It’s been a really confusing time for you, and you feel mentally, emotionally and physically drained. 

Now, you can feel the tides changing. The energy is shifting. You begin to feel that familiar, yet hypnotic pull of the narcissist. 

That’s right, they are starting up their hoover, and they are heading directly toward you. 

See also  How Does a Narcissist React When You Stop Chasing Them?

You turn and see them, with all the attention you’re suddenly being flooded with. It’s a change alright. Just yesterday all you got was radio silence. 

You’ve missed them, but you’d hoped they’d come back again and realize what they really wanted. 


The hoovering starts, it’s lovely and wonderful and picture perfect.

Until everything changes all over again. 

Knowing what usually happens should be your catalyst to ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?”

Spot The Signs 

Looking out into the horizon, you will be able to tell what’s coming. Sometimes we can be blindsided by hoovering, because it feels like such a change to what we’ve been used to.

Wow, look at the sudden rush of positivity! Yay! 

Notice the things the narcissist is doing. Look at what they are trying to get from you. Are they recruiting other people to help them? Are they overstepping your boundaries?

When you think about it all like this – do you actually see what they’re doing as right, or is it just another way for them to get what they want?

Stay Grounded in Your Reality

This one is super important. 

It’s not enough that when you are in the throes of the abuse with the narcissist they are stealing your reality. They want to insult you even further by pretending everything is perfect when they are attempting to hoover you. 

They spend forever and a day gaslighting you, convincing what you feel isn’t what you feel. Laughing at you if you dare to offer your memory on something. 

Now,they’re back with their pseudo-affection, trying to pull you in again. 

Your reality is non-changeable. Nobody can take what you feel or experience and tell you that it’s all fakery and lies. 

See also  How to Set Boundaries With a Narcissist (and Make Them Respect Them)

As the Hoover approaches, staying grounded in your reality will mean asserting a level of strength in its approach. 

Narcissists will hate your strength. 

Focus on Yourself

The age old thing of ‘looking after yourself’ should be a regular thing if you are in close contact with a narcissist. 

Think about it for a moment.

If you spent the time you were being discarded shrugging and saying, “You know what? I’m going to focus on me for once,” – game changer!

What will start to happen is your world according to the narcissist will start to slowly shut down. You’ll spend time putting yourself at the top of your list of self-care. You’ll start to smile more, and see old friends or family you lost touch with. 

Magically, you’ll also be far more likely to do one other thing:

When the hoover switches on and you hear the narcissist crawling back – you can repel. The old, “I’m sorrrrrry,” or, “I don’t know what I was thinkiiiiiing” will instead start to sound like long nails scratching down a black board.


Enough is enough. You’ve played their twisted games for too long. Now you get to decide how the next chapter of your story will start and end.

Defeating the Narcissist’s Hoovering Strategy

Defeating the hoovering game can be a bit of a time-consuming task. It’s going to take you a little effort to overcome the habits you have developed through cycles of abuse. However, it’s certainly more than possible to win at this, so unplug that hoover once and for all. 

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