If you have recently had a breakup and then out of nowhere your ex messages you about finding the name of a restaurant that you and he went to in the past or wanting to talk to you so that he can have closure, no matter what the reason is, you know that they are thinking about you. They miss you and then out of nowhere you don’t know what to do. Maybe you are put in a situation where you get a sick feeling in your stomach. You could be someone that feels responsible for their emotions or maybe you believe that they may have changed and are different than before you broke up with them.
Does this sound like something that you are going through with your ex? Do you find that you keep going through the same cycle with them over and over again? If this keeps happening to you, chances are that you are being hoovered.
What Exactly is Hoovering?
Hoovering is a term that was named after the Hoover vacuum, and it is used by narcissism people to suck you back into their life. They will do whatever it takes to try to get you back. This is something that often happens in toxic relationships where the ex will do what it takes to try to pull you back into the relationship over and over again. They will do this to try to control you.
This kind of behavior can be hurtful in your life because it can come out of nowhere. It can come when you least expect it and when you are just starting to heal. This can be a power play and it is not something that you should ignore, or think is not important. This is a way that they can manipulate you and make you get into contact with them.
If you have dated a person that has narcissism, you will probably not see them become emotionally mature or really working on themselves. If you cut them off and not contact them anymore, they need to give you the same respect and let you recover from the breakup.
Where Does Hoovering Behavior Come From?
Hoovering is something that narcissists use to abuse you. It is a way to give attention to their victim and it is part of their disorder. If someone does not see the motives behind this, they might be taken in and get back with the person even though their promises are empty.
When you end a relationship with a narcissist, it can leave you feeling badly, and your partner might cause you to have emotions that are hard to deal with. They will react and hoover you to try to possess you and get you to feel sorry for them. They don’t want to have to deal with the pain of the breakup so they will do things to make you care about them and to make you feel bad for leaving them.
This doesn’t mean that each time your ex contacts you that they are hoovering. There is a distinction between talking to someone with healthy boundaries and talking to someone with an agenda to only benefit themselves.
Hoovering is something that is on the spectrum of narcissism, and it is something that many narcissistic people have. This is to control another person.
Signs of Hoovering
There are some common signs of someone hoovering you and if you think this is happening to you, look out and get help if needed.
Ghosting and Then Reaching Out
One common sign someone is hoovering you is that they will talk to you and then not talk to you for months. Then, out of nowhere, you will get a message most likely bringing up some memory of your past. If they don’t want to be accountable for the way that they treated, you then they are just trying to get your attention and not make things right.
Saying They Changed
Another thing can happen is that they will want to apologize over and over again and talk about how much they have changed. It is tempting to give them another chance but if you do this then you are just reacting to the moment.
Giving You Gifts
If your ex is all of a sudden treating you the way that you wanted to be treated when you were together, this can be a sign of hoovering. They might come and give you a bunch of gifts and be affectionate, but this is called love bombing. This is something that will not last and is only there for the moment. Take time to think things through and see what they are trying to do.
Knowing Where You Are
Narcissists want to be in control of you and they will do this by trying to find out where you are. They will go places that you frequent so that they can run into you. Protect yourself and try not to get involved in this situation. They might want to know where you are at so that they can find you and just keep yourself and your time and space protected.
Sometimes a narcissist will spread rumors or lies about you so that they can get a response from you. They might tell your family or friends stories that are not real so that you can call them and defend yourself. They are just trying to get you to contact them, and it will lead you nowhere. You can never stop someone from saying things about you, but you can choose to not get upset about it.
A person that is a narcissist might try to make you feel guilty of the effort they put into the relationship. They will talk about how much effort they put in and how much they did to make you happy. They will twist every situation that has ever happened to make you look bad and them to look good.
Think about what they are saying and trust your instinct to know that they have hidden agendas as to why they are telling you these things.
One big things that narcissists do is to threat to hurt themselves if you don’t give into them. This is a manipulation tactic and can cause you to respond to them. You do not have to be responsible for what they do. If they tell you that they are going to hurt themselves, call their family and tell them that they need help.
Promises that Are Not Kept
If your ex wants to out of nowhere take you places that you always wanted to go when you were with them or do big things for you that they used to promise to do, this is a good time to see that they are hoovering you. Do not get tricked into what they are saying.
Saying They Love You
A narcissist does not want you to move on without them. They will do what they can to get you back. If they are telling you how much they love you, don’t get distracted by this romance. Remember how things were when you were with them.
Responding to Hoovering
When someone is a narcissist, they are able to get an emotional response from others by making the other person feel like they are a victim. If you have to compromise your values or who you are, you are in a toxic relationship, and they are hoovering you.
When you breakup with someone, a narcissist can make your life chaotic and try to get you back. They will twist their own words and turn things around. Here are some things you need to do to keep yourself safe:
- Know the patterns.
- Have clear boundaries.
- Keep your needs first.
- Do not let their hurtful comments upset you.
- Do not engage if possible.
- Find support of a friend, family, or therapist.
Watch out for patterns that these people can show you and the motives that they have. Know the patterns and see the abuse so that you do not fall back into something dangerous for your life.
If you wonder if you should contact your ex back, consider what would it be like if they were back in your life. If you feel that this would be something bad for you in the long term, set more boundaries and do not let them control you.
Knowing yourself and knowing your ex is important. If they do not listen to your boundaries and they are harassing you or hurting you, this is not okay. If there is any abuse or violence, you need to call someone right away to help you. Call the local domestic violence hotline and get the help you need right away.
You can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and talk to an advocate for free. They are there 24/7 to help you and you can also privately chat with them if that would be easier for you.
Do what you can to be well and to be safe in all situations in your life.