Hoovering is often a part of the narcissistic abuse cycle, it’s when the narcissist tries to “suck you back in” after the discard. This can be drama-related or it can be an attempt to reconcile the relationship or to get you to break no contact.
What are some narcissistic hoovering tactics?
1) Causing drama
“He’d create trouble in my life that he thought I’d go to him for help (i.e., put my number and name on sex site, continuous food orders past midnight, sent threats to my uni, etc.)”
2) Projective identification
“When I confronted him, he said I’d lost my spark, I was spiteful and am no longer this ‘kind little thing’ he knew, and that my toxicity was at another level. I feel that he was trying to belittle me because he felt belittled by my confrontations. That got me every time because I felt that I had to defend myself and argue with him.”
3) Using the kids against you
“The Nex has used his sons and my daughter to pass along messages that were supposed to get me to bite at “papers to be returned” to me. Unsuccessful, as I am full of no contact. I “gray rocked” the “kids,” and they don’t tell me much anymore about the Nex. Their communication with him is their business. I prefer to talk to them about what’s going on in their lives. Liking my 17 months of no contact. Not going back. I don’t need any more projects.”
4) Selectively Ignoring You
“She would ignore me after blocking me from social media but comment on my YouTube videos.”
5) Gift-giving and family manipulation.
“Showing up to family get-togethers like nothing’s going on and being nice & buying me gifts.”
6) Asking for your help.
“He texted/called asking for my recipes!”
7) The straight-up love-bomb message.
“He sends me texts, messages, and snaps professing how much he loves me and telling me that I’m all he wants, begging me to come back home…after he’s discarded me and told me he’d done multiple times.”
Additional SPANily member experiences with hoovering
8) The latest hoover was ridiculous. This happened over a four-hour period. First, I got a text message asking for our real estate name; I didn’t respond. Then another call, I didn’t answer. This pattern continued for about 30 mins I finally messaged just the name of real estate. Then more msgs he wanted pics of us as he missed me, calls over and over again. I never replied or answered again. The longer it went on, the msgs got worse. Calling me a sl*t, junkie, wh**e, attacking my parenting and saying no wonder my kids are f***ed. Then he was trying to scare me, saying he was on his way to my house and in the driveway. (boo) the idiot had no idea that I had actually gone away for the weekend. Overall in four hours, I received 59 text msgs and 11 phone calls. On returning home, I reported him to the police.
9) Group post forwarded a girl saying to another girl, “hey didn’t we go to school together?” He states, “That’s how the best part of my life began.” It was his first line to me. Just happened. Smh
10) The first time was a constant calling/texting begging to see me. Finally, let him come over because he swore he had been in the hospital, and that was why he hadn’t been in his right mind. He read me the “letter” he wrote to me about his undying love and blah blah blah. The second one he begged to see me because he had to get his things. When he came in, he said, “I just wanted to see you one last time, so I could tell you that I want nothing to do with you to your face.” Then he turned around to walk out and then turned back around, came at me, grabbed me and passionately kissed me, and told me he couldn’t live without me. Always so dramatic.
11) Recently, after over a year of no contact, he has made an Instagram that is both of our names and posts pictures of us. I can’t see it because it’s private, but it’s us asleep for the cover photo and creepy.
12) She actually made another IG page ( because she is blocked on all my and my kids’ social media) and contacted my daughter ( who is mine from a previous relationship and who was her Golden child ) to tell her how much she “loved them” She has to text me asking about the kids ( I block every # she texts me from ), she had one of her friends call me to see how I was doing ( from an unknown number, the number actually came up on my phone as unknown ).
13) Mine thought after harassing me for months, sending people to harass me, lying about me, causing me to develop anxiety-related tachycardia, that a simple “unblock me and let’s talk” said in a nice and flirtatious tone would convince me to go back to him. He tried this several times when he was around me, and I ignored him while my friends called him out for discarding me and the harassment. He attempted this after his old/new supply (the “crazy” ex before me) didn’t work out again.
14) breaking into my house and taking my dog’s ransom.
15) Saying he was sorry. He just wanted to have lunch so that we could talk.
16) We are divorcing; he already moved out. We need to get the house ready to sell, declutter, etc. He ordered a dumpster delivered, said he would be over for 2 nights to help. No show, instead he took our son to his parents’ lake house for the remainder of the week. So I asked him Saturday when the dumpster is supposed to be picked up. No contact otherwise. He texts back asking me how much money I’ll be making this month and that everything should be in the dumpster. I just said it was our responsibility, and he started insinuating that the mess, etc., is all my fault. Back to no contact, whatever, I did my part!
17) Calling me for the first time since the previous divorce to tell me that he’s moving out of state. Oh, and by the way, he’s also taking our youngest child, who he’s turned into a Flying Monkey, with him. And they are leaving in 4 days. We were married for 34 years. He was in such a hurry to get to his girlfriend that he couldn’t even be at this child’s high school graduation. (girlfriend only lasted 7 weeks.) He’s moved because of target #2. That was a Doozie! A Hoover, devaluation, and double discard all in one! You don’t see that just every day. Devaluation because the kids who knew lied to my face about it for weeks. Telling me that the youngest was going to be doing one thing when he planned all along with this. He convinces two of my kids that his news is “private” and only to be shared at his convenience, with his permission. No matter what I say, they don’t get that telling everyone, BUT no one is keeping the news “private.” It’s keeping secrets to manipulate, devalue and attempt to control me.
18) By asking his mother to call me and talk to me. She told me I was so good, and it was really nice of me to be his son’s friend since he’s such a solitary person and stuff.
19) In the past would call or text about something “important.” He’s not one to EVER apologize or fight FOR me, but he always got sentimental or telling me how much he loved me, but it just didn’t work between us. The last Hoover attempt was about my car( it’s still in both of our names). He wanted me to sign a paper to switch to me as primary on loan and tags ( would have ended up costing me double with the tags because I’m planning on refinancing in a month or 2 anyway. He didn’t get his way, so he said, “as always, your way”…. my reply was silence…. perfectly executed grey rock! Lol
20) Coming by unannounced at my office to return 6 plastic chairs I had lent to his office on a national kids holiday (he knew I missed his kids and thought this might reel me back in).
21) Bang on my front door window after my months-long solid no contact regime the day before Christmas. With a Christmas package from his company. “Because you’ve worked so hard this year.” 🙄
22) Silent phone calls and no caller id calls. Some of the calls contained distant voices flattering about him, his new supply, and their happy future. 😖
23) Impersonating as his youngest daughter on her phone and sending me messages, supposedly from her. It was him, luring me to reach out, so he could rub his new supply in my face. I didn’t take the bait. His new supply was already on vacation with him and the kids after the first month of dating.
24) I was applying to be a speaker at a big seminar about my expertise, so I couldn’t go there and wait for my reaction.
25) Hoover by proxy: flying monkey/lieutenant had “mentionitis,” kept informing me on the goings-on of the narc, despite my requests not to mention him.
26) Letting other people inform him about my whereabouts, and then ‘casually’ sitting exactly where I have to walk by.
27) More No Caller ID calls (he still does this. It’s 13 months after the breakup!).
28) Today via triangulation. Money. He’s being nice, apologizing. He came to my home, broke my window. He has people stalking my page.
29) First time: We had been one another’s first loves as teenagers; I ended the relationship hating her and never wanting to see her again. I successfully cut her from my life. Fast forward 15 years. She messaged me on LinkedIn, and we met for a drink. Love bombing was intense; it was hard for me to distinguish because we already had a familiarity. I was at a point, a couple of years after my divorce, where I was ready to find a partner, probably the worst time to walk into a narcissist. It was “meant to be”… mask started talking about four months later. Second time: After two years of living together, I was done and moved out with the kids. About nine months after I had left, she had a partying summer with her friends and dated someone else… Then the Hoover started after she got it out of her system for the time being. She called and texted and asked to meet. I finally gave in. she said all the things to me… she knew what she had lost, wanted the kids and I back, started therapy, acted very remorseful, cried a ton, apologized for being awful, made promises and commitments… I believed her and went back. Love bombing happened for about a year; the cycle played out again. Here I am another two years later, regretting going back yet again.
30) After I left him, my ex-husband cut me off from all our finances, and the most he would do was take me grocery shopping. He basically just tried to get me to come back by making me unable to survive financially. He would call and text incessantly. His text messages would be full of emojis. And he would initiate the contact and answer me back right away. When he wasn’t spinning his web, I would be the one to text or call, and he would respond hours later.
31) Typical promises of change, counseling, an actual job other than dealing drugs, SUICIDE THREATS, etc. Later after successfully sucking me back in, he claimed to have meant none of it, that he was only “sucking ass” to get me to go back to him.. (side note: he beat the sh#t out of me a few months later, and I successfully got away 100% NC, and karma is getting him hard.. I don’t feel sorry for him at all anymore..)
32) She Hoovers me by saying to pray for her when something bad happens like this time after being rejected by 10 guys she hurt herself and said to pray for her. This is what dragged me to see her… and tend her cut. The second time, her sister was not getting better from being sick and praying for her. It’s always praying for this girl that got me out of the no-contact phase.
33) Called and sent texts saying that she was starving and accused me of leaving her in the house to die alone… said that leaving her was borderline illegal
34) Constant phoning
35) Sent texts asking how I am
36) Usually love bombing on Facebook, that sort of thing, wins to hats usually how he contacted me, also creating some crisis that may or not been real like him getting fired, or wanting me to help him with his resume, but never wanted to look for another job.
37) Sends pictures of the “good times,” tells me I can’t survive on my own, bribes with money, try to keep the kids from me or take the car, pretends like he’s worried about me, blah, blah, blah. I’m NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN!!!
38) Personality flips.
39) Stalking me through FB, dating sites, email
40) After the big discard, he came to my place 3 days later at 6 am. He said he drove past the night before & saw that my car wasn’t there & couldn’t believe that I could go out after our breakup. Said he was so depressed about it. I wouldn’t let him in. I told him he needed therapy. He said he’d only go if it were as a couple. He refused to leave till I threatened to call his mother. A week later, I was worried about him & called to check on him. We tried to be friends for a few weeks & it didn’t work. He started giving me the silent treatment, so I backed off. I got back on the dating app we met on & he was there. I swiped right just to see if he had done the same & he had. I sent a message saying how I hoped he was OK & that I still cared for his wellbeing. He replied, “I know,” then blocked me! Months later, he sent me pics of stuff he grew in his garden. I didn’t reply & have been NC since. The other one uses our child, saying we should be a family.
41) The very last Hoover attempt was a text from a random number that said, “a guy is standing next to me, and he wants me to tell you this: I am sorry for the last hurtful thing I said to you. The very last thing (he said you would know what that is). And I forgive you for all the horrible, hurtful things you have done to me.” I wrote back, “cool story, bro.” And blocked the number. I knew he was home with his wife when he sent that text
42) Right now, he knows I have this RV that I bought after the divorce that is a fixer-upper. I need help; he’s offering his services regularly. I told him it’s too painful to be around him this early after the divorce; he said he understood but would text me in the morning to see if I wanted his help.
43) Sending me untrue or nasty text messages to get me to defend myself so I respond.
44) I’ve had some weird ones…the offer of a trip to Bali with her, happy birthday wishes that are a few days late, emails and messages to sort out stuff that doesn’t need anything done. The last year or so its been joining meetup groups I’m in. Lately, it’s been rsvp to meetups I’m attending—no sign of the simplest way…a simple offer to talk.
45). Mine never gifted me anything but once, after a ‘disappearing’ episode of 5 days, he returned and simply handed me a large block of warm, semi-melted Cadbury’s chocolate, opened with a chunk taken from it. Awesome.
46) He uses my address for his junk mail.
47) STILL stalking me after 13 years. He and his current wife of 11 years know every move I make; they have people watching me, they use excuses to try to be in touch with my boss, I’ve blocked them & their families on FB, and they will “casually” ask my FB “friends” to strike a conversation to gain information. I have NOTHING to hide, and I have NOTHING to share with them… I’ve learned to accept their behavior, and there’s NOTHING I can do to prevent or stop it. The community has come to realize what they are, and as I said, I have nothing to hide, and the TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS, and their day of reckoning will come… KARMA WILL meet them head-on. SOMEDAY SOMEWAY, they deserve NONE of my attention!
48) Dinner and sex, or a trip to the museum and Sex, and cuddling, always when hoovering asks how Jeannie is (her Name for my Va**ina)
49) Love bombing till it didn’t work, then he would get mad and threaten me. He then showed up at my parents’ house high as a kite. And called the cops on me! After that, he would send me money or sweet messages, and then he would flip out when he didn’t get the reaction he wanted.
50) He promised me he was willing to come back to me after I caught him having an affair because he realized how important family was. He promised me he would stop calling her. He was sweet, pretended as he cared about our new backyard by putting the furniture together and making dinner on the new bbq. Agreed to go to therapy with me. All the while, he got a second phone to call his NS and was sleeping with her at some sleazy motel after work hours. He was just hovering over me to keep me from finding out more and from threatening to take him and her down from their careers. And he kept reminding me that if he came back to me, it would be all about him and his needs. He was so confused and out of sorts. Eventually, I asked him to leave after 4 months of that second round of torture. He was unfaithful and dishonest. I can’t accept his betrayal any longer.
51) I’ve been no contact one year tomorrow. A couple of weeks ago, I got a text from my soon-to-be-ex that said, ‘what happened?’ I haven’t answered one email all this time. Why would he think I would answer a random email now?
52) He keeps asking me out to dinner (I say no)- and today, he showed up at my work unannounced to have lunch with me, even though I wouldn’t tell him what time my lunch was.
53) They suck all the meaningful times and “fluff” out of conversations, memories and time spent together. Instead, they focus on the major points at hand. Mostly the negative. Their vacuums are pre-set to their own level of clean-up. My narcissist tells some of the truth, “sucking” out the important party. Like yes, you did go to the Mall, but you forgot that you were with another girl… Or yes, you do love me, but you enjoy hurting me more. They have the verbal hoover suck!!!!
54) Using emails – he knew I wasn’t reading them because I did not respond, so he would put his words in the subject line with an empty email when the judge during the restraining order court saw that he was outraged and saw his harassment in the email title.
55) My ex had me constantly ‘put’ in the relationship by suggesting now and then that we could spend the rest of our retired lives in his village- home, which he knew I always loved. (I am sure that’s hoovering). So in all the 27 years of our marriage, he lived in my house, off my status and earning. I showed him the door the day his Narc-mom declared she was selling off the property to give her son all the money. I knew that day that our children and I had never been a part of their family at all.
56) When narc’s mum was alive, she sent some money to me to try and buy me back. Then she posted stuff about a new Buddhist temple being built near home to attract me to see her! One ex narc male friend bought me a Tia Maria then wrote on a piece of paper at the table: ” When will I get in your knickers then?’!!
57) He’d take himself off somewhere for some “Distance and perspective on the situation. “ Aka, probably grooming an NS or ex with a pity play. Then he’d tell me how I was his perfect friend and lover and the love of his life. So back I’d go again. I think eventually this was a cut and paste job by him. I’ve got the last ( not responded to) hoover but, unfortunately, deleted all the others. Pretty sure they were all the same 🙂
58) I hadn’t talked to him for several months; he ignored me, then he messaged me on Facebook late one night asking me to come to his place asking for sexual favors! I said No, and after that, he discarded me!
59) My ex narc used to try and hack into my bank/PayPal accounts too
60) Quick hang-ups with “cloned” phone numbers.
61) When the ‘nice’ Hoovers didn’t work, he got nasty. When nasty didn’t work, he filed for legal separation (you can only do that after living apart for a year here which is why I hadn’t done it). This was supposed to make me realize the error of my ways and make me go running back…..nope, I just got the legal separation sooner than I would have hoped originally. 🙂
62) wanting me to accompany him on trips to exotic locales. No thanks, narc.
63) Ringing on unknown numbers, which I didn’t answer trying to facetime on an unrecognized number. I don’t answer unrecognized numbers if there was no message or voicemail. I blocked the numbers that went on for about 6 months I ignored like a boss ❤️
64) Hoovered 3 times successfully and 1 time unsuccessfully, so here are a few:
Left me chocolate and a note at my desk at work.
Contacted me through text, email, Google hangouts, work email, and work phone. So basically, every way to contact me is possible.
Asked mutual acquaintances about me.
Showed up at my home.
He played the poor me card. “I’m in a bad place. I need you.”
Drove by my house multiple times
Drove by my bus stop when I’d be going to work multiple times.
Showed up at my work. At my desk.
Emailed me, basically “nagging” me. Telling me I’m so ugly, and no one wants me except him.
Created fake FB profiles to try to communicate with me.
Telling me I’m the only one for him, and he loves me so much, and he realizes it now, and he’ll be better, and he will never hurt me again if only I would give him another (3rd) chance. Bleh! So exhausting!!!
65) After 22 years of hearing the same hoovering Maneuvers over and over, it’s actually comical. “I will change. I will be the husband I was always supposed to be for you. I will be everything that you’ve always wanted and deserve; I will be…
78 Ways Narcissists Gaslight You (Narcissist Gaslighting Examples) – If you are in a toxic relationship (or think you are), then you are looking for an example of gaslighting – just to make sure you’re on the right track, right? Or maybe you just need a little inspiration to stick with your no contact plan? If any of this sounds like you – this one’s for you.
These real-life examples of gaslighting in toxic relationships have been collected from real survivors of narcissistic abuse and are printed exactly as they were shared with me. Don’t feel like reading? No problem – just watch the video above.
He’ll call me names and when it’s brought up in conversation later he doesn’t remember saying it or what the context of our conversation was, as if that matters. He’ll also do things to me that he would never put up with and call me crazy or a “sensitive snowflake” when I react.
He also says that he knows what people are thinking and that he’s a bit psychic!
Blaming, rude loud tone of voice, denying everything, negative, then in an instant…. talking sweet to me… tries to kiss on me!!
“I know I didn’t say that to you because I know that’s something I would never say” “ok so it was wrong to call you that but I was angry and I’m sick of you calling me a liar” “my memory is horrible but I know you can’t be perfect so there’s no way it happened like that” “I swear on my mother and my kids that those pictures deleted themselves”
Told me that things that were said or done never happened, made me doubt myself and doubt what actually occurred. He was incredibly good at manipulating the truth to retell everything into a completely different version of events that ended up making HIM look like the victim. It was to the point where I had to start documenting things, writing things down exactly as they happened and documenting times, dates and facts, screen shotting things, etc just so that I could be absolutely sure.
Totally denied things he did/said even minor things that should not seem to need denial. Then would say apologize for how rude you are.
Totally denying the things he said, when i know for a fact he said it. Trying to make me feel like i was crazy.
Telling me he already told me something when I know he totally never did tell me. He is trying to get himself out of trouble & make me feel stupid & forgetful.
My Ex Narc’s favorite way, believe it or not, was after a discard when time had passed and he was coming back around he would say that the reason we split wasn’t the way I remembered it happening. Once he even had his brother ready to back him when I knew different.
Me: “Is there something wrong?”
Them: “Since you brought it up”….
I was lucky enough to be involved with a covert. So, there are bound to be worse. After years of small little gaslights, that turn huge. It’s like death by a thousand cuts.
Mine made a pact with me that we would both deactivate our FB accounts. I did for two months. I went back on to message someone that I didn’t have any other way to contact. The asshole was still on FB and had never deactivated. I called him and he said that it was MY idea and that he never said that he would deactivate his account. Big fat lie. He really pushed me to get off FB. Not the other way around. I knew right then he was a lying piece of shit. I started researching his behavior and that’s how I found you, Angie Atkinson. Without you I am sure I would still be trapped in that cycle of abuse.
Mine said because he got “hit on sooooooo much.” I told him that I knew that he liked FB and that he shouldn’t have to change just because I was in the picture. I deactivated mine out of respect for him and to make him feel more secure. Later his FB kept showing up in the background on his phone… and he was tagged in posts while he was supposed to have been deactivated! He also texted me once from a messenger app! Which I don’t have on my phone and we had never communicated that way before. When I asked him about it, he said that he didn’t know how that happened… he also got onto me about Instagram, which I don’t really use, while he was still active on there as well.
When he would become interested with someone at work or otherwise and I would find out and bring it up, he would say “I can’t help it that women find me attractive!”.
Blaming me for him cheating. Blaming me for calling the police (even though he was attacking me and choking me), telling me his family would never call the police. Telling me that I wasn’t vulnerable enough even though I would tell him pretty much everything. Trying to accuse me of cheating if I was 5 min late from work.
My narc was famous for gaslighting, not only did he use all my own statements, but he also was a finger pointer. His statements were him justifying his actions because of the way I was. Making me always feel like the one in the wrong and that I never did anything right. Here are statements he would repeat in multiple arguments:
“Did you ever thinking maybe I don’t try because of your mood swings.”
“You’re always so negative – what makes you think I want to be around you when your like that?”
“Just because you’re crying doesn’t mean you’re right”
“What makes you think I want to have sex with you when you act like this?”
“You overthink and listen to others not me”
“You take me granted”
“No! You’re the one with the attitude”
“You don’t respect me”
“You’re just jealous.”
I was always feeling like I was having to defend myself and how I felt when really, he was watching my wheel turn making me doubt myself. And avoiding his flaws.
Would send me a nasty slew of messages, blast me on the phone then give me the silent treatment for 2-3 days. THEN say that I was the one giving him the silent treatment (even though I had sent the last message). I’m sorry- I was supposed to keep checking in on you and make you feel better while you were punishing me?!?
He called me stupid illiterate ignorant blah blah blah then 5 minutes later came out and asked how to spell pizza. My son who was 7 at the time overheard it and came out and said why would you ask her how to spell Pizza she’s stupid a literate and ignorant remember… then he says “allow me to help you it’s p i t z a. Know how to spell cat it’s k a t … can I help you tie your shoes you idiot?” and walked away.
Things they said they would do or take responsibility for they would later change and deny they ever said it.
Said that I said some horrible things that I would never say.
Said that I dumped her when we had both decided together that a long distance relationship wouldn’t work.
Denied insulting me and changing what they had said. So many ways.
Pretending like nothing happened the day after going in to rage, throwing things, flipping tables, saying they were leaving me.
It’s always” I’m just teasing,” or “I was just joking,” or “ I’m just messing with him.” Then why isn’t anyone else laughing. Not to mention if anybody gives it back to him, he can’t handle it. He can dish it out but can’t take it. His ego gets hurt!
Oh, telling him plans or upcoming events (primarily for holidays or family functions that he always ruined) and saying I didn’t tell him when i did like 10 times… it was to a point beyond forgetful and I think it was done to make a reason to fight as he ruined just about every holiday but like 2… I was reminded by family members about me crying in the bathroom as he would on thanksgiving as he kept calling and being abusive because I was not home by like 8pm with the kids…. it was awful and stupid.
If I would get upset when he would tell me he never said something, then he would say: “listen to yourself, you really have an anger issue and you love to cause conflict “
Telling how when they were verbally abusive it was because of my actions.
Telling me when they hurt my feelings I’m too sensitive or cannot handle criticism when what they are saying is just mean, and not true helpful criticism.
Going through my social media, emails, electronic devices and making a false narrative with cheating (can be other stuff) accusations when what they are looking at is none of those things to prove their delusions
Forgetting important detail or changing details in their actions.
He would say: “I never said that,” and “I was just joking.”
His favorite phrases were:
I NEVER said that
Stop twisting my words (when I would echo them back verbatim)
You’re f*&^ing crazy
I don’t remember that happening
Stop giving me a hard time (when I would casually ask about his day)
I can literally be sitting quiet and he’ll say” look at ya, why are you getting all worked up?”
Mine said “Your sensitivity is an issue”
Mine would call ME the abuser!
Say they said something or did something they didn’t do. Along with “I forgot”-not occasionally but often & I felt like I was nagging him if I reminded him about things of importance.
Mine will say” I didn’t know,” right after I tell him.
Telling me I’m mentally ill when I’m not!!! This got so bad I ended up in a mental health facility and was told that I was 100% ‘sane’ and told point blank by mental health professionals about gaslighting. They will take your pain and mental anguish from dealing with the abuse and turn it around on you…
Rewriting history where I’m the villain, resulting in me questioning events…21 years’ worth.
Move stuff that I am using. Just did it yesterday, insisted I moved it. I was fixing a bicycle and there is no way I would put the wrench away until I was done as I was sitting on the floor and it’s hard for me to get up and down. I was freaking out that it has just disappeared. I finally found it in the junk- drawer in the kitchen. The confirmation was she had closed the adjustable wrench. I would never ever do that. Sometimes she will do this with valuable things or at least things that are important to me. She will either just throw it away or dump it on the dirt floor of our outdoor shed. It’s not like she is super organized either and has an massive pile of shoes like 100 pair or something that I would like to throw out but never will. Yet if she comes across something of mine I may never see it again.
I get a lot of, “I told you _____ bla bla bla”…. I used to think I was losing my mind then one day at her brother’s house I listened closely and Knew what she said and called her on it. She said, “I didn’t say that, I said ___ “. Her whole family stepped up, “No you didn’t, you said ___” CONFIRMING I was correct and heard her right. So a lot of, “You don’t pay attention” “You heard me wrong”.
Another during unmasking or hoover-mode is she will say, “I will never do ___ bla bla again, I promise”. Then she will do the same exact thing sometimes within a few days.
I was trying to set healthy boundaries with my older sister and all she could say is “you’re jealous, you’re lonely, you want attention.” I was dumbfounded by her total disregard for my needs and how she refused to acknowledge my adult conversation by telling me I’m just a big cry baby. It was gaslighting. Trying to make me believe I’m self-absorbed, self-centered, lonely, and jealous of her.! I see projection here too. She accused me of the things she was guilty of too.
Mine doesn’t rip me up personally but treats my younger kids like crap from a former marriage. He is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, but he has far too many signs of a narcissist. One tactic that he’ll use, is, if we are in a conversation about the way he is treating someone, and I’ll say to him “why are you treating him/her like that? They’ve done absolutely nothing to you? Your acting like a big bully and when you treat my kids bad, your disrespecting me too.” He’ll say, “I know, it’s true, your kids don’t respect me at all, I know this.” WTH? Seriously, we weren’t talking about him getting lack of respect and he will totally dismiss what I just said until I get irate and literally want to either rip my hair out or gouge his eyes out. It takes everything within me to keep cool and calm, because I now know what he’s doing. He wants me to flip out, so I look like the psycho one who’s doing wrong. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been with him 6 years and probably should have left a long time ago. I straight up told him that I don’t want to marry someone who treats my kids (teenagers now) like crap. He is on disability (for the bipolar), which was fine, I knew this when I started dating him, but he doesn’t want to do nothing, but boss my kids around and act like we all owe him something. I ask him if he’s ever been diagnosed with a personality disorder and he said “no, why? Everybody has a personality disorder!”
Then when one of the kids would give it back to him, he’d say, “your son has anger issues, what’s his problem?” I’d say, “it’s you,” and he’d say, “I’m just sitting here, I’m not doing nothing to nobody.” Totally forgetting about the verbal abuse, he showed my son for the past 6 years. My son was 12 and chubby when we started dating, and about a year and a half into the relationship, he shows his true colors and every time my son would get in the fridge or cupboard for something to eat he’d say” what are you doing, coming to feed again?” Well, my son eventually lost weight and lost like 75 lb. and is now 18. He is wearing a size 31/32 and is skinnier than my narc.
This happened every weekend I was at his house the last six months of hell. He would wait until I left his house and then text to say he wanted to talk. He would then call and make accusations of cheating. It was always that someone messaged him on FB saying they were either sleeping with me or had seen me with different men, mind you I was never introduced to anyone he knew and in return I refused to introduce him to anyone I knew even though he whined about it. He would refuse to show me the messages or give a name and even the go through with my suggestion of having this person accuse me in my presence. Anyway, eventually he would pretend snore and act like he was asleep. Yes, it sounded that fake. The next day he would deny deny deny that he accused me or even talked to me on the phone. They are bat shit crazy!
I went to the police station and got a 17-year-old report because he made me question what had actually occurred. It’s very sad
He would talk to me when I wanted to go to sleep and when I call him out on it he would act all surprised saying that he was fast asleep until I woke him.
Keeping the most required and most often used things In the house like keys, biscuit boxes, etc., in different places every time so that I search frantically.
Once, he had hidden away my school and college certificates. I had to reapply to my university and after I got the duplicates, my originals reappeared magically. 😏😟
He withheld sex (not that he was any good at it) and tried to make me think it was my fault.
Narc: Maybe if you wore your hair in a ponytail more often, I’d have sex with you. Maybe you should cut your hair, I like short hair
Me: *cuts my hair*
Narc: Proceeds to withhold sex for a WHOLE MONTH in response to me cutting my hair like he’d asked, instead of it making things better
Me: You never kiss me, I always am the one who goes to kiss you
Narc: “Maybe if you didn’t wear lipstick I’d kiss you.” I stop wearing lipstick, yet he never once kisses me.
Narc knows my family was too poor to get me a bike until I was an older kid, but they saved and it meant a lot to me, I’m proud of it.He, on the other hand, is spoiled as a child.
I haven’t been on a bike in years but I relearn quickly and I ride as NORMAL. I relearn JUST for him because I want to make him “happy”. Narc insists we go biking:
Narc: *zooms up ahead of me on his bike, doesn’t even wait for me to sit down on my bike* “I can’t be with someone who rides their bike so slow. I can’t even bike as fast as I want to because you’re so slow. What’s wrong with you … why are you so lazy?”
Narc says I take too long putting on makeup (he makes it into a big issue in our relationship). To show him I care about his needs, I wake up early and DON’T put on makeup, so we can go bike riding. I have body dysmorphic disorder, so this is a BIG deal that I’m doing just for him. I am proud to be outside without makeup. He takes a selfie of us (I assume it’s innocent). We start biking and he says: If you don’t bike faster and do this bike trick I’m telling you to do, I will post this selfie of you without makeup all over the internet. When I refuse because I don’t feel safe doing the bike trick, he zooms up ahead of me and disappears into the distance, leaving me by myself. I sob and cry and break down that he could try to hurt me with the very thing I did JUST for him. Later when we get in the car he claims Narc: You’re so much prettier without makeup, can’t you see that? Trying to convince me that what he was doing was NOT emotional assault, but rather that he was “trying to teach me how pretty I am.” I knew there was something extremely wrong with him after that one
Little things like telling a story about something that happened in his past relationships, then telling a slightly different version. When I brought it up, he denied the earlier version. Built up to the discard, when he said a month before we broke up that I was a good woman and someday he would marry me. Then when we broke up, he said he never said that, and that I imagined it.
He always said I was so disorganized and lost everything that’s valuable. And he would hide or throw away stuff and he would say I’ve lost it again. I cried and couldn’t believe how many times I lost things. But it was allll him all this time!
I come home from pre-natal swim class at like 12pm or something , I’m very pregnant. He’s smashed drunk with his bestie buddy and this drunken train wreck of a lady. I’d specifically asked him to not have a party that day because I was so tired. But he did. He said they’d be gone in an hour. They weren’t so I say, “I’m super tired, can you guys please either go in the other room and maybe think about wrapping this up in the next hour so I can rest.” That starts an argument about how I’m ruining his life, being inconsiderate to his needs and feelings, how I’m making him uncomfortable in his own home. They all force me outside in the pouring rain as the only place to get some peace and so I’m out there on the hard concrete, they are still partying. Then they come out. And right in front of me the narc picks the girl up, puts her on the broken washing machine outside and she wraps her legs around him and starts dry humping him. They see me. And go inside. I go inside and she’s undoing his shirt buttons and still rubbing up against him! I’m like “what are you doing? Get out of my house. I’ve had enough.” Then he starts screaming and shouting, it’s nothing, I’m crazy, she’s not done anything, his buttons aren’t undone, I’m hallucinating and ruining his life with my jealous rages. They all go I think to the pub. Later he returns, and the fighting continues. From that day onwards he denies it happening, says I’m crazy, there’s something wrong with me. Etc etc. but I saw it happen!!
It was so subtle, that even now I can’t pinpoint the exact ways clearly. But usually when confronted, she would take the conversation on an insane rollercoaster and make my head spin so much that I didn’t even know what we were talking about anymore. I was never able to get any clear answers to my clear questions, only accusations that I was somehow responsible of the situation. For example, I asked her why she had been so distant and didn’t say a word to me while we were spending time together with mutual friends. She would reply something like “me and x thought that you were not that excited about spending time together”. Many times, the gaslighting involved other people with whom she had talked about the current situation.
Single. ‘Conversation’ was a god damn game of situational word salad where by the end of it I had zero idea what the subject was… all I knew is I hated myself at the end of it and thought I was the problem for everything in our marriage.
My narcissist: I don’t care what you “think” you saw… It didn’t happen, I never said that, you are so insecure you make up things in your head.
I caught him sexting and he told me he was cat fishing his friend’s girlfriend, trouble was, he was sexting multiple women. How stupid do I look?
Mine would say: Stop trying to think you know what people are thinking all the time.
I suspected he was having an affair with a girl I worked with that I introduced him to. She started being really mean and weird with me at work. He’d say “You’re crazy. You’re looking into things WAY too much and too deeply. You always do this. This is why we fight.” I started to hate myself and think that I was crazy. He was having an affair with her for a year before I walked in on it.
He would turn everything around to my fault and accuse me of things he was doing. Actual excerpts from an email: ” you put all kinds of negative stuff on me and just expect me to deal with it, and I also have to deal with the knowledge that you should know everything I’m going though and yet you don’t really care about that , because if you did you wouldn’t be doing those things to me. “
After telling me he hates the Catholic Church and would not meet my parents (no one asked him to) “This is not open for discussion, I just can’t take that emotional hit right now, if you try to go there I will just go away. I just can’t take the emotional taxing anymore right now. I need my space and rest. If you push the issue I will go away.”
He would always accuse me of things he was doing but if I accused him he would say that I was accusing because I was guilty, but he was accusing because he had a feeling and his feelings were never wrong. He would tell me that I had to have cheated on him because that human nature and everyone cheats. At least he was honest about it, I would hold onto my secrets, so he wouldn’t ever know. He also would cheat and blame me and say that I wanted him to cheat. That by introducing him to my friends I knew he would want to have sex with them. Or that I purposely let him overhear a conversation, so he knew a girl I used to be friends with was a prostitute. I want him to cheat, that I set him up because I wanted to lessen my guilt so I made it so he could sleep with my “friends”. He would also tell me I wanted to control him, and I abused him emotionally. He claimed I kept the kids from him because I was cheating. And that I was a heroin addict when he was using drugs. He was always telling me I did things he was actually doing but he turned it on me.
I was married for 25 years and have four children with my ex-husband, who was a very hard worker but turned into a drug addict because he had back surgery, then got hooked up with a quack who got him hooked on 3 of the strongest pain meds they make. He refused to get help and I couldn’t subject my children to it any longer. We divorced and unfortunately a couple years later he overdosed and lost his life. But before he passed, I had already started dating my now narc. Was already divorced and he came along and was so attentive, complimenting, charming, good to my kids etc…Talked me into moving to his town and the rest is history. He is not intimidated at all because the children’s father is no longer living and neither is mine. He has everyone snowed that he’s this great guy, and he is always super nice to my younger kids when my older boys ( 29 and 22 yrs ) are in town to visit. It makes me sick. I even spoke to his family about it and they said that they would call authorities to remove him from the home if that’s what I want. He’s never been physically abusive but verbal bigtime!
He’d say ‘you never appreciate me or anything I do, u see, u see how u treat me’ anytime I questioned any behavior of his. He would stalk my fb page, my likes n fight about emoji’s. He even made a new female friend and told her he might be going to the area soon. When I complained his defense was ‘I said I would be going down there to see my friend’…the worst thing; one time he left the gas on in my place so that I could think it was my child and that I needed him there @ my Home to watch my differently abled son. F dat, I know my kid, it was him. The little bit of Jewelry I had also went missing and he said ‘oh look again it’s there’ he would fight and say I’m cheating to deprive me from hours of sleep. One day I said ‘yup ur right, I’m a cheater so leave me, get out, go’ his response was ‘no u would never do that’
The most common theme was his lack of engagement and failure to remember things I told him. When I would gently bring up that he wasn’t paying attention to me, he’d flip it back on me every single time. He’d say I was the one who wasn’t engaged. That I was the one sending short texts. That I never told him something I’d told him (usually more than once). I always knew this meant he was seeing another woman or three and couldn’t keep things straight, but I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I KNEW he was gaslighting me but I so wanted to believe that he was just hurting and needed my understanding that I denied my intuition over and over. His stories never quite matched the actual timeline and my Spidey senses just went haywire. The last straw was when I followed him to a hotel to meet NS (actually old S) and he told me they met in her room (at 6am, no less) for coffee. “We’re just friends!” OMG, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that…she was a friend of mine who lived blocks from me. She was complicit because she knew about me. They can HAVE each other!
“You’ve been looking for an excuse to end the relationship for months!” – after months of me making special plans for us, doing special things for him, and trying to get to the bottom of why he was so distant only to catch him meeting up with the same damn woman he said he was no longer in contact with. By asking him if he wanted to see other people (because he’d been so distant and disengaged and I wanted to give him a legitimate out), he says I planted the idea in his brain and that’s why he cheated. So it was totally my fault. Uh huh. Yep. This is probably my favorite gaslight moment.
You said you didn’t want to come ‘ when I’m al prepared and waiting for him to pick me up. Isolating me was obviously pretty important to him
Back when we were first dating his ex was a HUGE problem; calling all the time when she knew I was there; saying he would be with her during the week when I was at my place (which now I realize was probably true). She even called my cell phone (hmmm wonder how she got my number). Of course, she was lying and crazy. We were in the honeymoon phase, so I believed him. One night we were out and he left me to go chase her around the bar. Of course, when I got upset, I was imagining things. He was also good at twisting arguments to make me look like an idiot. He would constantly ask me stuff and then go ask his friends as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. When I would get pissed he would tell his friends ONLY about the isolated incident so that I looked petty. He didn’t tell them that he had done it at least 1,000 times before. Then there was the involving friends in our problems – well his version anyway – (outside of my presence of course) only to come back and tell me how everyone thinks I’m drama, crazy, a bitch, etc… This only made the isolation worse because I had already stopped seeing my friends and family and now his “people” aren’t supporting me either. Essentially, I had no one except for his fan club who thinks he’s great and I’m left questioning my own sanity.
He would get paid every Friday, and hand me $200 (because out of his 800 or so paycheck that was fair, right?), but then by Monday he would be broke, asking for money for gas and smokes. By Wednesday he would be telling me how lousy I am at managing money, why do I always have so much trouble paying bills when gives me money to help out every week? My paycheck paid all the bills, no money left.
“Deflect and distract!” Mine even told me early on, in those words, that he used this tactic at work! I should have known he’d use it on me. It was so gratifying to call him out for it when he did! He got so frustrated when it didn’t work and I labeled it!
After seeing the 250 texts exchanged in one month in the bill he said “we’re just friends and I like talking to her” …and when I asked why he called a hotel 10 times in 3 months he said “I didn’t do that. Maybe someone else used my phone”. Are you kidding me? I’m too smart for that BS. It’s just hilarious
He would gradually hurt me with insults, grounding me at home, or taking away money and food, little by little, over a period of time. Since each thing he did was a smaller offense, they added up and one day I would just explode in a reaction trying to defend myself. He would say my reaction was ME abusing HIM. He would also say that I overreacted to the very last smaller offense he made when really it was a reaction to many small offenses daily over time.
When I found him sexting the local community whore, he told me “…I was trying my best to get over you.” I asked him “why were you trying to get over me when we are still together?” He said, “Why are you doing this to me?”
When I caught him downloading pics of a married ex… he said…great …you have now ruined the relationship.
She would tell me I’m beautiful after spitting on me and saying I’m a whore that I only have my job because I screw my boss … she would always degrade me then compliment me it was like limbo all the time
He used to say I’m a miserable person, and I have a mental disorder. I did show signs of distress and depression and trauma. He said I’d be miserable living alone and wouldn’t be able to make it on my own and would go into debt, so I might as well stay with him because at least he could provide for me.
Even if I just would say something like, “man, the traffic is freaking crazy today.” He says, “you’re miserable, aren’t you?” Umm, really? I don’t think that comment calls for signs of being miserable.
“I don’t have any problems communicating with anyone else, only you,” she would say.
Mine ignores things I am him to do or not do. If he does do something around the house he will do part of it and leave the rest, leave tools and mess there, and tell me I am ungrateful and abusive if I say anything. He ‘forgets’ things then denies they were his responsibility. He makes comments about ‘people needing to take mental drugs’ and such to other people. He refuses to honor my boundaries physically then blames me ‘because I’m so cute he can’t help it’
The overwhelming feeling of being the one at fault, the cause of the breakdown of the relationship – the persistent feeling of not being enough, hard to love. Feeling like you’re the reason the abuse happened. Often feeling totally broken and alone and as if you had only tried harder, were less argumentative, more giving – then things would not have gone so very wrong.
Holding the burden of this weighs heavily on many narcissistic abuse survivors’ hearts after a discard. We dwell on it. We think about it over and over again, searching exactly for what it was we did wrong.
Can you relate?
Even if you reacted to the abuse in a way that you regret, you have to remember that you were manipulated into it very intentionally and that you can’t blame yourself. A narcissistic abuser uses highly manipulative tactics and methods to ensure their world goes exactly the way they choose – and often it’s so subtle that it’s undetectable. Even psychologists miss it sometimes.
KNOW THIS: It was not your fault.
The narcissist will repeat this pattern with any and all they encounter as they use people for narcissistic supply to fill their own needs, part of those needs are having a supply to eventually devalue.
They need to have the negative supply as much if not more than the praise and positive supply and blatantly use the ones closest to them to fill this need.
The masks they wear to create a persona pleasing to whomever they are trying to impress or hook as supply will begin to slip and usually by this time the survivor is trauma bonded and fully believing all the manipulations are real. The amount of projection a narcissist throws your way at this point is befuddling and confusing so that it truly seems yuo are the one to blame for all things.
You need to understand that what created this feeling of responsibility of fault in you was the narcissist’s manipulation, which was intentionally committed against you. They hope they come off looking like the good guy (to themselves at least) and they never take responsibility for the abuse or any wrongdoing. This shines a light on things which could aid in letting go of the blame for you as a survivor.
Releasing self-blame can be critical to your healing.
I hope that by understanding the cause of the abuse was not you, the survivor, and the responsibility lies with the abuser alone, you can begin to let go of that blame which may hold you in a state of internal pain or shame. To begin to disbelieve the fault the narcissist has trained you to believe is yours will increase your ability to venture toward deeper self-love.
If you have experienced this feeling of being at fault what are some ways that helped you to heal? Maybe you are stuck there right now, what thoughts are in your mind that keeps you from letting go of this blame? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Not only could it help you find some peace, but you may help another survivor to know that they are not alone.
Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here.
How To Get Over Your Ex: Stop Feeling Addicted to Your Narcissist Right Now! This is how you can finally stop thinking about your narcissist and change your mind. We’re going to cover 5 ways to figure out how to move on from your breakup and stay with no contact with the narcissist in your life. Discover. Understand. Overcome. It’s how smart people change their lives! Subscribe to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AuthorAn…
Narcissists guilt trip you like crazy – and who among us hasn’t been on one of those? Only sociopaths are able NEVER to feel guilt – and for those of us who do feel it, guilt is distressing and draining.
Once you’ve turned yourself inside out trying to fix every possible issue, you’re forced to look back at the narcissist.
But you might feel sorry for them, having an apparently irreversible personality disorder; maybe you feel a little guilty when you find yourself so overwhelmed by a narcissist’s manipulation and guilt-tripping that you just want to give up on the whole relationship.
But how many times have you done or said something you regret – or been made to feel guilty when you didn’t deserve it as a direct result of a guilt trip laid on thick by a narcissist?
What is a guilt trip?
Guilt trips are a form of mental abuse that can be difficult to overcome. Guilt trips come in many forms, but all have the same purpose: to make you feel bad about yourself.
In a nutshell, it means that the narcissist wants you to feel bad, so they’ll try to make you feel guilty by telling you you’re guilty.
A guilt trip might be used to make you feel bad, but it might also be a tool to deflect from a bigger issue.
Why do narcissists guilt trip you?
There’s a reason why narcissists use guilt-tripping as a go-to tactic. It’s a way to make you question yourself. It can also make you not notice something else that’s going on.
If you are or were dealing with a narcissistic parent, chances are that you’re probably automatically programmed to respond to a guilt trip in a certain way that gives narcissists a bit of supply.
You know, when you try to stay calm and hold your ground, but before you know it, they’ve gotten under your skin, and you’re acting as if you have a reason to be guilty, thereby bending to their every whim.
And if you dare to refuse to do anything they ask, demand, or require? They’ll pull out the old guilt trip again.
For you, that feels worse than just giving them what they want. So, in the end, that’s exactly what you do – even if it means you must die inside a little each time.
Why do the narcissist’s guilt trips work so well?
So, their logic goes like this:
If they make you feel bad about yourself, they can make you doubt yourself.
They want to make you feel like nothing is good about you and everything is your fault.
If they can get you to believe that, then they control you – and guilt trips are the obvious go-to manipulation tactic.
Think about it – if you believe you’re no good and deserve nothing and that everyone around you is disgusted by you secretly, you might doubt everything.
And while they nurture your trauma bond by offering plenty of intermittent reinforcement, you’re starting to think they’re right – and then you doubt yourself, your people, and your own perception.
You start to ask the narcissist’s opinion about everything, whether it’s what kind of gum to buy or whether or not you should take the promotion that would force you to move across the country. And you start to, on some level, accept their opinion as your own.
Maybe you do this because you’re afraid of how they’ll react when you disagree or even, god forbid, try to enforce your own opinion on something that shouldn’t matter.
Or, maybe you do it because you think it’ll impress them. But either way, it only lasts for so long before something has to give.
In any case, you’re uncomfortable without an obvious solution. What can be done about it now?
How to Deal With Guilt Trips
How do we stop them from happening or making us feel bad? And how can we use them as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of sinking into depression and self-loathing?
Narcissists and manipulators use guilt trips all the time. They’ll try to make their victims feel bad about themselves for absolutely no reason at all – except for their own enjoyment.
So how do you deal with the narcissist’s guilt trips? You’ll first want to get a clear understanding of why they might be trying to guilt-trip you.
When someone gives you a guilt trip, remember that they are trying to manipulate your emotions to get what they want—not because they think you’ve done anything wrong or because they care about how much time you spend away from them (even if they act like they do).
Sometimes it’s just because they’re trying to get something out of you and don’t care how they do it, but that doesn’t mean ‘there isn’t anything you can do about it.
What to Say to the Narcissist
Once you’ve figured out what’s going on, then take action! If possible, try sticking up for yourself by explaining why what they’re saying isn’t true or validating your feelings about whatever situation brought them up in the first place. For example:
“I think what matters here is [state your reason].”
“I understand where you’re coming from, but I just don’t agree with this.”
“That wasn’t my fault, and I don’t feel guilty about it.”
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
What do you do when a narcissist gets you into an hours-long “discussion” meant to manipulate you into doing what they want –
or into keeping your thoughts to yourself about something they have done wrong. I call this a narcissistic filibuster. It’s sort of the opposite of the silent treatment. This video is in response to a viewer named Kate, who said:
“I don’t get the cold shoulder or being ignored. I get hours, and hours of being talked to. It almost feels like I’m being preached to. At one point, he talked for 5 HOURS NON STOP! I now, to try and avoid it, I act like I’m asleep. Sometimes it works… Do you have any insight on this situation? Thanks.”