Hoovering: How a Narcissist Keeps Sucking You Back In

Written by Angela Atkinson

How narcissists suck you back in

The “hoovering” technique was named after the famous vacuum cleaner company, and it’s one of many common manipulation tactics employed by abusive, toxic narcissists.

This is when a narcissist sort of “sucks” their victim back into the relationship, or some version of it. It often begins innocently enough, sort of subtly, but it always happens with one target – to regain control.

Hoovering usually begins after the devalue and discard phases, when the silent treatment has stopped giving the narcissist pleasure, and when they’re ready for more of the supply you’ve been feeding them all these months or years. Or, it’ll start when you’ve left the narcissist and they fear you won’t return.

The idea is that the narcissist needs to reestablish contact with you in order to get the narcissistic supply you’re so good at providing.

Art Imitates Life: How Charlie Brown and Lucy Demonstrate Narcissistic Hoovering

charlieHere’s a pretty simple example of what hoovering looks like.

Remember in the Peanuts cartoons how Lucy would always hold the football for Charlie Brown, but every time he would try to kick it, she’d pull it away? And, when he’d fall, she’d smile like there was no tomorrow – actually enjoying that pain.

Charlie Brown did what any kid would – he’d stop trusting her to hold that ball. But inevitably, Lucy would promise each time that THIS TIME, she’d really let him kick the ball. And inevitably, she’d pull it away at the last second, and then she’d bust out that big smile just as he fell, yet again.

Hoovering is a dangerous tactic because once the narcissist gets a foot in the door, you’ll often find yourself being love-bombed and hearing promises of brighter days ahead – but just like poor Charlie Brown, you’re bound to fall again.

Have you experienced hoovering before? How did you deal with it?

Related articles
(Visited 6,591 times, 1 visits today)

Get Guided Help with Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie – packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

Where are you in your recovery?

 

Subscribe

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Powered By ConvertKit

Award for Angie’s YouTube Channel

Disclosure – Click to Read

advertisement

You're not alone.

We have been there and we can help you heal.

Related Articles

When Your Adult Child is a Narcissist

When Your Adult Child is a Narcissist

Do you have a strained relationship with your adult child? Do they seem to have an overblown sense of entitlement? Do they think the world revolves around them and get offended if you don't agree? Do they ever try to control you or your choices, either directly or...

Can You Go Back To Being The Person You Were Before Narcissistic Abuse?

Can You Go Back To Being The Person You Were Before Narcissistic Abuse?

Are you ready to get back to being your old self again after narcissistic abuse? Here’s what you need to know and exactly what to do. When you’ve dealt with narcissistic abuse for a long time and you finally get out, you’ll spend a lot of time first grieving and then healing. The narcissistic abuse recovery process can be long and complicated but at some point, you’re going to want to start “being your old self again.” You know, the self you used to be – before you met the narcissist.

Get Guided Help with Your Recovery & Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join the SPANily! Start with our free newsletter.

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie - packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

    Where are you in your recovery?
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!