Like predators, a narcissist knows how to manipulate the weaknesses of those they have preyed on before. They will try to entice you through random texts, apologies, declarations of undying love, and “repentant” gestures which try to convince you how much they have “changed” and “care” for you.
The truth is that narcissists couldn’t care less about you, and their attempts to win your trust are all fabrications that are part of their sick game. Because of their severe soul loss and inability to show any form of empathy, a narcissist will say any lie and go to any extent to get you back under their control.
8 CREEPY FORMS OF HOOVERING
Let’s take a look at some of the creepiest and most common forms of hoovering below. Please note that many of these signs are common among relationships that have just ended.
So if you’re still being pursued by your ex, this might not necessarily mean that you’re being hoovered or that they have dark intentions. Hoovering is a pathological and manipulative form of behavior that is intended to suck you back into another cycle of abuse. When reading these signs, please be honest about your relationship and ex-partner.
1. PRETENDING THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP ISN’T OVER
They will ignore your requests to cut off contact, continue sending you the same messages, will show up at your house, job, etc. They’ll continue harassing you as if nothing has changed at all.
2. SENDING UNSOLICITED GIFTS
In an attempt to get you back, they will send you lavish and unexpected gifts such as flowers, cards, tickets to movies and concerts, cakes, you name it.
3. “APOLOGIZING” FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR
To try and engage you, the narcissist will appear to “own up” to their mistakes and will feign humility and remorse in an attempt to pull at your heartstrings. Their messages or words will sound very convincing, so be careful.
4. INDIRECT MANIPULATION
If they can’t get through to you directly, they will go a different route: your friends, children or other family members. For example, they might try to send you messages through your friends or say something slanderous about you to your family which you’ll then feel the need to correct. When you’ve been hooked, you’ll be lured into confronting them about their lies.
The narcissist may even try to use your children against you. For instance, if your ex has custody of your children, he/she might put the child on the phone asking you to come back home or get them to write letters to you. This is a powerful and highly manipulative hoovering technique.
5. DECLARING LOVE
Declaring undying love is perhaps the most common hoovering technique out there. Because love is such a powerful emotion, narcissists will not hesitate to use it to lure you back into their clutches. They will say things such as, “You’re my soulmate,” “We were made for each other,” “You’re the only person I’ve ever loved,” to tempt you into contact again. Do NOT fall for these tricks.
6. SENDING RANDOM MESSAGES TO YOU AND “GHOST” PHONE CALLS
If you’re being hoovered, you’ll likely receive random messages from the narcissist asking for and commenting on different things. Expect text messages such as “Please wish (so-and-so) a happy anniversary from me,” “Did you take my (personal item)?” “Are you going to (so-and-so’s) dinner tonight?” “I’m standing in the place we first met. Thinking of you,” and so forth.
The narcissist may even send you “accidental” messages with the intention of putting a knife in your heart such as, “I love you, honey, I’ll be home at 6” to their new partnership with the intention of inciting a response from you.
Another creepy tactic is receiving ghost phone calls. For example, you might receive frequent phone calls from private numbers and receive long silences or soft breathing on the other end. This tactic is used to freak you out and get you to engage.
7. FAKING VULNERABILITY AND THE NEED FOR “HELP”
The narcissist will go to any extent to get your attention and sympathy. Faking the need for help is such a powerful hoovering technique because it preys on our natural tendency to show compassion to others. The narcissist might send you messages and leave you voicemails telling you that they’re sick, they need your help, they’re desperately in trouble and need you to call them back, or even that they’re going to kill themselves.