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.
I’ve heard of narcissists that have gone as far as faking serious illnesses like cancer and heart attacks, just to prey on others and reel them into abusive cycles again. (Note: if you think someone is going to kill themselves, please call your local police services.)
8. BAITING YOU WITH DRAMA
If all other hoovering techniques fail, the narcissist will try baiting you with drama. They will send you melodramatic messages, create havoc in your social life through spreading rumors, use your children as an excuse to express rage and hissy fits, and put on scenes with the intention of provoking reactions from you.
HOW TO STOP BEING A VICTIM OF HOOVERING NARCISSIST
Firstly, it’s important to understand that hoovering is designed to trick you by playing on your emotional vulnerabilities. A narcissist knows very well how to manipulate you, and they will disguise their contact as an attempt to seek reconciliation, forgiveness, friendship, and even love.
Because hoovering is essentially about emotional survival for the narcissist, they will often go to extreme extents to get your engagement. They will lie, pretend, and coerce you in any way they can so that they can get what they’re truly craving: power, control, and validation. If you feel that you’re being stalked, don’t hesitate to contact the police. Narcissistic abuse is a very real issue.
Here are some of the best ways to end the cycle of narcissistic abuse:
- Change your phone number, email, and social media accounts (or block his/her number)
- Pay attention to the signs that you’re being hoovered and know these hoovering manipulation tactics inside out so that you can identify them when they occur
- Set a firm rule that you will NOT contact, acknowledge or respond to the narcissist in any way, shape or form
- Learn to love and take care of yourself (read this self-love article for tips)
Join a narcissist support group
- Develop mindfulness so that you can become aware of your emotional triggers
Try the gray rock method if you’ve been lured back into a relationship.
I truly hope these actions can help you regain a sense of personal clarity, confidence, and empowerment once again as you recover from the mind games of an abusive hoovering narcissist.