A narcissist needs people who give them attention. Not just one fan, but many who they use to make themselves feel important and worthwhile. Being empty on the inside, they find love and acceptance from others to survive.
If you finally let go of a relationship that felt abusive, you are probably confused and trying to heal from the emotional turmoil.
If you have any questions about whether you made the right decision, don’t second guess yourself and let them gaslight you. Or make you feel as if you made the entire thing up in your head. You know what they were doing wasn’t right. You finally made the break. Stick with it and cut them loose.
These are all tactics of hoovering you must resist. Remember, they aren’t in love with you. They are in love with the way you made them feel.
The love they promise isn’t real. If it were, you wouldn’t have left to begin with.
Here are a few signs that hoovering is happening to you.
1. They act like the relationship never ended
A hoovering technique is to pretend that you never ended the relationship. Negating your leaving, telling them goodbye, or that you told them it was over and wanted nothing to do with them, is a tactic to make you second guess what really went on.
A narcissist often acts as if you are still a couple or best friends no matter how many times you say, “it’s over.”
2. They try to flatter you with unexpected gifts
Since you are a possession to them, to get you back, they think giving you a gift is the way to win you over. Whether it is flowers, tickets to an event with an invitation, or even lavish jewelry, a narcissist does what they can to win you back by buying your love.
Since their love is based on something other than emotion, they use whatever tactic they can to suck you back in.
3. They apologize, but it’s hollow and meaningless
It isn’t that they aren’t willing to say sorry to win you back, it is that they aren’t truly sorry. Since they know that an apology is what you’re probably looking for, they have no problem saying, “I am sorry” for their behavior.
Beware! That doesn’t mean they really own up to their mistakes or even feel remorse. It is just an attempt to use your vulnerabilities as a good-natured soul to win you back. ]
4. They indirectly manipulate you like a puppet master
If they can’t get to you directly because either you blocked them or just refuse to answer them at all, they have no shame about going behind your back to find some common friend or circumstance to hook you. They know if they just get to you, they can hook you again.
The key to circumventing manipulation is typically finding someone in your heart who means the most to you.
Children are always a good target, as are those you trust most. Going to the people who you confide in to plead their case, they manipulate you into taking them back.
Other forms of manipulation are coercion. If you share children or even pets with them, they have no problem using them as pawns in their game of hoovering.
5. They find reasons to message you
Even if you made it clear that the two of you are over, someone who hoovers you will continue to send you mundane messages. Things like “tell your mother happy birthday for me” or “did you take my photo album?” when you haven’t ever seen their album collection.
The randomness of the messages keeps you on your toes. They continually interject themselves into your life, waiting for the opening when you just give in and answer back.
6. Telling you how much they love you
The trickiness to this maneuver is that they are incapable of love, but know love is all you crave. They turn on the charm and try to get you to see their good side, although it’s not in existence in reality.
A narcissist goes to great lengths, even feigning love for you or telling you things like you are their “one and only soulmate.” Or they “loved you the first time they met you.” It is all a ploy to suck you back in.
7. If none of the above works, they’ll try and create some drama
When you no longer adore a narcissist and cut them out, and all their efforts fail, they might give it one last ditch effort by creating drama. Whether it is spreading lies or making up scenarios about what you did to them, revenge is going to be their last effort at getting you to give in and come back.
Like a two-year-old stamping their feet, they have no problem making your life hell to get you to give up and just come back to make it stop.
8. They pretend they really need you
Since you are a giving soul *which is why they targeted you, to begin with*, a narcissist pretends that they need you back because they are in trouble.
Knowing you are the type of person who can’t not step in to aid someone who needs them, regardless of how you feel about them, they do whatever they can to get to you, including faking scenarios like a sudden or dramatic illness to lure you back.
To a narcissist, there isn’t anything too far-reaching or out of bounds to get you back in their adoration net. Either covertly or overtly, they do anything in their power to hoover and suck you back in, just like a vacuum. So they once again feed off of you to make themselves feel fulfilled.