It’s Hoover Time!

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There are many different hoovers but the ones which attract the most attention are those which take place post discard or post escape, namely the Initial Grand Hoover which is the bombardment which follows you escape in order to drag you back into our world or the Follow-Up Hoovers (either Benign of Malign) which take place later and happen irrespective of whether the method of cessation of the Formal Relationship was your escape or our discard.

The Initial Grand Hoover is the most concentrated post escape hoover and its efficacy depends on the type of narcissist you are dealing with and the defences you have created as part of instigating no contact. If there has been no IGH owing to Discard or the relevant factors have not caused on to happen post escape, then it is the Follow-Up Hoover (“FUH”) which is often discussed by victims because that is the one which is most feared, the one which is most expected and most recognised. In some instances, it is even the case that this hoover is actually wanted by the victim for reasons I have expounded previously. The fascination with the FUH is such that people wonder when it is going to happen, how it will happen, will it happen at all, will it happen many times and so forth. I always explain that whether a FUH takes place is primarily determined by whether you have entered one of the six spheres of influence. The first five are entered by you doing something or being in a particular place. The sixth is when you just happen to pop up in our mind for whatever reason. However, the fact that you have entered the relevant sphere of influence is not the only deciding factor as to whether the FUH will take place. There always has to have been an appearance in a sphere of influence for the FUH to be triggered. Whether it is then executed against you depends on other factors. Those factors are as follows: –

  1. The narcissist’s current fuel supplies;
  2. Did you escape or is that you were discarded;
  3. The manner of this escape or discard;
  4. The ease of contact with you;
  5. The nature of the fuel to be obtained;
  6. Potential obstacles.
  7. The type of narcissist you are involved with.

These factors have differing applicability subject to the school of narcissist that you have been entangled with.

How then does our kind approach the prospective hoover? I shall explain what (if anything) goes through our minds, what we consider and how we might go about it by reference to each of the schools of narcissism (Lesser, Mid-Range and the Greater) and by reference to each sphere of influence.

Accordingly, the first sphere is the one where you are physically proximate to you. This is where you are within earshot of us and we are able to get near enough to you to talk to you and see your reactions. It might be the case that you have called around to see us for whatever reason, you may have to interact with us at a school event where our children attended or you may be in a bar or restaurant that we have walked into or vice versa. What is our response?

  1. The Lesser Narcissist

The Lesser is not going to turn this opportunity down when it is presented on a plate for him. If his fuel supplies are good, for instance he has a new primary source and/or he is fuelled from supplementary sources this will increase his energy level to hoover you. If his fuel supplies are low (he has not yet secured a new primary source and supplementary sources are low functioning for him) he will still seek to hoover because this is much needed fuel. The fuel levels will affect the type of hoover. Higher fuel levels are more likely to lead to a benign hoover, lower to a malign hoover. This is because the Lesser will not have the energy to charm but rather needs a quick fix when those fuel levels are low. Furthermore, the fact he has no primary source in place yet will of course be your fault because you escaped (a narcissist will not discard without an alternative being available).

If you were discarded, he is not going to ignore the opportunity and if you escaped he will certainly not ignore this opportunity. There is a score to settle and if you escaped this also increases the likelihood of the FUH being malign.

The manner of your escape or discard does not matter to the Lesser, he will not be considering this as he is like a ravenous beast who has just seen a fresh piece of meat placed in reach. He is not considering whether the meat might trigger a trap or be poisoned, all he knows is that he is hungry for that juicy flesh again.

The ease of contact is also not something that the Lesser is bothered about. You are in front of him, that is all that matters. It does not matter who is there or where this proximate contact takes place the fact is you are there in front of him, tempting and inviting. This appearance overrides such considerations.

The nature of fuel is not a major concern either to the lesser in such a situation. Once again he just knows there is fuel available and he wants it. He does not concern himself with how much you used to provide, how potent it was, whether you will still yield this fuel or not, all he knows is that he is going to feel far more powerful by interacting with you. Remember the Lesser is not aware of what fuel is, how it governs him, all he knows is that when he upsets you, makes you smile, makes you praise him and so on he feels so much better. That is the dominant thought running through his mind. He is not concerning himself with whether he is going to secure the resumption of the Formal Relationship with you. That may or may not happen. That is like asking the ravenous beast whether he is going to eat five or six carcasses. He does not know or care. He just wants to sink his teeth into the first one and then go from there.

Potential obstacles do not cross his mind either. The risk of being rejected is not a consideration, the potential for wounding will not cross his mind because you are there in front of him. Remember, the Lesser has very little self-control and he is chomping at the bit to interact with you.

The Lesser will immediately stop what he is doing and make a bee-line for you and launch into a hoover. The only consideration with a Lesser who sees you in the first sphere of influence is whether this hoover will be malign or benign in nature. He will have no regard to his surroundings as he will adopt tunnel vision as his you his prey is presented square in his sights. He will either bound over with puppy dog eyes and slavering tongue or pounce on you with snarls and teeth bared. You will always be hoovered by a Lesser in the first sphere.

  1. The Mid-Ranger

The effect of the fuel supplies with a Mid-Ranger are reversed compared to that of a Lesser. If the Mid-Ranger has high fuel supplies (he has a new primary source) he is likely to be malign because he will not be able to resist bragging about his new girlfriend/fiancée/wife etc. in order to provoke a jealous reaction. He will also comment about how much happier he is and how he is better off without you. If his fuel levels are lower (no primary source yet found or it is not performing) he will present in a more pitiful manner and therefore will be benign. He will sign your praises, explain how much he misses you, how empty life is without you and so forth in a bid to draw positive fuel from you and draw you back into the Formal Relationship. By appearing in front of him he cannot forego this opportunity to take centre stage in his own pity play and hoover you.

If you escaped expect the pity to increase. If you were discarded expect the nature of the hoover to be arrogant. The nature of cessation and also its manner will have an aggravating or diminishing factor on the effect caused by the nature of the fuel supplies. The influence of the fuel is greater than the effect of the cessation and how it occurred.

By way of example, if the Mid Ranger has high fuel levels and you escaped, he will be boastful but at the back of his mind he knows you escaped him and he is alive to that fact now. His comments will be passive aggressive in nature,

“Yes well you did what you did but it is okay I forgive you because I have Jessica now.”

If the Mid Ranger has high fuel levels and he discarded you he will extoll the virtues of his new supply without any restraint, singing her praises in order to try to upset you.

If the Mid Ranger has low fuel levels and discarded you, his pity will still be the overwhelming consideration but he will exhibit contrition, as the fact of the discard will temper the contrition somewhat.

If the Mid Ranger has low fuel levels and you escaped, the pity will flow like a river and it was all your fault, you were awful to him and how could you do that to someone like him?

In terms of the ease of contact, since you are in the Mid-Ranger’s close proximity he is not going to pass this opportunity up and therefore, subject to the other considerations, the ease of contact will increase the likelihood of a hoover.

With regard to the nature of the fuel the Mid-Range will be a little more circumspect. Whereas the Lesser will just see prey and bound towards it to nuzzle it or devour it, the Mid-Ranger will exhibit some evaluation of whether the fuel provision will be good or not. If he is able to note that you are still numbed form the encounter with him and therefore less likely to provide potent fuel, he will still hoover (because you are there) but he will not expend a lot of energy in doing so. The conversation will be brief. If he recalls how excellent your fuel was and sees no reason for this to have changed then he will latch on to you for a good feed of fuel.

In respect of obstacles, the Mid-Ranger will have some regard to them. If he perceives that you are going to wound him again or humiliate him (perhaps you are with friends or a new partner) he will still attempt the hoover but the engagement will be brief. If there are no obstacles and subject to the other considerations detailed above, he will hoover you and either be pleasant yet pitiful in order to draw you back in or exhibit arrogance in order to draw negative fuel and lay down a marker in the hope of causing you to feel upset and dismayed you are no longer with him (thus priming you for a different kind of follow-up hoover after this initial skirmish).

The Mid-Ranger will always hoover when you appear in the first sphere. The main considerations are the type of FUH and how sustained it will be.

  1. The Greater

What then of the Greater?

If fuel levels are high then expect a charming hoover which will be a combination of praising you, declaring how well you look, him showing off about his latest achievements, discussing his new car or new paper that he written. He is feeling powerful but also generous with it. You can share in his grandiosity. The Greater will flirt with you even if the new primary source is there. This is too good an opportunity to miss to draw fuel from two sources and copious amounts of it.

If fuel levels are low the Greater will actually be wary. This is because he knows that there is a risk that he will be wounded (see the other considerations) and therefore he is mindful, owing to his awareness, that significant damage might be done to him. He will therefore evaluate the situation carefully before proceeding.

If you were discarded and fuel levels are high, the ebullience of the Greater will override any potential adverse reaction you might exhibit. On the contrary he will think that you will be so delighted to see him that you will fall into his arms in an instant under another dose of concentrated magnetism and charisma.

If you escaped and fuel levels are high, the Greater will relish the opportunity to draw you back in and settle a score not by lashing out but by winning you over again to prove how masterful and commanding he is.

If fuel levels are low and you were discarded, the Greater will sense that fuel remains available and he will approach. If you were discarded with no explanation he knows that if you are angry about the manner of the discard, then he gains fuel. If you are upset about the manner of the discard he gains fuel. If you discarded with some kind of good-bye he knows that you will still hold out hope for the resumption of the Formal Relationship and therefore he will approach and hoover, being cautiously charming and respectful.

If fuel levels are low and you escaped, the Greater will be very wary that you may deal with him in a manner which will wound. He will carefully evaluate the situation. At this juncture he does not have the energy levels to seduce you but he sees an opportunity for fuel on his doorstep, therefore in this situation he will not be looking to charm you (that is more likely to happen on another occasion). Instead he will look to provoke a negative reaction from and lash out at you to shock, upset or anger you. This will be a vitriolic and savage verbal assault aimed at stunning you with is sudden ferocity in order to draw a concentrated burst of negative fuel which will sustain him and allow him to take delight in what he has achieved without further risk to himself.

The ease of contact is straight forward. You are there before him.

The Greater is the best at evaluating the likely fuel to be provided. He will know if you are likely to fountain with fuel and therefore you will prove extremely tempting. It just depends on whether he ought to press the buttons for positive fuel (see considerations above) or to opt for negative as just described. He will also be able to sense if fuel provision is likely to be low (for instance you are adopting low/no fuel techniques or your levels are low owing to the emotional state you are in). He will factor this likely level of reward into determining what he will do. The Greater is more likely to draw fuel (even if levels are low) from you, given his expertise and it is a question of whether it is positive or negative.

The Greater will also take into careful account any potential obstacles before making his move. He will handle any challenge from friends or a new boyfriend for example with ease if his fuel levels are high, by charming and deflecting any attempts to do him down. If fuel levels are low, he will look to draw negative fuel form your supporters as well in a similar way as he will from you with a short, sharp shock.

The Greater will assess the situation before making his move. He will either sweep in full of charm, effusive praise and grandiosity, sweeping you off your feet or slide a knife between your ribs, sink his teeth into your neck and bludgeon those accompanying you before darting away in a smash and grab of negative fuel.

For all three schools your physical presence is too much to resist and you will be hoovered. What is affected is the manner, duration and type of FUH you are subjected to. Accordingly, you should be aware that if you make yourself directly physically available to your narcissist you will be hovered.

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38 thoughts on “It’s Hoover Time!”

  1. Great Article HG. Does this apply to both Primary and Secondary sources? I am assuming the secondary’s aren’t given such consideration.

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      1. Thanks. Of course, I would fall into the few that get discarded category. Of the many regrets that I have in this life so far, at the top is not finding you sooner. 25 years ago to be exact.

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      2. Hi HG, if I was discarded and then I ignored all phone/text hoover attempts, would the narc hoover(in the 1st sphere) me as a discard or would he regard me as an escapee since his previous hoover attempts were ignored?

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      3. Thanks for responding HG. Regarding my last question above, if i continually ignore him, he doesn’t see that as rejection? Thanks for you help!

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    1. Hello LovieLand, the Mid-Ranger would be wounded by the fact of being ignored and therefore the bar would be raised on the Hoover Execution criteria because of the perceived risk of further wounding. The fact that source is dating somebody else and somebody he knows will also cause him concern and raise the bar higher. He is unlikely to hoover further unless something changes and he will be looking for fuel from alternative sources.

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      1. Perfect. Thank you. I also publicly outed him, in the most ingenious way, completely devoid of emotion on my part, which resulted in his replacement appliance breaking up with him and him sending me emails,(that’s the only avenue he has since I’ve blocked all others) BEGGING me to put an end to it as it is embarrassing him to business associates. He can’t touch me legally either.

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  2. This is a timely post. The Hoover I had been expecting was later than I had anticipated and was a physical note versus electronic.

    My plan is to ignore and not respond. I am bothered that he came to my home to leave the note. He has been told to leave me alone in no uncertain terms.

    It was much easier to decipher his true message after reading HG’s posts. Thank you HG!

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  3. Hi hg. It seems you answer my questions before i even ask. Great article!! You thoroughly explain the different types of narcissists perfectly. Thank you!!

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  4. Indeed, another great read, HG! I read your articles daily and have read several of your books. Highly recommend them! So if an IPSS or to be exact a DSIPSS is, as you called it, “on ice” because the narcissist is pre-occupied with the new primary source, how should the relationship be expected to be resumed if presumably there’s no discard and thus a hoover would not apply? Thank you!

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  5. Hi hg i dont know if you received my earlier comment but i said you answer my questions before i ask!! Great article explaining the differences between types of narcissists. Thanks!!

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  6. I began receiving a “discard” after I told him I was through (threats, accusations, name-calling) and before the conversation was complete I halted communications. The very next day I received a phone call wherein he went on and on about our love and asked forgiveness for his terrible behavior etc. I now see this as an Initial Grand Hoover.

    But if he discards me because I wanted this behavior to stop (or I have disappointed him) then why an immediate hoover?! Isn’t that contradictory? How does he reconcile in his mind pursuing fuel from someone whose fuel he has just thrown in the trash?

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  7. HG, another great post. Hooray.. and again right on point. The lesser is back again last attempt Thanksgiving, my defense mechanism has been a combination of gray rock and devaluation. You are so right he doesn’t care or think as soon as he finds a reason he’s on it. Yesterday, his grandmother passed on. Of course I get this call around 10:30 pm asking if I could meet him someone where I was ewe no😐 he said it’s not what you think my grandmother died. He tried to sound sad but it was more pathetic than sad. I stood my ground because of my super powers obtained by you…😊

    But,I called him this morning I told a lie as why I couldn’t oblige. My question is his mother is the caused of him being a sociopath. She ignored/abandoned him as a kid very little involvement due to her drug addiction. Why does he still seek her attention and acceptance? He lies about her coming to visit him. He is lying about her flying into town for the funeral. She’s haven’t seen her mother in over 20 years and I doubt she will attend the funeral.
    I told him, I know your aunt must be taking it pretty hard (narc move) considering she was the closest child to his grandmother. He stated yes that’s why my mother is coming. He said he doesn’t know when it’s going to hit him (really explain that) I could since the frustration. His response nobody knows when it’s hits and the deflected to an uncle. Moments, like these triggers a small amount of empathy within me. Until, he said no matter what time or day if a person came to her house she would open the door without questions. 🤔Meaning after a 2 hour drive and I ignored you the she was there to open the door. The grandmother and that’s all you can come up with. Over the next week I am going to have to up my game to savage.

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  8. HG please explain how do you grade a narc according to mid lesser and greater. Does this have to do with the number of narc traits they have? Also what is the key differences and how does somatic, cerebral, covert and overt narcissism fit into all of this?

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    1. It is by reference to awareness, cognitive function, fury threshold, degree of calculation, malice and other factors. Individual books on the three schools will be available in time. I describe four cadres – Victim, Somatic, Cerebral and Elite which link with the schools (but not all) thus one has a Lesser Somatic or a Greater Cerebral or a Mid-Range Victim. I do not classify using covert or overt.

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    1. No, Lesser, MR and Grt appertain to function, ability, degree of malice and calculation.
      The cadres are the type by “interest” thus Somatic = body and appearance, Victim = pathetic and needs mothering, Cerebral = brain, Elite = body and brain. Read Sitting Target for more.

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  9. Are there previous supply sources that you have never hoovered and not plan to hoover even if you happen to think about them?

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  10. Please elaborate on the manner of cessation of the relationship. Does this refer to a messy or dramatic breakup etc?

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  11. I escaped unannounced, I blocked and changed my phone number to get fresh air back.
    He quickly replaced me & posted his new love al, over his fb to punish me, I didn’t look during my recovery.
    Imagine my horror to be hoovered throughout his fb official romance. He swings between sentimental & spitful. Sends me post, cards and returned rubbish to my house.
    I believe he has gone away, he hinted he would break up with the replacement, but only if I was willing to fight for him that is.
    He’s a loathsome man with no integrity, a middle aged nobody who believes himself to be a handsome.
    I’m very ‘nice’, I can’t imagine he’s got a working strategy he has used all of the regular techniques, I play dumb.

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  12. Could you please write an article of how the different schools would react to a text message or phone call? This article only covers sphere one. What then of the other spheres?

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  13. Hi, H.G 🙂
    I’m BPD. I think I’m a favourite secondary supply for a Greater? Off/on 1.5yrs No sex involved. We would converse through 100s of text messages everyday. I left when he told me he had a GF. He had a tantrum via text (very rare for him to show any emotion) he is giving me the silent treatment. My question is will he Hoover me?

    Thanks for your wisdom Erin 🙂

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    1. Yes, subject to the Hoover Trigger being activates and the Hoover Execution Criteria being met. From the brief information provided, if he is a Greater then the risk is increased, the fact he has a girlfriend who is evidently in devaluation increases the risk, the fact you are BPD increases the risk because of your propensity to provide fuel.

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      1. So, I Dear Johned a mid-grade narcissist (my first that im aware of) during a silent treatment/dis-engage phase just post him stating confidently that we’d see each other again and him using a pet name for me in the last message I received from him, just after a minor surgery I had.

        My letter didn’t call him a narcissist specifically, but did openly list a good dozen points of fact about his life in the last 10 years, including typical behavior, infidelity, mistress that spans both marriages, call girls, soliciting sex with hiv+ gay men, sex addiction, drug addiction, the dislike of all 5 of his children, from, domestic abuse accusations, not filing taxes for several years etc all to lower alimony and child support blah blah blah bullshit.

        All of this came from public court records that _he_ actually told me existed. Weird feelings and too many things that made me think twice and thrice about them and down to the courthouse I went without a gram (metrics used for your benefit) of guilt.

        Btw ex-wife #2 called him a narcissist in her declaration. Smart woman.

        The letter was at least a degree compassionate after I spilled the beans and said I didn’t hate him, but felt deeply sorry for him as his he’s destroying his life and I hoped he managed to stop it before he implodes. I was also very clear that I can’t be around him anymore and directly said goodbye. I even sent it to the email addresses from the court documents showing his interactions with his mistress and the call girl. All email addresses he never gave me.

        Of course I got no response.

        Oh Great(er) and Powerful HG, do you think I did enough damage to him with my ‘evil lies about his past and violation of his privacy’ to sour my supply to the point where I would be safe from any future hoover attempts?

        The only sphere I’m likely to enter is the 6th. He really digs a t-shirt I bought him and is likely to wear it often, and of course the letter I sent.

        I await your wisdom.

        For a touch of bait: I’m an Empath ENTJ/ENFJ cusp and a likely Double ACON, granted one was absentee. Can you guess which one?

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  14. This article makes a relatively simple subject – dumb narc gets lonely and tries to recycle their past instead of have the courage to rebuild their pathetic life anew – sound strategic and complex.

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  15. I was his primary source in a formal relationship for almost a year.
    He discarded me when I started calling him on his need for attention from anyone that breathes and catching him in lies.
    I blocked him from all social media, email, and phone/text ability.
    He stalked me at my place of work by driving or jogging by for about 8 months sporadically. I ignored him each time. I’m guessing he wanted to get a reaction. I didn’t give him one.
    It’s been 2 and a half months since he last drove by. The last time he actually “parked” at my front window and stared me down. (I know he was seeing someone new at that time as well.)
    After a year with no contact it finally happened that we were in the grocery store at the same time. When I saw him, having my children with me, I turned my cart around as if I’d forgotten a needed item to give the time for him to check out and leave. I know he saw me. But he ignored me.
    I have gotten very happy about him no longer stalking me. Will this start back again now? Or since I’m assuming he was punishing me by ignoring me, he’ll stay away??

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