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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42 thoughts on “It’s Hoover Time!”

  1. HG, even thanks to the help of your very exhaustive articles, I ignored his first hoover. Last years, even just a year ago, I could not even wait and I always was the first to do it. When I saw an email from him yesterday, after 6 months of silence during which I never thought to contact him not even once, I only thought: oh crap, there he is. I didn’t answer, not to feel strong but because I’ve nothing to say and don’t care to hear from him or restart. Now I wonder what’s happening in his mind (he’s a lesser) as I didn’t answer, because he is not used to being ignored by me.

    1. Well done. Block that e-mail address and delete the email.

      He will have been wounded by your failure to respond.

  2. Thank you, HG! I appreciate your response! Would me reading your article “Shifting Sands” assist with further understanding?

      1. Thank you, HG. I re-read the article. My conclusion is that it is ultimately done as fuel dictates. Is that correct?

  3. HG, you are right about hoovering. I saw him and his new IPPS last week by chance at a huge market, full of people. I had the feeling that someone observed me. I looked around and saw him and his IPPS standing not far away from me. Both looked unhappy. He scanned the environment.
    I ignored him. He stared at me, watching me. I was good-looking that day. Because of some reasons I had to cross his way, and nearly touched him. He very slowly turned around and did not want to be seen. It was very unpleasant for me to come so close, but I could not avoid it.

    At night there was a cryptic message on my work-email. Only a lot of different letters. I would have said, this mail was only some kind of fishing-mail, if he had not done the same on my mobile phone three month ago. (He is blocked now) Only letters!

    I believe these letters were symbols for some humiliating sentences, which he did not dare to write, because he is on low fuel.

    Could I be right about that?

  4. Why is wanting more time a challenge? Why can’t there be an agreement?

    And isn’t always being available boring, doesn’t this make a woman less interesting, wouldn’t it make you wonder?

      1. HG, because I often did not know where I stood with the narc (friends, more than friends (intimate partners) it felt like it would vacillate back and forth), I would not know what I could say and not say, so I asked him to tell me because I wanted to follow his lead and not say something that would make him feel uncomfortable. He would not really give me a straight answer. If the narc wants to be in control and you basically ask him to be in control, why not be straightforward and tell me what you want and not want? Why no straight answer? Would appreciate your insight! Thanks so much!

    1. There are many different ways. Wanting more time with us when we do not wish to allow that, asking to attend certain events with us when we do not want you to, threatening to expose us in some capacity, not providing fuel as we prefer, not doing what we want, not being available when we want you to be available, upstaging us in some way – those are a few examples.

      1. There are many different ways. Wanting more time with us when we do not wish to allow that, asking to attend certain events with us when we do not want you to, threatening to expose us in some capacity, not providing fuel as we prefer, not doing what we want, not being available when we want you to be available..

        ^ and being fake pissed when we “never do anything with you” when it has been made clear we are not to attend xyz events with almighty you. whining later. about the sins of omission on our part. “you never.” when it was made 100% clear NOT to. another passive aggressive bitch slap.

      2. Thank you! Do you happen to have an article on IPSS and Escape? I’ve read your articles on the IPSS and there was discussion on the discard but how do I know about what to expect from the escape part?

  5. I think the narc that I have dealt with is a midranger because he uses a lot of pity ploys, didn’t use aggression, and used some charm but he had just learned that he is aware of what he is because we talked about it – we were both ensnared by one – so he says. We would flirt and he was looking for a girlfriend. So, I think I was an IPSS. I escaped and I am wondering if this is a challenge to him.

    1. Is my escape a challenge to him?
    2. Why does he, the narcissist say that he loves a challenge? Does that mean is a greater narcissist, then?
    3. And if he, the narcissist loves a challenge, then why does he not like it when a victim challenges him?

    1. Hello Sarah,

      1. He sounds Mid Range, yes.
      2. Your escape is a challenge to him because it was your decision. How it impacts on him however will vary because of the fact you are an IPSS (if that is correct).
      3. Saying he likes a challenge does not mean he is a greater per se. Mid Rangers think they are more than they are and therefore declaring he likes a challenge makes him sound better. It also pays you a compliment also. Further, it is the assertion of superiority over the victim.
      4. Because this threatens control and we must always have control.

  6. My x texted me for sex yesterday and then told me he was talking to someone after I made clear I wasn’t interested so is this a malign Hoover?

  7. I am hoping he never hoovers again.. did the first time we broke up for 19 years.. this time I actually realised what he was. I’m now an extremely good friend of the ex wife and an ex girlfriend.. much to his disgust and anger(passive aggressive and lies) to keep us seperate.. we have enough information to drown him.. he knows this and now there are a few of us saying word for word verbatim the same thing.. he is getting a bad rep. (he is somewhat in the public eye).. He is probably the most cunning, lying manipulate individual I’ve ever met.. Definitely a greater Narc with psychopathic tendencies, even leaning to Dark Triad. Now that he has been there, done that.. are there chances that he will finally leave me alone?

    1. Tania,
      I’m friends with two of his ex girlfriends (one was the 2 year affair when he was married) and I am aquaintences with the ex wife. She states she doesn’t want to relive the trauma so refused to speak to me about him, which I understand. She is trying to move on with her life and forget the atrocities he did to her. Although she has let me see the kids because my kids and his were so close and when he discarded me he refused to let us say goodbye even.
      Same thing here, I don’t think he will hoover me now that he knows we are all connected. His biggest fear is realized. Haha. I don’t think he thought I would go to the lengths I did when things went down. He was used to woman who just wanted to get the hell away and not look back.
      Yes, they say the same things. We’ve nicknamed him BJ as he tells every woman she is giving him his first blow job. Hilarious. Yes, they repeat the same lines over and over. His is all about his abused childhood and his terrible ex wife and how he is such a victim. Blah blah blah. And of course each woman is “the one who makes him a better man” Gag. He was also pretty prominent in the community but after his affairs were exposed, he lost everything. You’d think that kind of loss would change someone!! I believed it had. He would often state how he “didn’t want to be that man again”. That he lost his family, reputation, church and friends and he wasn’t going to make those mistakes again. The guy is an elementary school teacher. Blows. My. Mind. I’m awaiting the day I get the call from his current IPPS after she either wises up or gets cheated on. I didn’t believe he’d do it to me until I caught him red handed. Its a disease and it’s like they can’t stop themselves. I know he doesn’t want to have this reputation and lifestyle. I think he wants to be a good, moral person but can’t stop it. Sad sad. Mostly for his poor kids.

      I love hearing similar stories.

      1. Hilarious.. what you said about him and BJ’s! He has said exactly the same to us! Unreal.. I still hate the fact I’m looking over my shoulder.. I remember from last time and I never want it again!

    2. Wait, what? Yours told his women they were giving him his his bj too? You’ve got to be kidding!

      1. Yup..exact words.. told his ex wife about what you had said today..it was an OMG moment! We wonder what Narc school they all go to learn this behaviour? Sad really.. what a poor and lonely, unhappy existence to have to live a lie of BS! 🙂

      2. I think they want you to feel like you’re special. Like you’re giving them an experience they’ve never had. Mine wasn’t some sex freak. He was actually quite vanilla in the beginning, but I am starting to wonder if that was an act too. Like as if I was “teaching him” I have a feeling he had a secret dark side. I believe you transfer stuff sexually, thoughts, feelings emotions etc. not everyone believes that but I do. I started to have dark thoughts where I wanted him to hit me, punish me etc not just in the bedroom but outside. (I never asked or spoke of it). I believe those thoughts were from him as now I’ve done spiritual work and can’t imagine feeling that way.
        Another phrase mine would say a lot to all of us was how he felt like a boy, not a man. And he would get out of a lot of things by saying he was “embarrassed”. He also talked a lot about being abused by his father, however his sister claims it didn’t happen. Did yours say similar things?

  8. Hmmm.. Well, the ex midranger has seen me numerous time in public and not said a thing to me during or after. No hoover… Could it be because he knows I will respond unkindly (and I have his new gf’s contact and he knows I’m not afraid to tell her)

      1. Good. That gives me a sense of power. I hope he stays that way! I’d love to go toe to toe with that man. Sadly, I don’t think he’ll give me the chance. My daughter had a dream that he saw me in a store and started saying unkind things to me. I just laughed and he emphatically said “I’m serious, stop laughing!” I feel like that dream is a premonition of what would/could happen. Thanks for the responses HG. I, like many of the readers, feel like you’re a friend. Your diction and thoughts are out there for us to see and we feel like we know you. Your blantent honesty is appealing to our kind!!

  9. Yep fell for it again, well not fully. I knew what he was doing, wanting me to come hang out when I dropped off my daughter to see him. So every weekend for past couple months we been playing family again having sex ect. I knew it was only cause he was lonely and had no one else around. But then he started saying “I love you” and I flipped out on him called him on his shit told him he was a liar! Then of course I “hurt him” by saying those things. So he refused to have sex with me, I got up got my daughter up and left told him we would be back tomorrow night, but he instead made plans with his friend and we got in fight and he says after he said, “I have love for u,, I’m not in love with you ” gaslighting bullshit​, then says ” there is no way in hell I could ever love you!” WHY I DO THIS TO MYSELF I DO NOT KNOW, after we ended our 15 yr relationship over a year ago! Why do I go back for more when I know better???????

  10. I’m still having hope that I will never ever be hoovered. It would ignite MY fury, because I have that stuff as well.

    I *think* he possibly looked me up online a couple of days ago, but not 100% sure it was him. No attempt to make contact though, at least not anywhere where he isn’t blocked.

  11. Would this still happen if the relationship was an employment break down and the N Was the employee & the target is the ex-boss

    1. Potentially, but the weight of the criteria would differ because it would be a hoover between narcissist and NISS.

      1. Thank you! You are a gold mine of information! Only found you a couple of weeks or so ago… When do you sleep? What is an NISS? Where should I look for additional information?

      2. You are welcome. I sleep sometimes midnight until 4 am, sometimes 3 am until 7 am and variations in between. A NISS is a non intimate secondary source (friend, colleague, family member). Additional information? All over the blog and in my books which are on Amazon.

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