Why Won’t He Leave Me Alone



If you find yourself receiving the repeated attentions of somebody, there is a solid chance that this person is a narcissist and one of our kind. The attention that is being given to you may take a variety of different forms. It may manifest as complimenting you, offering to take you out for dinner, asking you for a date, sending you amorous texts, leaving gifts at your workplace, standing and watching you, driving past your house repeatedly, damaging your property, covering your car in battery acid, throwing pain at your windows, calling you names, repeatedly ringing your phone and not speaking and a thousand other different ways. To an outsider some of these behaviors may have the appearance of trying to seduce you and others are clearly designed to frighten and intimidate. Ultimately, both will be unwelcome and the individual who keeps persisting in this behavior is more often than not a narcissist. You may have worked this out and you are entirely clear as to what they are as they try to draw you back into the relationship or make your life a living hell. It is highly unlikely that you will know that the first time seducer is actually one of us, no matter how persistent that person is. You are far more likely to decide that the person is infatuated, obsessed, a stalker or a bit odd. Narcissist is not going to be the label you apply. Not when it happens for the first time.

Why then do we engage in such persistent behaviour? Why do we try and seduce and woo you into entering into a Formal Relationship, to draw you back in to one or just to make your life a misery?

  1. The First Seduction

It may seem pleasant at first to receive this attention even though you are not interested and with a smile you turn down the overtures of the office Romeo. He persists in keep asking you out. He is always polite and charming but you do not wish to say no. You may have a partner already, not be interested in dating or just find this person not to your liking. You keep rebuffing this person, sometimes more firmly than on other occasions but he will not take no for an answer. There should be a picture of this man or woman in the dictionary under ‘persistence’. They are never horrible, never nasty but you start to get that sensation of dread now whenever you see him or her coming down the corridor towards you, or walking down your garden path or their number appears on your ‘phone. You do not want to be unpleasant about it, because you can see they are, apparently, a pleasant person, but it is starting to become something that is unwelcome. Why will this person not get the message.

  1. Our sense of entitlement means that if we decide we want something, then we get it. It does not matter what anybody else says or wants, we are entitled to do what we want. We want to seduce you and make you our primary appliance. Accordingly, we will keep going until we achieve this or we decide against doing so. What you say to us or what a third party might do will not dissuade us.
  2. We do not recognise boundaries and therefore we can come and park our tanks on your lawn. We want you as an extension of ourselves and we do not regard there as being any boundary to prevent us from doing so.
  3. You have been identified by us as a potentially brilliant source of fuel. We undertake planning before we make our move and also rely on instinct in identifying those who serve out needs the most effectively. The extent of the planning will vary dependent on the type of narcissist, but one way or another you have been spotted as a supertanker of fuel and we want that fuel, thus you have to become our primary source. The prize is well worth expending the effort. Thus, if you cannot understand why we just keep going and going, you may wish to consider whether it is who you are that is attracting us to such a degree. You may think you are something of a catch and viewed by the ‘normals’ you are, but to us it is your status as a provider of fuel that has caught our eye. This behaviour appears mainly by Mid-Range and Greater Narcissists because they are able to last longer using secondary sources for their fuel supply whilst they continue the hunt with you.
  4. It may be that the way you are engaging with us, even though you are trying to tell us that you are not interested, is what continues to have us pressing you. If you smile when we appear with some flowers and you thank us for them but politely let us know you do not want a date, you are still giving us fuel. If you giggle with your friends when we perform some silly romantic gesture at the door of your workplace, then we receive fuel. Even if you show irritation or perhaps begin to shout that we should leave you alone, you are providing fuel. This both sustains us and encourages us.
  5. A further alternative is that we are obtaining fuel elsewhere, this is most likely to be from devaluing the current primary appliance and so long as this fuel is being provided then the pursuit will continue. We can keep chipping away at your resistance for a long time, since we are getting fueled elsewhere and this is sustaining our endeavours to secure you as the replacement primary source. If there is any kind of engagement on your behalf, even if fuel is not being provided, although it usually is, you are providing encouragement that a breakthrough may occur.

How then do you stop this narcissist from keep trying to seduce you? You need to give NoFuC. This stands for No Fuel Carrier. You must shut off the fuel, avoid any engagement and demonstrate that there will be no fuel provided. You will not smile, you will not say thanks but no thanks, you will not tell us to piss off or shout angrily for us to leave us alone. You will not accept the gifts, you will not acknowledge us, you will block all calls and insert gatekeepers where you can. By giving NoFuC, the narcissist who was gaining fuel from the interaction will break off and go elsewhere. If there is no means of contact, or very little, this combined with an absence of fuel will also dissuade us. If we are gaining fuel still elsewhere, if it is impossible or hard to contact you and there is no evidence of fuel being available, we are likely to test your resolve but ultimately with no potential for fuel, we will shift out focus somewhere else.

Ensuring you give NoFuC and doing so consistently is the key to dissuading the narcissist who is trying to seduce you for the first time. This is of course if you are fortunate enough not to be interested, since nearly all targets are interested and thus susceptible to being seduced and that you recognise what you are dealing with.

  1. Post Escape

In this instance you are more likely, albeit not guaranteed, to know that you are dealing with one of our kind. What is happening when we will not leave you alone when you have escaped us?

  1. You may be experiencing the Initial Grand Hoover. If the attempts to contact you and establish the Formal Relationship again are taking place soon after your escape, they are intense and repeated in nature and you feel like you are under siege, then this is the IGH. To deal with this you need to maintain no contact and sit the blitzkrieg out. Dependent on the type of narcissist you are dealing with and the availability of other fuel sources, the IGH can be sustained for a number of weeks. More usually it is a concentrated blast over a week or so and then if your resolve holds, there will be a respite as we withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere to recover from the diminution in our supply caused by your escape. You need to put your tin hat on and hunker down.
  2. If it is not the IFH but the behaviour towards you is pleasant and/or aimed at getting you to come back to us, you are experiencing a Benign Follow Up Hoover. The BFUH can happen repeatedly too. It is less intense but can appear on and off over years. Why is this happening?

Firstly, you must be activating the Hoover Trigger by entering one of the five spheres of influence. Are you responding to messages, are you contacting the narcissist about something, are you passing near where he lives or works, are you fraternizing with people who know him or her? You need to ascertain which sphere or spheres of influence you are entering and stay out of them.

If you do this and the BFUHs keep happening, then you are appearing in the sixth sphere which is our mind. Usually this is only sporadic because we will be occupied with other fuel sources, but it can be the case that if you were/are a particularly good fuel source once you appear in the sixth sphere you become lodged there and the trigger keeps getting activated.

That alone of course is not enough to bring about the hoover. The Hoover Execution Criteria has to be met as well. It is obviously being met if you keep experiencing these BFUHs and what usually causes the criteria to be met is that some fuel is being provided which encourages us to keep pressing for more.

You need to ascertain how this fuel is being caused. There are three potential reasons

Proximate Fuel – you are having some interaction with us which allows us to draw fuel from you. This might be when you are passing where we work, when there is a handover of children or such like. This will then allow the criteria to be easily met and thus you can expect BFUHs to occur. Turn off the provision of proximate fuel. Avoid us or where that is not possible, ensure no or very little fuel is provided when there is proximate interaction.

Thought Fuel – we may be encouraged by the Thought Fuel that we obtain from perceiving how you are reacting to our interactions. If we believe, based on previous experience, you will smile when you get the flowers or you will think back to when we were together when we drop a CD of a certain song through your letterbox, this will encourage us. Thought Fuel has a limited shelf life and if it is this which is giving us the encouragement, by sitting it out, its effect will dissipate and the criteria will no longer be met.

Proxy Fuel – you have a traitor in your camp. It may be someone well-intentioned or someone deliberately spying on you, but this individual is feeding to us your reactions to what we are doing. We do not see your emotional reaction, we do not purely envisage it, but someone is telling us that you keep talking about us, you get upset when our name is mentioned and so forth. This encourages us and allows the criteria to be met. You need to work out who this is and prevent them from relaying this information to us, either through asking them to stop or more usually by not giving them the information in the first place.

If you halt the trigger and even if you have a narcissist who is stuck in the sixth sphere, if you prevent the provision of the above types of fuel, this will be more likely to prevent the criteria being met. No trigger or a trigger and no criteria being met means no more hoovers and you will be left alone.

  1. The Malign Follow-Up Hoover

There is no desire to resurrect the Formal Relationship. We do not want positive fuel from you in any event. We want to hurt you, make you cry, make you angry, make you scared. Whatever it is, we want your negative response as this will allow us to draw negative fuel from you and also punish you.

Again, prevent the triggers by staying out the sphere of influence. The Malign FUH causes a real problem because the narcissist may remain stuck in the sixth sphere through malice and if he is gaining fuel from a new primary source, there is a greater risk of the narcissist having sufficient fuel to keep trying with you. Thus with the malign FUH the threshold for the hoover execution criteria is often lower. This is why when you have somebody who is doling out malign FUHs against you, it can appear overwhelming, incessant and frenzied. The thought fuel is also stronger with this type of FUH.

Avoid the triggers. If you are and they are still happening, it is clear the sixth sphere is being activated. Make yourself hard to contact, avoid providing fuel as described above and eventually the need for fuel and the lack of it from you, will cause you to be left alone, but you should be aware that the propensity to be stuck in the sixth sphere, the availability of other fuel and the lowered criteria threshold can result in a very rough ride for some people, not all, but some.

  1. Post discard

There will be no IGH when this happens because we chose to discard you. You will face Benign FUHs and/or Malign FUHs dependent on the type of narcissist and the prevailing situation. The same considerations apply as described above.

Ultimately, we will not leave you alone because of the prospect of fuel and the taste of fuel that is being provided in the meanwhile. This is what drives us to keep harassing, contacting and pestering you, but as ever, there are steps you can take. Understand why it is happening and then you can establish what action needs to be taken. It may be maintaining your defences, preserving no contact and sitting out the storm or it may also require proactive steps on your part.


21 thoughts on “Why Won’t He Leave Me Alone”

  1. Yesterday I received a text from my ex-narc out of the blue and after almost 3 months of no contact. He sent a picture of a religious icon with a message saying “Look. This is the icon I bought that I was telling you about.” I am the one who got him more in to our faith. I ignored the text and wondered why he would be sending this message as I have not spoken to him in over a year and our last text exchange was quite nasty. Forty five minutes later he sent another text saying “Sorry. I sent this to you by mistake.” I suspect he was wounded by my not responding and was either trying to cover up his intention and/or trying to make me think he meant to send it to the new fuel source.

    H G, was this is a hoover attempt? How would a person send a text accidentally to someone they haven’t contacted in months?

  2. Hi, can I ask if anyone on this blog has any advice they can share or have ever found themselves in this situation . I have just recently stood my ground with a Hoover and have never done this before , he used his usual tactics , email , text , a phone call and his sister passing messages . He is a victim narcissist and uses his mother and sister a lot for simpathy they have no clue what he is. Instead of me feeling good about ignoring his hoovers and not going back as I always have done in the past, I feel worse.ive ignored him and told him quite simply I’ve heard it all before and I’m not interested . He tried a new tactic that he will seek counselling , I told his sister he will not its more false promises . Why do I feel so bad when I should feel pleased that I have finally not caved in and he’s gone away ? Can anyone relate to this ?

    1. It is your emotional thinking seeking to con you into contacting him by making you feel bad. You had your emotional thinking under control with regard to the other hoover attempts, but this alternative approach has found a weak spot. Resist it and it will pass. Also, read But I Can Change to understand why this comment about counselling has impacted on you.

    2. Hi Lisa,
      For the longest time, I clung to wanting some kind of parting of ways where it was in a good place. With kindness shown. I really wanted him to remember me in a good light.
      Recently, I finally arrived to the place that I don’t care how our last conversation ended. I don’t care anymore how he remembers me, if he remembers me, or if he forgets the good parts. I’m thinking because yours is pulling a family crisis card, it is affecting you because you don’t want him to view you are heartless per say. You want to be viewed as being strong, having a backbone finally and setting boundaries. Those are respectful. You typically would not still avoid another friend in this scenario if you were annoyed with them. It is out of your character. HG is right that your emotional thinking is kicking in because you would be sensitive about this kind of situation normally.

      1. Yes Clarece your right it goes against what you would naturally want to do , which is reach out to someone to support them. That’s good that you’ve got to that point with yours . I can’t say I’ve ever worried about his memory of me because I know and he knows that I’ve only ever brought positive into his miserable pathetic life and I’m sure yours knew that too. But it means nothing to them because they are mental lol
        I never had golden periods just the monster being kept under control for short periods . His family believe all his nonsense and I have to say I’ve never had any desire to smear him or tell anyone what he is , people just do not understand this . I’ve been reading about it for a year and I still struggle at times . I’ve tried to tell my mum but she’s completely baffled and just thinks he’s an arsehole . Clarece having learnt all this from HG do you think you would be able to spot another narcissist quite quickly if one came along ?

    3. Lisa,
      Remember that you are coming off of an anxious attachment to him. He triggers the anxiety. He wants you fretting over everything. You have to quiet the anxiety and like HG and MLAC have said, try to cut your emotional reaction. Your need to feel secure is tied to him. You want the security you once knew but, it was fabricated. He is not a secure person. He is avoidant with his emotions. Don’t spend your life thinking maybe this time it will be different. It won’t. Or what if all my hard work pays off when he’s with someone else. It won’t. Eventually he will replicate the relationship you had with someone else if he is not already doing it. Get secure with yourself. You are most important.

        1. Hi Lisa! You asked if I can spot narcissists now with what I’ve learned from HG. Yes. Quite a few actually. It’s helped me recalibrate my internal warning system because those that I recognize now I sense something off with them, but now logically can connect the dots.
          My biggest challenge is digging deep and seeing a lot with my ex-husband and that is difficult while co-parenting our daughter. Had another pow wow tonight with him. They’ve been more frequent this past year and I think it’s because I’m finding my voice. But emotions run high for Momma Bear. If there’s been any emotional attachment that’s where it gets tricky.

    4. Hi Lisa

      I thought I would share something with you my mother shared with me which I found incredibly helpful. It may help you or it may not. Depending on your thought process.

      When you feel a certain attachment to someone after a break up and you are aware that it is unhealthy and want to disconnect, try to remember how you felt about that person before ever knowing them. Obviously you felt nothing towards them because you have never met them. Then train your brain to feel nothing as you did back then as you move forward. With practice you may be able to develop indifference to their person.

      It works for me.

      In any event, HG has great advice so read his books and accumulate the information he imparts here on this site to help you deal better with your situation.

    1. Love it, strongerwendy! That’s what the bracelets RunningAway suggested should say. Because it can also stand for “no follow-up contact.”

  3. I’m crying laughing at give NoFuC. I need a bracelet with that saying as a constant reminder. I’ve been through almost all of the manifestations you detailed in this article. All of your posts, but especially this one really help me understand that which makes no sense to my empathetic mind. I credit you HG with preventing me from taking the narc back in the IGH, which is *almost* over, I can hope.

  4. Ha Ha. This article is perfectly timed.

    I have 4 narcissists (lawyer, medic, engineer, IT) hoovering me via text, email and linkedin. I blocked them on all. The emails go to spam but I do read them. Deleted my FB account. They have been doing the hoovers for over 8 months with no contact from me and it is incredibly frustrating. Their messages range from threats then apologies after the threats to looking for obituaries world wide about me or tracking down my family. I made contact with one because he owed me a favor (nothing happened, he wants to, too old for me) – so now he has been shoved back to no contact. They don’t get a clue, and are like flees, they just don’t give up! I have other interests – younger, fitter, better looking.

    It is not easy for a woman to do what you do.

    HG, any suggestions from you on how I could get rid of them quickly would be greatly appreciated?

    1. HG, your article has the answer and is very clear and informative. Preserving NC is best and easiest. Was looking for a quicker fix, but not possible. (Oh my prev comment should state fleas not flees).

    2. By all means Sniglet, the best way to do this to maximum effectiveness is through a consultation.

  5. H.G.

    I am #2 on your list, but, I have not had an IGH from him. It was 10 days before he would even answer an email from me where he blamed me for everything and basically called me a POS for leaving him..he does occasionally throw that in my face, along with “trust” issues he now has with me, & how I brought out his abandonment issues, even though he and I both know why I left.
    Mostly he contacts me when he’s drinking, he sends songs and acts silly, but never asks me to come back, he has stated that he does not want me to come back and then says he never said that. As a matter of fact, if I get emotional (I wont lie and say that I don’t- I spent 5 years giving my heart and sold my soul to this man) or if I feel a little evil I will tell him how much I love him and ask if I can come home, that will usually shut him down for awhile.
    He does not call only texts.(We have not spoken in the 2 months since I’ve been gone)
    Both of our Facebook pages are silent as a tomb, although I’m sure he has his stuff hidden from me, or his playground is elsewhere. I do not seek, because I do not want the devastation of knowing whats going on.
    I’m not sure what kind of hoover tactic this is (benign?), or if it even is a hoover…?
    He and my Son-in-Law have occasionally tag teamed me with some very terrible Malign Hoovers, but that has recently stopped (I really hope I nipped that in the bud with my Son-in-Law, who is definitely an LN ).
    Does any of this make sense to you? What exactly is he doing here and is this just a test for something really big and much worse to come? I know you always say that the person who escapes has to pay..but how is that? In what way? And why, if there is already my replacement? (I don’t know for certain if there is, but I am no fool, but maybe he doesn’t because I left too soon and he’s low on fuel?)
    I keep thinking that if I just play nice, stay aboveboard, not hide, and answer his occasional drunk text, I can avoid this altogether. I’m sure that’s wrong.. What is your take? Do I need to worry or will I be one of the lucky few who will be able to go away quietly if there is such a thing.
    I know this question is lengthy, but I wanted to give as much info as I could so you can decipher it. You’re the guy with all the answers here, and I would really like to know what this is and if I need to be afraid? Thank you very much.

  6. I am assuming that my hoover was during our separation and after he told me one of his girlfriends was pregnant. He said, ” You can take me back”…. I told him to ask her how she felt about that. Then 3 months later he wished me a happy birthday early and said he said he was “trying”… I said “trying what exactly?” I guess I didn’t react properly. When I wouldn’t take him back, he asked if I wanted to be the babies aunt!
    Now he owes me alimony and is not paying… I guess he thinks he is above a court order. He has missed 4 payments, except paying me a minimal amount on his birthday. I guess he wanted me to think of him that day? It’s awfully confusing. During our marriage we split twice and I went back. He told me when I caught him in our bed with another woman on Xmas and we separated, that we could always get back together. I told him not if he got someone else pregnant. I wonder sometimes if he did that on purpose or if she did, who knows… Mind you, this is a different woman than the one in my bed. He still tries to hoover that one too. I think I am just being ignored and not paid right now. Court is in August. It never ends…. if he had not conned me out of so much money in the first place, I would let it go. This is my only chance to get some of it back. He is playing the baby card and that he is having to use the money for her. I have evidence of otherwise. It’s all about him. I doubt I will be hoovered again. Although I would find it humorous. I think he will just move on to someone else. I am 16 years older than him… there is that too. He asked when he could put me in a nursing home right after we married! I was 43. I have had the most unbelievable past 10 years …. It is really hard to believe it all really happened. It seems to be such unusual circumstances, even due to the fact that he is a psychopath.
    I thank you HG for helping to make some sense of all of this. I think you are much more sophisticated than my ex. He once told me he thought he was like Christian in “50 shades of Gray”…. I told him he would never be like that. I guess he meant the personality and thought he meant status…even though I knew he wanted that too. Now he is pretending to be a hillbilly in the mountains with a beard, accent and with the current supply and baby. I suppose she is fine with him playing with guns while drunk, I was not- hence the devaluation. It’s amazing. Obviously I became unimpressed with him and he lost the good supply from me and mostly got negative at the end. I am allot like his Mother… the good side of course, lol She tried to warn me… His Father keeps praying for the best. His Mother gives him the silent treatment when she is mad at his actions. The whole situation is a mess. She said I was lucky to get out and that she was stuck with him for life. She wanted to remain friends with me, but I realized eventually that blood is thicker than water. She would take his side if it came down to it. She may even be afraid of him for all I know. She told me some strange things he did in the past. I realized I didn’t want to hear anything good about him and she didn’t want to hear anything bad. I just wish she would have said more in the beginning, but I would think it would be tough to be in her situation too. She seems really tough on him, but she put up with allot. He said with a Mother like that, how could he turn out normal. She loved him when he was a little boy and had wonderful stories. We both he could have just been the person we knew in the past, but he couldn’t be. It is very sad.

    Sorry for the rant, but I just wanted to get this out of my system and with your ability to explain some of it to me, I feel safe to post it here. You just can’t tell anyone about these things… only those who know. Thank you….

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