Will the Narcissist Deploy a Follow-Up Hoover?



The follow-up hoover. A staple method of gaining fuel from you either post discard or post escape, whether of a positive and/or negative nature. How though does the follow-up hoover come about, how do I decide whether to do it or not and what are the circumstances that can cause it? Here is an instance which will assist your understanding of our methodology and mind set so you can identify the factors which put you at risk.

I discarded you. You failed me and you had to go. You had no idea of course that this was the case. You tried to see me, speak to me, plead with me and you were rebuffed and told to stay away. The teeth were bared at you and you saw that look in the eye, the one that still unnerves you and you backed away. You slid into misery and confusion, unable to comprehend why I flung you to one side, why I wouldn’t at least do you the decency of explaining. You do not realise that our kind are never beholden to the obligation to explain. We are above that. You however operate by differing standards and regard it as a common courtesy to explain why something has been done and it certainly applies when the situation is one of romantic entanglement. You believed that you are owed an explanation. We operate from the position that we owe you nothing because once upon a time we gave you everything.

I have the new primary source of fuel of course. She was from a shortlist of individuals who were being cultivated as I embarked on my cruel devaluation of you. When I slipped away to my bolthole, when I made repeated excuses to go to the bar when we went away on holiday, when your back was turned I was extending my electronic tendrils as I engaged with these prospects. The fuel flowed from them as they readily connected with someone as charming as I. How could they not? A couple of these prospects have been kept in reserve, contingencies as they became outer circle friends who will wait in the wings, suitable brainwashed and conditioned so that they will jump at the chance of being promoted to the primary source at some future point. I know as well that they will not hesitate to hand me the dagger which I will plunge in that primary source’s back at some future point. There is no sisterhood here in the battle to win my affections and favour. Thus two find themselves admitted to the chain of fuel providing appliances and like two growing plants, I occasionally tend to them, cultivating and maintaining their interest, keeping alive the hope of promotion. It is reassuring to know that if the one who eventually saw off the others on the shortlist has to be discarded then there are ready and waiting appliances who can be plugged in without much more effort. It is not always possible to find those appliances which will wait around but it is far from impossible. You may be surprised at the number which will readily accept a role as an outer or even inner circle friend, possibly an acquaintance too in the right circumstances. Content to have intermittent contact with me in person. Happy to have more frequent contact through electronic medium. These reservists will smile at the primary source, appear to even be friendly but they are only doing it to maintain my favour. If I give the signal they would rip the throat from the primary source in order to replace her. That is what we bring out in people.

Still, those are the reservists but for now an excellent primary source was chosen and thus you were surplus to requirements. You heard no more from me as a wall of silence greeted your attempts to contact me. Your position as primary source came to an end. You were made redundant and you were cast aside. I drew fuel from imagining your distress at this state of affairs and your repeated attempts to contact me provided similar fuel until I decided that I wanted to concentrate on the new primary source and therefore you needed to stay away. Thus, as I mentioned, the teeth were bared, you were warned and for once you listened and backed off.

Life has been sweet with the wonderful, new and shiny primary source who has lived up to expectations in her admiration, adoration and love. All is well and I cannot say that I have really given you any further thought since I made it clear that you were to “stay the hell away from me, understand?” I have been drinking deep from the new, potent fountain and enjoying all of this fresh, succulent fuel. So much so, I soon moved her in and why not? I may as well ensure that such a precious source of fuel is on tap.

Then one day I was moving some things around in the study and I found a book which belonged to you. I picked it up and you flared in my mind. I know that if it was the other way around, you would have been consumed by emotion as you triggered this ever presence. That does not happen with me. There is no charge of emotion but instead there is the spark of opportunity. The appearance of this book has caused you to enter into my sphere of influence. You did nothing did you? No telephone call, no text message, no driving past my house, all of the usual things which victims do in the aftermath and which will invariably result in a hoover. The appearance of this book has thrust you into my mind again. I have plenty of fuel from the wonderful primary source but a dash of hoover fuel would be welcome also. I feel no need to re-engage you as my primary source, your replacement is functioning well, but I am fuelled, powerful and I want to taste your hoover fuel. You have entered the sixth sphere of influence and caused a Hoover Trigger.

Moments such as these are delicious indeed. I have taken a bite of the succulent cherry that is the new primary source but here I am with a delightful opportunity to take a bite of another cherry and apply a hoover to you. What I especially like about it is the fact that because I do not want to or need to rekindle our intimate relationship again, the effort required will be minimal in order to get a taste of your hoover fuel. I pull out my ‘phone and look up your number. I kept it of course. I felt no need to block it. You rang and you rang but I never answered and eventually you gave up. I wonder for a moment whether you have blocked me and feel a twinge of irritation if that proves to be the case. Nevertheless, I have the energy and inclination to want to hoover you,, I perceive that there is a good prospect of gaining fuel from you, I have no reason to think that your fuel will be diminished, I have considered whether there may be obstacles but do not regard there as being any which would mean the attempt is likely to fail and I have not perception that you will reject me and thus criticise me and cause wounding. The Hoover Execution Criteria has been met and I have surpassed the bar, it is thus time to hoover you.

I jab your name and smile as I hear the ringing noise and within just two rings (two rings! Someone remains keen!) you answer. Your voice is tentative.

“Hello? HG?”

“Hi Tabitha, how are you?”

There is a pause. You are trying to work out what is going on but I know you will want to talk to me. You answered didn’t you? You spoke. You want some answers. You need to know. I have seen it so many times before and therefore I know that no matter how much you may think that you need to end the call before it gets going you will not do so. I know that the emotion is surging through you, hope, expectation and no doubt the glowing embers of the love that has not yet been extinguished for me.

“What do you want?” you ask but it is not said in a hostile tone.

“I was just thinking about you and I thought I would give you a call and see how you were doing.”

“I don’t understand. Why call me now when you made it clear you didn’t want anything to do with me?” Ah, a bit of a fightback from logic here. Fair enough.

“I know, I know, that was some time ago, I was in a bad place, a lot going on and something had to give. I know I didn’t handle it well, I am sorry.”

Like hell I am but I know those three words will have a magical effect. I stop speaking. I can picture you trying to hold back the tears, fighting with the competing emotions that are washing over you. I can feel the power rising inside of me at this image as I gather the fuel.

“You hurt me, you really hurt me,” you say voice cracking slightly.

“I know, I know and I am truly sorry, I know you must hate me, listen if it is any consolation to you, I hate myself for what I did to you, you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” That should hit the spot. A bit of self-flagellation always goes down well.

“Well you won’t hate yourself as much as I hate you,” you answer with a little steel in your voice. It’s good. It is all fuel.

“Trust me Tabs,” oh yes the shortened name for added familiarity needs to be used here, “I know just what I did and I am not proud of myself. I just felt it was only right that I call you in order to explain…”

I hit the end call button after saying this.

Five seconds. She will call back in five seconds.

Sure enough her name appears on the ‘phone as she returns the call.

“Hi,” I say enthusiastically.

“You went off.”

“Yes poor signal I guess.”

There is another pause. I say nothing allowing the silence to be used to compel you to speak. I know that you want to talk. It was always likely and your behaviour so far is laden with indicators that you want to continue to talk.

“You said you wanted to explain,” you say and I hear the hope in your voice and the fuel drips from you once again.

I know that I can dangle the prospect of answers in front of you for weeks now. I don’t want you back. I do not need you back but I have tasted your delicious hoover fuel and I like it. I have managed to cause you to speak to me and then call me back after everything that I did to you, including my callous discard. That highlights the power I have and that is why when remembering you through seeing the book it was too good an opportunity to miss and I applied a benign hoover. Not to win you back, but to get you to respond and to provide me with fuel. And it has worked.

I lick my lips before I speak.

This cherry is mighty sweet as is the fuel from this successful follow-up hoover.

64 thoughts on “Will the Narcissist Deploy a Follow-Up Hoover?

  1. BW says:

    HG..after telling the narcissist what he was, in a very demeaning way, and going no contact, his best friend after a month txt me a image, which i ignored, then text me again 4 days later a generic hi how are you, which i ignored, then finally text me 4 days later to say they knew why i was not communicating, after ignoring that one i blocked them. Is this a Hoover from the narcissist as abuse by proxy? It’s been 6 weeks since, ( total 3 months NC) What is the likelyhood that the narcissist will Hoover me directly in the future? I’m sure the wound inflicted was a doozy, what are the chances they will go back under the rock they came from? No disrespect HG, but even narcissists must give up at some point!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello BW,

      1. Yes, this is a hoover by proxy.
      2. The prospect of the narcissist hoovering direct will depend on there being a Hoover Trigger and whether the Hoover Execution Criteria are met – the wound you inflicted will fade in effect and thus its impact on the hoover bar will diminish.
      3. A narcissist may halt hoovering if there is no return, but this is a temporary state of affairs. It is complacent to think we will never hoover or that we will give up and not try again.

      1. bw says:

        I see, so if the friend of the narcissist that inquired about me could have been a “trigger”, causing the hoover?

        I assume that if i responded to this “friend”, it would have been instrumental in validating the narcissist and assisting with a smear campaign? Thus allowing follow-up hoovers. And potentially causing me to be labeled as “crazy”?

        Would you Hoover a source of supply that threatened exposure to your primary source?

        Thank you for your time. . .

        1. HG Tudor says:

          1. If the friend had asked the narcissist about you, that would cause a Hoover Trigger.
          2. Your response would have provided fuel and also encouraged the narcissist to hoover further.
          3. I would – not all narcissists would.

  2. Revenge says:

    Dear HG
    I have been lovebombed and seduced in Golden period over 3 Month by a very near Colleague that I am very dependet on in my work. From one Day to another He just stopped answering my messages and acted coldly. Of course I confronted him and asked and asked. He made sure nothing was different but Was still ignoring me. I was crying, pleading, angry, begging and Then I found Your site. I see him everyday and He avoids to talk to me. Sometimes He does but if I talk to him He turnes away. He talks very angry to me sometimes like i am a child and I have learned that He talks behind my back as Well. It has lasted Two month. Am I devaluated og discarded. I can’t do my job properly without his help. How long Can He keep this going. I want it to stop and then I want revenge. How Can i guarantee He Will hoover me and play Along so I Can Tell him NO!!
    Thank you for opening up to your world and taught me so much.
    Sincerly Revenge

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You cannot guarantee a hoover for two reasons :-

      1. You do not know what else is happening in the narcissist’s fuel matrix and this impacts on the HEC ; and
      2. We have to remain in control, therefore whilst you may bring influence to bear in some situations, you will not ever be able to guarantee an outcome.

  3. Alanis says:

    OMG I got the exact apology… word by word… 🙂 amazing HG 🙂

  4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    Generally speaking I find that when you are in a better place or you have found someone new they like to make an appearance lol – it’s as if they instinctively know.

    I’m watching “original sin” at the moment and it’s creepy how relatable this scene is – it’s like those assholes come back from the dead – “surprise” lol….


    1. Ajo says:

      Dr. Harleen, I am sure you are right! Sniff sniffing out the goods!

      Still pondering this.. I just can’t believe I can be white!! After all I did to sabotage that man! Couldn’t his ignoring me be his own stupid midranger way of saying “f you, I’m going to show up and not even acknowledge you’re alive”. Just like ignoring wounds them, wouldn’t they think the same wounds us? I just can’t imagine that I am not forever damned to black.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I would need to know more about the situation to comment appropriately.

        1. ajo says:

          I absolutely agree that he wants to make his presence known. I just struggle to believe he has painted me white.
          1. I received a similar hoover 5 months ago where he went into a coffee shop he hates (he obviously saw my car) just to walk by me within inches and not acknowledge me. I was very black at this point as he had just found out I had connected with his ex’s and he was in the height of the golden period with the IPPS I tried to warn and whom he cheated on me with.
          2. He is such a victim-type. I honestly think he would wave or smile to see if I’d respond positively. I think ignoring makes him feel like he is in control. Plus, I’d destroy him verbally if he outright malign hoovered. He has never attacked an ex verbally post discard (aside from the ex wife during issues with their kids). He is an absolute coward. I saw how his ex wife affected him and he could barely function when she wounded him and she’s not even super malicious, pretty weak actually.
          This is my theory…and I could be 100% wrong because you’re the expert…. But I think the IPPS is stale and he just wanted to make an appearance, check up on me and make sure I saw him and didn’t “forget him” and to also make it seem as he doesn’t give a sh*t by ignoring.
          That being said, can an ignoring appearance be a weak attempt at a malign hoover?
          Again, I could be wrong here. Analyzing and predicting is like a fun game at this point. The predictability is fascinating!

        2. ajo says:

          And one last question…

          Do you guys ever paint someone black and NEVER paint them white again? Or is the flip inevitable? I would think this would be the case with ex wives who leave and file for divorce…

          1. HG Tudor says:

            It can happen, those are usually scapegoats. An ex wife would not usually remain painted black. They would be painted black when devalued and then disengaged, however when their replacement is painted black the ex may very well be painted white purely because the current IPPS has turned ‘black’.

    2. Diva says:

      Hi Dr HQ……”Generally speaking I find that when you are in a better place or you have found someone new they like to make an appearance lol – it’s as if they instinctively know.”

      I agree…..although I think in some cases it is more due to stalking and monitoring than instinct…..or maybe a bit of both……Diva

  5. ajo says:

    Okay, I think I got my first “intentional” hoover in the last 5 months. Last night he ran down the exact trail he knows I run regularly at the same time each day. I didn’t notice him until he was about to run past me. He kept his gaze straight ahead (I’m sure he could see me for a while, but I didn’t see him until then because I had my eyes on the road).
    I took another route on the run back to avoid going past him. Then he drove past me on that route!
    Is this a malign hoover? Or is he just curious and wanted to check in? I’m 99% sure things aren’t going well with his IPPS.

    Thanks, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, it is a benign hoover as he is making his presence felt without being malicious as a method of ‘testing the water’ to ramp up the nature of the hoover to engage with you. He wanted to avoid the risk of rejection but also be able to pass it off as ‘i just happened to be passing’ as part of our usual plausible deniability.

      1. Ajo says:

        Interesting! I assumed it was malign since he ignored me and didn’t try to engage, wave, smile etc. So you’re saying ramp up, that means the next Hoover will have more engagement since I didn’t do anything wounding towards him?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          A malign hoover is an act of commission in terms of doing some unpleasant. This hoover, whilst he ignored you, was not an act of commission. He wanted to ascertain how you would react to him, but did not want to risk engaging with you. He is likely to try and engage on the next occasion there is a hoover, so you just ignore him, that will wound and thus raise the hoover bar.

          1. ajo says:

            Thank you, HG. I so appreciate your thoughts, predictions and knowledge. He’s quite a cowardly midranger. I’ll be surprised if he tries to engage me, but I believe you over my own thoughts anymore! All your writings have become fulfilled prophesies so far!! I’ll keep my guard up. He won’t engage me while he is with his IPPS because he’ll be afraid I’ll tell her. His engagement will be the tell tale sign they are over!

        2. kimmichaud1 says:

          This is an example of a malign hoover my narc once found out I was dating someone new he wrote Nasty comments on our relationship status on Facebook then he commented on pictures of the new guy to watch out because I’ll eat him alive and then wrote on the status I see u found a new victim then he messaged new guy on Facebook and smeared me to him I don’t know exactly what was said cuz he wouldn’t tell me but he said it was really really degrading that’s a malign hoover if they’re mean a benign hoover is when they’re nice but in reality there’s no malign hoover cut there’s always bad intentions

        3. kimmichaud1 says:

          It’s confusing cuz I had neither a malign or benign hoover where he liked some of my posts on a fake account I have and he liked them using his fake account lol I since deleted my fake account but he probably thinks I blocked him cuz it shows the same way as the person not existing

      2. Tappan Zee says:

        HG– ANY hoover is malign to US. They all feel icky. Are icky. On another note. In general, when people (not you: the uninformed masses) say so and so is a malignant narcissist. isn’t that redundant? aren’t all schoos and cadres malignant by their nature? are there non malignant?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No they are not.

      3. Tappan Zee says:

        *** ‘i just happened to be passing’ as part of our usual plausible deniability. ***

        you guys don’t believe your own bs do you? or do L/MR actually believe this and only G’s (knowing they are what they are) see their lines of behavior as behing complete crap?..

        sorry “you guys” haha. this is all funny/not funny. i mean it’s better than being called an appliance.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          L and MR believe it because it is their truth and that is the way they are configured to be. Greaters know it is a lie but do not care and revel in the game-playing.

          1. Ajo says:

            Are benign hoovers ever performed on someone e who is painted black? Or is it safe to say one is white again in a situation such as mine?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Benign is when you are painted white.

  6. Amanda says:

    HG – can you be a IPSS if you were clearly broken up with? I thought secondary sources aren’t discarded. I was both devalued and discarded.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes a secondary source can be disengaged from.

  7. Diva says:

    Well Mr Tudor…….you were right……(although it’s killing me to state that fact if I am honest)…….I believe my hoover has finally arrived……I really doubted that my mid range would have the balls for it…..but he must have grown a pair since our last chat. Yes it is the usual bland and mediocre Happy Birthday message, that I have read is a common theme……although it’s not actually my birthday…..but at least he remembered the correct month. (this year!!!!)
    “Hope all is good with you????” Yes a question…..that implies a response is required……followed by a couple of xx. It has not gone unnoticed that he used to offer up 3 of these (xxx)……..then it went down to just one,(x), as he started what I now know to be my devaluation……and now after nearly 8 months of a silent treatment (started by him and carried on by me via no contact) I am suddenly worthy of two xx. Here is my very first real life narc test, I have studied diligently for it and I do not plan to fail………Diva

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Of course I am right, but bravo to you for having the honesty to admit it. Keep in mind that my accuracy results in your protection.

      1. Diva says:

        Yes….you are right AGAIN…..he definitely no longer has the same hold over me as was previously the case……..although it may take him a while to come to the same conclusion……

        That’s 2 compliments you have had from me in short order……so I am just doing “The Lambeth Walk” off the naughty step………Diva

    2. Lisa says:

      Good girl Diva!! Put him back in his box. Be sure to seal the lid yeah…. 😉

      1. Diva says:

        Hi Lisa thank you for the moral support……I know if I had not been on this blog for the last few months he would have been back in my life already……knowledge truly is power…..Diva

        1. Lisa says:

          Anytime Diva 🤜⚡️🤛

  8. Marisa says:

    HG what does it mean if the narc is nice when you contact them/they contact you? I thought they are supposed to be mean. My ex discarded me in April and I texted him in May (before I knew better) and he responded like everything was normal and he was his charming old self. Then, he texted me in July saying I hope you’re doing well and I didn’t respond and have been NC since May.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This a benign follow-up hoover Marisa, many FUHs are actually benign in nature. It is done to draw fuel and possibly with a view to resurrecting the Formal Relationship.

  9. abrokenwing says:

    Tabitha… I hope she is smiling again …

  10. Diva says:

    Good article…..but wasted on me…..if the phone rings, I never look at it or answer it at that point in time…..I check it seconds or minutes later…..and only then do I decide to call back whoever it is……providing it is not a narc. There is absolutely nothing that any of mine could say that I want to hear……it’s really that simple and a good place to be…..finally!!!!……Diva

  11. ANK says:


    You’ve probably answered a similar question elsewhere, but will a narc still try to hoover at some stage if he has been wounded/ I have outed him to others/warned his current IPPS. I think he knows I have tried to warn her and am therefore thinking that I will never hear from him again.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Wounding raises the hoover bar. The effluxion of time lessens the effect and thus it lowers again. Other factors may lower it so that the wounding becomes diminished in effect as a consequence.

      1. ANK says:

        Thank you HG.

      2. ANK says:

        Hadn’t seen him for a month and not heard from him for a week. Unfortunately ran into him last Wednesday coming out of the building to meet his new IPPS. He saw me and said hello. I ignored him. Later that evening I got a call. Hoovering with pity play thrown in. 😠😭

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Hello ANK,

          1. Why is he able to call you?
          2. Why did you answer the call?

          1. ANK says:

            Hi HG

            Because I still havent been able to let go or block him totally.
            I answered because I was curious as to what he had to say. I think he called only because I ignored him.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I appreciate your honesty.

          3. ANK says:

            You’re welcome HG.

            I feel like I’m lagging in Narc school, or at least stuck on level whatever I’m at not being able to let go. 🤔 But of course you know why, You know very well the emotional turmoil within me which ebbs and flows and sometimes turns into a huge wave that comes crashing down.

          4. Diva says:

            Hey Ank……I am currently in the same type of boat as you…….I did not block my narcs phone number either, so he can still text and ring (although there is no facebook access.) I am getting far more satisfaction knowing he is texting and ignoring him, than I would have had just blocking him. In any case, I have never blocked anyone ever……if I did……I would almost feel that they would know that they had got to me……and I would not want to give them that satisfaction…….but unlike you……I will not respond. However if I ever get to a stage whereby my resolve weakens then I would resort to blocking……Diva

          5. ANK says:

            Hi Diva,

            Guess I would feel bad not answering the call. He only called because he saw me. Otherwise I don’t think I would have heard from him at all.

            I haven’t heard from him since.

            I was feeling like I was making headway until I saw them both. I felt jealous can you believe it. But I know that is because I was thinking about the golden period which is now being bestowed upon her.

          6. Diva says:

            Hi Ank…..I am making great headway but I cannot really imagine what it would be like if I saw him at this stage, especially if he was with someone else. My mind cannot go there……as I have erased him from it in many ways……however if I see him then my mind can not ignore the reality???? I can’t answer until it happens to me and I hope that it does not but there is a high risk due to my own personal circumstances……what does HG suggest that you do if you meet them in the street? Ignore them completely or be civil???? I don’t think I have read an article covering that topic…….Diva

          7. HG Tudor says:


          8. Diva says:

            Thank you for the answer to that question, as it’s best to have the knowledge before the situation happens……I am guessing that ignoring someone via text or phone calls is easier to implement than just walking past someone and ignoring them on the street, but if that’s the advice then I am prepared to do it. Would this not make them very angry though, especially if they attempt to speak and you just carry on walking? I would like to avoid getting a smack on the head with a brick if it can be avoided……..Diva

          9. HG Tudor says:

            If you are civil, you generate two problems

            a. You are likely to provide fuel;
            b. You lower the hoover bar and increase the risk of a future hoover

            If you ignore, you wound. You will ignite the fury but if you walk away then the fury cannot be directed at you in that moment.

          10. Diva says:

            Ok I understand…..you are the expert and I will proceed as such…..thank you Diva

          11. Lisa says:

            To ignore was so….shall we say, anxiety ridden. It took sheer determination and focus on quite a few occasions. Worth it though. The fire (fury) works were worth it.
            Eh…..call me a bitch!

      3. Mila says:

        HG, why isn’t the “grey rock” method better way of handling meeting the ex narc on the street? I have a feeling that if I’d ignore him, he would feel satisfaction, as I am still unable to face him – meaning I’d provide fuel again…

        1. HG Tudor says:

          If you engage you will provide fuel. If you ignore, you are exerting control and wounding, this also raises the hoover bar.

          1. Mila says:

            Ok, thank you. I will have to mentally practice this, to avoid looking like I’m running away (in case it ever happens, and hopefully it will not).

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome.

  12. Terrie dimig says:

    Excellent. Thank you.

  13. Lisa says:

    Its that easy. No wonder we fall for it. Thanks HG.

  14. kimmichaud1 says:

    Tabitha should have said you have reach an appliance that is no longer in service please don’t try your call again at a later date. No further information is available.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Maybe but she had no idea had she?

  15. kimmichaud1 says:


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