Surely, That’s The End, Yes?


“I have not heard from him in a month, he has moved on hasn’t he?”

“I exposed what she is like to all of her family, she won’t be contacting me again that’s for sure.”

“I told him I know what he is and he disappeared so I doubt I will hear from him again.”

“He is with somebody else already so I guess he won’t want me again will he?”

“I told him what I thought of him and he just backed off. He won’t hoover me will he?”

“He came crying back to me and I gave him short shrift. I doubt he will bother again.”


There are many different scenarios and outcomes involving our kind where the victim considers that our kind will not bother with them again post discard or post escape. The victim thinks that a period of total silence, the involvement of the narcissist with a new victim, the manner in which the relationship ended will all mean that the narcissist will not come sniffing around the victim ever again.

We will.

Why is this the case?

Firstly, you must understand our perspective. You belong to us. You are our appliance. You are our property. The Formal Relationship between us may have ended but the Narcissistic Relationship is forever. It only ends when either you or I cease to draw breath. It does not matter that we enter into a new Formal Relationship with somebody else. It does not matter if you do. It does not matter that world war three erupted when we parted company. It does not matter if there has been complete silence for two years. None of these factors alter the fact that in our minds the connection between you and I because of the Narcissistic Relationship lasts until one of us dies.

Secondly, the attraction of gathering fuel from you is substantial and this is the prime driver for never letting go. Fuel is so important to us that it drives everything about behaviour and the link between you and I is no exception to the all-pervasive power of fuel.

Thirdly, factors such as new partners, the effluxion of time and the manner in which the Formal Relationship has ended are immaterial.

I am repeatedly asked by people whether a hoover will happen. I always answer the same; the risk always remains, but you can manage that risk. People set out the circumstances of the end of the Formal Relationship to me and what has happened since (if anything) and ask whether a hoover will happen, or express their view that they do not think it will happen because of a, b or c. My answer again is the same; the risk of us returning always remains, but you can manage that risk.

It is never the end. There is always a risk, a chance, a probability (or a possibility) that we will return to you and apply a hoover. You cannot assume that it is over. No matter how much it may seem that it is over, no matter how much it may appear to you that we will not come back, that we apparently have no reason to do so, such assumptions are dangerous. There are only two factors which are material to the issue of whether you will be hoovered again.

The first factor is the Hoover Trigger. For a hoover to happen potentially, it must first be triggered. This means that you must come into our sights, that we sniff the prospective fuel that leaks from you, that something happens to cause you to come up on our radar. Whether this happens depends on whether you enter one of the six spheres of influence. I have written separately about them in The Spheres of Influence (And What You Can Do About Them) in another article. I will not repeat its content other than to state that

  1. You have control over whether you enter any of the first five spheres of influence; and
  2. You have no control over whether you enter the sixth sphere of influence.

By staying away from us through no contact you will not enter the first five spheres. The sixth sphere is when we happen to think of you. Thus, if you have successfully implemented no contact the only risk of a trigger being activated is if we happen to think of you. You cannot influence that. Our preoccupation with your replacement means we are far less likely to think of you and hoovers are triggered by you doing something to enter the first five spheres, such as messaging us or passing where we live.

If you maintain no contact the first five spheres will not be entered. It then just depends on whether we happen to think of you. This may not happen for weeks or months. You can therefore see that by staying out of the first five spheres you will vastly reduce the risk of a Hoover Trigger being activated but you cannot state that it will never happen as it is reliant on if we happen to think of you. That may just be a random occurrence or it might be because we see something that reminds us of you.

The second factor is only applicable if the Hoover Trigger has been activated. The second factor is concerns the Hoover Criteria. These criteria include such matters as: –

–         Whether you are a potent source of fuel;

–         Whether you can easily be located;

–         Whether you can easily be contacted;

–         Whether you have your defences maintained concerning us;

–         Whether you remain mired in the emotional sea;

–         What support networks you have in place;

–         How well fuelled we are;

–         The nature of the narcissist who you entangled with (Lesser, Mid-Range or Greater); and

–         Potential obstacles

All of these matters combine to determine whether it is worthwhile us expending our energy to act on the Hoover Trigger. If we are presented with a sitting target, flowing with fuel, caught in the emotional sea, isolated and exposed then the criteria point heavily to the fact that a hoover will now take place. If on the other hand it is very hard to contact you, we know you have stopped flowing with fuel when dealing with us, you have people who will stop us trying to reach you and so forth, you become a Flawed Reason to Extract Emotion (F.R.E.E.).

For a worked example of how this can happen if someone enters the first sphere of influence I recommend that you read the article Hoover Time! Sphere One.

Accordingly, if you can do everything possible to become a F.R.E.E. then even if Hoover Trigger is activated then the chances of us executing that hoover will be considerably reduced. By contrast, if you fail to attain becoming a F.R.E.E. then you run the risk of a hoover being executed.

You will note that in the hoover criteria above there is no mention of the gap between when we last contacted you and the current time. There is no mention of the circumstances in which we parted company as the Formal Relationship. There is no mention of you knowing what we are, whether you told us, whether you exposed our abuses to others. Those are not factors which concern us. The existence of a new partner is not relevant either in isolation, but is only a partial consideration in terms of whether that person might stop us. Of course even if they might do so and all the other factors point to the execution of a hoover, this one criterion has diminished relevance.

Accordingly, when you are asking yourself whether a hoover may happen. Remember this.

  1. You can never say never.
  2. There needs to be a Hoover Trigger. You can significantly influence whether there is one and reduce the risk but you cannot remove it.
  3. The Hoover Criteria need to be met. Again, you can significantly influence whether the criteria are met by becoming a F.R.E.E. and reduce the risk, but you cannot remove it.

The issue of whether you will experience a hoover is not completely in your hands, but is far more within your control than you might at first have thought.

It is never the end but you are not helpless.

34 thoughts on “Surely, That’s The End, Yes?

  1. K says:

    It could be either sphere, but it is most likely the 6th sphere and your birthday is the perfect hoover trigger.

    Now let’s focus on Hoover Criteria:

    1. You seem like you are doing well, so I think you may be a good source of fuel. (potent source of fuel)
    2. He knows exactly where you are and he works within a mile of your home. (easy to locate)
    3. He texted you. (easy to contact) Not your fault. My ex contacts me too. We have 7-year old daughter.
    4. You ignored him. (so your defenses are good)
    5. You seem like you are doing a good job navigating the emotional sea.
    6. You have us and HG, so that is very good. (support)

    If I were a narc I would try to hit you up for fuel. Thanks for letting me practice my lessons with you, Diva. K

    P.S. I read your comment to TZ; thank God you are finally catching onto blame shifting.

    1. Diva says:

      Hi K…..I liked reading your assessment of my situation……I feel a tad guilty that I said I had no support, when currently I probably have more than I have ever had in my whole life!!!……but to be fair, in his eyes, he is not aware of the support I get from this blog, so as much as it is true, it would not deter him from a hoover…….Diva

      1. Tappan Zee says:

        Diva. shit can guilt. word.

      2. K says:

        My pleasure, Diva
        Practicing Narc lessons with you is very helpful for both of us, I think. Do NOT feel guilty for anything. Now that you are using blame shifting, we can work on guilt next. After being here for quite a while, I have come to realize that this is the only place where I can find people who know exactly what I have been through, and that includes HG. Like I wrote, if I were a narc, I would hit you up for fuel. Remember they are addicts.

  2. K says:

    My MMRN hoovered again on 10/10. Fifth sphere: text. He texted 7x regarding a dentist appointment for our 7-year old.

    1. Diva says:

      My hoover arrived on Friday the 13th (October)……..I should have seen that one coming…….Jinxy!!!!

      1. As in Happy Unbirthday to you! Hope you are dealing well with it. If you use one or more of your “grenades” hope you will let us know how that went. Or were you able to ignore?

      2. K says:

        It was your day “Friday the 13th” awesome! And you got a hoover, no less, and on your special day. Welcome to Hooverville, Diva. We have all been there/or will be. Which sphere were you hoovered in?

        1. Diva says:

          Hey K…..he was wishing me a Happy Birthday (right month…..wrong date!!!) …….so 6th sphere…..but then I got another text later stating that he had seen me the week before in my car and had waved to me and he wondered if I had ignored him or not seen him? I hadn’t seen him as it happened….I was probably too busy singing to Bruno Mars Versace On The Floor……Diva

          1. K says:

            Right month; wrong date. What an ass, but he was clever enough to use it to hoover you.
            Ok, now you got me thinking. If your ex drove by you and waved that is the 2nd sphere: Eye Line. Where you see each other and he waves and text is the fifth sphere.

            If my MMRN hoovers me by text would that be the 6th sphere, instead of the fifth? Since he initiated it?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            The method of hoovering by text does not mean the Hoover trigger will always have been the sixth sphere

          3. K says:

            Ok, HG. Thanks. I am practicing my spheres of influence and I want to make sure I get them right.

          4. Diva says:

            Hi K……Yes maybe you are correct although I do not know if he came looking for me or simply saw me passing by pure chance. He works within a mile of me and would have to pass my home and drive along the same stretch of road at least once a week. I just don’t know where he saw me either as it was a text and I didn’t respond to it…..and of course he could even be lying…..I guess I always think I am in the 6th sphere because I do not see him, speak to him, text him, look for him…….to me it is as if he does not exist and I believed I just came into his head (6th sphere) because it was my birthday…..but maybe there is more to it…..hard to know for sure without questioning him. Due to the relatively close proximity there is always a risk of him seeing me as this is a one horse town. However I have managed it for 8 months so far with just one chance meet (so I thought)……..and he was still fuming at that stage…..he seems more composed, collected and charming now…..I hope it’s not the calm before the storm. (that’s apt as we are getting the remnants of Storm Ophelia today and all the schools are closed!)……I had better read that Spheres article again!!!!….Diva

  3. Jude the Obscure says:

    Another great post, HG. Thank you.

    I’m curious, though, what is it like for a narcissist if we enter the sixth sphere of influence and the hoover bar is very high, i.e. contacting us, if even possible, would require a great expenditure of energy and most likely result in fuel-free criticism? Do you immediately stop thinking about us? Does it ignite your fury? Is it different for each school of narcissism? I imagine a Greater, with their extensive fuel matrix and charm might rise to the challenge, but not so much the Lesser and Midrange.

    I read your book “Black Hole” (twice, actually) but I don’t remember this being mentioned.

    Thank you again.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are correct Jude, the Greater is likely to apply some effort to be able to execute the hoover sensing the reward that awaits. If the victim enters the sixth sphere of the Lesser or Mid Ranger but the hoover bar is too high, there is likely to be a frustrated reaction on their part which will cause them to seek fuel from elsewhere and thus jettison the thought about the particular victim and they leave the sixth sphere.

  4. I’m going through this at the moment, it’s as though hes right back at the beginning of love bombing. Constant text messages, ranging from hows he made a mistake to asking me to marry him. The love bombing is more intense though than when I originally met him. I’ve had to delete all his messages again so I can try n not get caught up in his words. I’ve made the decision to go n see him next weekend, I think my feelings have changed finally and I can see him for who is…the ageing narcissist. I keep reminding myself all the nasty things he said and the hurt he caused hoping this will help me. I think he’s in his final stages of the narcissistic role and I can see parts of the decompensated narc in him now

    1. He will/can not change. No Contact.No Contact No Contact. I knew what mine was. I actually disappeared, but once found was hoovered back in for another 5 years in hell. No Contact No Contact No Contact. Good Luck to you.

  5. Melissa says:

    Thanks for breaking it down soo well! Fantastic article*

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  6. kimmichaud1 says:

    When you say someone is flowing with fuel do u mean flowing with emotion? And if there has been no communication for several months how would narcknow if your flowing with emotion or not ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No. They are flowing with fuel, which is an emotional response directed towards us or caused by us. As to your second question, that is a combination of Thought Fuel and recalling how you would ordinarily respond to our actions.

  7. Diva says:

    Thank you for this article…….I did need a reminder, as in the past when I read some of them, I never thought they would apply to me…..but they sure do now. Although I do everything I can to keep out of the first 5 spheres, due to the fact that he passes my house at least once a week to get to work, I guess I could enter into his 6th sphere fairly often. He would not be the most confident of people and I know I wounded him when I escaped, so contacting me about my birthday is just an easy way for him to finally have an excuse to make contact with me, without losing face.
    When he is only a mile away at any given time, I guess that means I can be easily located and I have no doubt he will be keeping a beady eye on any cars or visitors at my home and monitoring if I am home or not. This is a small town, he will have no problem in sussing out if there are any new additions in my life, or not as the case may be. Although I have never made any such enquiries about him.
    So the synopsis is ……..I am an easily located sitting target, that can be easily contacted and who has flowed fuel in the past. While my no contact defences cannot be argued with and I am not mired in the emotional sea, I don’t have any support networks in place. I am very much a lone wolf and he knows it. How well fuelled he is? I have absolutely no idea but I am guessing he is currently low.
    When I read my own post NOW, I can’t help wondering why my hoover took so long……..just when I thought I was safe and getting complacent……then it happens…….Diva

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome, Diva.

      1. Diva says:

        Hey stop mirroring and putting my name at the end of a post!…….Diva

    2. Tappan Zee says:

      Diva—i hope you took the opportunity to tell him you didn’t see him. telling him you ignored would acknowledge his presence.

      i am up with insomnia reading so much funny shit on here. “funny” not funny. but it’s not me and i am laughing at really odd juvenile behavior that were i the actor in it i would not see as such. i would be in the wtf tailspin.

      long winded thankyou to all empaths. who share here. live “out there” and i suppose to the random narcs as involuntary contributors. AND HG.

      1. Diva says:

        Hey Tappan Zee….no I did not tell him anything……just for once in my life I am going to do exactly as I am told (ignore and no contact) and then if it all goes pear shaped I can blame HG. I really like this blame shifting idea…’s a pity it’s taken me so long to understand how it works……..but I am on it like a rash now!!!!………Diva

      2. K says:

        You are welcome TZ!

  8. Jessica says:

    Does it matter if the narcissist is my unethical ex-therapist and I file a report against him with the state board? Will that be the end?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, but that will be a wounding act which will raise the hoover bar. Unless there are many other factors which lower the hoover bar, reporting him may well result in the Hoover Execution Criteria not being met for some time and thus there will be no hoover. However, over time the effect of the wounding diminishes, thus the hoover bar lowers AND other factors may well outweigh the wounding. Conversely, other factors may also raise the hoover bar even higher resulting in the risk of a hoover being very low indeed.

  9. J says:

    I actually very much appreciate that you keep driving this point home, in posts and comments, HG. I can really understand how hard it is to wrap one’s head around, but it is SO vital to get and be reminded of. I sometimes think it is a helpful construct to view Ns as the real walking dead. If one were always just walking the Earth, time would cease to have all meaning. The hunt for “fuel” (“Brains!”) is all-consuming and the source is immaterial. And, as you so wisely explain, HG, you have to merely cross a zombie’s path to become a potential source… again.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Absolutely, J.

    2. Love this analogy

  10. Kim Winters says:

    Yes, I know it will never end.
    As I read each post that you have written, my relationship with (?) may as well be the topic of your discussion.
    The insights that you are providing me with are filling in the holes where I could not deduce what in the heck was happening.
    You are illuminating and bringing to mind many scenarios that have played out over the years, and although I knew there was certainly something odd, I did not connect the dots.
    As I read certain passages that you have written, light bulbs are going off over my head ….
    Thank you for reinforcing what I knew to be true… THE PROBLEM ISNT ME.

  11. Suzie says:

    Well that last posts explains alot. I could never understand why an ex boyfriend of 20 years ago that had long since been remarried was hitting on me at a Wedding with his wife around the corner. It was ridiculous! I just looked him in the eye and said” your married, get over it!” Right about then his wife walked around the corner and I walked away. It also explains why a couple of ex’s never stopped talking about their previous ex. Also, why a recent ex boyfriend was still acting tied to his ex wife of 35 years ago because they have a child together. He kept saying that I looked like her, acted like her. Boy, he had that right I will never speak to him again just like she hadn’t!

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

The Married Target

Next article

Let’s Talk About Ex, Baby