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.

38 thoughts on “Surely That’s The End Yes?

  1. Caroline, SC, and Just Me,
    That last post was for you.


    1. Caroline says:

      That’s hysterical, Perse!! I love it! And it’s so easy to remember, lol. This may actually be the ticket for me. I’m pretty “all or nothing,” and I like to keep it simple. Just like with NC, once I decide something, I just do it. My strong will (let’s not call it stubbornness) kicks in.

      STOP IT.

      Well, ok then!

      1. Caroline says:

      2. Caroline,
        “Two Words”
        Easy to remember.
        Makes me laugh.
        If not, “Ten Words” should do it!


  2. Find something to distract yourself when you start to apologize.
    My son wanted me to stop apologizing, so he’d ask what did I personally do that i need to apologize for. It didn’t stop the problem though, so we tried humor.
    A little clip of Bob Newhart doing a skit called 5 minute 5 dollar therapy. (It has nothing to do with apologizing and the humor is slightly cruel.) If I apologize or say I’m sorry out of habit, He will say “2 words” or “10 words”.
    Now I just hear it in my head automatically and I laugh instead of autopilot apology.

  3. SC says:

    Caroline and Just Me – Me too. I apologized reflexively most of my life. It took a lot of work and a long time to stop.

    1. Sarabella says:

      The worst is when women whisper their apologies. I noticed this in myself. Not only always apologizing, but doing it in a weak and barely audible voice. I learned to stop apologizin to strangers but I still struggle with how this also makes me feel inconsiderate and insensitive. All related to guilt, shame, all which the narc exploits.

      1. Caroline says:

        Thanks for all the closet apologizers sharing on this thread… knowing I’m not the only one makes me feel a little less silly about it. 🙂

        That man in the grocery store had an impact on me. I want to change this over-apologizing thing. I consider myself reasonably confident, and despite the narcissist, I feel like I’ve maintained a pretty healthy level of self esteem… but I absolutely have a guilt problem, and I don’t know why I do. It’s not a religious sort of guilt problem – I don’t feel like I’m “not doing good enough,” and I also don’t feel that my worth is tied up in some impossible standard. So I’m trying to figure out where the guilt is coming from…I do know it’s wrapped up in feelings — as in, being overly worried about slighting people/hurting their feelings. I’m still thinking on this. I also have this hyper antennae about being concerned if people are feeling “shamed” or “judged” by other people. It’s almost like I’m running around apologizing, *just in case* someone feels neglected/bad about being put down in some way — by someone else.

        I know, it’s really weird! And despite how serious I can be, I’m also a pretty big goofball, so I do see how funny my Apology Tour is.

        Well, while I ponder this about myself, if anyone on the blog wants to argue with me for practice, I promise not to apologize for anything! (JK…I really don’t want to “practice argue”… it’s the holidays, and I don’t need the aggravation).;-)

  4. Just Me says:

    I get it. I apologize to the furniture if I bump into it. Wish I were kidding.

  5. Conby says:

    Hi HG, can be considered a hoover also a contact (by letting you know that someone is checking up on your accounts) made on social media by different fake accounts, suspected to be related to the Narc, by their particular names which suggest something to the victim? Or a hoover happens only when there’s certainty about the identity of the Narc?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No a hoover can happen even if you are not totally sure it is the narcissist (because there is doubt about identity), even though it is more likely than not going to be the narcissist.

      1. Conby says:

        well, I’m a bit scared now… I have an unknown stalker then…

  6. RJ says:

    !00 percent agree. Had it happen at different times over the past 20 years. Getting wiser now to the triggers. There are no boundaries with this individual, especially when there should be. I truly suspected some mild mental disability. Perhaps its just the character of a lesser coming through. I know its going to happen at some time. I now have armour though. Ready to deflect the next one. Stoism awaits.

  7. Sarabella says:

    In some ways, now that I know what I know, I wish you were right, that he would hoover me. If I had known the reality, i ight have played so many things better and left without this still lingering weight. He never will. He never, ever will and I know that for a fact. He blew through all his lies, so he has no tools with which to hoover me. Everything he used to lure me in (all the lies), he backtracked on or took back and said were never true, so he has nothing left to reach into my life with.

  8. Shannon Lee says:

    What if he dates woman and none of them are working out?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Finds a new one or returns to hoover an existing appliance, if feasible.

  9. Ugotit says:

    He broke his previous record of three and a half months after four months and a day he started hoovering he’s messaged three days straight now but unlike last time I have not responded very proud of myself it was so.out of the blue because the day before he started hoovering I said I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him again lol I feel really guilty reading the messages and not responding but I’m determined not to respond

    1. Caroline says:

      Nicely done, Ugotit! You *should* be proud. Guilt is an issue with me too… nobody even has to try to guilt me – I often do it myself. I’m trying to think more logically.

      1. Caroline says:

        Oh, just as a little funny to tack on…I picked up bananas at the grocery store today, and this cute elderly man was just leaving the produce section — I wasn’t even really in his way, but I still said, “I’m sorry – excuse me.” He looked me dead in the eyes and said: “You didn’t do anything wrong, darling.”

        YES, EXACTLY. Why am I always apologizing for no good reason? Some random sweet old man even sees this over-the-top ridiculousness in me. Good gawd. I shall dig deeper…

  10. Kara Harris says:

    Any articles on relationships where children were created?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      In what sense Kara?

      1. Kara Harris says:

        Any of your thoughts add tremendous value but specifically how grey rock responses feel to the narcissist as well as thoughts on how I can cope with the waiting game in between contacts regarding the children. I don’t want a formal arrangement in place unless I have to but wondering when he will text kills me.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          If you fail to respond to us with fuel, it wounds us.

          With regard to your other question I would need to know more about your personal situation, the type of narcissist you are dealing with etc and therefore that is best addressed through a consultation.

  11. SC says:

    My father is a very intelligent, covert, revengeful narcissist. He tried to hoover my mother 50 (FIFTY) years after their divorce. We had to call the police TWICE to get him to stop. He had apparently quietly stalked her all those years and when he could not get to me he tried to through her. And he has been remarried 40 plus years but that did not factor into any of it.

    Currently I am hiding from him – it is sad – he is in his eighties and will not live a whole lot longer. But I grew up watching him and the things he did to people. When no one else was left his focus went to me. I have always defied him and have been a great source of negative fuel. I get that now, I did not before. He absolutely wants to ruin my life before he goes. So I am gone like the wind.

    Unfortunately he knows the name of my business and tries to contact me that way sometimes. I just ignore it. The lies he leave on voicemail are very unbelievable. I have an internet based business and he just can’t find me any other way.

    I don’t think anyone is safe from a high functioning narcissist.

    My father and oldest daughter are both narcissist so I think there must be a genetic component.

    HG I would love to see more writing on your other relationships.

    Thanks for the stuff you write. You scare the crap out of me but you keep my head screwed on right. I feel bad cutting people out, but……I have no choice and I know it.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello SC, the brutal truth is what will set you free. If you read my books there is a lot more about my relationships (romantic, social and familial ) in those.

      1. SC says:

        I am currently flying through them all. I gather much information from them. I keeps me focused on what is real and not what should be. Thanks

  12. BurntKrispyKeen says:

    This is very useful information for me.
    Thank you.
    (I like the use of the acronym F.R.E.E… one step closer to freedom sounds so inviting.)

  13. Caroline says:

    After 63 days, my NC was breached. Via an old email address. Subject header message only.

    It said: “Enjoying yourself?”

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I take it you did not reply?

      1. Caroline says:

        Of course not, HG. Have I learned nothing from you? I wasn’t even tempted to reply. But now I’m back to looking over my shoulder.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Well done. Nothing wrong with vigilance.

          1. Caroline says:

            Thanks, HG. “Vigilance” currently feels like I’m in a made-for-TV stalker movie, but I’ll find the balance.:-)

    2. sarabella says:

      HG, Question…. I was poking around on Instagram and I landed on some new page. You know how you go from one to another on the great IG surf. So there was a photo of someone who used to be friends with the Narc. It was taken on the 17th, but it looks like he commented on it just a day ago. It was in another language, so I didn’t fully get the reference as it had some cultural conotations. Anyway, they are no longer IG friends or real friends anymore, butnthey kept up as friends on FB. Which is wierd, why one and yet they severed ties on another?

      So he makes a comment, which looks like a joke, but to me, was a devalue disguised as a joke and she replied: LOL.

      I thought about it last night, and interpreted this as he was fishing and because she replied, its just like what Caroline wrote.

      I ask because I saw something similar he did a year ago. He had someone who was “active in his life” a few years ago, and is no longer. They both also severed their FB and IG friendships. But I saw one time she posted something in a group conversations and he liked it.

      All of those, are bread crumbs he is laying out and bait, correct? I felt a twinge of jealousy or something reading his comment a day ago to her, but then I said, wait a minute, that is a hoover for her. Then I sort of felt sorry for her. Me too, for seeing it, but I sort of liked watching these lessons and now maybe being able to identify what is really going on.

      Were they both hoovers for those girls?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        They are hoovers.

        1. Sarabella says:


          He and I hadn’t spoken for 6 months a year and a half ago. In one of our fights he had blocked me all places but I knew a way to reach him. My brother died unexpectedly and in my grief, I asked to talk to him via one page that was open. Instead of continuing the conversation there in that FB account, he said he would unblock me in Whatsapp and we continued there. Was that also a sort of hoover, even though I reached out to him? A way for him to unblock me from Whatsapp without it being obvious on his part?

          Needless to say, another fight took place within a month and I was blocked again. But I wonder if in your world, was that a hoover too? Not a typical one, but by opening means of communication, he was opening threads of energy to me?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Possibly or it may just have been that he preferred to chat in WhatsApp. You approached him so there was no hoover, not even reserve and all he was doing was opening up an appropriate forum for further discussion. I can understand how you could see it as him taking this as a useful opportunity to unblock without it looking like he was doing so for some other reason, so there may be something in your suspicion.

      2. sarabella says:


        He replied so quickly, it felt like I had barely texted him to ask to speak with him and he was already replying. There wasn’t a single hesitation. A single pause in his response. Bam, he was replying. Even though his text tone conveyed a whole lot towards me that I had betrayed him, not the other way around. And without even finding out why I wanted to talk, he directed me to Whatsapp and then I was unblocked. By morning, i was also unblocked on FB. A friend of mine told me it is “because he is human” and knew I was hurting with the loss of my brother. I doubted that as he never reached out afterwards.

        I don’t know why this is coming up again. It’s been 9 months since he opened communication, we fought again, he blocked me again in a few places though he knows I can communicate with him still. I haven’t and won’t.

        I wonder what it is about the 9 month stage. I have been killing all of my feelings for him and the situation when he finally made it clear he had made it all up and that there was in fact, nothing between us. Of course, completely opposite to the golden period.

        I miss him. Though there was nothing to miss afterall. But I do.

        I know you know patterns in people who try to leave from your orbit. Have you noticed the patterns down to actual days/weeks/months? Am I at a typical point (9 months) where if I didn’t keep reminding myself he didn’t ever care, that I might cave and reach out to him?

        Do you ever get to a place with people when they seem to be escaping at last and you find yourself amazed or shocked and inadvertenly wounded that they really are getting away? Do you only notice them gone if you have no other fuel lined up? Or are you always aware of where all of your victims are in the cycle? Would someone like me who did reach out at about this point, illicit in you a smug, “I knew it… I knew she wouldn’t not come back” type of response?

        My goal it to make it to March. Then I will have 12 months under my belt. Then I hope these mini cycles might be gone for good.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I do not know where all victims are but I operate on the basis that if I choose to hoover them, the hoover will be effective.
          These matters ‘come up again’ in accordance with the Hoover Trigger being activated and also the Hoover Execution Criteria being met. It is not linked to a particular time period as in after 6 months this will happen, because they are numerous variable factors at play.

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