The hoover. An instrument of cleaning and the instrument by which we endeavour to suck you back into our false reality so we can exert our hold over you once again. Hoovers come at various stages of your dance with us and also come in a variety of forms and guises so that you may not even realise that a hoover is taking place. Hoovers come in two categories which are linked to when they take place and the method adopted to hoover. Some methods can apply to different times in the interaction with our kind, others apply to just one time, often post discard or post escape. There are scores of different methods used in hoovers but here are six which may or may not be familiar to you along with how you can endeavour to pull the plug on them and avoid being sucked in. It is worth pointing out of course that if your narcissist cannot find you and contact you, the hoover can never get started, but that state of affairs is not always possible.
The Proxy Hoover
This does not come from the narcissist but from one of his supporters in his coterie or his Lieutenants. It usually comes from a Lieutenant who can be relied on to execute the hoover in precisely the way that we have directed. The Proxy Hoover will often include a different type of hoover e.g. The Medical Emergency Hoover where the narcissist will use a genuine or more likely feign a medical emergency to force interaction between you and the narcissist and engender sympathy. With the proxy, the call alerting you to the emergency concerning the narcissist will come from the Lieutenant. Like any proxy hoover, there are several reasons for adopting this approach: –
You may not realise the person is a lieutenant and therefore you are more likely to respond to what they say than if it came from our kind, especially if you have instigated no contact;
The conflict between you and us is ameliorated as a consequence of the involvement of this third party, meaning you are more likely to believe what you are being told;
The proxy may stand more chance of persuading you to act;
You may regard what we say and do with suspicion but not this third party
You may not want to look bad in the eyes of the third party by failing to respond.
The key to dealing with this hoover is actually recognise what it is. It is not a third party asking for your help, it is a third party coercing you into contact with us again. You should be especially aware of any of your friends or family asking you to see us or do something for us, or if they comment about how good you and I were together, that we really do miss you and so on. We will infiltrate your supporters to gain added credibility and slip under your radar in this manner. Be aware that any third party who asks you to engage with us is a proxy who is executing the hoover on our behalf. No matter how purportedly significant the event is, the emotional pull involved or the persuasion applied reject it and do so in a firm and business-like manner. Do not show indecision, do not appear upset or concerned or even annoyed or irritated by the approach – even if you do not engage this reaction will be reported to us and will achieve two things for us. One, fuel. Secondly, we know we still have an effect on you and we will keep hoovering. If you are concerned the nature of the proxy hoover may be genuine suggest the Lieutenant finds someone else to help.
The Reverse Hoover
This is quite a cunning method of hoovering. We let it be known through various channels that we do not want anything to do with you, that you should never darken our doorstep again and that we are through with you. This message will be broadcast over all channels – through friends, family, social media and so on. It is not said by us directly to you, that would defeat the purpose. We ensure this message reaches you and the aim is to have you disbelieve that we would say such a thing about you and to appeal to your desire to prove us wrong. Just in the way that a parent causes problems by denying a teenager any opportunity to hang out after 9pm, so they go and do it anyway, by telling you there is something that you cannot do, you then want to do it. Of course we have to gauge the right recipient of this hoover as some people will be content to hear us say those words. It is usually done with those we have discarded without telling that person they have been discarded and they cannot quite believe that it is at an end. This proclamation will cause them concern but they are still not ready to accept that it is the case that the relationship has ended (and they are right because it never ends) and therefore they come looking for an explanation and confirmation that what they have heard is not true. By not telling you direct we can tell you that the rumours you have heard are false and welcome you back with open arms as you are successfully hoovered. Again, recognise this for what it is and avoid acting on what you have been told. It is a ruse to play on your trait of needing to know. If you hear such things being said tell yourself that the comments are true, it is over and we do not want anything to do with you and stay away.
The Letterbox Hoover

This hoover utilises the strong link we know that exists for some time post discard or post escape between seeing a trigger and the golden memories (and/or dark memories) that flow from the trigger. For example, we always slow danced to a particular piece of music with you which made you feel loved and wonderful. If you hear that piece of music the memory is awakened and we flood your memory and your senses. This is ever presence. To avoid this happening you need to take all steps not to play this piece of music again, indulge yourself with new pieces of music and if you hear it inadvertently to switch it off or move away from its source. With this hoover we want to scale your defences and use ever presence to get back in to your head, cause you to think of us and react (and although we do not see it we will get fuel because we know how you will respond) and make you vulnerable to wanting to contact us or a further hoover approach from us. One method of doing this is to send you a birthday or Christmas card with a beautiful, thoughtful handwritten message, often alluding to what we did together on a wonderful birthday or Christmas together during our golden period. This arrives with other cards and therefore is less noticeable. We will most likely print the address or have someone else write it for us so our handwriting does not alert you on the envelope. Once you open it, you read the message and see it is from us and bam! We are in your head and heart once again. It is a pleasant gesture, no malice and you will remember all the good things, think about us, want to contact us and thank us and wonder if this represents a fresh beginning of good relations or the chance to get back together and do things right this time. It is a hoover pure and simple.
To tackle this covert hoovering method, have someone vet all cards and parcels which are sent to you around Christmas, birthday and other appropriate festivals and events. Once checked this person can weed out anything from us and then reseal the envelopes for you so you still have the pleasant act of opening the envelopes and cards for yourself, that have been sent from anybody but us.
The Psychic Connection
This is effective if we know that you are a spiritual person who believes in psychic events, astrology, ghosts, telepathy and the emotional connections between people that are stronger than normal. These beliefs and similar are often applicable to empathic people who of course form our victims of choice. We will use a supposed psychic connection or event to appeal to this nature of yours in order to signify that something special has happened which means we need to be together. We have to have the means of contacting you, often by sending you a message or leaving a voicemail. It is done in a dramatic fashion as we have suddenly uncovered a mystical or portentous occurrence which is of deep-seated significance which tells us that we are meant to be together, we should see each other straight away to discuss its implications or that it has caused us to see the light with it being conveyed in such a manner. Examples will include
Claiming to have dreamt about you in a strange and significant way;
We have seen a clairvoyant who spoke about you and I;
We saw your image when you were not there as if you needed to tell us something;
A picture of you fell off the wall or fell over on our desk without explanation and we knew this meant you wanted to get in touch;
We have had a vision of something terrible happening to you and we have to warn you to save you;
Your face appeared in the froth on our morning latte;
Your name was spelt in jam on the kitchen floor when we dropped our toast.
From the possible to the ridiculous we will exploit your belief in such things in order to establish contact again. Recognise any messages that allude to the above or similar things as what they are; a hoover and do not respond to them in any fashion no matter how curious or compelling it may feel.
The Silent Hoover
This comes in the form of a telephone call but there is no message left or nobody speaks when you answer. It is a blank text message or empty e-mail. It is an invitation to use a particular app on your phone. The purpose of this is to get you to respond to find out why it was sent or done. Once you do so we will either escalate the nature of the hoover by turning on the charm or trying to draw sympathy etc. through the application of a further hoover. We may not respond when you telephone but we know that we have been able to make you respond and we will do a few further Silent Hoovers to increase your curiosity and confirm that you are vulnerable now to our overture by way of a further hoover.  If you fail to respond or do so and dismiss us we save face by saying it was sent by mistake a “butt call” or we hit the wrong key etc. If you respond favourably then we have a green light to apply further pressure to seduce you again. Once again recognise this for what it is and no matter how curious as to why it has been sent do not respond. It is a hoover which will rope you in and have you subjected to further additional hoovers of a different nature.
The Prove Yourself Hoover
Similar to The Reverse Hoover, this hoover relies on your need to say your piece, stand up for yourself and have the last word. It relies on ensuring that a smear campaign has been effected against you and something particularly ridiculous or savage has been said about you. We will ensure that word reaches you through messages from third parties, third parties telling you to your face or postings on social media so you are gripped by the need to respond, set the record straight and tell us what has really happened in order to get us to accept this and issue an apology and correction. We know the type of victim that this really strikes home with, those who always need the truth to be told, who need to be held in correct regard by other people and those who must set us straight. We know you will be sat bristling, incredulous at what is being said about you and you cannot help yourself but want to get the true version out there and ram our words back down our throat. This hoover relies on this and the fuel that flows as you come charging at us ready to make us eat our words. This is precisely that we want to happen.
Again, recognise it is happening and do not respond. If you need to ensure people know the truth, then tell them in an even-handed and level manner and refer to evidence wherever possible rather than oral testimony and hearsay. Do not try and approach us, do not try and persuade us. We are not interested in that. We are interested in your fuel and getting to interact with you again.
To learn more about the narcissistic hoover read Black Hole – Available on Amazon
US  https://www.amazon.com/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
CAN  https://www.amazon.ca/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
AUS  https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01D7OPOFQ6 SPECIALITY HOOVERS.jpg



  1. Ok I just got a call from a number local to my area so I answered it. It was just someone breathing. I said hello 3 x anc no response. He lives a couple thousand miles from me si he wouldn’t have a local number like this

    Is this just random or is it him using some fake number ? Seems far fetched that he would do something like this. Is that something commonly done by a narc specifically a lesser ?

    1. 1. It may be him using a fake number.
      2. It may a local Lieutenant.
      3. It may be somebody out jogging who has dialled you in error.

  2. SMH: At first I didn’t block on Linkedin for the exact same reason as you! But seeing as I got the notification of him checking my profile, hence I saw his photo, I decided to block – changed my privacy settings to anonymous viewing first so that he wouldn’t get notified that I looked up his profile – and then boom, blocked him! Ironically, each contact attempt makes me even more determined to keep NC. Time will tell if and what he does next. Well done on your 8 months of NC!

    1. Thanks, Jess! You are doing really well too!

      Mine would look at my LinkedIn anonymously so I couldn’t be sure it was him. But it happened like clockwork over six months (he is very regimented) and once I mentioned it to him, it pretty much stopped. That is how I knew it was him. Even if I went incognito to block him I would still have to look at his profile. Since I have not seen a picture of him in months now, I think I’d be setting myself back.

      Yesterday I got a very strange email that went to my spam folder. It is nothing like any spam I have ever received and I don’t get much spam in my real email account anyway. It immediately raised my suspicions that he is trying something new.

      I think once we know what they are, these hoover attempts begin to look pathetic. I think to myself, why don’t you just email me or connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook or call me the way a normal ex would??!! That’s why it’s easier to maintain NC with the hoover attempts – the way mine does it makes him look even more immature and psychopathic!

  3. Tell me H.G can a post on Facebook, proclaiming that he is on the verge of and about to commit suicide, be concidered a hoover? We have children together, so total no contact is not an option. However we are not facebook friends, we never have been, nor do we share friends there or in real life. I only know because one of his friends contacted the police, who then pr law contacted child services with regard to an unstable parrent. They then contacted me.
    Only reason I wonder if it could possible be a hoover, is because this episode came very close to me leaving my husband, and having to teel the narc our childs new adress. Like a week later, he did this. He is a mix of victim and matrinarc, as far as I can tell.
    By the way, I’m not even close to being affected by it. I know him to well and have been as close to No contact as possible with shared children for 6 years now. This is pure curiosity reason.

      1. Thank you very much H.G.
        Curiosity killed the cat they say, and I’m not done with my nine lives yet 😊

        I always knew my x narc was something I just didn’t know what. It wasn’t until I came across your work a bell went of and I thaught “oooh there he is.” Here in DK narcissism isn’t all that known and not thaught of as an “individual” diagnosis in it self.

  4. Dear HG: just received what I believe is another hoover -exUMRN looking up my profile on Linkedin – this is a hoover, correct? He’s blocked everywhere and email goes to spam so I’ve now swithced off my public profile on Linkedin just to be sure. My question: what fuel, if any, does he get from viewing my profile? And from sending emails with B’day and Xmas wishes that go to spam and I do not respond to? There have been 3 contact attempts in as many months. Thoughts?

    1. 1. It is a Hoover.
      2. Weak Thought Fuel at your perceived response to knowing he is looking.
      3. The main aim is to provoke direct contact from you, to him, which will in all likelihood, provide fuel.

    2. Jess, Mine has done the same – LinkedIn, Facebook – the only two sites I am on. It is indeed to get me to contact him, which I would do before I found this site. He would always be so happy to hear from me. Ha. Now I come here for support! All is quiet at the moment …

      1. SMH: he’s blocked on phones and all social media and I didn’t think he’d get anything from viewing my profile on Linkedin, but have now blocked that as well. I haven’t responded to any of the hoovers and am adamant that I will not. As a former IPPS, do you think that the current IPPS (I assume there is one, as I am NC) has entered into devaluation stage?

      2. Jess, I am former IPSS. I suspect that I was unshelved when IPPS was in devaluation but there was never any question that I was candidate IPPS because I didn’t want that. (By way of backstory – I did not know about IPPS until 8 months into our ‘relationship’). If you are former IPPS and yours has a new one then yes, I would guess that she is being devalued or maybe she escaped if the hoovers have really picked up?

        Good job on the blocking. I blocked two fake FB profiles but mine might have more. I also get a lot of fake friend requests with little clues. He hasn’t visited my LinkedIn for months now. Haven’t blocked him there because I don’t want to look at his profile. Just seeing his name or picture makes me anxious. I too would wonder why he would visit my LinkedIn when nothing much changes there but then I realized it was to get me to think about him and to contact him, which I would do in the past.

        We have been NC for 8 months. Things ended rather badly (I escaped and then went ballistic/super nova) but he still probably can’t imagine that I am done because I left and returned so many times before.

      1. Hey Lori,
        It was about a month ago but I got a text that presented like spam (clearly aimed at wanting me to click link contained in the text). I got the EXACT same text twice, four minutes apart. Something about the wording of the text and the fact that I got it twice didn’t sit right with me. Who knows, it could have just been spam. No way to tell.

        It just crossed my mind again last night because my phone acted bizarrely again. It’s the same thing I had happening a year ago and I’ve gotten a new phone since that time. When it happened the first time it did cross my mind that MRN had hacked my phone. And now it crosses my mind again. Same exact thing, where I’m not touching the screen but it looks like someone is (different app icons are being selected, flipping amongst the text messages without me touching the screen. It happens very rapidly).

        Regardless, I’ve had some realizations in the last week. MRN has been keeping tabs on me, spying on me, watching me far more than I ever would have guessed. I had myself categorized as long distance virtual DLS-IPSS. But I can’t imagine much effort would be applied in these ways to that type of appliance. It makes me nervous in terms of what to expect moving forward.

        It also confuses me in terms of where I place in his fuel matrix and what it means. Confusion breeds ET, so I will be consulting HG next week when I get some coherent thoughts together and write them out.

      2. Supernova DE

        Guess what happened today ? I phone call from a local number when I picked up it was just someone breathing. I said hello 3 times and nothing just breathing

      3. Lori,
        Ah yes, the silent hoover. I’ve gotten those in the past on my cell (where when I look into it, it seems obvious he’s used technology to have the caller ID altered).
        I also have gotten a lot of the same thing on my home phone number since going NC. I can’t prove its him since I don’t have caller ID on that phone, but the timing is weird.
        Don’t call him!!!!! Or text him!!!!

  5. would a narcissist hoover the former IPPS only when he does not have a new IPPS, or when the new IPPS is in devaluation? Or are they likely to hoover also when well fuelled?

      1. He hoovered me, and I answered a message after months of no contact. But after one single day of contact he was very ‘overt’ (1. is that fuelled?) and not so nice, anymore… like he was back to devaluing me. 2. Is the point of all his hoovering just to extract more negative fuel from me? He said he will never be in a relationship again, because «he gets so restless». So- he tried to get me back into nowhere – land, apparently? 3. Is this said to make me «try harder»? 😄

      2. HG: so if I understand correctly, when exUMRN is hoovering a former IPPS this is likely due to the current IPPS being in devaluation?

      3. It is governed as always by whether there is a Hoover Trigger and whether the Hoover Execution Criteria are met. When the IPPS is in the golden period, hoovering is less likely (but not impossible) owing to the effect of the golden period on the HEC. When that IPPS is in devaluation, the risk of a hoover increases because the golden period has gone, thus lowering the hoover bar. As always, other relevant factors at the appropriate time will impact on whether the hoover happens or not.

  6. The Proxy Hoover was executed a few days after my husband ended his affair with the narcissist, by a woman who worked for her. Oh, the drama! “How can you do this to her, it’s so cruel! She can’t stop crying, she can’t work, why can’t you just call and check on her?!?”. And on and on. My husband blocked her (the proxy, crazy bitch was already blocked) for her efforts.

    I had occasion to meet the proxy for the first time about a month ago, she attended an event we were also at. Of course the narcissist was there, too.

    It’s very interesting to see someone react so obviously when they meet someone they hadn’t considered to be a real person. Her eyes widened as she realized who she was meeting. She mumbled that she knew my husband as he introduced us and was awkwardly silent after. I almost said “I know how you know my husband”, but I rarely bother to state the obvious when I know people are aware of it. I just let her squirm.

    She proceeded to watch us all night, as she was probably ordered to do. I think she was probably wondering why my husband would ever be involved with her boss when he clearly has a wife that he’s mad about.

  7. Ha – I think I am much more likely to use the psychic connection excuse than he is. After I escaped – when we should not have been in contact – I sent him a slightly manipulative message that he had appeared to me as a ghost (this was real – I did not make it up). It was the only time I initiated contact during that period, but it was a big mistake because it gave him permission to turn around and hoover me repeatedly.

  8. HG, would you consider a narcissist changing their Whatsapp profile pic on a regular basis and each picture sending a passive message to be a hoover ? thanks

      1. N-ex and I were walking in the woods and he showed me a picture of his ex girlfriend (whom he is dating again) and him together, from way back. They looked cute together. When I got home I looked through some photo albums and I send him a (photo of a) photo, telling him “here you were the most handsome looking ever” (during our honeymoon – oh my god, I totally forgot how handsome he was). He immediately changed his Whatsapp profile picture to this one. Haha, I guess he wants to charm his ex. I better not look at this picture anymore, I might fall in love with him all over again.

  9. Once upon a time, I did No Contact in order to “get him back.” With that intention in mind, I would have LOVED and responded to each and any of these 6 Specialty Hoovers, and even the not-so-special ones.

    Now that I have found narcsite.com and thus do REAL No Contact, I’m thankful of HG’s reminders on how NOT to react to any hoovers. I LOVE that I can see myself responding to NO hoovers, not even to the specialty ones, should they ever come about. (I non-responded to two pre-Christmas.)

    I love being a non-responder and non-reactor. It’s a new facet of my identity and it’s great!

    1. Lisk
      It is hard to wrap your head around the fact that there is so much power in doing nothing, but in this case it absolutely works, with the bonus of freeing you up for other things you enjoy. Asshats begone!

    2. You’re doing great! Doesn’t it feel good to ‘see’ the attempts, and have the power to not only know why they are there but beable to laugh and ignore them?

      I’m loving it on my end.

    3. I agree lisk. It feels empowering to not react. More empowering than when I engaged in email wars or any wars with the narcs. We are the captain of our ships and we choose not to sail through the stormy seas.

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