The Hoover : What Causes a Hoover?


 The hoover – what causes one to happen?

There are numerous factors which govern whether we will attempt to hoover you post-escape or post-discard. Some of these factors determine the style of the hoover, whether it will be malign or benign and also how often the attempts will be made. There are several considerations which have a material impact on whether a hoover will occur and one of the most significant ones is the sphere of influence and your relationship to it.

Imagine if you will, me. Now I know you do this often as your guilty little secret but we haven’t got time for that at the moment. Here I am sat at home, or in the office, or walking between bars. Let us take an instance of me being in a bar. What is my sphere of influence? To be accurate there are actually several. They vary in applicability and range. The first is the physically proximate sphere, namely those who are within earshot. That is the closest sphere of influence and unsurprisingly the most dangerous for you. It is within this sphere of influence when the full range of charismatic and magnetic charms can be deployed in order to pull you back into my influence. Anybody who I can speak to or listen to, be sat with, or dine with, stand next to or be near is in this sphere of influence.

The second sphere is the eye line sphere. This is the sphere where I can see you or you can see me. We may be across the street, on the other side of a field, up in an office, walking across a plaza, across from you on the piste. If we can see you or you can see us, then you are in this sphere. I may not be able to communicate with you other than to shout or wave but it remains a sphere of influence. Accordingly, this is why when we seek to hoover somebody we may not be able to speak directly with them but we can position ourselves stood across from your house on the other side of the street or waiting across the square from where you leave work.

The third sphere of influence is our reach through our coterie and our lieutenants. Whether these people are our friends (inner or outer circle), colleagues, minions or family, if they operate as our lieutenants or our coterie they form part of a sphere of influence. If you speak to these people (therefore operate in their first sphere) or they see you or you see them (therefore in the second sphere) you are caught within my third sphere of influence. Rest assured that news of your appearance in the spheres of my lieutenants and my coterie will be relayed to me. This may be in person, by telephone, text or e-mail message, but the news will reach me. This also allows me to send information to you by proxy as my coterie and lieutenants tells you about what I am doing, who I am with and so on and so forth.

The fourth sphere of influence is our reach through the telephone. I do not mean by text messages or FB messenger but actually speaking on the telephone. Whilst we may be thousands of miles from you, unseen and not physically proximate at all, the fact you are speaking to us allows us to extend our reach in an effective way through the use of the telephone. Facetime and Skype and similar applications fall within this sphere as well.

Next there is the fifth sphere of influence which manifests through the sending of text messages, e-mails, letters, notes wrapped around bricks thrown through your window, smoke signals etc. There is no actual speaking to one another. There is no third party involved. There is no physical proximity. This is the fifth sphere.

Finally, there is the sixth sphere of influence which is my mind. You may pop up in my mind for no reason whatsoever. It might be I hear a song which reminds me of you or I walk past where you used to live and I reminded of you. In all other respects I have deleted you from my mind post discard or post escape but then something happens, either triggered by something or just a random recall and there you are, in my mind and in my thoughts and therefore you have entered the sixth sphere of influence.

Following your escape or your discard we will operate all five of these spheres in an attempt to hoover you. Once you appear in any or all of these spheres of influence this will encourage us to effect a hoover (bearing in mind other factors as well which I will detail on a separate occasion). Thus if you have been effecting no contact and then I see you on a bus travelling along the high street, you have entered my second sphere of influence. You have come to my attention. You are on my radar. This may cause me to wave at you and get your attention or run along the road to catch up with the bus and board it so I can bring you into my first sphere. I may be minded then to make efforts to contact you in some other fashion, but the fact you have sailed close to me, appeared in my sphere does two things.

One, it alerts me to you. I may have been distracted with other sources of fuel but you entering my sphere of influence makes you game for a hoover.

Two, it awakens the mixture in you, that addictive quality that we imbue in you through our nefarious seduction of you, which then causes various memories to awaken inside of you, thoughts and feelings which make you vulnerable to our overtures once again.

Thus we will then look to hoover you. We are reminded of you and this calls into mind the potent hoover fuel that is on offer. Secondly you are at a heightened risk of the hoover succeeding because of the effects of the mixture that lurks inside of you, placed there by us some time ago when we seduced you.

Sometimes we seek to draw you into our sphere of influence. If we wait around outside where we know you work, we are trying to draw you into our sphere of influence. More often however it is you that enters our sphere of influence, either deliberately or inadvertently.

For example, you may decide you need to return some of our property and you call round to drop it off. You have entered our first sphere of influence through this act and you will be hoovered. Alternatively, it is late at night and we are on your mind (but you are not on ours) and you cannot help but send a text asking us how we are doing. By doing this you have entered our fifth sphere of influence. Any step or act which brings you to our attention, whether in person, on the ‘phone, through others or through technology is you entering our sphere of influence and triggering a likely hoover.

You of course can influence how many of these spheres of influence operate with regard to you. Stay out of our way and ensure that we do not know where to find you and you will prevent spheres one and two from working. Ensure that you are never mentioned to our friends and that you avoid any contact with those who are our lieutenants and our coterie and you destroy the third sphere. Avoid that temptation to ring us and you destroy the fourth. Ensure you never message us, do not send e-mails or even an application request and the fifth sphere is countered. The only one which you have no influence over is the sixth sphere. You may just pop into our minds from time to time and there is nothing that you can do about that. You should draw some slight comfort however from the fact that post escape and post discard, if you have survived the initial grand hoover then there you will not pop into our minds that often. We will have eradicated you from our mind and be focusing on alternative sources of fuel. There remains a risk of a hoover (that is why we never truly go away) because of this sixth sphere of influence, but the risk is reduced. Liken the spheres to zones which if you stay out of you do not alert us to your presence and do not activate the mixture. Step inside one and you trigger the risk of a hoover for the reasons outlined above. Your aim to ensure that you remain free of post-discard and post-escape hoovers is to know these spheres of influence exist and to stay away from them. Of course we make it harder than you think to do so, but that is a different matter for discussion.


Learn more about the hoover : Black Hole

Want to stop the hoover? 


38 thoughts on “The Hoover : What Causes a Hoover?

  1. Pingback: Broken – The Hoover – Broken
  2. Anm says:

    Here is the latest Hoover By Proxy from the Malignant Narcissist. I think I mentioned this a long time ago about the narc. He loves to hoover by Proxy, but even more so after looooong periods of him disengaging. And he always does creepy malignant hoovers, before he suddenly explodes with a big malign hoover. I am sure he probably does this to numerous people. I think he knows that I use very formal language with my children. No cussing, no gossip, no negative language around the children. He is also big on words but in a different way.
    Suddenly my daughter who is almost 5, has been coming back after her visits with him, saying creepy things. For example, while my daughter was at her father’s house for a visit with him, i happened to notice an online Karen trashing someone I know on Facebook. I told her, “too bad, too sad, Nutcase.” My daughter comes back 2 days later, and I hear her playing with dolls, and she says, “too bad, too sad, Nutcase.” Come on. I don’t say those things around my child. For some reason, he must have been spying on me, and coached our child to say what I said to creep me out. I can’t think of anything else. That phrase alone, is not one I use. It was just a one time ordeal. There is no way anyone else would believe me. So of course, I keep this theory to myself.

    1. JB says:

      ANM, you say about him spying on you – could the online ‘Karen’ have actually been him in disguise?

      1. Anm says:

        No. He wouldn’t do that. He has no shame. He is an openly male Karen.

        1. JB says:

          Ah ok. I’m not sure what’s worse – neither are good, but I guess at least if he’s usually an open ‘male Karen’ you can predict his behaviour a bit more?

    2. WhoCares says:


      ““too bad, too sad, Nutcase.”

      Is it possible that your ex knows you might say something like this about other adults or to another adult? And knowing you would never say it in front of your daughter, he did so himself, as a way of upsetting/provoking you? I just ask because my ex has pulled crap like that.

      Also I find your mention of this interesting:
      “I think he knows that I use very formal language with my children. No cussing, no gossip, no negative language around the children.”

      I am the same way around my son, and his vocabulary shows it. Also, he has been around adults more in his young life than his peers (as a consequence of the nature of my entanglement). So he speaks above his age in many ways. My ex has attempted to use this fact to suggest that I must speak about adult conflict or access issues in front of our son (which is totally his father projecting) – because he states “What 8 year-old says such things?!”

      1. Anm says:

        No, I would not say something like that. It was one of those moments, where you read someones online comments, and you say something just as stupid to address stupidity. I think naturally, if you are empathic, and you deal with Narcissist and survive, you develop phenomenal communication skills. When I read the comments here, I can usually tell who are the adult children of Narcissist, and who were the adult children of Narcissist. Some of the ACON that are HG’s readers, have a very distinct articulation, that only someone who has had to constantly evaluate their own communicate skills throughout their life to survive conflict. You pretty much become aware that you are dealing with a fanatical terrorist in a hostage situation.
        WhoCares, it sounds like your ex is projecting his garbage onto you. He himself would do that to an 8year old, or would if given the chance. I see this time and time again with the other moms I know, who have children with Narcs. Narcs can’t stand when children are about 7-10 years old, when they start developing autonomy.

        1. A Victor says:

          Thank you for your comment, I knew that my mother began to hate me more at the age of 9, I assumed it was because of puberty hitting and with it the independence that would eventually come. I didn’t know prior to your comment that it was a typical thing, it makes a lot of sense though.

        2. WhoCares says:


          “No, I would not say something like that. It was one of those moments..,”

          Sorry to suggest that you may have said it. I just operating off of my experience when I was still in the relationship with my ex and he would cease upon certain words that he knew I didn’t like. And then he would work them into conversations in front of our child. Then our son would begin to register that “Aha! This particular word strikes a nerve with mom.” I didn’t want to give the issue energy, so I would try to be creative and distract from the word in a silly way…for example, a word I don’t like to use is ‘stupid’ (although it’s quite appropriate in some case!!). I have a feeling my narc mother may have used this towards me or my father – although I have no clear memories of this, just the feelings associated with the word. So, to distract from the fact that I don’t like the use of that word, when my son would use this word (because of his father’s use of it), I would say “They are so many other creative words you could use … splendiferous… stupendous…”, etc… I would use fun sounding words. As a long-term consequence of doing this often, my son has developed a love of language and challenging words.
          But I have to say, that as a 3 or 4 year old, it will would be amusing to hear him say things like “Kitty is being stupendous again!” (when our cat was getting himself into trouble somehow and my son was watching him.)

          “When I read the comments here, I can usually tell who are the adult children of Narcissist, and who were the adult children of Narcissist. Some of the ACON that are HG’s readers, have a very distinct articulation, that only someone who has had to constantly evaluate their own communicate skills throughout their life to survive conflict.”

          That is a very interesting observation. Makes sense.

          “it sounds like your ex is projecting his garbage onto you”

          Absolutely. But, what else is new in Narc Town?

          “Narcs can’t stand when children are about 7-10 years old, when they start developing autonomy.”

          This is so true. It’s starting to show vividly in my son’s visitations with his father and it’s being blame-shifted as being due to poor behaviour on the part of our son – and by extension, my parenting skills. Very frustrating – and truely demonstrates the inability of most narcs to not see or acknowledge the developmental stages of children. I appreciate you saying this Anm, because I do know this fact, but it has really helped something click for me with regard to how I need to approach the custody/access evaluator’s report in our case.

          1. Anm says:

            WhoCares, you are in the middle of a Custody Evaluation?

          2. WhoCares says:

            Yes, Anm (well, specifically for access “with regard to the child’s best interests” evaluation)…it sucks because the clinician is clearly an Upper Mid-ranger.

          3. Anm says:

            If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend the book, ‘Splitting’ by Bill Eddy. The book is all about doing a custody evaluation, and why the empathic parent often loses, and what to do about it. I wish I read it sooner. Good luck. I know you will do fine.

          4. WhoCares says:


            Thank-you for the recommendation and the words of support.

            I think it will all be okay.

            Fortunately, it is a unique situation, as the report may never see the light of day. It was ordered on a lie.
            My ex stood in court and confirmed, to a judge, that he had paid an outstanding costs order. And, based upon that confirmation, the judge ordered this assessment.
            However, we now have undisputable proof that the costs order has not been fully paid. So, another judge ordered that the report cannot be brought before the Court until the outstanding payment is made.
            And, in the meantime, the evaluator has recommended that my ex go through a psychiatric assessment before the full report and any final recommendations are made.
            All of that requires a lot of effort and accountability on the part of my ex (LMRN), so it may be a long time before anything changes with regard to access. The length of time may also be compounded by the pandemic. This is something I can live with.

            Knowing the above though, doesn’t change my emotional reaction to the report, and its impact on my thoughts etc…I basically want to – metaphorically – tear it to shreds with evidence…which I can… because I have all the facts and supporting documents. The report is rife with omissions, downplaying some things, playing up other aspects, rewriting of history etc…to suit the evaluator’s agenda. It offends me mightily, and I am trying get over it. But because it is written by a narc, in a position of some power, I have to respond carefully.

            Thanks again for your reply.

        3. A Victor says:

          Oh no, Anm, I just read the rest of your comment. What a sad commentary for us ACONs yet I believe you are absolutely correct. I hate, more than anyone knows, when I miscommunicate or struggle to communicate, much of our family’s interaction with my dad was him correcting us regarding communication skills, or lack thereof. It makes one quite concerned about being wrong. You are astute for seeing this in our communications, I would not have realized this is where it comes from. I have enjoyed the conversational aspect of the blog here and sometimes allow myself to loosen up and not worry so much if it is in the vein of the conversation, it is refreshing not to worry so much about every jot and tittle. Probably therapeutic in some way even. I used to tell myself that my dad was actually giving a compliment, knowing we had the intelligence to understand and communicate properly, otherwise he would not have wasted his breath. But, he could have blended his corrections with some other conversations and it would’ve been easier to swallow overall, the result being that it really shut me down.

          Another side effect of the correcting, for me, is that I don’t like to speak, writing is my preference, especially if I feel that the person may be judgmental. It takes time for me to process information and come up with the best way to communicate from that point and yet my mouth speaks ahead of that and I will say things incorrectly. Then I can really beat myself up later. Years ago I made a concerted effort to discontinue this process but it has not been easy and not 100 percent effective even now.

          The most annoying thing is when I have written something and it is misunderstood. Or the other party projects onto it. The words I use are very specific, though not always correct due to not knowing every single thing. But I do spend a fair amount of time looking words up before using them, just to be sure they’re the best choice. Given that, when I am misunderstood, it is annoying. Early on here, on the blog, I once used a word, can’t think of it now of course, incorrectly. Now, every time that word comes near me, I am reminded of that incorrect use and I cringe. Sadly, this is not the only such example, I carry these as far back as I can remember.

          I really appreciate your comment, this gives me much to consider, my dad had quite the hold over us in this area and it did affect us. Thank you.

          1. WhoCares says:

            A Victor,

            “I hate, more than anyone knows, when I miscommunicate or struggle to communicate”

            I have the same hatred AV.

            But, you know, you needn’t worry about every “jot and tittle”- us empaths are a very forgiving bunch, and you are a very good communicator.

          2. A Victor says:

            Very kind WhoCares, thank you.

          3. WhoCares says:

            A Victor,

            I wanted to respond to another comment of yours but cannot locate it again – so I’ll do it here.
            You were talking about wanting to read (but *not* wanting to read) Black Flag, because you think you will be kicking yourself for not seeing the flags sooner.
            I just wanted to say, that in hindsight, many of us feel duped and we have a tendency of beating ourselves up for not knowing better.
            Please do not do that to yourself. Clearly, we are made in such a way as to not recognize it for what it is and/or attribute poor behaviour to some other reason – else we wouldn’t all have landed here wondering ‘what the hell happened?’

            When we had narc parenting, we were also set up to not truely see the difference between “cognitive” or fake love and caring and real empathy and love. Cognitive empathy and love was our “norm.”

            It is actually a huge learning curve.

            I arrived here trying to understand if my ex was a narcissist – only to discover what an empath is…and, not only what an empath IS, but that *I* am one! What a revelation.
            I didn’t really, truely grasp what emotional blackmail was – as it had also become the ‘norm’ within my relationship with my mother.

            It all seems like a no-brainer now, but not so when you’re still working your way free of the mental fog of the narcissistic dynamic.

          4. A Victor says:


            Yes, Black Flag, also Manipulated and Your Fault, likely hitting very close to home, have been difficult for me to want to get into. It has to do with facing my (former) naivety head on and also that I have been very much caught by surprise, unpleasantly, when faced with the fact that what happened to me was actually abuse.

            My mother’s physical abuse wasn’t even known to me as such, this is very embarrassing, until a therapist brought it to my attention. The way my mother had described it, I had never questioned. That was 30 years ago and between then and now I had just accepted that the other things that happened were just the way those people, all narcissists but unbeknown to me as such at the time, interacted. I had been able to overlook it, box it up etc, and carry on as best I could. So, seeing that I was overlooking, boxing up and otherwise minimizing abuse, having it brought out into the open and labelled correctly, has proven very stressful for me a couple of times. Not bad in the long run but has made me a bit gun-shy so I approach with caution. The emotional blackmail is something new to consider, and as such, scary.

            I did begin Black Flag a few days ago and so far I already knew about everything, likely from other books and the blog. Like with the logic bulletin about Parental Narcissists, I just have to take it in bite sized amounts.

            You are so right that we are made to not recognize it for what it is, cognitive empathy at best being our norm. I think it may connect to the cognitive dissonance that I was discussing on another thread with Leigh? It seems necessary to throw out all preconceived (and pre-planted) notions and start from scratch on the narrative of my life, from my own perspective.

            I do feel like I’m in school, really full-time, all-consuming school too! And having urges for that darn summer narc to call, is not helping. I don’t actually want him to, I don’t think, but I keep thinking this recently. He is the reason I arrived here, a 3 month email/phone relationship, only to learn my whole life has been affected by this! Like you, the term empath was unknown, certainly the meaning of the term also. And, once I heard it, I was in denial I could possibly be one! All part of the schooling. Covid has been a blessing with regard to this schooling, allowing for time.

            Thank you for the encouragement, and the reassurance that it will become a no-brainer at some point, I really appreciate hearing that.

          5. WhoCares says:

            A Victor,

            “It has to do with facing my (former) naivety head on and also that I have been very much caught by surprise, unpleasantly, when faced with the fact that what happened to me was actually abuse.”

            I completely grasp this. Just before I escaped my relationship (and before I recognized I had been with a narcissist, through reading HG’s work) – I had to come to terms with the realization that I was being abused. It did not compute at first. I admit that, back then, I had a stereotypical view of what an abuse victim looked like and I truly didn’t think I fit that ‘demographic’ – it was hard for me to accept that what I was experiencing was abuse. I now recognize that narcissistic abuse comes in all forms and is not limited to any particular demographic or socio-economic group. Looking back, I still recall thinking: “Surely, I…me…*I* have not been abused?”

            “My mother’s physical abuse wasn’t even known to me as such, this is very embarrassing, until a therapist brought it to my attention.”

            I have realized too, as of late, that my father was also an empath. And he was – not physically – but otherwise significantly abused. I never saw it before AV, partly because of the narrative that my mother spun. My father had been made to look as though the one – mostly – at fault for the relationship troubles. And I am sure that he accepted that (like I did when still with my ex) he *was* somehow at fault… because I now recognize that he was a very similar Empath as me (with some Martyr traits) but he likely had significant Codependent traits and would have required intervention to keep from going back to the narcissist (his second wife was actually more horrible than my mother.)

            “It seems necessary to throw out all preconceived (and pre-planted) notions and start from scratch on the narrative of my life, from my own perspective.”

            Wow – there’s a statement I resonate with. As HG’s work sunk in, I reached a point where I realized that my whole, entire childhood was a lie, a fraud – a mindfuck. It was akin to watching The Sixth Sense, or another M. Night Shyamalan flic, where once you discover the truth and review all that proceeded before, the evidence was there all along, only you weren’t looking at it from the right angle or with an informed perspective…and it’s mind-blowing (and dismaying) that you can now see the truth that was there the entire time.

            “I do feel like I’m in school, really full-time, all-consuming school…Covid has been a blessing with regard to this schooling, allowing for time.”

            Silver lining of experiencing a pandemic AV! But I have to agree, Covid has been a blessing in disguise for me as well, in several ways.

            And as for the schooling here, yes, it’s the best place to learn.

          6. A Victor says:

            WhoCares, thank you so much for this affirming and gentle comment. It is so helpful to know we are not the only ones who have gone through these things, so helpful not to be going through them alone. You do really understand, thank you so much for telling me!

            I did not want to be an abuse victim, they are weak, right? No, we, abuse survivors, are strong. Crying now…

            My parents, both narcissists, abused each other, not physically but so many games, played daily. I feel sad for your father, it is no way to live.

            Yes, my entire childhood was a lie. Going through the pain of that realization, and then coming out with…what? I don’t even know where to start, right at this moment it feels overwhelming and unnecessary, can’t I just put my head back in the sand??? What is the end goal? I hope to sort that out soon, what the need for this processing is. It is painful, it needs to have a purpose, and this eludes me at this time.

            Thank you again, your comment is very meaningful to me.

          7. WhoCares says:

            A Victor,

            I certainly did not mean to make you upset with my commentary but I am glad you took some comfort from my words.
            I think there are stages to the processing…I do recall the deep grief and sorrow felt at the realization of the truth about my family of origin. But, now, as I reflect back, my feelings really revolve more around clarity and acceptance. It happened. It is in the past…and what was once very sad and perplexing to me, all makes sense to me now. It does not make it better, but it makes SENSE as to why it was the way it was – and for that I have much gratitude.

            It is still sad for me when I think about what I never realized regarding my father (when he was alive) and how so very similar I am to him – yet there was always this inexplicable barrier between us…I think possibly because we both stuffed our emotions… Truthfully, though, the emotions are becoming less raw, less poignant for me with the passage of time, no contact and reading here.

            “I don’t even know where to start, right at this moment it feels overwhelming and unnecessary, can’t I just put my head back in the sand???”

            It may not feel like it to you, at this time, but it will get less overwhelming. And, no, sorry, you can never put your head back in the sand once you to start to see… although I recognize this desire too. Mostly these days it’s felt when I am dealing with professionals who understand that, yes, my ex is a narcissist but what seems beyond comprehension (and so I don’t share it with them) is that my life has been proliferated with narcissists – and new ones keep cropping up! One feels as though they would be viewed as the ‘crazy one’ if they actually pointed this out to others.

            AV, you’re in my thoughts; you will work through it. And at some point in the future you will look back, remember and think: was I really so awash with emotion? And when you’re still in the stage of being awash with emotion, you think: will I ever achieve calmness and clarity?

            It is possible. ❤️

          8. A Victor says:

            WhoCares, no worries, you didn’t upset me, it’s just me working through this whole thing and I am more emotional than I think ever before. But it’s all on a good, upward trend and your comment was very helpful to me!

            I do relate to your “stages to the processing”, feeling like I’m starting to see the end of the deep grief and sorrow but having days where it still pulls me back in. It is very helpful to have the ability to make sense of it, even given the pain involved with that realization. It helps to know from you who have gone before that time does help.

            People have rejected the narcissistic idea when I have talked of too many in my life, they think it’s some kind of trend that will go away. I know the truth but have realized to be careful about sharing too much of this. People often don’t understand the magnet effect that brings empaths and narcissists together, especially if they’ve not been ensnared, or haven’t identified it as an ensnarement.

            Thank you for your supportive, encouraging words, they do help!

          9. Anm says:

            A Victor, I meant the communication aspect as a good thing. I know you know this, but I want to make it clear. I can see how children of narcs would feel misunderstood. My son, his father is a midrange narc. He is 10, and an excellent communicator. Even more so, he is so open with describing what it is like to communicate with a narc parent. Please don’t be triggered by what he told me last weekend. My son’s father manages a very high end resteraunt in our city. That environment serves a midrange narc well. They can look polished but rage at the kitchen cooks and chefs. Anyways, my son is even more of a foodie than his father. I swear my son is the next Anthony Bourdain. I can see him traveling the world, just to try local eateries out. This last weekend, I took my son shopping, and allowed him to choose the restaurant that we eat at for lunch. He choose a very exotic Indian Restaurant. He was very excited, and we posted a selfie on social media. I am not on social media with his Father, but casually asked if he wanted me to share the picture or let his father know we tried the restaurant out. He said no, because it wouldn’t be a restaurant his father would choose, so he decided to not bring it up at all. He described communicating and being with his father like, “having a glock pointed to your head, where you must be perfect, and do whatever they want you to say or do.” I was like, “wow”. He then described having an empathic parent like, “it’s like a safe place, where someone is open minded, and sweet”. (Yes my son described me as sweet), and he could fully express himself, or explore the exotic foods and restaurants that his father would never take him to. We don’t talk about his father being a “narcisisst”, but he is very open that he knows the pressure he experiences with his father isn’t normal. He has a “good” relationship with his midrange father, but my son says he is most comfortable, if he is only with his father 2 days a week, anything more, is too much. So I can assure you, that you are excellent at communication, just like my son.
            Being a mother of children with a narc parent, my communication skills come greatly from reading HG’s work, and working on myself the best that I can. I recently had to ask my daughter’s father to agree on the school I am choosing for her. She starts kindergarten this year. Of course, I used HG’s suggestions from his article, “How to Make a Request to a Narcissist”. And I am please with the results I got. I used to get terrible results making request to narcissist. I have gotten much better at it.
            AVictor, This was indeed a good discussion. I first started reading HG’s work to understand what had happened to me, and now it seems I read to understand what is happening in my children’s world, and how to help them. Thank you for being so open about your own life and experiences, so that I can know and help my kids. I will take everything you said here, in consideration.

          10. WhoCares says:


            I know you were sharing to AV – but thanks for telling the story of you and your son. It is really nice to hear your son’s description of dealing with a narc parent vs. an empath parent.

          11. A Victor says:

            You are correct, I understood your comment as a good thing, no worries! I don’t get triggered easily but also, your comment was just more information as to how we, ACONS can appear to others, something I had not known before. I appreciate knowing, it is helping me develop my sense of self, a process going on for me right now, coming to understand where things come from, what is there, should I keep it, can I discard it etc. If I seemed triggered, it was likely from something on another thread involving communication, the timing was interesting for both of these to happen at the same time, but absolutely not your comment as an issue.

            Your son is world’s ahead having you, he communicated his understanding perfectly! It speaks for my understanding also, of what I grew up with. Your children are blessed to have you!

            You are also correct that this has opened a whole new world, for me but also with regard to my children and how to help them. You’re most welcome and I thank you for sharing also, very much.

  3. Empath007 says:


    As drama unfolds in my work environment. I need to take this time to thank you for sharing your truth (and the truth of NPD In general). I have remained super calm. And dare I say even one step ahead of the narcissits involved.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are most welcome, I am pleased to see that you have used my work in such an effective fashion.

      1. Empath007 says:

        It is not always easy because I am going against my natural tendency to react… I have to mentally remind myself of who I’m dealing with and why.

        Thankfully, I’ve been prepared for
        What’s going on for a while now.

        While my narc is mostly operating in the moment to gain control of
        The now…
        I’ve had the advantage of being able to see the bigger picture (thanks to you and your information) and with that… he won’t be getting the results he was hoping for.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Well done.

  4. Desperate Mom says:

    My teenage son is dating a narcissist. I already raised awareness before the relationship started due to a narcissistic father. My son won’t listen even after watching your videos. What can I do?

    1. A Victor says:

      Hi Desperate Mom,

      Welcome. How old is your son? Sometimes once they get to a certain age the best route, from my mom experience more than knowledge about narcissism, is to watch for openings more than try to push anything. When you see an opening, maybe ask him how he feels when she does a certain behavior, not approach it with statements like “she’s manipulating you” etc, not that you have done so already. If he’s already not listening, sometimes backing off, as difficult as that is, can help open the lines of communication. Also, I wouldn’t tell him she’s a narcissist, that might shut him down from listening to you further. Just my mom ideas. Best wishes.

    2. Empath007 says:

      He likely has to experience the cycle of idealize, devalue and “discard” a few times before he catches on. Until we hit rock bottom and feel desperate for answers we likely will not find them. As a teenager, dating a narcissist is fun, exciting and full of teenage angst and drama. All things your son is likely enjoying… as a teenager he is likely not concerned with the consequences.

      You’ve let him know now. The best you can do is be there for him when it all comes tumbling down. He’s going to be OK. Most teenage romances do not last, she will likely not be in his life forever. And as much as we do not want to see our children go through these things, we do have to let them work it out for themselves. You’re there for him… and he knows that. beyond that, there’s not much else you can do.

      1. Desperate Mom says:

        Dear A Victor and Empath007 thank you for your kind words. My son just turned 18. He has a serious autoimmune disease. His medical condition is closely related to his stress level. Obviously she prayed on him and was looking for a nice, kind guy. On rare occasions that my son shares something, it’s littered with red flags. On top of all, his best friend is a flying monkey and of course my son doesn’t see this. Now it’s time for uni and he wants to move with them far away, which I don’t support. I feel so helpless worrying both for his mental and psychical health and also mine..

        1. Empath007 says:

          Oh I feel for you 😞 I know that would really worry me as well. I get worried about much less with my own children.

          One thing I have learnt about myself through the process of being with a narcissist, is that I need to let go of feeling a responsibility for everyone else. Parenting is of course different because there is a level of responsibility that we have to make sure our kids have their needs met.

          Your son is now maturing into an adult. As difficult as it is, try to separate yourself from what are ultimately his own decisions. You need to take care of yourself and relieve yourself of the responsibility to “fix” this for him.

          That does not mean you can’t offer your loving advice. But you will need to find a way to distance yourself for your own well being.

          I have been working on this for a few years and I still struggle with not taking on other people’s issues. I genuinely have to remind myself that I am
          Not in control of others and their own decisions. I’m learning to find a balance between actions that can solve my own issues and ones that can’t.

          There are so many factors you can not control about this situation with your son. And the worry and stress it causes YOU is also concerning.

          Model to your son you going about your business despite his actions or the actions of others.. hopefully he will see
          This and think to himself… he doesn’t need these two other people to make him
          Whole. He is in charge of himself.

          I hope that’s helpful. It’s really made a dramatic difference in my own life to recognize this about myself as to try and reduce my worry when it comes to others…. and things I can’t ultimately control.

        2. A Victor says:

          Desperate Mom, oh, do I know what you’re going through. Empath 007 and Bubbles gave you the exact words I would’ve. The only thing I will add is that I have four children, 34-18, with each one the releasing into adulthood, that time when they take ownership of themselves, became easier and, more importantly, they’re all doing just fine. They all know I love them without condition, they have all made choices that I would have preferred they not make and I’ve had to bite my tongue, but, the relationship was more important than pushing my value system onto them, and as such, I have an excellent relationship with all of them, we are all free to be who we are with each other. Try to trust your work of raising him, you are a loving mom, you did well. Try to trust him, it is good for him to mature into manhood. And be there for him but allow him to come on his terms. When he does, don’t judge, just listen. I ask if they want feedback before giving it. And I reassure them, so we’re all on the same page, that they can take it or leave it, I won’t take offense either way. Find someplace to focus your time and energy on, things will work out.

          PS-my son was seduced by his boss at work last year at age 17, she being 28. I believe she is a narcissist. It threw him for a massive loop which he is still recovering from in some ways. But he is recovering, he’s talking when he needs to, he’s wiser regardless of the scars he now has, he will be fine, as will your son.

          Take anything you find useful and leave the rest, I won’t be offended! 😀💕

          1. Empath007 says:

            If it helps, I was seduced by a 35 year old narcissits when I was 17…. I walked away just fine… it wasn’t until 15 years or so later I was to meet the narcissist who would change my life forever… but that was also good; because then I found the narcissist who could explain WHY this all kept happening (HG!)

            And now… I’m definitely still attracted to narcissists… but I understand why and have a hold on myself !

            We somehow make it through life…. our mistakes and all… they are all just experiences, leading us down a new path.

            You’re son will be OK. He needs to find his own self confidence to walk away. And when it’s time to do that… he’ll

          2. A Victor says:

            Empath007, thank you for your encouraging comment. I think the most difficult part for him was that she did the lovebombing and then dropped him like a hot potato once she was done. I understand that and I think had I not found narcsite I’d still be much further back in progress too. Part of his problem is that he rejects narcissism, I think if he’d look at it he’d get past this, but he’s not ready. My biggest concern for him is that he’ll be ensnared by another but if that happens he’ll have to figure it out in his time, or not. One of my daughters is married to one, I’m 99% certain, and she’s just starting to learn about narcissism, it’s all a process. Your comment is encouraging, thank you!

    3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

      Dear Desperate Mom,
      I really feel your heart wrenching concerns for your son, as our son is ‘engaged’ to a narcissist (we have 3 adult children)
      From our past experiences during their teens, they’re too blinded by their emotions and all their ‘firsts’, so anything you say will be held against you and he will only dig his heels in further
      One must always stick to “behavioural” issues and NEVER “personal attack” criticisms of their partner, only if he broaches the subject first and only if he seeks your advice

      Sadly, we must stand by and let them run their course. She will inevitably dump him for fresher fuel …….she’s a narc, that’s what they do, plus they’re teens (hopefully it will be shortlived)
      He may hibernate to his room for a period of time and come out for fresh air when he’s ready ……he won’t appreciate a lecture from you about ‘being right’ and “I told you so”
      Kids these days are pretty savvy and know a lot more than we give them credit for, however life experiences are not one of them

      For further reassurance and confirming advice, perhaps a consult with Mr Tudor will ease your mind at rest
      Dealing with a narc is never easy, A Victor and Empath007 gave excellent suggestions for you which I totally concur

      Your role as his mum is just to be there and of course you naturally have a many soft cushions for him to fall on
      My deepest best wishes Desperate Mom, I truly know what you’re going thru and I empathise with you wholeheartedly
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

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