The Spheres of Influence – What Triggers A Hoover By A Narcissist?


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.

7 thoughts on “The Spheres of Influence – What Triggers A Hoover By A Narcissist?

  1. Pingback: Innflytelsessfærene - Hva utløser en overflyving fra en narsissist? - Psykopatene blant oss
  2. C Ann says:

    If you Hoover someone after 3 years, someone that had you blocked, isn’t it just true love or the best love the narc knows how to give?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A narcissist cannot love.

      A hoover is executed to achieve The Prime Aims from the relevant appliance.

      You are an object which is there to serve our needs. We will use you and abuse you repeatedly.

  3. Asp Emp says:

    Made me giggle RE: 5th sphere “notes wrapped around bricks thrown through your window, smoke signals etc”.

    Should a person who is being ‘targetted’ and not aware of as such, yet they happen to appear in the first sphere where they are approached by someone unexpectedly. I would not consider that the ‘target’ is guilty of entering anyone’s sphere, never mind ‘triggering’ a ‘hoover’.

    On the mention of ‘bricks’, interestingly, I found a broken grey coloured brick at the end of my drive / against the kerb. I thought it was very strange yet I removed it.

  4. psychologyandworldaffairs says:

    Maybe it is my personality type… The emotional pain is unbearable, my mind is running through every strand. Every possibility of how I came to be in this nightmarish agony. I am sitting in bed alone, door closed, arms wrapped around knees. Tears run silently and unhindered down my cheeks. You will never see me this way – you will never know.

    The thought to hurt myself – to somehow physically alleviate my internal agony runs through my mind. Thankfully this is but fleeting, I acknowledge it but do not act on it. Instead the need for self preservation rises to the surface.

    I see the strands of our connection, these tentacles which flow from you to me and from I to you. I visualise a knife and cut each one. The sense of relief is liberating. Our emotional connection is no more. I can talk to you and feel nothing. I can touch you and feel nothing. I can smile and wish you well – as I would any acquaintance. I have severed our bond quite effectively.

    I do not tell you this however, you will never know why you have become little more than somebody I know. This emotional detachment is quite effective.

    ‘Fly free’ I tell them. Two have asked what I mean by this. I just smile.

  5. Julie Seyler says:

    To avoid a hoover attempt, the recommendation is to disappear completely – including social media. I understand why this may be necessary to avoid physical harm from the low-range narcissist or some diabolical payback from the high-range version, but the former parasite in my life was the classic mid-range; HG’s textbook description.

    I implemented certain steps to mitigate an easy hoover: blocked him on phone, text, email, Meetup, Facebook, Instagram, even Venmo. However, I did not go so far as to remove myself from social media or break ties with mutual friends. My connections on social media and friends are what helped me get my mojo back, to move on after the con. Further, I’ve written a blog for 13 years, much longer than I’ve known him. If, in an attempt to close every avenue to the narcissist, I narrowed my world by no longer interacting with anyone on Facebook, avoiding mutual friends, and deleting my blog, wouldn’t that be fuel for him anyway? “Look at how she is nothing without me!”

    What do I care if he tangentially sees a photo of me on Instagram; I’ve lost 10 lbs. during the pandemic and got a new haircut – I’m looking and feeling good. So what if his “flying monkeys” give him reports of me living my life? He’s tried to hoover me twice this month and his only avenue is to debase himself by using the “contact me” page on my blog, just like any other reader. I dispassionately answer him when it’s beneficial for me, I delete the message when it’s not. Rather than shrinking my life by closing up every avenue available to the narcissist, isn’t it better to strive towards a point where the narcissist’s con no longer holds sway over us so that we can say, “Waste your time hoovering if you must, but I will not succumb?” I’m new to the hoover aspect – as I missing something here?

    1. Joa says:

      I do the same. But I know, this is very stupid. You still give him your thoughts and attention (within yourself). You derive satisfaction from your endurance, independence, pseudo-consistency.

      Even when he irritates you, bores you, or you feel pity or anger or disgust, sooner or later there will be a moment (relaxation, sadness, happiness, curiosity, etc., etc.), when you and he will adjust in time and he will slip in, and then he will strike with full force and you won’t be able to resist inside the cauldron.


      Not only that, I realize, that the longer we don’t contact us, although we both can, the more interesting and more intense the hoovering will be in, for example for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years… and I strive for it, and this awareness cheers me on. Just the thought makes a goofy grin on my face and my blood begins to boil.

      This is the power of addiction, isn’t it?

      Yes, I am stupid and addicted. And I’m not ashamed of it, ha ha ha 🙂
      And I will suffer and bear my child’s scorn, ha ha ha 🙁

      “From the diary thoughts of an addicted…”

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