The Narcissist's Hoover Maneuver
— Lisa E. Scott
Narcissists cannot be alone. Narcissists need people more than anyone. They have very specific reasons for being in relationships, but they are not built on the universal need we all have, which is to love.
Narcissists do not enter or stay in relationships for love. Their motives are quite different. They become involved in relationships in order to ensure their needs are met and someone is always present to provide them with the attention and adoration they require in order to feel alive.
It is important to understand when ending a relationship with a Narcissist, he will inevitably come back to you looking for validation. Whether you end the relationship or he does, you will most likely hear from your Narcissist again. It may take a day, a month or years, but be prepared for his return.
The only time a Narcissist finally leaves you alone is when he knows you have seen right through him and have exposed him for who he really is. If this has not happened yet and he believes he still has some kind of hold on you, he will return to you.
Narcissists feed off of attention. Adoration from others is what fuels them. It is like a drug to them and they are addicted to it. If a Narcissist can't get supply from anyone else, he will come back to us looking for it. They have no shame. Therefore, we must be prepared that at any moment, our Ex Narcissist will re-enter our life to try to win us back. When he does, he will employ a tactic known as the Hoover Maneuver.
According to the on-line Urban Dictionary, the definition of Hoovering is:
“Being manipulated back into a relationship with threats of suicide, self-harm, or threats of false criminal accusations. Relationship manipulation often associated with individuals suffering from personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”
It is important to be mindful of this tactic so you can recognize it and not get sucked-in. The term Hoovering gets its name from the Hoover vacuum. The Narcissist uses all kinds of manipulative behavior to suck you back in to the relationship. He may threaten suicide saying that he can’t live without you. He purposefully plays on your good-naturedness to get you to feel sorry for him.
During this stage, the Narcissist reverts back to the courting behavior he exhibited in the beginning of your relationship in order to win you back. He acts loving, compassionate and supportive. He promises you everything you ever wanted and more. He acknowledges the error of his ways and promises to change.
Narcissists are very charming so the initial Hoovering stage is often quite successful. They are great actors. Not to mention, the Narcissist knows you well enough to know which buttons to push to get you to succumb to him.
Please know that the minute you take him back, he will revert to his old behavior. He is only coming back to you because he is incapable of being alone. He needs someone in his life to validate him at all times.
Anyone who has taken a Narcissist back can attest to the fact that he quickly reverts to his old behavior once he has you back under his control. I encourage anyone looking for proof of this to visit our on-line forum at www.allabouthim.com. There is not one story of someone taking a Narcissist back who changed for the better.
Every time you take a Narcissist back, you only end up hurting yourself and prolonging your pain. Narcissists are incapable of change. No Contact is the only way to go when breaking free.