Home Relationship With Your Life PartnerConflict Management: What Love is Not Hoovering: What to Do When Narcissists Won’t Let Go

Hoovering: What to Do When Narcissists Won’t Let Go

written by Darlene Lancer February 24, 2021
Hoovering: What to Do When Narcissists Won't Let Go

Breakups with narcissists don’t always end the relationship. Many won’t let you go, even when it’s the narcissist that left the relationship, and even when they’re with a new partner. They won’t accept “no.” They hoover in an attempt to rekindle the relationship or stay friends after a breakup or divorce. A research study showed that narcissists and psychopaths tend to stay friends with their ex for selfish reasons. They try to stay in your life or seduce and convince you to return.


The term for this behavior is hoovering, derived from the famous Hoover vacuum. It got this name because when you’re finally free of the abusive relationship, they can suck you back in. But be prepared for a bait-and-switch maneuver. Being expert manipulators, narcissists know your vulnerabilities and may appeal to your emotions with cries for help, romantic gestures, messages, or cards and gifts on significant dates or anniversaries.

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