20 Steps To Deal With The Hoovering Tactics Of Narcissists

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who hoovers? If you haven’t, then count yourself lucky. Hoovering is a term coined by the late great Stan Tatkin, and it refers to a classic narcissist tactic.

  • Narcissists use hoovering tactics to suck people back into their web of chaos and drama.

This blog post will discuss 20 steps to deal with narcissists and their hoovering tactics. If you can learn how to spot these signs early on, you will be able to protect yourself from being sucked back in.

Narcissistic Hoovering Examples

Narcissists will often use hoovering tactics to try and reel their victims back in after they have attempted to leave or cut ties with the narcissist.

Some common hoovering tactics include:

  • Making contact out of the blue, often with an apology or request for forgiveness
  • Flattery and compliments, especially in regards to how much they have changed or how much better they are now
  • Pretending to be genuinely interested in the victim’s life and offering help or support-Making promises to change or do better in the future
  • Playing on the victim’s emotions, such as guilt, pity, or sympathy

Related: Narcissist Flying Monkeys

How To Deal With Hoovering

If you find yourself constantly being drawn back into a relationship with a narcissist, it’s time to take a stand.

Here are 20 steps to help you deal with their hoovering tactics:

Acknowledge hoovering tactics

The first step is always acknowledging that the hoovering is happening. If you can’t see it, then you can’t stop it. So, be on the lookout for signs like compliments, gifts, and sudden displays of affection.

Set boundaries

Once you’ve acknowledged that the hoovering is happening, it’s time to set some boundaries. This means setting limits on what you will tolerate from the narcissist. For example, if they start hoovering you for your time and energy, tell them that you are not available.

Make a list of hoovering tactics

This will help you be more prepared for the hoovering when it’s happening. In other words, it gets easier to respond to narcissistic hoovering when it becomes like clockwork.

Recognize the hoovering

It’s important to remember that hoovering is a manipulative tactic narcissists use. They do it because they want something from you. Whether it’s attention, money, sex, or power, they are after something. So, please don’t fall for it!

Don’t take the bait

When narcissists start hoovering you, they will often try to bait you into reacting. They might say something hurtful or try to provoke you. Don’t take the bait! If you respond, they will use it against you later.

Stay focused on your goals

It can be easy to get caught up in the hoovering and forget your goals. But it’s important to stay focused on why you’re doing this in the first place. Whether it’s for yourself or your children, keep your eye on the prize.

Get support from others

This is not a solo journey, and other people have been through this and understand what you’re going through. So, reach out to them for support.

Document Everything

This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you to stay organized. And second, it will be helpful if you need to go to court or get a restraining order on a narcissist.

Related: Famous Narcissists


Hoovering is a manipulative tactic used by narcissists to suck people back into their web of chaos. But if you can learn how to spot the signs and set healthy boundaries, you will be able to protect yourself from being pulled back in.

Remember, you are not alone. Many others have been through this and understand what you’re going through. So, reach out to them for support.

Do you have any tips for dealing with hoovering? If you found this article helpful, please share it with others who might benefit from it. And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information about narcissistic abuse. Thanks for reading.


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