Mental Health

Are You Being Hoovered? 10 Clues to Unmask a Narcissist | by Amy Christie | Mind Love | Feb, 2024


Reassess your relationship

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Whether you’re navigating the uncertain waters of a new relationship or wrestling with the dynamics of an ongoing one, understanding the narcissistic trait of ‘hoovering’ can be crucial. This term, derived from the famous vacuum cleaner brand, describes how individuals with narcissistic tendencies may attempt to ‘suck’ their partners back into a relationship after a period of separation or conflict.

If you’re worried you might be on the receiving end of such behavior, here are ten signs to watch out for:

1. Love bombing

  • Intensity: A whirlwind of compliments, affection, and gestures that seem too good to be true.
  • Overwhelm: You may feel overwhelmed by the constant attention and gifts that appear disproportionate to the time spent together.

2. Manipulation tactics

  • Gaslighting: You question your own memory or sanity because of subtle belittling, questioning, and reversing facts.
  • Triangulation: The narcissist brings in a third party to create jealousy and competition.
  • Silent Treatment: Abrupt and prolonged ignore phases are used as a punishment and control method.

3. Lack of empathy

  • Indifference: Your emotional needs are consistently ignored or trivialized.
  • Disregard: The person shows little to no remorse after hurting you, either emotionally or other ways.

4. Sense of entitlement

  • Expectations: An expectation for preferential treatment and compliance from you, regardless of your personal boundaries.
  • Dismissiveness: Your ambitions and achievements might be disregarded to maintain their sense of superiority.

5. Constant need for validation

  • Attention-seeking: There’s a persistent urgency to be the center of attention and to receive validation.
  • Hostility: They react negatively to perceived slights or when not given the attention they feel entitled to.

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