Published in Jul 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
There is something called the parental hoover, and today, we'll look into narcissistic mothers and hovering. Commonly known as the “Hoover maneuver,” this dirty little emotional abuse tactic is worth avoiding for adult children of narcissistic parents who want to finally break free of their narcissistic mothers.
What Is The Narcissistic Mother Syndrome?
Yes, there is such a thing as a narcissistic mother syndrome, which is why you have probably heard of it.
Mothers are described as caring, nurturing, and loving, unless you have a narcissistic mother.
This brand of mothering is hell on earth because you probably have no option but to put up with abuse for much of your life.
When your mother has this syndrome, she will shame you publicly. She will also not be above comparing you to other people. Furthermore, she will expect you to do everything she asks (even when it goes against your life or career choices).
A narcissistic mother will freely cross the boundaries of sexuality. She will also see her daughter as competition and a threat to her femininity.
The mother will also interfere with her son’s love life, put her needs before your own, gaslight you, and even invalidate your choices in life.
But in all honesty, daughters of narcissistic mothers get the worst of it. Still, all children suffer at the hands of a narcissistic parent because no one wins in a relationship involving a narcissist, regardless of who you are.
What Is Narcissistic Hoovering?
Hoovering is a term derived from a popular vacuum cleaner brand, Hoover. As the name suggests, narcissists use this technique to get what they need. More importantly, the trick is used to keep these people in their lives when they seem to be slipping from their narcissistic grasp.
Hoovering can include calling, texting, and even emailing previous victims. So, a narcissistic mother uses hovering to get attention, approval, admiration, nurturing, fear, or even negative attention from her children.
She can beg, yell, shame, blame, threaten, make grand promises, and do whatever else she can to pull you back into her cycle of abuse.
When hovering, she can be sweet and loving, but once you are under her control, she will get mean and abusive. This cycle happens within a day or a week.
You will not see any justification for the sudden change in attitude. That is how you know a narcissist is hoovering you.
Hoovering is how narcissists try to suck you back into their toxic influence, among other tactics like love bombing. The hoover maneuver is also one of the most common narcissistic mother symptoms. For this reason, hoovering can act like a narcissistic mother test.
How Do You Deal With A Narcissist Who Is Hoovering?
First of all, you should avoid narcissist hoover triggers. A narcissist who is hoovering is given confidence by signs that you might be receptive. So, don't unwittingly enable your narcissistic mother by responding positively to her hoovering.
However, it's hard dealing with a narcissistic mother who is hoovering.
Ignoring your mom completely, or even blocking her, is obviously no easy thing, if at all possible. Rejecting a narcissistic hoover from your narcissistic mother takes some serious guts.
For one, you can’t call the authorities requesting a restraining order on your narcissistic mother. Even if the calls or texts get overwhelming, you might not react as you would towards lovers who turn into crazy exes.
Also, because it might be impossible to cut off your mother entirely, you might have to find a way to stay in touch without getting sucked into her abusive cycle.
A good start is not to respond to anything that tells you she is looking for a narcissistic supply. If she uses her passive-aggressive nature to rile you up, don’t get annoyed.
Eventually, she will have to retire that tactic because it won’t be working out for her. In this manner, you can end up interacting with her without turning into her victim by warding off her attacks against you.
However, know that narcissist indirect hoovering is also possible. This is a way to suck you in without your knowing what’s going on.
What Happens When A Narcissist Tries To Hoover You And You Don’t Respond?
As we have just seen, one trick on how to respond to narcissist hoovering is to give zero attention to hoover maneuvers. Naturally, no one enjoys getting ignored, especially not narcissists who have an insatiable and obsessive need for attention.
Even a mother who typically uses covert narcissistic hoovering might react pretty strongly to being ignored.
Narcissistic hoovering is one way narcissistic mothers emotionally abuse their children. Many people don’t recognize this form of narcissism. That's because the bond between a mother and her children, however bad the relationship is, can be pretty powerful.
In any case, narcissistic mothers tend to use covert narcissist hoovering tactics to keep their kids hooked. Since she probably knows you better than you know yourself. She also probably knows which buttons to push. She can easily trick you into falling for her hoover maneuvers without trying too hard.
That will only happen if you don’t realize she is a narcissist and therefore fail to take appropriate measures to protect yourself. So, it’s important to understand the traits of a narcissistic mother. Also, know how to deal with a narcissist who is hoovering.