Five Ways We Rationalize Abuse And Why We Need To Stop

3. “They reached out to me after I set boundaries, so that must mean they miss me.” A recent study revealed that narcissistic exes are likely to reconnect with their past partners for convenience and pleasure, not because they miss them or truly want them back in their lives. When an abuser reaches out to a survivor after the relationship has already ended, this is known as “hoovering,” where, like a Hoover vacuum, the abuser attempts to suck the victim back into the traumatic vortex of the relationship. In “The Hoover Maneuver: The Dirty Secret of Emotional Abuse,” therapist Andrea Schneider, LCSW notes that for abusers, hoovering enables the abuser to regain control over the status quo of the relationship.

For malignant narcissists, hoovering is not about the fact that they miss their former victims who they once devalued – it’s about re-idealizing past flames so they can continue to keep them as permanent members of their harem for whenever they’re lacking in narcissistic supply. When you’re being hoovered, you’re essentially being manipulated, not missed or pined for.

Shahida Arabi

Shahida is the author of Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse and the poetry book She Who Destroys the Light. She is a staff writer at Thought Catalog.

A Book For Those Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse…

Remember— highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.

“I rarely write reviews but I’m so impressed by this book, I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who has suffered abuse by a narcissist or is trying to get out of an abusive relationship now. You deserve the best and more… so I strongly encourage you to get this book!” — Michelle Spurling

“This book was life changing. It completely validated everything from my experiences (suicide, anxiety, depression, “neediness”, literally everything). It took every detail from my past struggles and validated and helped make sense of everything. It’s like I was reading my own biography.” — Drew Rod

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