Do you want to know how to protect yourself from a narcissist’s hoovering attempts?

If so, you’re not in this alone. 

A common question we get from our community members who are preparing to leave the narcissist is, “How can I deal with a hoovering narcissist?”

So, I did some research, and here’s what I learned.

To deal with a narcissist’s hoovering attempts, you should:

  • Maintain strict no-contact.
  • If you can’t go no contact, set boundaries to limit contact.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or a professional.
  • Educate yourself on narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
  • Practice self-care and rebuild your self-esteem.
  • Strengthen your emotional boundaries.

In this post, I will explain each of these actions to help you understand the steps you can take to protect yourself against narcissistic hoovering.

If you have or currently are experiencing narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse for help.

Maintain Strict No Contact

One of the best ways to protect yourself from a hoovering narcissist is to maintain strict no-contact.1 

This means not responding to their calls, texts, emails, or social media messages. 

Think of it like building a fortress around yourself; even if they try to reach you with sweet words or promises of change, keeping the gates closed is crucial. 

No contact gives you the space to heal and prevents the narcissist from using their usual tactics to pull you back in. 

It might be tough, especially if they persist, but remember that every time you ignore their attempts, you’re taking a step toward becoming the best version of yourself.

Keeping this solid boundary in this way helps to break the cycle of manipulation and control that hoovering attempts to reestablish.

Suggested Reading: How to Survive Going No Contact with a Narcissist

If You Can Go No Contact, Set Boundaries to Limit Contact

If maintaining strict no contact isn’t possible, perhaps due to shared responsibilities like co-parenting, setting firm boundaries to limit the amount of contact you have with the narcissist becomes crucial.2 

This means clearly communicating what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of interactions with the narcissist. 

For example, you might decide that communication is only allowed through email or a co-parenting app and only about necessary topics. 

An email that establishes clear limits for the communication and contact.

Think of it as setting rules for a game. 

Both players need to know what is allowed and what isn’t. 

Establishing these boundaries protects you from unnecessary emotional engagement and keeps the relationship strictly business. 

It’s important to be consistent and firm with these boundaries, no matter how much the narcissist tries to push them. 

This stance helps to minimize their opportunities for manipulation and keeps you in control of your interactions.

Free Course: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist

Seek Support from Friends, Family, or a Professional

Dealing with a hoovering narcissist can be challenging and emotionally draining. 

It is essential to seek support from friends, family, or a professional who can offer perspective, encouragement, and strength when needed.3 

Sharing your experiences with people who understand and support you can be incredibly validating. 

It’s like having a team in your corner, cheering you on and reminding you of why you’re choosing to stay away from the narcissist’s influence. 

Professional support, such as therapy, can also provide valuable tools and strategies to cope with the emotional fallout of hoovering attempts. 

This support network acts as a buffer, reinforcing your resolve not to give in and helping you navigate the emotional ups and downs of the process.

Free Resource: How to Identify Your Supporters

If you need help with anything related to narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.

Educate Yourself on Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse

Understanding narcissism and the dynamics of narcissistic abuse can be a powerful tool in protecting yourself against hoovering attempts. 

The more you know, the better prepared you are to recognize the tactics a narcissist might use to try to draw you back in. 

A survivor of narcissistic abuse sitting, drinking coffee, and educating themselves on narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

It’s like learning the opposing team’s playbook; you can anticipate their moves and defend yourself more effectively once you know their strategies. 

We have many free resources available, including courses, articles, support groups, videos, podcasts, etc., that provide insights into narcissistic behavior patterns and coping strategies. 

Education empowers you to make informed decisions and helps demystify the narcissist’s actions, reducing their emotional impact on you. 

Knowledge is not just power—it’s protection.

Practice Self-Care and Rebuild Your Self-Esteem

Focusing on self-care and actively working to rebuild your self-esteem are essential strategies when dealing with a hoovering narcissist.4 5 

Narcissistic abuse often leaves individuals feeling depleted, with their sense of self-worth undermined. 

By prioritizing your well-being—through activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health—you reinforce your value independent of the narcissist’s validation. 

This could involve exercise, pursuing hobbies, or simply allowing yourself time to rest and recover. 

It’s like watering a plant that’s been left in the sun too long; with enough care and attention, it begins to thrive again. 

Rebuilding your self-esteem helps fortify your resolve not to give in to hoovering attempts as you start to recognize your worth and the importance of protecting your well-being.

Suggested Reading: 10 Ways to Build Self-Esteem After Narcissistic Abuse

Strengthen Your Emotional Boundaries

Strengthening your emotional boundaries is another critical defense against hoovering attempts. 

This involves not just recognizing your right to have and express your feelings but also understanding that you are not responsible for the narcissist’s emotions or reactions.6 

It’s akin to installing a filter that allows you to see which demands or criticisms are attempts at manipulation and which (if any) are legitimate interactions. 

By reinforcing these boundaries, you help safeguard your emotional well-being from being impacted by the narcissist’s attempts to control or diminish you. 

Strengthening your emotional boundaries helps you to remain detached from the narcissist’s influence, ensuring that your emotions and responses are guided by what’s healthy and right for you, not by the narcissist’s agenda.

Free Course: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist

If you are ready to be more than a victim of narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.


Thank you so much for reading; I hope you find this guide helpful in navigating the challenging waters of dealing with a hoovering narcissist.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

Have you ever had to implement any of these strategies to protect yourself from a narcissist’s hoovering attempts? 

What was that experience like for you?

What additional advice or tips would you share with someone currently facing the challenge of dealing with a hoovering narcissist?

Or perhaps you’re seeking further guidance or have questions about a specific situation you’re dealing with.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

Unfilteredd has strict sourcing guidelines and only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our content. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, actionable, inclusive, and trustworthy by reading our editorial process.

  1. Dianne Grande. (2023. August, 11). Going No Contact With a Narcissist: Everything You Need to Know. Choosing Therapy. ↩︎
  2. Kristen Milstead. (2019. June, 12). Setting Healthy Boundaries After an Abusive Relationship. HealthyPlace. ↩︎
  3. Morgan Mandriota. (2021. September, 8). How to Heal After an Abusive Relationship. Psych Central. ↩︎
  4. Shahida Arabi. 5 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Abuse and Trauma Survivors. National Domestic Violence Hotline. ↩︎
  5. (2022. August, 10). Ask Amanda: How Can I Regain My Self-Esteem After Abuse? ↩︎
  6. Sarah Fielding. (2023. July, 21). How to Create Emotional Boundaries in Your Relationship. Verywell Mind. ↩︎

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