What is hoovering?

What is hoovering? Hoovering usually starts after you have broken up or taking a break with an emotionally abusive person. It’s a tactic/ploy used to win you back and get you back under their control.


Hoovering is a form of stalking, a mind-game. The emotionally abusive person will start emailing, texting, phoning, showing up at your workplace or residence, delivering flowers, etc. Hoovering is used to lure you back in with sweet promises, fake remorse and empty words of how they are going to change, only to abuse their victims even more horrifically.

  • “It will never happen again”
  • “I’ve changed.”
  • “I’ll go to AA if you come back”
  • “I might do something harmful to myself if you don’t respond”

Don’t be fooled. The person hoovering has no intention of eternal love or happy-ever-after. If you don’t pay attention, you can easily be tricked into believing that their intentions are genuine. The reason that hoovering works is that the person declares all the things we have been hoping to hear and mostly the words that make us feel validated.

Emotionally abusive people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope.


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