Yep, I read it in elephant journal today, the term meaning the state of sucking or being sucked back into a relationship that sucked.

Urban is more expansive:

1. v. To vacuum a floor or rug ;

2. v. Being manipulated back into a relationship with threats of suicide, self-harm, or threats of false criminal accusations. Relationship manipulation often associated with individuals suffering from personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder ;

3. v. Excessive consumption as in drug or alcohol use ;

4. v. Sexual term describing oral stimulation of the penis, vagina, or rectum ;

5. n. Derogatory term for taking advantage of others by taking more food, drugs, beverages, than paid for or borrowing things and rarely returning them.
1. I was hoovering the second floor bedrooms and hall!
2. After I broke up with my girlfriend, she tried hoovering me back!
3. Last night, Blake was hovering the cocaine as usual!
4. Last night was great, Tanya was hoovering me all night!
5. Alicia is hoovering her brother this weekend.

Say someone dumped you, broke your heart, and then walked away. Hoovering is that act or actions of the dumper coming back into the dumpee’s life to get one last buzz or rekindling solely for the sake of lighting up the dumper’s momentary lull in his or her life–a pick-me-up, if you will. So the dumper, knowing what makes the dumpee respond, tries overtly or pretextually to wedge his or herself back into the relationship without regard to the damage left in the wake of the dumping or outright wreckage by deception or other abuse. The hooverer is usually a narcissist, according to the ej article.

Now I am a logophile and enjoy words old and new. I like that there are labels to characterize the nuances of behaviors, like ghosting and hoovering, while I simultaneously despise labeling that lazily sizes someone up as simply a type–one behavior labels the person hooverer or narcissist.

Prior to the advent of psych-typecasting, we used to call ghosters, hooverers and narcissists the umbrella term: assholes. To me, foregoing the finer distinctions between one asshole and another is unnecessary. Bad behavior is bad behavior regardless of its personality phenotype (or is genotype?).

Does anyone feel any better saying “I was hoovered,” rather than “that woman was an asshole”?


credit: cei.org

6 Replies to “Hoovering”

  1. I read that earlier this week and thought what an interesting term for some of the people I have known who seem to have no regard for others, except their own agenda which is to get their fix of the chase and challenge of getting back in good graces only to repeat the same madness. Extreme narcissistic types intentionally oblivious to what they do. As you say, another great word under the “asshole umbrella.” The suction and pull can only last so long and then when they realize the target has moved on they become more obsessed until finally they find a new target and scamper off. But they circle back hoping for the gravity pull or to catch one at a weak moment. I loved that article though.

    1. I was amused at the term Hoovering. I put Hoover’s face but I could easily have imaged this with a vacuum. The end result is a person who captures another like a cat and mouse game sucks the life out of another to feed his or her own emptiness. If we could sit back and be disinterested observers, those types would be interesting to analyze as one among the circus of humans we are.

      1. I thought Hoover’s face was absolutely perfect and he did that cat and mouse game so well in politics. These urban terms are so interesting to me as well and very helpful in identifying the personal make up of the various individuals in my world (or my own circus).

      2. I have to plead ignorance to my Presidential history facts on Hoover other than he came before FDR, was a Republican and is not known for greatness. Maybe the term comes from his sucking as a President? (I’m grasping and funning.)

      3. You know I just realized I was thinking of J. Edgar with the cat and mouse aspect during the Kennedy regime. The term still applies so well there too.

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