In this quick guide, we focus on the hovering narcissist. The kind that will do all they can to pull you back into the abusive relationship, as you try to run away from the hurt and pain. Often, we fall into the hands of a narcissistic leader, parent, spouse, or friend without knowing it. You know, this person could be taking advantage of your relationship to manipulate or control you using verbal or emotional abuse. Deep down, you go through unpleasant emotions that are quite confusing. And, you may end up trying to justify the narcissistic behavior as a way to cope. More so, you lose your self-esteem and even fall into depression.
Which Narcissist Are You Dealing with?
Now, if you sense that the person you trust is a narcissist, plan to guard yourself against any potential abuse from them. But how can you tell if the person is a narcissist in the first place? More so, which type of narcissist are they?
The Hovering Narcissist: Who? Why?
A narcissist finds fulfillment in creating drama and victimizing others. Hence, they need their victims around them to fulfill this desire. Moreover, there is a thin line between a genuine partner trying to reconcile a broken relationship and a hovering narcissist luring you back to their control. Can you tell the difference?
Below are the 8 signs you could be a victim of a hovering narcissist: –
#1: Random “Love Bombs”
A hovering narcissist is usually in a panic mode, trying to mend a relationship before you exit their lives for good. For this, they may resort to “love bombing” you with lots of random messages or phone calls.
- Seeking your opinion about what they are doing at the moment
- Asking you to send greetings or best wish messages to someone you both know
- Reminding you how nice you look in the dress or bracelet they bought you
- Apologizing for sending you “love notes”
These random acts are well calculated; to get you to remember the soft side of the narcissist.
#2: Ignores the Abusive Past
In line with sending random love messages, a hovering narcissist will try as much as possible to make you forget the abusive past. Like you could be nursing a physical or emotional wound, but they treat you like nothing happened. Or, they change the subject of your conversations whenever you bring up their history of abuse.
#3: Holds on to a Dead Relationship
You know the relationship is over. And, you’ve clearly expressed your views to your partner. Yet, regardless of them agreeing with your sentiments, they try all they can to continue relating with you. Like, they will pick up the kids, take you to dinner, or ask you about your favorite movie, pretending that all is okay. In addition, think of the times a fiancé shows up to take your pet for a walk like before, barely a week after you break up.
#4: Entices You with Gifts
Do you love being pampered with gifts? If so, a hovering narcissist will use this chance to shower you with unexpected gifts. For example, this person may never remember your birthday or wedding anniversary. But, when they sense you are about to leave them, they bring you an anniversary gift out of the blues.
#5: Feigns Apologies
A hovering narcissist is always “remorseful”. However, it is a mere show to convince you to stay. Once you are back, the abuse continues. For example, a hovering narcissistic leader will own up to being too harsh the last time they gave out punishment for your mistakes. Yet, the next time you are in the wrong, the punishment may be worse.
Then, one easy way to identify a fake apology is by observing the narcissist’s reaction when you shift the conversation or turn down their apology. The narcissist will get upset, make dramatic declarations, or even get violent.
#6: Manipulates You through Others
Now, when a hovering narcissist fails to get to you with all their manipulative tactics, they do it indirectly through the people you cherish. For example, a spouse may send a child to intimidate their partner. Here, they may tell the child that the mom or dad is leaving; asking the child to beg the parent not to go. In turn, you feel sorry for the child and opt to stay.
#7: Overpromising and Failing to Deliver
Does your partner complain that you nag them about that exotic trip to the Maldives, moving to a new house, or getting the latest iPhone? Well, a hovering narcissist will suddenly want to fulfill all these requests, “unconditionally”. However, they will not deliver any of these promises.
#8: Threats of Self-Harm
Some hovering narcissists will threaten to commit suicide, quit their jobs, run away, or harm themselves. Never let these threats get to you. Certainly, the narcissist is just hoping that you will respond by being sympathetic to them. Hence, the best approach is to refer or take them to professional help.
How to Respond to Hovering Narcissistic Tactics
When your narcissistic friend, spouse, or leader won’t let go of you, here are some things you can do to cope:
- Ignore the hovering. Zero to minimal contact with the hovering narcissist will protect your emotional wellbeing, and give you time to heal from the narcissistic abuse.
- If you have to communicate (for example, you need to talk about your children), make it brief and impersonal.
- Stop being a people pleaser. Instead, start by never idealizing your current relationship. This approach will protect you from becoming an easy victim of a hovering narcissist in the future.
- Embrace the abusive past; never sugar-coat it. Consequently, you will have a clear perception of what the hovering narcissist is trying to do.
- Journal your feelings.
- Seek professional help.
A hovering narcissist is an overbearing person. This person fulfills a need to harm you by having you around. Hence, the narcissist will put up an indirect fight to win your heart and force you to stay. And, despite the show of kindness and remorsefulness, narcissism is a personality disorder. The abuser will never change their behavior overnight to please you. It takes a lot of focused therapy to do that. Finally, always guard your self-esteem against narcissists because once you lose that, it’s difficult to continue fighting.