When we talk about manipulation, we usually think of techniques such as guilt, flattery or threats. However, there is a more subtle and insidious method in the workings of manipulators: the Vacuum Cleaner Technique.
This is a technique used by people with bad intentions to get what they want, whether it is a favor, money or a love relationship. In this article, we will break down this method and give you some tips on how to protect yourself from it.
Understanding the Vacuum Cleaner Technique
The Vacuum Cleaner Technique consists of pressuring a person until he or she feels obliged to respond to your demands. This pressure comes in different forms: insistence, emotional blackmail, denigration or threatening to break off the relationship.
The goal of the vacuum cleaner is to create a sense of guilt in the target and to get them to do what they want.
This art of manipulation can be used in many situations, whether in a romantic relationship, at work, or even in the family circle. But also, the vacuuming technique is often exploited by people with personality disorders, such as narcissism or psychopathy.
However, it is possible to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from this toxic practice, the first step is to understand its warning signs.
Warning signs of the Vacuum Cleaner Technique
At first glance, the warning signs of the Vacuum Cleaner Technique are sometimes difficult to recognize because of their subtlety. However, there are a few telltale facts that can identify this practice.
First, the individual using the Hoover Technique may ask a multitude of personal questions, seeking intimate information about the target.
The victim will talk about their private feelings and experiences as the questions become incessant and then annoying. And yet, the perpetrator of the technique shows no sign of real interest in this information.
Feeling compelled to continue to meet his demands, the target will become emotionally drained and provide him with the attention and validation he needs.
How to protect yourself from the Hoover Technique ?
Now that you understand how this form of manipulation works and can identify its telltale signs, it will be easy for you to protect yourself from it. However, here are some additional tips that will help you.
First of all, stay alert to threats or denigrating remarks that may initiate the vacuuming technique. These are warning signs that should not be ignored. For example, if you feel constantly harassed or forced to comply with someone’s requests, it is possible that you are being manipulated.
Also, do not tolerate verbal attacks on you on purpose, set clear boundaries and communicate them to the person who is using the vacuuming technique on you. Let them know that you are not willing to do what they are asking.
If the person continues to harass you, don’t hesitate to walk away. In the case of a romantic relationship, admit that you are in a toxic relationship with your partner. Considering a breakup will seem difficult, but it may be the best solution for your well-being and mental health.
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Talk to trusted friends, a mental health professional, or an organization that specializes in handling.