The Flying Monkeys A Narcissist’s Tool
Updated October 9, 2019
First of all, flying monkeys are also known as the:
- extension of the narcissist
- campaign managers
They’re out there recruiting other people, kind of in a way like religious people might knock on your door and try to recruit you into their religion. They’re trying to convert you into the religion of the narcissist, which is a reality by the narcissist.
So the role of these flying monkeys is first of all abuse by proxy.
Abuse by proxy is when the narcissist gets other people to abuse you. That way, the narcissist gets to harm you but through these people. They’ll reject you, they’ll make you feel not good enough, they’ll shame you, maybe they’ll put you in a bad situation, they’ll tell you that you’re crazy, things like that. This way, the narcissist looks like the clean one. They’re not involved.
The flying monkeys are also used to spread rumors and gossip.
This is one of their most prevalent roles. They are addicted to gossip. Usually, these people go around and spread rumors and gossip that they heard.
Flying monkeys do the narcissist’s bidding. That’s what the smear campaign is, is they’ll do whatever the narcissist wants. The narcissist wants them to go out and talk badly about you and spread lies about you, or the narcissist wants them to outright abuse you or to make you feel like you don’t belong. Or maybe they invite you to a place where they know something horrible is going to happen for you, and you’re not going to be comfortable there, those sorts of things.
Flying monkeys make the narcissist feel like they’re relevant and unique. They help the narcissist feel like they’re grandiose like they have a high status like they’re famous or a celebrity, which is what the narcissist wants to feel. Narcissists often have a whole entourage around them just like a star needs an entourage to feel secure about themselves.
So who can become flying monkeys?
There are two different categories of people.
- The Naive
- The Toxic
The Naive are people who are just clueless. They can’t see it, they can’t fathom it, they’ve never been through anything like that, so they can’t even imagine that somebody would do such a thing to make up all these lies about you and spread them across town. They can’t even fathom that a human would do that or maybe the naive is also the fawning type.
This is the type of people who when faced with a fight or flight dilemma, they choose fawning instead where they melt into a robust and dominant personality to feel safe, and they don’t realize what’s happening. You might have noticed that even you became one of these flying monkeys when you were in your naive state before you woke up before you figured out what was going on.
The Toxic – These are the people with no boundaries. They love to gossip and cause drama, they’re addicted to that stuff. They have an integrity problem, and usually, they want something from the narcissist.
They want status, they want flattery, they want favours.
They’re getting something out of the narcissist, which is why they’re willing to do their bidding.
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How does the narcissist recruit flying monkeys against the target?
Typically what they’ll do, is they’ll go out around town or your community or however you knew this person, maybe even your office. Perhaps it’s a romance in an office, or maybe it’s a boss or a co-worker.
They’re usually going to play one of those two things.
Essentially they’re going to project and say that you’re the abusive one meaning you are doing all the things that they were doing to abuse you. Maybe they even call your family members, and they try to convert your family members into their reality, or perhaps this is also happening within your family.
Abusers love to call you crazy when you figure out what’s going on because they have to discredit you. If they don’t go around telling people that you’re mad, they might believe you.
When the narcissist tells you that you’re crazy, that should set off an alarm bell for you to recognize it’s a smear campaign. That’s a clue, that the narcissist is going to do the smear campaign.
They’re also going to play the role that they’re just “concerned” about you. Women narcissists do this more often than men. They’re “concerned” about your health and reveal information that was none of anybody’s business, something that you didn’t want out there.
This happened to one of my clients. His wife started telling her family and their friends, their mutual friends, that he was drinking a lot and he wasn’t. She started telling them that he had some alcohol problem, and he overheard this conversation.
They’ll spread these kinds of rumors about you.
Or maybe they find out that you went on an antidepressant and so then they run their mouth and tell people how they’re just so “concerned” about you because you’re so depressed.
It’s an incredible betrayal when they reveal something that happened to you, or it’s a total lie, and they’re making something up to pretend that they’re concerned about you and your health.
It seems like it could be right to a certain point, especially to people who don’t know. But the people who are subscribing and fully knowing, the toxic, who are partaking in this because they’re getting something out of it, they will gladly subscribe to that reality even if they know that it’s a false reality.
Why does the narcissist use flying monkeys?
First of all, they like to discredit the witness. They love to discredit you so that you don’t reveal your truth or so that maybe you’ll be so ashamed and terrified that you won’t say anything. Instead, you’ll swallow it all.
Maybe it looks that you are the one who’s lying in this situation when that’s the exact opposite of reality.
Sometimes the narcissists will come up with flying monkeys even if you didn’t also have a relationship with this person. Maybe you just innocently walked into a new job, and this person just started targeting you. Maybe they instantly had a jealous competition over your talents, your abilities, your position, your alliances or something like that. Or perhaps it’s because somebody likes you who doesn’t like them and they want the favor that person. Any kind of jealous competition can stoke up this kind of situation where narcissists will grab some flying monkeys or create flying monkeys to go against you.
Part of that jealous competition is that sometimes narcissists don’t like those others who like you. Maybe a person who likes you doesn’t like the narcissist, or perhaps they do like the narcissist, and now the narcissist wants to triangulate to make sure that the person likes the narcissist better than they like you. For whatever reason, they can’t let you have that kind of friendship or alliance with the person.
The narcissist doesn’t have to get their hands dirty abusing you because they can recruit all these other people to do that work for themselves.
And finally, they’re going to use mobbing against you so that you feel alone and unsure of your reality.
When it’s one person against one person that gaslighting can be challenging. When it’s a whole group of people who are subscribing to that reality, and then you, you’re going to feel really alone. You’re going to be tempted to doubt yourself and your perception of reality. The flying monkeys can be a very powerful ally for the narcissist.
First of all, stay in integrity.
Commit to 100% integrity, so they have nothing to use against you and part of that is responding instead of reacting. Check out the three videos we did on this topic. (On our YouTube Channel – Members Only)
Stay in integrity because if you freak out if you do something wrong if you abuse the narcissist back or scream and look like you’re crazy, then they have something to use against you, especially if you do this in front of a group of people. Narcissists love to do that; they love to provoke you in front of a whole group of people, at a work meeting, at a family dinner, you and your partner going out with mutual friends or something like that.
That’s the worst part they’ll get you to react and look like you’re the crazy one and they’ll use that against you. Staying in integrity avoids that scenario.
The second is to opt-out.
Opt-out of this game. So what does that mean? That means going No Contact when possible.
Most definitely go No Contact with the narcissist and also go No Contact with their flying monkeys. You want to block them most definitely on social media. Why? Because that will be a source of torture for you. The narcissist will leverage social media and all these people against you and if you’re in that phase where you’re stalking, and you’re going online, and you’re obsessed with finding out what’s going. You’re going to see their posts, and it’s just going to drive you insane. You’ve got to opt-out of that by going No Contact with all those flying monkeys.
I wouldn’t just delete them off your friend’s list. I would block them, so you set yourself up for success, so that you don’t even tempt yourself to look and then go down that downward spiral and get derailed for days from your projects, from your energy, from feeling good.
Another suggestion is, don’t try to convince them of the truth.
People are going to see what they want to see. If they’re believing in the narcissist, the naive just don’t get it. They don’t see it and you trying to convince them of the truth is not going to help. That never works, not one time that I tried it, it never worked.
Your real friends are going to recognize it; they’re going to stand by you, they’re not going to question you, they’re going to have your back right away.
The other group of people, the toxic people, you don’t want to try to convince them of the truth because they don’t want to hear the truth. They’re getting something out of that relationship with the narcissist.
So don’t try to convince them, it’s going to be a massive waste of your energy and probably what’s going to happen at the end of that conversation, or that attempt to convince somebody is you’re going to feel even more doubtful about yourself.
You’re going to doubt your reality. It’s going to be hard to be assertive and own your reality.
Sometimes there are situations where you can’t entirely go No Contact with the flying monkeys, say say it’s a roommate, it’s someone that you live with, say it’s someone in a closed community, they’re part of your church, they’re part of your school, they’re part of some group of people you can’t cut out. Maybe you’re still at the job, and you can’t leave the job yet because you don’t have a new job lined up. Be careful not to share personal information with the flying monkeys.
You want the absolute minimum contact with the flying monkeys in these cases. Share nothing personal, talk about the weather, talk about sports, talk about something meaningless. Whatever you talk about be sure it doesn’t have any kind of emotional connection to you or reveal anything personal about your life. They would use all that against you, and all of that will get back to the narcissist, which will then have a double impact on you.
And finally when possible move away.
If this is your next-door neighbor, if this is someone in a small community, move away from there, get away from there. If it’s in your immediate environment like that, for example, if you’re in a work situation, you can manage this for some time. You can learn how to grow better boundaries, how to set and enforce boundaries, how to respond versus react, but that’s a temporary solution. You don’t want to stay there too long. You don’t want to keep that job long term. Start looking for another job, quietly of course. Definitely don’t tell anyone in that office, not even someone you think is your ally who might accidentally reveal that information to the wrong person. Get a new job as soon as possible so you get out of that environment as quickly as possible because managing all those boundaries and being on guard on a daily basis is going to drain a lot of energy that you could be investing in other areas of your life.
And finally, I want to give you guys the benefit.
The smear campaign is devastating. Dealing with flying monkeys is horrible. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have committed suicide because there was a whole group of people against them and they just felt so invalidated, so alone, so deeply doubting of themselves that they couldn’t find a reason to go on. They didn’t find a way out; they didn’t even know what was happening. It can be that serious.
Maybe you didn’t know who they really are. Life has this way of revealing people over time, and it may not be today, but at some point, people will reveal themselves to you. At the very least, be grateful that these people revealed themselves to you. They showed you that they are not your friends. Now that you know this, you no longer trust them. You’re no longer sharing with them and giving energy to them, now that you know not to go there for friendship, for loyalty, and trust.
So if you’ve been through this experience of dealing with flying monkeys or if you’re going through this experience right now, if something in this article helped you, let me know in the comments.
Narcissists choose people that are giving, caring, kind, empathetic and hard working. honest, trustworthy. unsuspecting. they believe there is good in everybody. good on their arm. they choose these qualities in a person who has very good traits.
Because, it boosts their ego.
That they are with THIS wonderful woman.
An old cheesy narcissist will sink lower as he gets older.
Well, he thinks that his flying monkeys are nothing.
But, more than likely, they are down on their luck or just people who believe the narcissist and his smear campaign.
He’s just a very expert liar. The lie is the whole narcissist. Their false presentation of themselves is everything. So, lying is so easy. It just rolls off their tong like English.
They can not face their own feelings. They can not own their imperfections.
They are too weak. They are very weak people and this is why they are envious.
My ex narc had me on the smear campaign against his ex wife. There were a lot of people who beleived his story. He would have people believe things for years. His long time friends believed his shit. They start believing their own lies.
From my experience most flying monkeys are just downright nosey ass people by nature. I can 100% agree with everything you said
Them monkeys exist but will never face you with any of their social media thugness/harassment My experience with the “recycled flying monkey” (not her first or third go round with him) ended up having to get Sheriffs involved bc she was harassing me by phone as well (how booboo kitty get my phone #…. exactly). They both changed numbers trying to hide from the law (dumbos govt only need S.S.#s to find anyone) Which I could never understand, if y’all are soo happy why the heck y’all are not going on with your lives…….. To this day the “recycled flying monkey” has not faced me face to face like Real awomen do, being she supposedly has a problem with me & don’t even know me at all…. We have met face to face once when she tried running up in my house 5yrs ago, while narcy hubs stood in the dark with a butcher’s knife acting like he did not know her watching everything unfold tlkn bout he didn’t have time for her ish (but you don’t know her)…. I’m like they’re both two insecure pathetic toxic disordered dysfunctional drama addict loving individuals.
True!!! They are all big and bad behind social media accounts. Keyboard Warriors!
I never even had a relationship with this narcissist yet still this happened to me.
The Flying Monkey and Girlfriend Stasia Hoadley publicises on another site that I’m causing all this drama with the Narc, as apparently I wanted a relationship with the Narc and I was rejected by The Narc. ?
Then The Narc in his own words on his own website admitting publicly that we were in a relationship. ?
Ahhh! The Inconsistencies… ?They can’t even get their made up stories syncing together. haha!
As long as the enablers want to stay part of the narcissistic group, its terms of membership are:
1. Never speak to the victim/scapegoat to hear her side of what happened with the narcissist. This would include negative information about the narcissist, so it is “obviously not credible and does not even need to be heard.”
2. Bully the victim/scapegoat as mercilessly as possible. Throw parties excluding only her children, give her the silent treatment, refuse to let her children enter your houses, glare at her in public to intimidate her. Smear her to friends, colleagues, business contacts.
3. Live in the narcissist’s version of reality. This requires the enabler to “believe” in patent absurdities, such as:
(a) the narcissist wears the white hat and did not contribute to the situation at all;
the victim is insane; and
(b) the victim deserves social or actual death for her insanity, and so do her children and the entire family.
(c) The narcissist enablers know they are doing wrong. They know they are participating in antisocial behavior: condemning someone without a fair trial. They do it because they want to be part of the narcissist’s group, they are getting some benefit from their membership, and they believe the narcissist has the most power compared to the victim.
Over time it may become clear that the narcissist is actually a bad guy doing very bad things, but by then, the enablers have taken affirmative actions on his behalf against the victim. They are now invested in the narcissist’s success because they too will now look bad and have to admit they made mistakes if they stop “going with” the narcissist and his lies about the victim. They hate to do this because, being willing to mercilessly scapegoat someone/condemns without a trial/blacklist someone for making a mistake, they are at least somewhat narcissistic themselves.
A very damaging phenomenon, indeed: the enablers don’t really believe the narcissist, but they go along anyway because he has power, invalidating the victim and making her desperate to prove she’s not the monster the narcissist painted her out to be.
Keep exposing these sick individuals ?
Totally true! That’s exactly what I experienced. The social assassination was brutal and merciless. Terrible emotional and health damage caused to me and my partner.
I was lucky I had some ammunitions to stop the onslaught by taking criminal action such as defamation.
One of the enablers was even arrested and detained which sent a strong message to others…
So far all attacks on social media have stopped and I started to push back by posting evidence of the evil conspiracy of the narcissist.
Strange attitudes of people I’ve never done anything wrong to, or don’t even know their names tell me extent of the damage caused by the smear against me.
I have started to push back with social and professional achievements that would have been impossible if the bad mouthing made by the narcissist was true and some people who believed start to come back to me to ask questions.
What I don’t know is what is being done behind my back to deny me existence…
Stoicism and courage are needed.
I do not wish to anyone to have my experience!
Thanks for your insight!
Studying stoic philosophy has greatly helped me, as well. I’m right there with you. These are the worst people on earth, and truth and right will defeat them eventually. We got this! ?
He must destroy the victim’s credibility because she has dirt on him.
The narcissist wants to maintain his false mask more than anything else in life. He is so ashamed of his real persona that he doesn’t even want to be faced with it himself. Once he perceives that someone has the power to expose any part of his truth, in his mind he must destroy her, using every means available to ensure the maximum number of people are triangulated (isolated) from her and will not believe her if she does speak.
The narcissist “gets out in front” of this problem via a vicious and sadistic smear campaign, telling everyone the victim is “delusional,” “crazy,” and “immoral,” while he, the narcissist, is her innocent victim. He then insists that his listeners should not even hear the victim’s defense – “of course she will come up with some excuse to defend herself. What nonsense. I am the only one whose words should even be considered here.” If the narcissist gets wind that someone has heard the victim’s version of events, he (and any others invested in maintaining his narrative) will avoid that person because she is not properly triangulated.
In my case, the narcissist’s whole narrative about me relies on me being either literally insane and/or acquiring sudden-onset Asperger’s. If either of those were true, I’d be deserving of the utmost pity, not the horrific and humiliating treatment I’ve been subjected to. Thankfully, most witnesses of the narcissist’s attack on me have been able to see this; these are the people who have looked solely at our respective actions, and not been swayed by words.
“Actions speak louder than words.” -Unknown
“In leadership, life and all things it’s far wiser to judge people by their deeds than their speech – their track record rather than their talk.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
So very absolutely insightful!!!! Thank you for all of the wonderful knowledgeable answers!!!
My ex has a smear campaign going on against me right now it’s in full swing….. But I believe I have truly come to the point where a really don’t give a shit…. Anyone who truly knows me and loves me will know the real truth…. So let him play with his flying monkeys and say anything he needs to say to make himself look like the king of the world…..
But I’m a true believer in karma
And tis a sneaking up on him daily…….
Blessings to all and thanks again for all your wonderful insight it has been so helpful ?
Thank you for the kind words! I too believe in karma. There is no way people get away with this kind of behavior forever. No way.
The smear taught me who my friends are, separated the wheat from the chaff. I’m thankful every day, in the end this horrific abuse turned my life around for the better. We got this!! ??
CC…. This site and so many others have helped me so much I really thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart…. At 50 starting all over again yeah it’s a rough process but like you said in the long run I’ll be better for it…. Thank you for all the positive and uplifting… Help you have obviously given me and so many others ❤️
@ Fiona – There is nothing you can do to combat a smear campaign except:
1. Keep being yourself—the person you were when you attracted the narcissist’s notice in the first place. If he is attacking you, he feels threatened by your value. He’s trying to move you down below him on his perceived hierarchy so he can feel safe, secure and in control. Don’t let him reduce you that way. Climb even higher.
2. Let everyone go who takes the narcissist’s side. Do not feel desperate to explain yourself or to “keep” anyone—the narcissist will be saying terrible things about you, and anyone who believes that of you without thinking critically, without considering all of your history together and how it contradicts everything the narcissist says, is absolutely not worthy of a place in your life.
Personally, I never tried to convince people to take my side during the smear because I recognized that would place them in an awkward spot. Several people made contact with me as they heard about the situation from the narcissist, so I explained what really happened/why his story made no sense and then asked each of them to remain neutral. This way, the heat stayed on me, protecting (to the extent possible) more innocent third parties from being affected by the dirty tricks of the narcissist. This worked out very well for me overall; I only lost a few people who are clearly narcissistic themselves. Good riddance!
Fighting the smear could get messy, and there really is no point. The most important lesson to take away from your smear is it really does not matter what anyone else thinks of you. Your opinion of yourself is all that really matters. ??
@ CAB Thank you!!!
You completely ignore it and do not defend justify or attempt to prove anything.
You discard those who choose to further abuse and traumatize you …the enablers and flying monkeys.
Who are they to judge who are they to question what you went through so put the shame on them and tell them that and be confident.
You tell them I don’t care what you think I won’t be invalidated anymore I know my truth but hey what is wrong with you defending an abuser? How dare they is there ever a reason? If they don’t know what emotional abuse is that’s not your problem to show them either! How dare they invalidate you and what you’ve gone through and you shouldn’t have to defend yourself tell them that and be done.
Yes trying to prove anything to people who choose to ignore the truth and minimize your experience will only make you look crazy which is what the narcissist wants and the others will not understand as they choose to live in denial because it’s easier.
In the end they’ll figure it out. Put the blame back on them and be done and hopefully they’ll come around and apologize one day for being such cold hearted people but ignore that too!
Fuck em ?
@ CAB This was my very experienced therapist’s advice too. People who’ve heard the smears had a choice and it wasn’t to question what they were hearing. It’s valuable to know that about people.
But above all be yourself. I’ve done that a couple of times when I knew I was going to be around his friends and afterward I was much more at peace than I used to be.
Many of my natural responses to being slandered lack dignity—for instance, sometimes I get angry and “lose my words” just when I need to be clear and concise.
But simply mindfully being Me shows much more composure and I think that actually stands a chance of causing the friend to rethink their belief that I was the problem.
@ Patricia – It’s hard not to lose your words when you’re dealing with people who have been thoroughly gaslit and triangulated by the narcissist. They are seriously living in a false reality—the same reality the narcissist hopes you will accept. It’s bullying, an attempt to get control over people’s minds. It’s fun fighting it in a way because it proves to me how strong I really am and how far I have come or grown as a person. I doubted that before, and I don’t now. I’m at a different level than before. ? #selflove #winning #strength #evolving
@ CAB I know exactly what you mean. When I first tried out Grey Rocking during an abusive incident, I felt like SuperWoman! Now to consistently master being myself when I find myself with his friends…
It’s a process, I keep reminding myself. There’s unlikely to be a clear-cut Big Win in the cards for me, but each time I do better, it feels great. x
Sadly, you could be St Theresa and a narc would still find a way to smear you like jelly, honestly. This is their craft, this is their game. They will continue to smear you until the day you die and beyond . Your best and only approach is to have no contact with them and keep your life as private from them as you can as to not give them anything else to smear you about. The only way of winning is the fact that you are no longer with this person. You need to chalk their behaviour up to them being insecure and mentally ill and walk away and hope that others who are falling for their lies will eventually see their true colors (which may or may not happened ).
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