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.
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.