Flying monkeys facilitate the narcissist’s abusive behaviour by buying into their warped reality, supporting them and even doing their dirty work for them. Do flying monkeys ever see the truth of what they’re involved in and inadvertently cause?
As the narcissist uses other people to collect information and spread false rumours for them, this enables the narcissist to keep their public image clean. They also use flying monkeys to illustrate their own false reality where they are the victim and the actual victim is painted as the perpetrator.
Going through the throes of narcissistic abuse is hard enough to acknowledge and deal with, without having to contend with an army of the narc’s groupies inflicting further abuse and pain.
I know just how devastating it is because I’ve been through it myself, multiple times with multiple narcissists throughout my life. I can also tell you that you do not need to fear the narcissist’s flying monkeys because there are solutions you can arm yourself with.
So, do flying monkeys ever see the truth about the abusive role they are playing with the narcissist? The answer is a little more complicated than just a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
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What are the Narcissist’s Flying Monkeys?
I’m sure we’ve all seen the classic movie The Wizard of Oz at least once in our childhoods. Do you remember the scenes where the Wicked Witch would send off those winged monkeys to do her bidding?
Well, the term ‘flying monkeys’ has since been adopted by psychologists and people in the narc community, directly based around the evil witch’s troop of monkeys.
Essentially the term flying monkeys was coined to describe the people in the narcissist’s life and your life who the narc engages to do their dirty work for them.
The object of the game is to use others to rewrite history, so that the narcissist can paint themselves in the light they want to be seen in (despite the truth) and to destroy you and everything you hold dear.
In fact what flying monkeys engage in is known as abuse by proxy.
NARCISSISTIC ABUSE BY PROXY
Where people are enlisted to act on behalf of the narcissist to help them achieve their abusive goals. This may be through gathering information from the victim and taking it back to the narcissist.
Another task is helping the narc to manipulate and smear the victim, so that the narc can control the public storyline. The idea is to make the victim look like the unhinged perpetrator, while the narcissist comes off looking like the poor casualty.
Who can be a narcissist’s flying monkey?
- Family members
- Work colleagues
- Members of the community
- Mutual acquaintances
- Even your hairdresser if they think it can benefit them!
Once a relationship with a narcissist comes to an end, they will do anything to make themselves appear to be the poor victim. Their ego must defend its False Self at all costs and will seek to destroy you in the process.
They will tell people that you did all of the things that they actually did (cheat, lie and steal just to name a few of their atrocities).
They will get in first with your own friends and family and completely rewrite the storyline of what actually happened. This will all be done before you’ve had a chance to breath, let alone confide in those who you thought you could trust.
Now you find out that those very people are turning against you, not only believing what the narcissist has told them, but actively helping them to work against you!
The narcissist won’t stop there in their conquest to annihilate you, they may even get authorities and the legal system on their warpath to wipe you out. If they can desecrate your reputation and destroy your career at the same time, they will.
A flying monkey is anyone the narcissist uses for the purpose of strengthening their own agenda. Flying monkeys often enable the narcissist’s storyline and behaviour, as well as do their dirty work for them, which allows the narcissist to keep their own reputation intact.
Flying Monkeys are the Narcissist’s minions!
Types of Flying Monkeys
Narcissists will pick up on the dominant traits in someone who could be a potential flying monkey and assign them tasks accordingly.
BENEVOLENT FLYING MONKEYS
Benevolent flying monkeys are generally vulnerable, empathetic people who will more easily justify a narcissist’s behaviour based on compassion and always seeing the good in people. This type of flying monkey doesn’t intend to cause harm but is easily manipulated.
MALEVOLENT FLYING MONKEYS
As you can guess, malevolent flying monkeys are those who intentionally harm and even gain satisfaction from it. Other narcissists are often involved in this group of flying monkeys because it makes them feel powerful and scores them some points with another narcissist, who they obviously see value in.
- Narcissists/ Sociopaths
Why do narcissists use flying monkeys?
It’s important to understand that when you’re dealing with a narcissist, you’re not levelling with a sane, rational, healthy person.
The narcissist is 100% controlled by their ego, which is constantly creating false versions of themselves. All of these facades act to hide the truth of who there are from the world around them.
The ego is driven by all of the lower vibrational aspects of the human experience. Lying, cheating, stealing and manipulating are all amongst the ego/ narcissist’s everyday tools for moving through life.
When they were very young and went through some kind of impactful trauma, they subconsciously severed the connection to their own true self to the point of no return. They felt that to be vulnerable, have empathy and be a loving human being was just too painful and dangerous.
What they are left with is their ego in full control of their lives.
The ego has no conscience and will happily manipulate, coerce and play games to get whatever it wants. It must always uphold the image of how it wants to be seen, rather than the truth of what it really is (a deceitful, unconscious entity).
And the icing on the cake is that the ego refuses to take accountability for its wrongdoings and the trail of destruction it causes in the process.
In fact, in the distorted reality of the ego-driven narcissist, they genuinely believe that they are the victim, with you being the doer of all the bad things.
You’re probably pulling your hair out trying to understand how on Earth can the narcissist truly believe that they have done nothing wrong!?
Let me explain a little further.
Given that the narcissist is truly incapable of acknowledging their own inner wounds, they will continue to be unaccountable for their behaviour as a result of those wounds.
To justify their actions, they need to see other people as being the cause of their behaviour, rather than it actually being themselves as a result of their own deep hurts.
How do they do this? Through projection and creating false storylines.
When a narcissist projects the very things that they are doing onto you or anyone else, they are literally superimposing that image onto the other person. Now, when the narcissist looks at them, they truly do see the other person playing out what they have actually played out themselves.
This is the crux of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and what makes it a mental condition, which you cannot fix, heal or change.
So, in their fractured existence, all of their behaviour is completely justified. The punishments, smearing and abuse you receive at the hands of the narcissist and their flying monkeys is all that’s needed to rationalise their ego’s version of events.
Narcissists use flying monkeys in the discard phase to control the public storyline and evade accountability.
Bringing this back to why narcissists use flying monkeys is simple. For them to see and believe a false storyline is one thing, but for it really to play out across the board, they need recruits.
Narcissists will use flying monkeys to enact DARVO, which is a psychological and emotional abuse tactic.
Deny the abuse ever happened
Attack the person who’s confronting the abuse
Reverse the roles of…
They will tell all of their lies to anyone who will listen and anyone who they deem as being a useful tool in their agenda.
Yep, the narcissist can literally build an army of minions to hunt you down and attack, all to build up their false scenario.
If they can get the flying monkeys to do their bidding in a way that keeps the narcissist looking clean, even better. Then they can wipe their hands and claim to have had nothing to do with it.
So, do flying monkeys ever see the truth of what they’re involved in? Let’s dig in and find out.
Do Flying Monkeys Ever See the Truth?
Do flying monkeys know what they are doing?
Narcissists are great at observing people and working out whether they’d be easy to manipulate or not.
As hard as it is to fathom, the narcissist was probably sizing up your friends and family right from the very beginning. They’re constantly collecting data on who they could drop seeds of info to that will believe their plight, which will inevitably strengthen their agenda along the way.
Remember, to a narcissist, everyone is merely an object to be used for their own selfish gain.
People who are empathetic, vulnerable, gullible or even narcissistic themselves are all people the narc will fix their crosshairs on. These are the types of people who are either compassionate, easily pliable or eager to knock others down.
By the time you’ve broken up and the narcissist is using mutual people in your lives to gather info on you, smear you or even outright attack you, they’ve already been well primed.
Those people have probably only ever seen the narcissist’s false public image, not the one you know from behind closed doors.
The narcissist is extremely convincing in their storytelling and will go to great lengths to make it all sound plausible.
At the end of the day, the flying monkeys believe the narcissist is the poor victim at your hands. They believe that they are doing the right thing in trying to bring you to justice.
Flying Monkey Roles:
- Gather info to take back to the narcissist
- Gossip and spread rumours
- Enable the narcissist’s behaviour
- Buy the narcissist’s stories
- Intimidate, hassle and attack on behalf of the narcissist
Do flying monkeys ever see the truth of what they’ve inflicted? For the vast majority, flying monkeys do not know the bigger plan of what they are a part of.
The narcissist has picked the details and pieces of the storyline that they know will hit home with those flying monkeys and induce a sense of self-righteous duty within them.
Why do flying monkeys believe the narcissist?
Narcissists are among the best actors on the planet. Even though they completely lack any sense of empathy, gosh they can really put it on and tug at your heartstrings.
They will look people dead in the eye and lie through their teeth all while welling up in the corners of their eyes with real tears! I fell for it so many times with my ex, it’s sickening.
They are masters at using our real human empathy, compassion and emotions against us as weapons.
When you’re rocking in despair, trying to figure out how the flying monkeys can actually believe the narcissist’s bs, all you have to do is look back at your own journey with the narc.
Remember how easily you fell for their love bombing and false promises? Remember how convincing they were when they were pouring out their heart about their ‘crazy’ ex who ruined their life? Remind yourself just how much compassion you felt towards this poor soul who was just trying to get through life.
Now put yourself in the shoes of the flying monkeys and imagine the types of ridiculous stories they are being primed with, all with the intention of induing raw emotion.
The insecurities and inner wounds behind those people’s charged emotions, is what causes people to act and react.
Narcissists go into such incredible detail with their lies, that people wouldn’t even consider that this person isn’t telling the truth. How else would they know all of the ins and outs of someone being cheated on or of being stripped financially?
You see, all of the things they did to you, those are the very things they’ll be accusing you of on a public scale. In fact, you can expect the stories to be even more dramatic, with extra details thrown in, just to really smear you good and proper.
When people think that you’ve done these awful things to the narcissist, they will feel so noble about the fact that your behaviour is not okay and that you must be held accountable for it.
All of the things that the narcissist should be facing with their own behaviour, here you are having to take their punishments for crimes they committed against you. It’s absolutely soul crushing!
How do narcissists get flying monkeys?
Narcissists are predators who prey on others to feed themselves. The way narcissists get flying monkeys isn’t all that different in how they got you.
Narcs are always reading people to see who they can recruit to somehow use in order to uphold their false image and of course, use to siphon narcissistic supply from.
When people show empathy and compassion, the narcissist will play on those aspects of a person to gain their sympathy. If someone loves to gossip, they know they can tell whatever stories they like to that person and word will get around without them having to do a thing.
If some is desperate for validation and belonging, they can welcome that person into their crew and manipulate them to do things for them in exchange for acceptance. Those types of people are often highly insecure and being eager to please the narcissist, will do almost anything for them.
Along the way, these flying monkeys will provide the narcissist with validation and supply, making the narc feel special, important and superior. Then, when the narcissist wants to send them out and do tasks for them, they’re already waiting in the wings.
In return, the flying monkeys will get breadcrumbs of whatever it is their deep wounds are craving – acceptance, a sense of security, physical items (food, alcohol, drugs, clothing etc.).
For the flying monkeys who get recruited purely for the purpose of destroying you after the break up, the narcissist will appeal to their sense of ‘right and wrong,’ so that they feel the need to help bring the situation to justice.
They’re not necessarily bad people, they just got caught up in the narcissist’s web, just like you did. How do flying monkeys ever see the truth if they’re sold a completely different narrative?
Do narcissists ever discard flying monkeys?
Given that people are just objects to a narcissist, who can be used and abused as they see fit – yes, narcissists can discard flying monkeys as well.
If someone cottons on to the narcissist’s truth, then they become the enemy who must be discarded and punished. In this case, the flying monkey will find themselves on the other side of the fence, being flying monkey’d by those who were perviously on their side!
Some flying monkeys are only enlisted by the narcissist for a specific task or timeframe and beyond that, they become useless to the narc. Without a backwards glance they too will be discarded.
If the narc finds someone else who’s easier to manipulate or is deemed more useful, the narcissist may discard the flying monkey and replace them with a new one.
As with every person, once the narcissist sees no use for them anymore, the flying monkey will either be discarded or shelved for later use.
Triangulation and flying monkeys
Triangulation is where the narcissist uses one or many third parties to communicate between people, which works to enhance their smear campaign, manipulations and false storyline. This is where flying monkeys come in real handy.
The narcissist may pass on some information (whether fact or fiction) to a flying monkey, with the intention that that information leads to another particular person, which further inflates the narc’s agenda.
The benefit of using triangulation is that the narcissist gets to kick back and play the “innocent bystander” role, while their flying monkeys gossip, attack, manipulate and sometimes even threaten the narc’s true victim.
Sometimes triangulation can be a group of people who all support the narcissist and reject your reality. This is essentially group gaslighting where the abuse you suffered from the narcissist is denied and the opposite storyline circulates. The narcissist is made out to be the ‘good one’ and the poor victim at your hands.
How to spot a flying monkey
Now that you’ve got a good understanding of what the narcissist’s flying monkeys are, you may be wondering how to spot a flying monkey in action.
Here are a few giveaway signs of a flying monkey:
- They don’t want to rock the boat (hangs onto the status quo)
- Denies your version of events
- Tends to gossip
- Appeases the narcissist (wants to keep them happy)
- Thrives on drama
- Defends the narcissist
- Attacks or threatens you
Examples of flying monkey comments:
“Oh, she’s not so bad.”
“Well, he’s never done anything to me.”
“You should have more respect for her, that’s your mother.”
“How dare you treat him like that, after everything he’s done for you!”
“Did you hear that [insert your name] was sleeping around? She deservers everything she gets as far as I’m concerned.”
“Well, that’s not what I heard,” (when you try to tell you version of the story).
“He’s doing everything he can to fix the relationship, she’s just being difficult.”
How to set boundaries with flying monkeys
If you find yourself in a position where you cannot cut out all of the narcissist’s flying monkeys from your life, you can certainly set boundaries with those flying monkeys.
Maybe they are coworkers or family members who have fallen for the narc’s stories and manipulations. That’s okay, I understand how hard it is to truly free yourself. The narcissist is a master of their game and can truly infiltrate your entire world.
Here’s how to set boundaries with flying monkeys:
- Go ‘grey rock’ (don’t engage with them and be so boring that they lose interest)
- If they bring up the narcissist, tell them that you do not want to talk about them or hear anything about them
- Do not give them any information about yourself, that way they’ve got nothing to take back to the narcissist
- Do not show them any emotion – appearing completely unaffected is your power
Enforcing these boundaries is going to be all on you, because that is something the flying monkeys are most probably lacking in.
State your boundary clearly when the situation arises and let them know that if they cross that boundary, you’re out. If or when they cross your boundary, you need to follow through and walk away or hang up the phone. Show them that you’re not messing around and that you’re one hundred percent standing in your power and putting yourself first.
If they try to use guilt, fear or obligation tactics on you (especially if the narc is your parent or grandparent), firmly state that you’re under no obligation to do anything.
You’ll quickly see who respects your boundaries and who doesn’t – and that right there tells you everything you need to know.
Defend Yourself & Disarm the Flying Monkeys
For the narcissist to retain their false self’s image after a discard (no matter who left who), they must trample you in the process. You are now the enemy who must be annihilated, because your very strength and existence threatens to expose who they truly are.
They must justify to themselves that you are worth less than the dirt underneath their shoes.
This is all a huge game to the narcissist and it’s one they’ve played many times before. But for it to truly be a competition, all members must be on the board, fighting for their lives.
To truly defeat you, they need you feeling crushed, defending yourself at every blow. They need to feel so powerful that they can control your emotions, reactions and utterly ruin your life. For them, this validates their very existence and makes them feel so powerful to be able to get so much out of you. Of course, every time you ruminate about the narcissist and try to defend yourself against their slander, you are also granting them Grade A narcissistic supply.
They need you to be so entangled in their game of manipulation and rewriting of history that you are completely unable to move on from them and create an amazing life not just without them, but because they are no longer in it. THAT totally invalidates the narcissist’s existence and they cannot bear it!
Can you see where I’m going here?
The biggest step in defending yourself against flying monkeys, triangulation, smear campaigns and all of the narcissist’s agenda is to walk away from it and not engage.
I get it, they will do everything in their power to try and pull you back in, even when you think you’re doing so well and standing your ground. But, even if you do slip for a minute, pick yourself back up and keep on walking away from their tornado. Don’t even look back.
You’re literally dancing with the devil when you try to negotiate with a narcissist.
For anyone who’s on the fence about who’s telling the truth in the whole situation, let them form their own opinion based on what they observe. Is it the person who’s talking badly about their ex or is the one who’s not saying anything at all?
As with everything in the narcissistic realm, actions speak louder than words.
The right people will join you as you walk forward in your new life and those who believe the narcissist can have the narcissist. Be prepared to lose a lot of people, but know that your life will be better on the other side when it’s filled with authentic beings who are able to be fully responsible for themselves.
The best thing you can do is to focus on yourself and your own healing. Now you’ve been gifted with the ability to see all of your wounds. Throughout the narcissistic relationship and then what came afterwards, so many of your deep unhealed wounds would have been brought to the surface.
It’s painful as hell, I know! But trust me, this truly is a gift. Because now you have the eyes to see what needs to be healed. By learning how to go inwards to meet each trauma, then shift it out of your body, you will have the tools to grow and expand way beyond your imagination.
While the narcissist is completely incapable of growing beyond the emotional range of a toddler, you now have the chance to awaken and evolve into the true being you were always meant to be.
That is the best defence you can have against any narcissist or flying monkey, because you will find yourself vibrating in a space that simply cannot support the lower energies of narcissism.
All of the people involved in that world will either fall away or go through their own expansion because of it. The choice is theirs on a spiritual level, but really, it matters not, because you are here for your journey and your journey alone.
The first most important step when defending yourself against flying monkeys is actually to not defend yourself at all.
I know it’s seems like a feat you’ll never be able to achieve, but when you completely detach from what the narcissist and flying monkeys are doing, your whole world starts to change.
For the narcissist’s chaos to work, they need you to be falling apart, trying to hang on and defending yourself. When you detach, you’re not fuelling them or their drama at all. Sure, the flying monkeys will still be fuelling it for them, but that’s not your game.
When you’re totally enmeshed in the piles of metaphorical crap that are being slung at you, you will be energetically and psychically feeding the narcissist copious amounts of supply.
Everything you say and do, can and will be used against you by the narcissist.
I know that’s the last thing you want to be doing. Sitting there motionless while being publicly humiliated, shamed and blamed is probably one of the most soul-destroying experiences you will have to go through.
However, trying to fight back and defend your truth is not going to help you in the least. It just gets you more entrenched and gives the narcissist more ammo against you.
Acknowledge your triggers
Once you’ve stepped right back and taken yourself out of the situation, now it’s time to have a look at the very things that were so utterly triggering for you.
Grab a pen and paper and make a list of every single painful feeling that has been brought to the surface throughout this whole ordeal.
Some possible triggers:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of what people think of me
- Fear of total annihilation
- Fear of being wrongly accused
- Fear of total abandonment
These are primal fears which are stuck in the very cells of our body. They have been created through cultural and family conditioning, through the lives of our ancestors and even through our own past lives.
Many of us were actually persecuted and put to death for going against the village in a past life. Fitting in with the tribe-think, despite what our personal thoughts were, was a matter of survival. If the tribe rejected us, we would have been left for dead in the forest.
The thing is, there’s nothing the narcissist or their flying monkeys can physically do to you this time around. However, if you do fear for your personal safety, please get the authorities onto it ASAP!
This is purely a spiritual war in the energetic realm. The lower energies (including narcissists) need your fear to feed themselves. Without that, they will literally starve and have no choice but to find another host to feed off.
Release the need for justice
As infuriating as it is, you will not get any apologies, closure or justice from the narcissist. Those acts go against their very core survival mechanisms.
It’s time to really work on releasing the need to get any sort of justice from the narcissist in any way. It ain’t going to happen!
The real justice for you comes from detaching, releasing your traumas, then moving into a genuinely happy and abundant life. The type of life that never would have been possible when the narcissist was in it.
Your justice is evolving and growing on a soul level, while they remain stuck in groundhog day, playing out the same old cycle, over and over again.
Nope, they will never recognise that, but who cares. That’s because they simply do not have the capacity to recognise it.
Once you really start to work on yourself, the narcissist will become a distant memory who you rarely, if ever, think of any more.
They will mean so little to you and that my friend is the best justice you could ever receive.
Focus on yourself
Remember back to the love bombing phase where you were the narcissist’s whole world for a short, hot minute? Well, during that phase they were carefully observing you and collecting data on your deepest fears and insecurities.
That’s why the narcissist knows exactly how to locate and rub salt into those very wounds.
But all is not lost because they have actually handed you a gift (little do they know). Now you know exactly what needs to be healed within yourself so that you can ascend beyond any vibration where narcissism can exist.
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