Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (KJV)
So many people who know the narcissist are completely devoted to that person. Commonly known as flying monkeys, they will defend the narcissist at all costs, even in spite of glaring evidence of the narcissist’s wrong doings. From what I’ve seen, this phenomenon is especially common among marriages where one spouse is an overt narcissist & the other covert, but it also happens among child/parent relationships, other familial relationships or even friendships.
Whether these people realize it or not, they are condoning & enabling narcissistic abuse. Sure, they aren’t necessarily holding a victim in place while the narcissist verbally or physically attacks, but they are condoning & enabling it nonetheless! By not speaking up to the abusive person or by telling the victim things like “You need to honor your mother & father!” “Just let it go” “I’m sure she didn’t mean it the way you took it!” “You’re oversensitive/being dramatic!” they basically are telling the victim, “There is something wrong with you for being upset about being abused! Let that person abuse you & take it with a smile!” This can be extremely mentally damaging for a victim!
I have been through this myself as well as talked to so many other victims who have experienced similar situations, & all of us have been deeply hurt or damaged by such cruel, invalidating behavior.
While the behavior of the flying monkey may seem like they simply don’t know any better or they want to help, the simple fact is their behavior can be very damaging, no matter what their intentions are. It really is best to avoid them whenever possible & let God deal with them. He certainly is not pleased with their behavior, & Isaiah 5:20 is proof of that.
When it’s not possible to avoid them, there are some ways to cope that may help you.
If the flying monkey starts talking about the relationship between you & your narcissistic parent, telling you what you need to do to fix it, it’s time for a subject change. You can say, “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you,” then change the subject. Or, you can simply change the subject. You also can say, “If you continue trying to make me talk about this subject, I’m going to hang up the phone (or leave the room)” then follow through on your threat.
Sometimes, simply ignoring the flying monkey is the easiest way to cope. If you get a text or an email, for example, those are easy to ignore. My mother’s flying monkey has emailed several times about my mother. Each time she does, I simply ignore her email.
Never engage the flying monkey in a conversation about the narcissist. You WILL regret it. You’d regret beating your head into a brick wall less than you would talking about that topic with a flying monkey. Flying monkeys are extremely confident that the narcissist is right, & that you are wrong, bad, mean, etc. & they will say or do anything to try to beat you into thinking the same way. Do NOT discuss the narcissist with the flying monkey!
If you are the crafty type, like to have a little fun & have a kinda warped sense of humor like I do… you can actually crochet your own flying monkey! I found a pattern for one! I’m going to make a few of them, because I know seeing them will make me laugh if I have the misfortune of dealing with any flying monkeys. I already have a name for one in mind- after one of my mother’s flying monkeys. The link to the pattern is below. If you end up making one too, I’d love to see a picture & if you name it, would love to know why you chose that name. You can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com if you’d like.