Flying monkeys & enablers are, to put it bluntly, a real pain in the neck (or a bit further south..lol) for those of us who have suffered narcissistic abuse. They are the ones who defend the narcissist & criticize you for being so mean or unreasonable. If they are the other parent, they not only fail to defend their child, but attempt to make themselves look like the victim, expecting the child to defend them to the other parent. In their senior years, they also often look for reassurance from their child that they were a good parent.
Narcissistic enablers & flying monkeys often appear to be naive, blindly believing in the narcissist’s lies, or afraid of the narcissist. The truth is very few people are genuinely this naive. Many of these people are covert narcissists.
Covert narcissists aren’t so bold as their overt counterparts. They don’t like being in the spotlight, but they still want attention & admiration as much as an overt narcissist. They simply go about getting it in quieter ways. They can appear the martyr, the long suffering if they’re married to an overt narcissist. “She must be such a good, patient woman to put up with him,” people may say.
Covert narcissists have no problem throwing their children under the bus in order to protect themselves from the overt narcissistic spouse. They will lie about their child to their spouse in order to divert the spouse’s anger from them. They also allow the spouse to abuse their child without protest, then later claim there was nothing they could do to stop the abuse. This can garnish them sympathy & reassurance, even from the child. That provides these monsters with their coveted narcissistic supply.
Other flying monkeys may not be narcissists, but they are still guilty & abusive. They don’t have the courage to stand up to the narcissist. They’re intimidated by her, & find it easier to obey than to speak up.
They may be afraid of retaliation from the narcissist. Overt narcissists can be terrifying when they go into a rage, & covert narcissists can make a person feel incredibly guilty. Many people would rather go along with what the narcissist wants to do than to face either situation.
There are still other flying monkeys who believe the narcissist’s lies. These foolish people don’t question the narcissist. Yet, they aren’t innocent either, as the Bible speaks against gossip:
- 1 Timothy 5:13 “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” (KJV)
- Proverbs 20:19 “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (KJV)
The fact people listen to such gossip speaks plenty about their character. They are foolish because they don’t question what they hear, & those with good character don’t share gossip.
As a victim of narcissistic abuse, not only do you need to be on your guard against narcissists, but also their enablers.
You can recognize these irritating people quickly by their behavior. Normal, healthy people don’t side with someone who is obviously abusive. They may not begin a huge public protest, but they at the very least say, “That’s wrong.” They realize that neutrality only helps the abuser, not the victim.
Healthy people also question things, they don’t blindly believe what they are told. If something sounds outlandish, unbelievable or even just “off,” most people would question the person stating such things.
If someone is a true friend, & the narcissist wants that person to socialize with her, then the person will decline. They will make it clear that they are on the victim’s side, not the abuser’s.
True friends don’t interact with the narcissist when possible. If this happens in a work situation for example, it may be hard to avoid her 100%, but a true friend will avoid that person as much as possible.