Clearly not all flying monkeys are narcissists. There are some well meaning people who are genuinely fooled by the narcissist you know. We’ve all been fooled by narcissists, so it’s understandable this happens. It’s hard to be too mad at them when you see their eyes begin to open & they realize that the narcissist isn’t that great person they thought they were.
Unfortunately though, I believe there are many flying monkeys who are covert narcissists. They enjoy torturing you on behalf of the narcissist while at the same time, making themselves look like the good guy who is just trying to help.
A huge red flag that you’re dealing with a covert narcissist flying monkey is when someone claims to care for or love you, but they don’t show any interest in you. They don’t care about what is happening in your life, what you’re proud of, what struggles you face, your needs, feelings, likes or dislikes. They only want to talk about the narcissist or what you need to do to fix that relationship.
When you try to talk to this person, they shut you down quickly, no matter the topic. They can accomplish this through interrupting you, making jokes at your expense or making you feel foolish for whatever it is you’re talking about. Or, this person may listen to you or read something you’ve written only to tell you that you’re wrong.
If you try to talk to this person about the narcissist in your life, you can guarantee this person will shut you down quickly & in whatever way they believe will make you feel the most ashamed. One of my parents’ flying monkeys was my Facebook friend for quite some time. She had a lot of confidence online, saying things she would never say to my face. She butted in on a conversation I had with someone else regarding my parents to say, “You need to get into therapy to figure out how you can fix things! Don’t you dare tell me it won’t work!” In a completely different conversation, I mentioned to someone else that although my father & I had virtually nothing in common, we did share a love of classic cars. The flying monkey said, “Honey, you need to figure out some things you two can share! You need to start finding things you two have in common right now!” I deleted the comment, & a few days later, she commented on another post with, “I know you don’t want to hear anything from mean old me, but I think you should….” (I forget what the topic was she felt she needed to advise me on). I knew what she was about by this point, so her behavior didn’t manipulate me. It only made me angry she said the ridiculous things she did.
Covert narcissist flying monkeys also play dumb very well. They may claim that they don’t know why you’re angry with the narcissist. They try to get you to confide in them about the problem, saying it’s because they care for you, when the truth is they’ll only run to the narcissist with anything you say. And, if you sever ties with this person, they may ignore the fact you’ve blocked their phone number, email address & social media & find other ways to contact you “just to say hi”. Their message most likely will appear sickeningly sweet. The flying monkey I mentioned earlier? Her message like this called me “sweetie” & was signed, “love you.” She never called me sweetie any other time, so yes, I took that as a red flag.
So why do these covertly narcissistic flying monkeys act this way? I think they have what they consider to be excellent reasons.
They want to prove to you that narcissistic behavior is OK, & there is something wrong with you for thinking otherwise. If they can convince you of that, they can control you as can the narcissist for whom they’re the flying monkey.
Also, if they can convince you that narcissistic behavior is acceptable, then they think they can convince you that you should do all the work in the relationship with them & the other narcissist. If you feel obligated in that way, a narcissist has it made. They can get you to do anything at all they want.
These flying monkeys are extremely devious & convincing. You need to be fully aware of what they’re up to in order to protect yourself against their mental warfare.