Ways To Handle Flying Monkeys

In scrolling through my memories on Facebook recently, a picture came up.  The picture is one taken of my parents on their wedding day while they stood by my father’s car.  I originally shared it on Facebook in 2014 because I thought the picture was nice & my family might enjoy seeing it.  The car in the picture was special to my father, too, & I thought they also might remember it.  One of my cousins said something about how my father & I both love cars.  I responded that was true, it was one of the few things we had in common.  Out of nowhere, one of my aunts verbally attacked me for not trying harder to find things in common with my father.

Does this sound at all familiar to you?  If so, welcome to life with narcissistic parents & their awful flying monkeys!

Flying monkeys absolutely love to tell the victims of narcissistic abuse what we need to do, how we need to work harder for the narcissist, how we should ignore our own needs in favor of the narcissist & so much more.  The pressure can be unbearable sometimes.  It also can trigger a lot of anger, as my situation with my aunt did.  I hope to help you to find ways to help you deal with these awful people in this post.

The very first thing you should do when trying to learn ways to deal with flying monkeys is to pray.  Ask God for wisdom, clarity, strength not to cave into their unrealistic expectations & creative ways to help you to cope.  He absolutely will grant you those things!

Some flying monkeys are people who were genuinely duped by narcissist, but not many are.  Many flying monkeys are truly horrible, evil & narcissistic people that enjoy causing others pain while simultaneously acting as if they are only trying to help so no one can be angry with them.   The way to tell the difference is by listening to what these people say.  The genuinely duped are open to hearing your side & admitting that the narcissist might just be wrong.  The evil flying monkeys however have no interest in hearing your side of the story.  They are convinced you are wrong, the narcissist is right & that is the end of the story.  They have zero interest in truth, & their minds are completely closed to anything that disagrees with their views, no matter how slightly.  People like this are toxic, & need to be removed from your life.  It’s not likely that those who are genuinely duped need to be removed from your life.  They may see the error of their ways & aren’t so toxic.  Use your best judgment with them regarding whether or not to remove them from your life.

If you’re unable to remove the toxic flying monkeys from your life, it’s best to interact with them as little as possible.  If you must interact with them, share as little personal information as possible.  Telling them anything personal means that most likely, they will run to your narcissistic parent to share that information as quickly as possible.

Refuse to discuss your narcissistic parent with the flying monkeys.  Remember, the toxic ones are online interested in what supports their perspective.  As a result of that, they WILL hurt you by invalidating or shaming you.  They will attempt to force you to do what they believe you should do, such as resume contact with your narcissistic parent no matter how toxic your parent is.  Change the subject, even if it means doing it repeatedly or being rude.  Only discuss neutral topics with flying monkeys such as the weather.  Or, ask them about things in their lives.  There’s not a narcissist around that will pass up the opportunity to discuss themselves, so why not use this to your advantage?

Show no emotions whatsoever to the flying monkeys.  Narcissists feed off emotions, & their flying monkeys do too.  In fact, they use any emotions you show as proof that the narcissist is right about you, & you’re crazy, angry, unreasonable & more.  No matter how justifiable emotions are, flying monkeys still take them as proof of a victim’s mental incompetence.  Once they are convinced of your mental instability, they will use that to hurt you, so it’s best to refuse to show them any emotions that you feel.

Flying monkeys are miserable, awful people who thrive on hurting others.  Not dealing with them is the best solution, but if you must deal with them, I hope the tips in this post will help you to do so.



Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

12 responses to “Ways To Handle Flying Monkeys

  1. Cynthia, I love your use of the term to define these folks. Narcissists are adroit at fooling people. They are the salesperson and their product is themselves. In your anecdote, it is interesting how quickly the aunt jumped in with criticism.

    On a very related subject, my wife and I watched “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” yesterday which is out in theaters. It is about the rise and fall of Jim and Tammy Baker of the PTL Club. Her husband was a narcissist who had to have things his way, even forcing his wife to apologize to him on air when she strayed (his straying at the same time would come up later). And, all the negative press about his fraud on his “partners” as he called his faithful, were reporters out to get him or who just did not like him (he was later found guilty on 24 counts of fraud).*

    His fervent staff would criticize others who were not loyal enough to Jim Bakker. These were your flying monkeys. The fact he was not very considerate of his wife or his followers did not seem to enter into the thinking of the flying monkeys.


    *PS – we live in Charlotte so we had a front row seat to the rise and fall, which is why we were interested in the movie. Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield are excellent as the couple.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you but I can’t take credit for the term. First time I saw it used was by Dr. Karyl McBride in her book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” Not sure if she coined the term or not but I thought it was perfect!

      Many in my family for years have been quick to tell me how I need to work harder to get along with my parents or fix myself. That is only one example. It’s really ridiculous & no wonder I don’t give these idiots the time of day anymore. I also find it interesting not a one of these people would tell my parents to behave better towards me. One aunt did that ONCE to my father but it didn’t stick.

      Oh wow.. that movie sounds intriguing! I hope it comes to Netflix soon.. I’d like to see it.

      I never knew much about the Bakkers, but I could believe he was a narcissist. His behavior was narcissistic for sure. And the blind devotion to his staff is another big clue.

      Must have been interesting living in the area at the time of all of this!


      • Cynthia, Linda, it was interesting to watch it unfold. There was a local DJ that had a regular skit called the “Pass the Loot Club,” during the early 1980s, a few years before it all came home to roost. The Charlotte Observer won awards for its reporting on the PTL fraud.

        As for those relatives who were less inclined to challenge your parents, it shows the power a narcissist has to mask his or her controlling nature. A domestic violence abuser has the same ability as co-workers and relatives are unaware of the abuse going on. A friend has a terrible true story, that he and none of his eight brothers and sisters were aware a brother-in-law was beating their sister until he killed her. Her esteem was stepped on and she hid the abuse from her siblings. They also learned he was abusing their kids.


        Liked by 1 person

        • That had to be interesting to watch as it happened!

          So true. My parents were both amazing actors. My father in particular was extremely convincing. I rarely ever saw that mask slip. Everyone thought he was this great guy, just a simple country boy. No idea how many people told me to take care of him. Interestingly no one told him to take care of me though.

          That is so heartbreaking about your friend’s sister. Wow. That is exactly why people need to learn about NPD. THey are great actors but even so, people need to learn to spot the signs, especially the subtle ones.


    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

      Interesting. I lived in Virginia Beach and worked fulltime at the 700 Club when the mess at PTL came to light.


  2. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

    If the narcissists don’t get you, their flying monkeys will — or at least they will try!

    For the sake of my son’s wedding, I recently spent four whole days in the presence of a sociopathic narcissistic ex who literally almost murdered me twice. Although his abuse happened more than thirty years ago, just being around him brings it all back. It does not help that I see a reminder of the second time he tried to kill me, every time I look in the mirror and see my crooked nose.

    It was hard enough being around him during the wedding rehearsal and the dinner afterward, the bridal shower and dinner, the wedding and dinner, and the day after the wedding, when the whole family went to Hershey Park for the day, to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday. But what made those four days even harder were the flying monkeys in the family, who have believed my ex’s lies for the past three decades.

    I especially love this paragraph that you wrote here, Cynthia:
    “Show no emotions whatsoever to the flying monkeys. Narcissists feed off emotions, & their flying monkeys do too. In fact, they use any emotions you show as proof that the narcissist is right about you, & you’re crazy, angry, unreasonable & more. No matter how justifiable emotions are, flying monkeys still take them as proof of a victim’s mental incompetence. Once they are convinced of your mental instability, they will use that to hurt you, so it’s best to refuse to show them any emotions that you feel.”

    Yes! That is exactly what I did! I showed my ex and his monkeys no emotions. None. When my ex dared to rudely bark an order at me, on the day of the wedding, just minutes before the wedding was to begin — and then he repeated the order in an even louder, harsher voice, when I did not respond in any way — I simply, slowly, turned around and calmly walked away.

    I was a gray rock. All the way through those four days. I was there for my son and his precious new bride, and for my granddaughter on her special day. I did a lot of silent praying, and by God’s grace, I didn’t lose my cool one time! Now I am praying that I will never need to be around this ex, ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

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