According to thesaurus.com, some synonyms for the word scout are “detective,” “lookout,” & “sleuth.” Such descriptions fit in perfectly to describe the type of person I want to discuss today.
A narcissist’s scout is nothing but a flying monkey. They most likely aren’t obvious like most flying monkeys. In fact, they often fade quietly into the background. They also are probably someone you barely know, but is close to the narcissist. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, they call, send a text message or email, or maybe a friend’s request on social media. This sort of thing often happens around holidays, birthdays or some other special day.
When you barely know the person, responding to them can seem innocent enough. Sure, they know the narcissist, but they seemed ok. What could be the harm in getting to know them? PLENTY!!
Scouts rely on their ability to seem innocent & harmless to do their mission, & that mission is not becoming your friend. That mission is getting information about you to share with their narcissist. You may think that isn’t a big deal, but I promise you it is!
When someone is as toxic as a narcissist, any information they have about you can be twisted around to make you look bad & benefit them somehow. They can use the information to smear your good name which potentially could cause all kinds of problems. Or, at the very least, it makes them feel smug because they know something about you that you don’t want them to know, & this provides narcissistic supply. Better they know nothing!
Besides providing the narcissist with information about you, scouts also may try to force you to resume the relationship with the narcissist. As I have said many times, I believe flying monkeys to be narcissists, & this behavior is proof of that. They try to force the relationship to resume by using bullying tactics if they are overt narcissists, or, if they are covert, they will use guilt, shame & any underhanded manipulative tactics they can think of. Either way, these people benefit from behaving this way. They get the thrill of abusing someone & recognition from the narcissist for “trying to help” them out.
Probably, the scout’s motivation for reaching out to you is to try to convince you to resume the toxic relationship while they gather information about you to provide the narcissist. They get a lot of narcissistic supply from this.
If you go no contact with the narcissist in your life, chances are excellent this is going to happen to you at some point. If the narcissist isn’t able to contact you, they will send a scout out. It may even be years after the last time you spoke with them. My longest time after last contact with a narcissist before the scout was sent out was 19 years. One of my husband’s relatives sent me a friend’s request on Facebook, then followed me, while ignoring his friend’s request.
When this happens to you, the best advice I can give is not to respond to any contact from a scout, no matter how innocent it seems. Chances are you will be opening a door that won’t lead to anything good. Leave the door closed, & ask God to show you the best way to handle the situation.
Blocking any & all access this person has to you is a wise move as well. They don’t need to know anything about you. Even if this person hasn’t proven himself or herself toxic, remember that they also haven’t proven themselves safe, & only known safe people should have access to your life in any capacity.
There is one other option for something you can do. Share information only for them. I don’t mean to be vengeful. I’m also not encouraging lying. What I mean is do what I do. I do this with my last scout. I deleted her friend’s request immediately. I noticed she follows me, & I almost blocked her but had another idea… I let her follow me. I share very little on Facebook anyway, & am very careful about what I share publicly. Right after I realized this scout follows me, I shared some funny memes about people who aren’t friends but follow people on social media. The only other public things I share are my blog posts, memes & articles about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This was my way of telling her, “I know you’re just here to spy on me. Here’s some information you can take back to the original narcissists. I hope y’all read it & learn something about yourselves!” And truly, I DO hope they learn something. It’s unlikely of course, but maybe if I plant enough seeds, something will grow.
By doing this, they have gotten quite a surprise I’m sure. They were certain they were being smart, & I stupidly would befriend their scout. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, the only things they will get from me is truth. It’s a good tactic.. you can’t go wrong sharing the truth, & quite honestly, it feels good because by doing this, I’m showing them they aren’t going to outsmart me with their pathetic games.
Whatever you opt to do with your scout, I truly wish you the best!