Those of us who have had relationships with narcissists have experience with flying monkeys. They are those awful little people who feel they have the right to tell victims exactly what we need to do to please the narcissist & how wrong we are for being upset about their abusive ways.
It seems obvious that anyone who thinks this way is clearly dysfunctional & even abusive themselves. In fact, I personally believe flying monkeys are just as bad if not worse than the original narcissist. I also believe the bulk of them to be narcissists themselves, because the clearly have no concern for the real victim in the situation & they enjoy abusing that victim.
There are some flying monkeys who don’t fit this criteria however. There are some people who are genuinely duped by the narcissist, & honestly believe they’re doing a good thing by trying to help the victim reconcile with the narcissist. Sadly, these people are extremely rare, but they do exist. Everyone needs to know the difference between the two so they can treat the person they’re dealing with accordingly.
One way to tell that the person is a flying monkey over someone who is genuinely duped is by what they say about the narcissist & you resuming a relationship. Flying monkeys only focus on the narcissist. They say things like the narcissist misses you, is hurting or is lost without you. When I broke my engagement with my now ex husband, that was what I heard repeatedly. Every single person told me how I should get back with him because he was suffering without me. No one cared that I was happier without him. If someone is simply fooled by a narcissist, they most likely won’t tell the victim what to do. They may say things like, “I think he’s good for you & you should resume the relationship.” They won’t be so presumptuous as to tell someone what to do or use guilt to get that person to do their will.
Another give away is if the person wants to hear your side of the situation. That is a sign of someone who is reasonable. Flying monkeys don’t want to hear a victim’s side because they simply don’t care about the victim, only the narcissist.
Flying monkeys also don’t care about the victim’s wants, needs or feelings. They only care about what the narcissist wants, & care nothing about anything that doesn’t go along with that. A person who is genuinely duped does care about what the victim’s wants, needs & feelings are, not only the narcissist’s.
Sometimes the narcissist disappears from the life of their flying monkey for various reasons. The way that person treats you once that happens is another way you can identify flying monkeys over the truly fooled. Usually in this situation, flying monkeys will vanish from your life. They have no reason to continue dealing with you without the narcissist. A person who is duped, however, isn’t that way. They often wish to maintain the relationship with you. As an added bonus, without the narcissist feeding them lies, they end up seeing the truth, that you aren’t some terrible person as the narcissist said you were. I’ve been in this situation & it’s rather unique to say the least. It’s interesting to watch someone lose the delusions that the narcissist put on them & gain a genuine fondness & even respect for you.
I encourage you to judge the behavior of each person you come across who also knows the narcissist in your life. While the vast majority are true flying monkeys, not all are, & they all shouldn’t be in the same category. The rare genuinely duped people aren’t malicious like flying monkeys, & shouldn’t be treated the same way because of that.