Tag Archives: flying monkeys

Why Do Narcissists Need Flying Monkeys?

Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse also has been subjected to flying monkeys.

 

Flying monkeys are those people who either have fallen for the narcissist’s act, blindly believing anything the narcissist says or are abusers themselves, likely covert narcissists, who get a thrill out of vicariously abusing the narcissist’s victim.  They often say things like…

 

  • “Your mother is worried about you.  You haven’t called in a while & she doesn’t know why..”
  • “I know your father hurt you when you were growing up, but he didn’t mean to.  He did the best he could.”
  • “You need to just forgive & forget.  After all, your mother was abused when she was growing up!  She doesn’t know any better!”

 

These people are indispensable to narcissists, which is why all narcissists have them.

 

Flying monkeys can reach a victim once that victim has gone no contact with the narcissist.  When a victim doesn’t speak with a narcissist, they often will talk to a flying monkey, at least for a while until they discover that this person is a flying monkey.  During that time, the flying monkey can tell the victim whatever the narcissist wants her to, becoming the mouthpiece for the narcissist.  They can say things a narcissist can’t say without looking bad.  The flying monkey also benefits from doing this.  If she is deceived about the narcissist, she honestly believes she is doing good & trying to help the victim.  If she is also an abuser, this gives her a thrill by abusing without being blamed for being abusive.  Covert narcissists make good flying monkeys, because by doing so, they get to feel powerful- something all narcissists love.

 

Speaking of feeling powerful, narcissists enjoy having flying monkeys because it means they’re controlling another person.  Controlling others makes them feel powerful.

 

Flying monkeys do all the dirty work for the narcissist.  The victim often will get mad at the flying monkey rather than the narcissist who is pulling the strings.  The flying monkey is the one who will look bad rather than the narcissist.  This is a bonus for the narcissist since no narcissist wants to look bad.

 

If the flying monkey is especially good at what they do, & the victim isn’t strong at resisting the narcissist, the victim will come crawling back to the narcissist.  That is the ultimate goal of the narcissist, of course.  Using one person to control another is quite the power trip!  Any narcissist would love to have this ability.

 

Flying monkeys are a very useful tool for any narcissist, so beware.  If you know a narcissist, you are going to have to deal with them at some point.  Be alert.  Be aware of their behavior so you can spot them easily.  Never feed them by engaging them in a discussion about the narcissist.  Refuse to discuss the topic with them, changing the subject as often as necessary & telling them this topic is not up for discussion.  And most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you to discover the best way to deal with this person or if you need to end this relationship.

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Why Flying Monkeys & Narcissistic Enablers Aren’t As Innocent As They May Appear

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.

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A Little About Flying Monkeys

Isaiah 5:20  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  (KJV)

 

So many people who know the narcissist are completely devoted to that person.  Commonly known as flying monkeys, they will defend the narcissist at all costs, even in spite of glaring evidence of the narcissist’s wrong doings.  From what I’ve seen, this phenomenon is especially common among marriages where one spouse is an overt narcissist & the other covert, but it also happens among child/parent relationships, other familial relationships or even friendships.

 

Whether these people realize it or not, they are condoning & enabling narcissistic abuse.  Sure, they aren’t necessarily holding a victim in place while the narcissist verbally or physically attacks, but they are condoning & enabling it nonetheless!  By not speaking up to the abusive person or by telling the victim things like “You need to honor your mother & father!”  “Just let it go”  “I’m sure she didn’t mean it the way you took it!”  “You’re oversensitive/being dramatic!” they basically are telling the victim, “There is something wrong with you for being upset about being abused!  Let that person abuse you & take it with a smile!”  This can be extremely mentally damaging for a victim!

 

I have been through this myself as well as talked to so many other victims who have experienced similar situations, & all of us have been deeply hurt or damaged by such cruel, invalidating behavior.

 

While the behavior of the flying monkey may seem like they simply don’t know any better or they want to help, the simple fact is their behavior can be very damaging, no matter what their intentions are.  It really is best to avoid them whenever possible & let God deal with them.  He certainly is not pleased with their behavior, & Isaiah 5:20 is proof of that.

 

When it’s not possible to avoid them, there are some ways to cope that may help you.

 

If the flying monkey starts talking about the relationship between you & your narcissistic parent, telling you what you need to do to fix it, it’s time for a subject change.  You can say, “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you,” then change the subject.  Or, you can simply change the subject. You also can say, “If you continue trying to make me talk about this subject, I’m going to hang up the phone (or leave the room)” then follow through on your threat.

 

Sometimes, simply ignoring the flying monkey is the easiest way to cope.  If you get a text or an email, for example, those are easy to ignore.  My mother’s flying monkey has emailed several times about my mother.  Each time she does, I simply ignore her email.

 

Never engage the flying monkey in a conversation about the narcissist.  You WILL regret it.  You’d regret beating your head into a brick wall less than you would talking about that topic with a flying monkey.  Flying monkeys are extremely confident that the narcissist is right, & that you are wrong, bad, mean, etc. & they will say or do anything to try to beat you into thinking the same way.   Do NOT discuss the narcissist with the flying monkey!

 

If you are the crafty type, like to have a little fun & have a kinda warped sense of humor like I do… you can actually crochet your own flying monkey!  I found a pattern for one!  I’m going to make a few of them, because I know seeing them will make me laugh if I have the misfortune of dealing with any flying monkeys.  I already have a name for one in mind- after one of my mother’s flying monkeys.   The link to the pattern is below.  If you end up making one too, I’d love to see a picture & if you name it, would love to know why you chose that name.  You can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com if you’d like.

 

http://www.amigurumitogo.com/2015/11/flying-monkey-amigurumi-free-pattern.html

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About Flying Monkeys

Recently I was talking with some members of an online group I’m in about flying monkeys.  It never fails to amaze me how narcissists have so many who blindly obey the narcissist, & are devoted to protecting them, furthering their agenda & hurting their victims.  In fact, my mother’s flying monkeys are so devoted, even people who don’t like her will fight for her & be cruel to me.

 

I asked the other members of the group if this made any sense to them.  It doesn’t me.  One member said something that I think described this situation.  She believes that people like that are dysfunctional, but like to give the appearance of normalcy.  If you are honest about the dysfunction in your life, it may upset the apple cart for them, so to speak.  It may put cracks in the veneer of their normal appearance.

 

This made so much sense to me!  I thought about two people who have been my mother’s most devoted flying monkeys.  Both have had some rough times, such as bad (even abusive) marriages.  Eventually they got away from their abusers & made their own lives.  They’ve become mothers, later grandmothers, they celebrate all holidays & birthdays with their families.  They give all appearances of happy, normal people with happy, normal families.  If something bad or dysfunctional happens, they cover things up or deny those things happened.  If you don’t know about the bad things, you’d think they have the perfect lives.

 

If I said anything negative about my mother to either of them, I was told I need to work things out with my mother- after all she’s my mother, get over it, stop living in the past & other invalidating, vicious things.  Truly neither one of my so-called “friends” wanted to hear what I was going through.  In fact, if I mentioned any problem I had to them, I was rudely brushed off.  (Example: I mentioned to one my blood pressure had been elevated recently due to stress- her response?  “You need to lose all that weight, then it’ll be fine!”  I’m about 20lbs overweight- that’s not so bad!).

 

I can’t help but wonder if the reason they behave this way is they are deathly afraid of any problem possibly calling attention to the fact their normalcy is merely an act, upsetting their apple cart of dysfunction, if you will.  Maybe somehow they think if I talk about my bad experiences, those close to them will start to see similarities between her life & mine, & think badly of her.  Or, maybe they think others will question these folks, wondering why they never tried to help me.  After all, they’ve known me since I was a child.  How could these wonderful people stand idly by knowing I was being abused?  Certainly that would make them look bad, which they can’t bear.  So, it’s best to try to silence me.  If I don’t talk to them about certain things, they can maintain their facade & pretend nothing happened.

 

If this is happening to you, too, please keep this information in mind.  It may help you to understand why people behave this way.  Also, please know it’s not your fault.  There is nothing wrong with you for expecting support & compassion from those close to you.  It’s completely normal!  People who act this way, brushing you off or invalidating your pain, are the ones who are not completely normal.  For normal, healthy people, compassion to others is very important!  More so than what others think of them.  Normal people side with the victim, not the abuser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dealing With The Flying Monkeys

Usually when I write, I focus on healing from narcissistic abuse or narcissism. Today I would like to take a side trip & discuss the narcissist’s flying monkeys.

I’m not entirely sure who invented that phrase, but I think it was Dr. Karyl McBride, author of the wonderful book for daughters of narcissistic mothers, “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” Anyway, the line was taken from the movie, “The Wizard Of Oz.” Remember the wicked witch who sent her flying monkeys out to do her dirty work? I think it is the perfect way to describe these people!

Flying monkeys are those who side with the narcissist. They think she is a great person, & you obviously have the problem if you can’t appreciate her. If you have a disagreement with your narcissistic mother, this person will come out of the woodwork, & tell you things like how great she is, how hard she tries so hard with you, & how you need to do (fill in the blank) for her because it’s the least you can do for your own mother. My mother has a flying monkey who isn’t quite so bold, but occasionally during one of my mother’s silent treatments, will email me with some lame excuse attempting to make me call or see my mother.

Simply put, flying monkeys are the evil minions of narcissists, &, much like their “wicked witch,” their behavior is also abusive.

Invalidation is abuse, & this is what flying monkeys do best- invalidate your pain, invalidate your boundaries, & invalidate anything you have to say. They also think they know best, & you should blindly listen to them, ignoring your own thoughts & feelings. (Sounds like a narcissist, doesn’t it?) In fact, they remind me of a dream I had a few months ago. I wrote about it in this post. Flying monkeys often will do anything, no matter how ridiculous they look or how much damage they do to the relationship with you to make their feelings & views known to you. They are just like that little sedan in my dream.

While I honestly believe many flying monkeys do what they do out of ignorance, probably even with good intentions, that doesn’t make their behavior any less abusive. They are narcissistic enablers, paving the way for the narcissist to wreak havoc.

If you are able & willing, cutting them out of your life may be your best option.

If you are unable or unwilling to cut the flying monkey out of your life, you need to have some very strong boundaries in place. They need to know that discussing your narcissistic mother is not an option. There are plenty of other things you can discuss- shared interests, current events, the weather, sports.. find other things to talk about- it’s pretty easy to do. If the flying monkey can’t handle this, then leave their presence or hang up the phone.

If the flying monkey is a part of your life on social media, don’t discuss your narcissistic mother on social media. Or, if you do, block the flying monkey from seeing those posts along with people that also know the flying monkey. I have a list of “acquaintances” on facebook. Generally when I post, or this blog posts to my facebook page, it posts to “Friends except acquaintances”. The acquaintances have no idea what they are not seeing or that they are blocked from seeing certain things.

Most importantly, don’t let yourself be swayed by the flying monkey! They can be very convincing sometimes, I know, but only do what you know to be right for you. My mother’s flying monkey told me once that my mother said how proud of me she is. Something I never once heard from my mother, & frankly would love to hear. No doubt my mother knows this which is why she told the flying monkey that. Or, the flying monkey knew it & lied to me about my mother saying it. In any case it was hard not to be swayed & want to work on our relationship after hearing that. I knew in my heart though that things wouldn’t improve with my mother no matter what I do since she’s a narcissist, & besides- I’ve always been the one to work on this relationship. It’s not fair & I’m very tired of being the one who does all the work! If she isn’t willing to put forth some effort, our relationship never will change. (I’ve been blamed for it being so bad by flying monkeys who fail to realize these points, by the way). Anyway if I had allowed myself to believe the flying monkey, can you imagine the huge amount of, well, crap that would have followed? My mother would’ve known the flying monkey was an effective weapon, so she would’ve been used more often. She also would’ve enjoyed the control she had over me, knowing she made me start working on our relationship. And, me working on things would have proven to her that she is right, & can treat me any way she sees fit. When your flying monkeys sweet talk you, then please keep my story in mind. Think about the scenarios that could follow if you went along with their wishes. Is anything worth going through what would happen if you obeyed the flying monkeys?

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