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narcissists use flying monkeys to torment their targets


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I remember the first time I saw the Wizard of Oz. It gave me nightmares for weeks. It wasn’t the tornado scene with the witch threatening Dorothy and her little dog too or the house falling on the evil witch’s sister, the only remains being her legs sticking out from under it which then roll up and out of sight.
It wasn’t the scene with the witch watching Dorothy and her friends on her crystal ball sending out a poisonous haze to cause them to fall asleep when they travel through the poppy field. It wasn’t even the one with the evil witch’s evil guard marching as they repeated that chilling chant that went something like “Oreo, ohhh oh,” with the heavy drum beat behind it.
No, it was those horrific, winged goblin-like flying monkeys with their awful squealing noises that served the Wicked Witch of the West. After the first time seeing the movie, I left the room whenever the flying monkey scenes came on, even into my teen years.
The term flying monkey has come to be used in another context as well. In popular psychology, flying monkeys are people who narcissists use to do their bidding much as the Wicked Witch does. Just as in The Wizard of Oz where the winged monkeys never speak or act independently of the Witch’s will, these flying monkeys serve the narcissist, following their lead, in particular to carry out the psychological and emotional abuse of others. They carry out the narcissist's dirty work to terrorize others much as the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz did.
Flying monkeys are the narcissist’s enablers and they can be anyone who is willing to subscribe to their altered reality. They may be friends, family members, clergy, counselors, landlords, or even employers. There is no one the narcissist will hesitate to contact or won’t try to sway when dishing out punishment or looking to gain information about you in order to increase their sense of control over you.
Unaware Flying Monkeys
There are two general types of flying monkeys. The first and most prevalent type falls into the unaware group. These are people who don’t realize that they are being used and manipulated by the narcissist. This type of flying monkey fully believes the alternate reality that the narcissist creates despite the fact that it often contradicts itself.
This type can be a person who desperately wants to be accepted by someone or really anyone, or who has themselves been bullied and (unconsciously) wants to be on the other side of it. It can be someone with low self-esteem who is a follower. It may even be someone who has and continues to experience some degree of narcissistic abuse from the same person who is manipulating them into abusing you.
Those with dependent personality disorder may also become unaware flying monkeys. This type is particularly attractive to the narcissist. In addition to carrying out their bidding, the dependent personality won’t make any decisions big or small without the narcissist. This is an added bonus because it feeds the narcissist’s superiority complex. The dependent personality will continually glorify the narcissist putting them up on a pedestal even in the face of life long harm, betrayal and destruction they visit on others.
Unaware flying monkeys are unwaveringly loyal to the narcissist at all times. They take on some of the narcissist’s ability to justify their behavior, despite the fact that if they actually stopped and analyzed what they were doing, or applied such treatment to themselves they would realize it for what it was — psychological warfare.
Even if they don’t seem to realize how they function with regard to the narcissist's goals or have had their own issues with the person in the past, they are still willing puppets. They let the narcissist pull their strings while they remain hidden behind the curtain relying on their monkeys to help destroy your reputation.
Fully Aware Flying Monkeys
The other type of flying monkeys includes those who are aware of what they are doing despite there still usually being some degree of manipulation that goes on. The exception to this is other narcissists, or those with antisocial personality disorder who use similar strategies to those of the lead narcissist. They carry out the desires of the lead narcissist very consciously and not because of manipulation.
It may seem unusual that other narcissists or antisocial personalities would become flying monkeys but it is possible, so long as they are getting something worthwhile out of it. When the benefit no longer exists, they are no longer willing to do what the narcissist wants.
If the flying monkey is another narcissist, they most often will try to turn the tables on the first narcissist in order to depose them and take their place. This may also occur with an antisocial personality if they can benefit from doing so. Otherwise, they may just break ties with the narcissist and move on.
When the narcissist wants to punish you, they dispatch their henchmen which keeps them out of harm’s way and able to claim innocence if ever confronted. Abusive behaviors carried out by flying monkeys can include guilt-tripping, twisting the truth, reconstructing reality, verbal assaults, threats, character assassination, and gaslighting or psychologically manipulating the person into questioning what they know to be true or their own sanity.
The other main function of flying monkeys is to make sure the narcissist always looks good and seems admirable to others and has enough praise to reinforce their desired self-image of being special and superior to everyone else. Narcissists are all about image. They can’t tolerate any indication of negative self-esteem and will defend against this at all costs.
This means they will rarely carry out their attacks in public when you are there, only when you and they are alone. At the same time, they will tell carefully chosen people how evil and awful you are. The lies they tell others about you will be completely different from altered reality they use to attack you within private to ensure that the lies will spread without fear of you knowing enough to address them in a believable way.
They select these chosen people the same way they select you. They have learned to be experts at reading people to determine who will be easily manipulated and who will make an easy target. This is why narcissists often choose children to be their target. They will never speak against a parent and can be trained to so fear the parent’s emotional punishment that they can be raised to accept the abuse as the status quo and the fact that siblings and other relatives are treated completely opposite as just how it is.
Unaware flying monkeys will suggest that you should always put the narcissist first, providing reasons such as the person is elderly, is your parent, or that they don’t mean any harm. You may have been trained to swallow your own needs your whole life but you don’t have to continue doing so. This is a very hard habit to break especially if the narcissist is a parent.
Flying monkeys may often seem self-righteous about what they expect you to do to ensure the well-being of the narcissist while ignoring the fact that you are the one that is hurting, sick or in need, or have suffered abuse at the hands of the person. This is because the narcissist has been playing the victim with their lies and their flying monkeys have been drinking the Kool-Aid they mixed up and passed it around.
But no matter who they are or what relationship you believe you have with them, flying monkeys can be dangerous to your well-being. Always demanding that the narcissist takes precedence over you is nothing short of another type of abuse and it is one of the worst kinds.
It’s hard enough to accept that there is someone who evidently thinks you are so worthless that they have every right to do or say whatever they want to make you miserable. Yet, sometimes you can dismiss a single individual.
When others communicate the message that you don’t matter and you live only to keep the narcissist happy no matter what it costs you, this can eat away at your ability to trust, your self-concept, and your willingness to form relationships with other people. It may also lead you to seek out other abusive narcissists in your other relationships including friendships, romantic partners, and bosses since it’s all you know or because the behavior doesn’t seem out of the norm for you even if you are suffering in the relationship.
Maya Angelou called the abuse that narcissists heap on others through their flying monkeys' assassination attempts. This is dead on. The narcissist and their flying monkeys are intent on murdering your reputation, your self-esteem, your independence, your autonomy and self-determination, and even your future. Next time a flying monkey shows up in your life don’t help them out by giving them any extra ammunition.
Ways to Handle Flying Monkeys in Your Life
Here are three tips for neutralizing flying monkeys so they can’t fulfill the narcissist’s goal of harming you.
1) Make sure you have your truth shields up. Perhaps you remember the original Star Trek where Captain Kirk would say, “Shields up,” whenever there was an impending attack. You need to do the same thing. Whenever you are interacting with flying monkeys make sure you know what the truth is and that you keep it at the forefront of your mind at all times. They can’t mess with your head if you don’t let them. Sometimes it can help to keep a journal where you record an account of what happens in regards to the narcissist in your life and their flying monkeys. They are masters at reconstructing history and often take joy in making you unsure as to what the real story is, trying to convince you your memories are false, which can be very destabilizing. A written account that you can go back to can help you remain centered and grounded with regards to reality.
2) Educate those that you can. This can be very difficult and may not be possible, especially when the flying monkey is a family member, since they and their narcissist will often have been talking behind your back since you were a child. Sometimes flying monkeys have no idea what the truth really is and will say whatever the narcissist has manipulated them into saying. You may not be able to counteract all of their false stories though because the narcissist and flying monkey have likely lied about you repeatedly. They also have probably created stories that will serve as protection in case you do try to tell someone the truth, by creating lies ahead of time that will make you out to be the one at fault. Sometimes though, even just a single sincere individual is enough to make things better in your life by believing you not the narcissist. However, be careful about which flying monkeys you try to educate. If they are a bully, especially if you have tried to educate them and it’s clear that even irrefutable evidence is disregarded, explained away or revised to support their position that you are at fault don’t keep bashing your head against a brick wall. You’ll only get hurt worse. If they have sadistic tendencies then stop trying and walk away.
3) Stop letting them pull you back into their game. This can seem like a harsh strategy but sometimes the only thing left to do is cease all contact with the person and their flying monkeys. Flying monkeys may believe themselves to be peacemakers and innocent of doing any kind of wrong. They think they are listening to all sides and being neutral despite the great joy they get from spreading lies and gossip on behalf of the narcissist. They may feel like they are empathic towards everyone since they refuse to ever think for themselves and merely repeat whatever the narcissist wants them to say. But they are merely acting understanding while actually trying to gather info and further spread gossip. So, if you don’t cut them off completely, guard all information about yourself with a vengeance and share nothing with them at all.

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Decidedly well written!! 👏


I can mirror you from yesterday, and say l enjoyed reading that (like you did one of my posts in an equally engaging mental health thread - enough said),, and here it is very intuitive what you write,, how do I know,, because I am an intuitive person too,, which is the one thing I never hesitate to say when describing myself,,,, (without sounding like I have ego) and yet even I don't always manage to express all the reams and realms of stuff, fully to the standards I wish or
to my satisfaction always, but you can bet **you** have done a VERY WORTHY job here glad to say 👍 (MAJOR THUMBS UP) -- in making a well rounded consistently readable, assistive, engaging dialogue.... and even providing practical informative insight on how to deal with the realities. 

Admittedly most things here I knew already, (which isn't me being a narcissist, lol) - anyway seriously you wrote in great style here, keeping everything nicely proportional without going overboard, as I can do sometimes, but my mind works as it works, and I try to stay within reason but which isn't to say I am the world's most prolifically orthodox person, LOL.... Anyhow what it does endorse or SHOW US/ ANYONE, about your insight into FLYING MONKEYS and all ,,, is I would guess certainly by *anybody reading your piece* it IS in all seriousness "the business", the very types of things in like for like principle IN FACT I have come across on Pinterest when looking very carefully myself in recent years at the various types of narcissism to rest assure my own knowledge for being wary of these CLEVER CLOWNS.


ie, My word says it right, I believe that most of what you look at on Pinterest, will set you up good is what I mean to say,,, it has a great bounty of insights and cases in points,, key notes and personal experiences,, anecdotes,, you know name it for understanding the mean old narcissist uncannily broad bandwidth of social coercion(s) utilized by which that mean old narcissist has at his or her disposal.


We can assert for certain because of their rotational intimidation in parallel to their insincere social cohesion tactics (subtle or otherwise --whether out of sight or not by whatever perpetration) we can assert when they carry out misdeeds ~ they operate what for them must be like with a view akin to an ugly version of the long arm of the 'invisible law' 😂 as if the social rules can ALL BE BENDED at a whim, LIKE MAGIC all just to suit them (🤪) THROUGH ONE OF THE UGLIEST TRAITS KNOWN WHICH IS MANIPULATION OR SUBJUGATION (🤪) and you know what I don't doubt they seriously give strong attempt at that- but for them and their aims, this own iteration of social ruling or false tethering (regarding~ social 'law' of the jungle etc) its all disingenuous in terms of their self gain, self applauding, self admiring, self centered operation(s) of course. I wouldn't be surprised if they look excitedly in the mirror and seduce themself on a regular basis.... Looking in the mirror is fine, we all do it, but oneday you know the mirror or one's reflection, one of the two will crack.... Yes, yes oh yeah!.... and that's when the narcissist has to reinvent themselves of course, which no doubt they are notoriously "good at" as well, bully for them. 😆

A lot of which of course centres around their EGO,,, and ME ME ME, attitude to life, and who they can use use use and use again, to their advantage.


Correct indeed Zusies! ~~Well writ!!! 🙂🙂🙂

Edited by TetraG
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