Have you ever heard of the term Flying Monkey; a.k.a., the henchmen a narcissist uses to do his dirty work?
It’s a funny term. A flying monkey isn’t really the first thing that you’d think of when you imagine an evil sidekick. You imagine a submissive monster at best, but not such a small animal as a monkey.
A narcissist’s flying monkey is capable of inflicting almost as much damage as an actual narcissist. Their mind isn’t capable of differentiating between good and evil, simply because they want to be liked by the narcissist.
You may be confused at this point, but I can promise you that this entire concept is quite simple to understand. The most important reason why you have to pay attention to this topic is that you need to keep yourself safe.
How are you supposed to know whether or not you’re in danger if you don’t even know the lengths a narcissist will go in order to reach his goal?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about a narcissist’s flying monkey. Sharpen your mind and let us dive right into it!
What is a flying monkey to a narcissist?
I would like to start off with the origin of the word, so you understand how this weird term came into existence.
You probably remember the 1939 movie The Wizzard of Oz. It was a favorite to many children and adults, and its impact is still felt in the world today. However, within the movie, the villain (also known as the Wicked Witch) had some very interesting henchmen.
Those creepy creatures were flying monkeys. They would do anything and everything the Wicked Witch would ask of them and they’re always by her side.
We can confidently say that the Wicked Witch represents the narcissist in this case. The narcissist in your life has someone who helps him abuse people, whether it’s emotionally, mentally, or even physically.
It’s also known as “abuse by proxy”.
Narcissists do have a high risk of becoming abusers at one point in their life. More often than not, they need someone to back them up during this. That’s why we call the helper a flying monkey and the narcissist is quite pleased to have someone like that.
These henchmen can be your friends, family, or coworkers. They can even be related to the narcissist and step on his side before you even meet them.
This happens because the narcissist grooms the close people around you into liking him. He tells them lies and accuses you of being the abusive one. He’s more than capable of playing the victim and telling everyone one lie after the other.
More often than not, those people aren’t even aware that they’re enabling his behavior. They don’t see him as a manipulative piece of trash. They only see him as a cute guy who needs support because you’re the one who’s at fault here.
Why would someone become a narcissist’s flying monkey?
There are many possible reasons why someone would become a flying monkey. More often than not, the answer is not as simple as you may initially think.
This means that they’re not always bad people, sometimes they were simply manipulated into this situation. So let’s take a deep dive into the mind of an enabler.
1. They think they’re saving a victim
The flying monkey of a narcissist thinks that you’re the problem. This person doesn’t understand that they’re being lied to and manipulated into this entire situation.
He (the narcissist) spreads lies about you. He’s telling everyone that you’re the mean and abusive one, while you’re the actual victim in this scenario.
The only reason why this actually works is that he would come to your friends and family, and tell them that he’s in trouble. He tells them that he’s been seeing a change in your behavior and it’s quite believable when you become unstable from all the abuse you’ve been subjected to.
Those people think that by turning on you they’ll protect him, but that only makes them accomplices in his plan. All of them confront you at the same time which only makes you believe that your support system is non-existent.
That’s why you feel so helpless in these situations. Your mental state is declining because no one seems to believe your side of the story (which is also the truth). Everyone is blaming you and it feels like he’s finally found a way to completely take over your entire life.
This is extremely scary because you feel like you’re actually going insane. You start doubting your experience because you believe that you’re imagining everything.
2. They have a low IQ
This may sound mean, but hear me out. One thing all henchmen have in common is that they’re represented as people without their own opinions. They do everything that the dominant person tells them to without second-guessing it.
This is also the case with the flying monkey phenomenon that a narcissist loves to take advantage of. They don’t have the mental capacity to understand that this is not okay; which leads them to believe everything that comes out of the mouth of a more dominant person.
A narcissist usually is capable of presenting himself as an intellectual, meaning that people who can’t see through his schemes fall for this trick. His flying monkeys listen to him and believe that he’s the smartest person to ever walk the earth.
That’s why a narcissist is able to convince them to do the dirty work for him like insulting you or even abusing you physically. He rationalizes this just enough for the lackey to understand it.
3. They do it because of self-preservation and protection
Because the flying monkey is also being abused by the narcissist don’t think that they have it easy. They are also being manipulated into doing these things to you because they believe that something bad will happen to them.
Sometimes, a flying monkey knows that what they’re doing is bad. They know that you’re also a victim and that you shouldn’t be enduring all of these things. However, out of self-preservation, they don’t do anything against the abuse because then the abuse will fall onto them.
You may experience this abuse by proxy because the lackey is too weak to fend for themselves. They don’t know what the narcissist in question would do if they refused to help him. Does this make the henchmen weaklings and cowards? Not particularly.
In this scenario, they’re almost in the same boat as you are. That’s the scariest thing about all of this.
4. They have no sense of self
More often than not, when a narcissist chooses a flying monkey, it’s because he sees that they have no sense of self. This makes it so much easier to control poor human without putting too much effort into it.
It’s easy to control someone if the poor thing believes that they’ll finally feel like they’re worth something. The narcissist is giving them a purpose, even if it means that they’re aware that this behavior isn’t okay.
Either the narcissist is paying this person, or he’s just giving the flying monkey the validation that he’s desperately craving. There’s no personal agenda to you when you think of it. However, it’s still disturbing to think that there are people out there who are empty enough to give so much power to someone.
5. They were blackmailed into it
Once a flying monkey wants to defy a narcissist, the evil mind behind everything starts to use blackmail in order to keep them around. The narcissist is aware that the little monkey knows too much right now and that it could mean his downfall.
So, once the flying monkey understands that things are going a little bit too far, they’ll want out. But the narcissist also knows a lot about his lackey, so he uses all that knowledge against him.
He uses the one thing that he knows is important to them. The narcissist says that he’ll hurt their family, that he’ll tell everyone what they did, and so on. He doesn’t even try to hold back at this point – there’s no need for it.
6. They’re also narcissists
It’s extremely rare for a duo to contain two narcissists. Usually, one partner is submissive while the other one is dominant. That’s the only way they can function properly.
However, it’s not impossible to see two narcissists combining their ideas and values in order to get mutual satisfaction out of it. It’s a very dangerous game that these two men are playing, but they can understand each other, and they want this to be beneficial for both of them.
Your body is telling you that both of them are extremely dangerous. They’re both very scary and you know that they’re not to be messed with. You don’t feel safe with them one bit.
A flying monkey who’s also a narcissist is the most dangerous thing in the world. Nonetheless, if you know how to use this to your advantage – you may be able to turn them against each other.
6 ways to protect yourself from a flying monkey that was sent by a narcissist
Now that you understand the psychology of a flying monkey and a narcissist, you should consider all the things that you can do in order to protect yourself. It won’t be easy, but some tips and tricks will work wonders in a time of need.
1. Accept that you may need to cut people off
The worst part about all of this is that a narcissist will take your favorite people and turn them into his little flying monkeys. He’ll groom your parents, your best friends, or even your siblings.
He’ll make sure that you have no support system that you can turn to in times of need. This atrocious man will become the center of your universe and he’ll show you that no one will come to save you from him.
You’ll understand that this is happening once your family and friends start telling you that you’re overreacting or exaggerating your experience with this man. They’ll tell you that you’re being dramatic and that you’re lying because the narcissist told them a fabricated story where you’re the villain.
I know that this is frustrating, but I need you to take a deep breath and… cut them off.
How are you supposed to cut off all the people who mean so much to you? Well, it’s better than to be stuck with them even though they’re extremely toxic for you. They’re doing nothing in order to aid you on your journey to heal from his abuse.
If anything, they’re in the middle between being the villains as well as being the victims. Even if they’ve been manipulated into this, they’re still adults who need to be aware of their responsibility.
2. Believe in your experience
One thing that a narcissist will do together with his flying monkeys is he’ll gaslight you into believing that your reality is nothing more than a lie. Whenever you get angry at him, he’ll tell you that you don’t have a right to feel those emotions.
It doesn’t matter which emotions we’re talking about because at the end of the day, he’ll tell you that none of them are valid. This also includes actual situations that he may twist and turn in order to make them fit his narrative.
So, where do his henchmen come into play? Well, they’ll be the ones to support his claims.
For example, if he made your sister his flying monkey, she’ll tell you that you’re overreacting. She’ll be on his side to the point where she won’t even take your side of the story into consideration. That’s extreme mental abuse and they’re submitting you to actual torture.
You’re starting to doubt your reality. You think that you’re going crazy and that he’s right. I mean, that’s understandable; everyone is telling you that your experiences aren’t real.
But they are! I know that it’s hard to create such a strong boundary where you’re able to differentiate your experience from their manipulation. You just need to know that your perception of things is valid whether or not they want to admit it.
3. Document everything
The best way to avoid the manipulation of a narcissist and his flying monkeys is to always have proof of their behavior. Especially, when we’re talking about the hell this narcissist is putting you through.
Now, people have the option to delete entire conversations off of their phones. You’ll end up thinking that you imagined having that conversation or that you never even screenshotted it. However, you did. He just took advantage of your trustworthiness and he deleted everything.
So, how are you going to document things if he continues to delete stuff? Print them out. Have a secret folder on another computer. Send it to a secret account of yours that he doesn’t know about.
Once you start documenting things, you’ll be able to go back to those pictures and you’ll know that you didn’t imagine anything. You’ll also be able to confront the flying monkeys with the truth of whom they’re following so blindly.
For example, if his family believes that he’s the golden child and that you’re making his life miserable, you’ll be able to show them proof. You have everything documented, so no one can tell you that you’re the problem anymore.
There’s always the possibility that someone will accuse you of fabricating all of those things, but make copies of copies of copies. Make sure that there’s a sign of authenticity on those things and don’t let anyone convince you that those things are not valid.
You need to show the world that you’re the victim. A narcissist’s flying monkeys need to understand to whom they’re so loyal.
4. Stop engaging with the flying monkey and the narcissist
More often than not, the flying monkey is beyond saving from the narcissist. They simply fell too deep into the mind games of the narcissist.
This especially goes if the flying monkey is also a narcissist and he gets some sort of pleasure out of the abuse they’re putting you through together. You shouldn’t even try to empathize with this person.
The only thing you can do right now is to save yourself.
Stop engaging with the flying monkey or the narcissist! It’s hard and you probably don’t believe that it’s possible, but you should give it a try. If you don’t even try then it means that you didn’t even consider a life without him.
You need to pack your bags, make sure you have just enough cash with you, block all of them, and go somewhere where you’ll be safe. There are people out there who are extremely welcoming and those people will do everything to remind you that life is worth living.
You can’t stay in the same place and expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity! Please, stop engaging with them.
If these people find a way to contact you after you tried everything, simply try to ignore any of their advances. They’ll try to guilt trip you, they’ll try to gaslight you, manipulate you, and even insult you.
However, you suffered enough by their hands and you can’t continue this way. You need to set yourself free, and you can’t do that by still being in contact with these master manipulators.
5. Stop believing in the best in people
You see them as victims, too. I get it.
When a narcissist gets his hand on a flying monkey, escaping isn’t an easy mission. Those same henchmen are trying to protect themselves from the abuse. It’s easier for them to abuse you than to let someone abuse them. It’s sad, but it’s true.
Stop seeing the potential behind their behavior. You think that you can save them if you try hard enough, but it’s not that simple and you should focus your energy on saving yourself.
Even if you sit the flying monkey down and try to have an actual conversation with them, they’ll still find a way to put the blame on you. Especially if they became just as menacing as the narcissist himself.
You need to accept the fact that they’re beyond saving. Stop believing that there’s something good in everyone.
You were probably love-bombed by these people multiple times. You thought that their kindness wasn’t an act. But it was. It was just another evil manipulation tactic to get you to be more obedient.
Focus on all the bad emotions that they made you feel. Focus on all the abuse that they put you through. I know that a flying monkey isn’t completely at fault here, but they’re participating in this. Stop seeing them as anything more than the narcissist’s puppets.
6. Find yourself a good therapist
Don’t wait any longer! Go and find yourself a good therapist.
The sooner you get the help you need, the sooner you’ll be safer and saner.
Therapists are there to give you a good overview of the things that happened and they can validate your emotions and experiences. That’s exactly what you need right now! You don’t need another “friend” who will make you doubt yourself. What you need is a specialist who’ll help you through this.
You don’t need to wait until you break off all the contact with the narcissist and his flying monkey. What you need to do is find support in your therapist and gather the strength to walk away.
Your therapist will help you build your reality all over again. I know that it’s scary because there’s so much stigmatization surrounding this topic. However, it’s better to be judged by society for trying to find help for yourself than to walk around pretending like you’re fine while you’re crumbling from the inside out.
Please, find yourself the help you need. This is a very trying period for you and you simply have to be there for yourself. The best way to do that is to find someone who will guide you with a clear head through this.
I hope you make the right choice.