The Flying Monkey – Understanding the Role of Enablers in Narcissistic Abuse

A flying monkey is a term used in the context of narcissistic abuse to describe individuals who support and enable the abuser. They act as allies or enablers of the narcissist, often carrying out their manipulative tactics and furthering their agenda.

The term “flying monkey” originates from the movie The Wizard of Oz, where the Wicked Witch of the West sent her flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and her friends.

In the realm of narcissistic abuse, flying monkeys serve a similar purpose by carrying out abusive tactics on behalf of the narcissist.

Flying monkeys can be friends, family members, colleagues, or even strangers who are manipulated or coerced into supporting the narcissist. They may engage in gaslighting, spreading rumors or lies, attacking the victim’s character, or other forms of manipulation to defend or protect the narcissist.

The presence of flying monkeys can make it incredibly challenging for victims of narcissistic abuse to escape the cycle of abuse or seek help.

This is because they contribute to the isolation, confusion, and psychological distress experienced by the victim, further reinforcing the power dynamics established by the narcissist.

flying monkeys

The Crucial Role of the Flying Monkey in Narcissistic Abuse

A flying monkey serves several important purposes for narcissistic abusers.

The Support System

The flying monkeys actively defend and justify the narcissist’s actions, dismissing any concerns or accusations made by the victim.

In the process they gaslight the victim, creating an environment where the victim’s experiences are invalidated, leaving them feeling helpless and unheard.

This support system serves as a powerful tool for the narcissist, bolstering their sense of superiority and maintaining their control over the victim.

The flying monkeys thus provide a shield against accountability, ensuring that the abuser can continue their abusive behavior without facing repercussions.

narcissist enabler

Messengers and Spies

A flying monkey often also takes on the role of messenger and spy on behalf of the narcissist. They act as intermediaries, relaying information back to the abuser and ensuring that they remain updated on the victim’s life and activities.

Flying monkeys gather intelligence about the victim, scouring social media for juicy titbits of information, and tapping into the grapevine for gossip. This information is then used by the abuser to manipulate and control the victim.

This network of spies and messengers has a chilling effect on the victim, who comes to realize that their every move is being monitored and reported back to the abuser, intensifying their feelings of vulnerability and paranoia.

narcissistic enforcer

Enforcers of Manipulation

Flying monkeys are not just passive observers or informants. They also play an active role in carrying out the abuser’s manipulative schemes.

A flying monkey may engage in spreading false information or rumors about the victim, tarnishing their reputation and credibility. By doing so, they contribute to the character assassination of the victim and reinforce the narcissist’s narrative.

They may also directly confront or intimidate the victim on behalf of the narcissist. This could involve verbal attacks, threats, or even physical aggression. By creating an environment of fear and intimidation, the flying monkeys help the narcissist maintain control over the victim.

In addition, a flying monkey may actively recruit others to join in the abuse or turn against the victim. They may manipulate friends, family members, or colleagues into believing false narratives about the victim or convincing them to side with the narcissist. This further isolates the victim and erodes their support network.

flying monkey

Characteristics of the Flying Monkey

While anyone can become a flying monkey, certain behaviors or personalities are more likely to exhibit enabling tendencies.

These individuals may possess traits such as:

Easily Manipulated

Flying monkeys are individuals who can be easily manipulated and swayed by others, particularly narcissists. Their susceptibility to manipulation is often rooted in underlying vulnerabilities and low self-esteem.

Here are some key factors that contribute to their willingness to become flying monkeys:

Low self-esteem

People with low self-esteem are more likely to seek validation from others and have a strong desire to please. They may lack confidence in their own judgment and readily defer to the opinions and demands of the narcissist. This makes them easy targets for manipulation.

Fear of rejection

Flying monkeys often fear the repercussions of going against the narcissist’s wishes. They may worry about losing the narcissist’s approval or being subjected to their wrath. This fear of rejection leads them to comply with the narcissist’s agenda, even if it goes against their own values or better judgment.

flying monkey

Need for belonging

Flying monkeys tend to have a strong need for belonging and acceptance. They may believe that aligning themselves with the narcissist will provide them with a sense of identity, purpose, or inclusion. This need for belonging blinds them to the negative consequences of their actions.

Emotional manipulation

Narcissists are adept at exploiting people’s emotions and using manipulative tactics to control them. They may employ tactics such as love-bombing, gaslighting, guilt-tripping, or playing on the flying monkey’s insecurities to gain compliance. These manipulative techniques override the flying monkey’s ability to think critically or question the narcissist’s motives.

Lack of awareness

In some cases, a flying monkey may be unaware of the abusive dynamics at play. They do not recognize the harm they are causing to others, including the victim of the narcissistic abuse.

flying monkey

Lack of Boundaries

A flying monkey who acts as an enforcer for a narcissist will often exhibit a lack of personal boundaries.

This deficiency makes them susceptible to becoming entangled in the narcissist’s web of manipulation, causing harm to themselves and others.

Here are some key aspects related to the lack of boundaries that contribute to their enabling behavior:

Difficulty in asserting oneself

Individuals with poor personal boundaries struggle to assert their own needs, desires, and boundaries.

They may prioritize the approval and validation of others, including the narcissist, over their own well-being.

This difficulty in asserting themselves makes it easier for the narcissist to exploit their compliance.

Emotional fusion

Flying monkeys with weak boundaries tend to become emotionally fused with the narcissist.

They may lose sight of their own emotions and perspectives, adopting the narcissist’s beliefs and feelings as their own.

This emotional fusion blurs the line between themselves and the narcissist, making it challenging to recognize the harm they are contributing to.

Guilt and obligation

Flying monkeys often experience feelings of guilt and obligation towards the narcissist.

They may believe that it is their duty or responsibility to comply with the narcissist’s demands, even if it goes against their own values or causes harm to others.

This sense of guilt and obligation overrides their ability to set healthy boundaries.

flying monkey

Fear of conflict

Individuals with poor personal boundaries often fear conflict and confrontation.

They may avoid expressing their disagreement or dissenting opinions to maintain harmony within the relationship.

This fear of conflict allows the narcissist to manipulate and control them without facing opposition.

Lack of self-identity

Flying monkeys with weak boundaries may struggle with establishing a strong sense of self. They may rely on the narcissist for validation and direction, leading to a loss of autonomy.

By merging their identity with the narcissist, they become more susceptible to manipulation and less likely to question their enabling behavior.

Codependency tendencies

Flying monkeys often display codependent tendencies, focusing excessively on the needs and wants of others while neglecting their own.

They may derive their sense of self-worth from being needed by the narcissist, reinforcing their enabling role.

This codependency further erodes their ability to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

flying monkey

Desire for Power

Some individuals are irresistibly drawn to align themselves with those who possess perceived power. They see an opportunity to gain influence or control over others by becoming an ally to the abuser.

Here are some key aspects related to the desire for power that drive individuals to seek alignment with narcissists:

Quest for influence

A flying monkey may come to believe that associating with a narcissist grants them access to the power that the narcissist possesses.

By associating themselves with someone who is perceived as powerful or influential, they hope to boost their own image and gain recognition within their social circles.

This desire for enhanced status drives them to pursue alliances with the narcissist.

Sense of belonging

In addition, a flying monkey might be attracted to the charismatic and dominant personality traits of the narcissist, which can create an allure of being part of an exclusive inner circle.

This desire for inclusion and acceptance encourages them to become allies and enablers, even if it means overlooking or participating in harmful behaviors.

Personal gain

Some individuals are motivated by personal gains when aligning with a narcissist.

They may hope to advance their career, gain access to resources, or secure favorable treatment by associating themselves with someone who wields power.

This self-serving desire for personal benefits can blind them to the negative consequences of their actions.

narcissistic enabler

An Example of a Flying Monkey in Action

Sarah can’t stand the sight of Jenna, a highly efficient employee who has managed to catch the attention of upper management.

In her eyes, Jenna’s talent and potential poses a significant threat to her own career progression in the company. Determined to eliminate the competition, Sarah makes a calculated decision to resort to underhanded tactics in order to undermine Jenna.

In her pursuit of sabotage, she turns to Peter, her loyal flying monkey.

Sarah knows that Peter is easily swayed and would eagerly carry out her bidding. She whispers some juicy lies into his ear, knowing that he would eagerly spread them like wildfire throughout the office.

Peter, true to his role as flying monkey, wastes no time in fanning the flames of a smear campaign against Jenna.

The consequences were immediate and devastating.

The once-respected Jenna finds herself on the receiving end of a relentless attack on her reputation. Colleagues who had once admired her efficiency and dedication start to shun her, having believed the false narrative carefully crafted by Sarah and perpetuated by Peter.

The work environment, once supportive and encouraging, transformed into a hostile and isolating place for Jenna.

Overwhelmed by the weight of the false accusations and the betrayal of those she thought she could trust, Jenna reaches her breaking point.

It is clear to her that she would never be able to thrive in such a toxic environment.

With a heavy heart, she makes the difficult decision to resign from her position, her dreams and ambitions shattered by Sarah’s cunning manipulation.

Sarah is pleased with this outcome as she views it as the elimination of her competition. In her mind, liquidating the threat posed by Jenna solidifies her own position of power and control within the workplace.

flying monkey

Dealing with a Flying Monkey

When dealing with a narcissist’s flying monkey, it is crucial to recognize and understand the manipulation at play.

Here are some strategies to expand upon the initial steps:

Educate yourself about narcissistic abuse

Arm yourself with knowledge about narcissistic personality disorder and the tactics commonly employed by narcissists.

Understanding their manipulative techniques, such as gaslighting, triangulation, and smear campaigns, will empower you to see through their illusions and regain control over your own narrative.

Unmask the flying monkeys

Flying monkeys are individuals who enable and support the narcissist’s behavior. These individuals may unknowingly or willingly participate in the manipulation, spreading false information, and acting as the narcissist’s allies.

By identifying the flying monkeys in your life, you can begin to understand their role in perpetuating the abuse.

Build a strong support network and take care of yourself

Surround yourself with trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide validation and support.

Having a strong support system is essential in countering the isolation imposed by the narcissist and their flying monkeys. Seek out individuals who believe and validate your experiences, helping you reclaim your sense of self-worth.

Throughout this process, prioritize your own well-being. Take time for self-care activities that bring you joy and help you recharge.

Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time in nature. Remember that you deserve to prioritize your own mental and emotional health.

Establish firm boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is crucial when dealing with a flying monkey.

Assertively communicate your needs and expectations, making it known that you will not tolerate their participation in the narcissistic abuse.

Distance yourself from those who continue to enable the narcissist’s harmful behavior, and focus on nurturing relationships that prioritize empathy, respect, and understanding.

Seek professional help

Consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance, validation, and tools to help you navigate this challenging situation.

A trained professional can assist you in processing the emotional impact of the abuse, developing coping mechanisms, and building resilience.

In severe cases where a narcissist’s flying monkey engages in harassment, cyberbullying, or other forms of abusive behavior, it may be necessary to seek legal assistance or file a police report.

narcissist's enabler

Final Thoughts on Dealing With a Narcissist’s Flying Monkey

The narcissist and their flying monkeys may try to distort your perception of reality and undermine your self-esteem.

It is essential to stay true to yourself and hold onto your values and beliefs.

Trust your instincts, and do not be swayed by their manipulations. Remember that you have the power to define your own truth.

Recognize and celebrate your strength and resilience in navigating this challenging situation.

Breaking free from the influence of a narcissist and their flying monkeys takes courage and perseverance. Give yourself credit for the progress you have made and the steps you have taken towards healing and reclaiming your life

Frequently Asked Questions about Narcissism

Frequently Asked Questions About the Narcissist’s Flying Monkey

What is a flying monkey?

In the context of narcissistic abuse, a flying monkey refers to a person who supports and enables the narcissist’s manipulative behavior. They act as the narcissist’s messenger, enforcer, or ally in their attempts to control and harm others.

Why do flying monkeys support narcissists?

Flying monkeys may support narcissists for various reasons. They may be unaware of the narcissist’s true nature and genuinely believe their distorted version of events. Others may have their own manipulative tendencies and find it advantageous to align with the narcissist. Some flying monkeys may fear the narcissist’s wrath or hope to gain favor or protection from them.

How do flying monkeys contribute to the narcissist’s abuse?

Flying monkeys enable the narcissist’s abusive behavior by carrying out their requests, spreading false information, gaslighting the victim, or attempting to manipulate and control the victim themselves. They often serve as a means of extending the narcissist’s influence and exerting further control over the victim’s life.

Can flying monkeys be family members or close friends?

Yes, flying monkeys can be anyone in the narcissist’s social circle, including family members, close friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. The relationship between the flying monkey and the narcissist can vary, but they usually have a personal connection that allows the narcissist to exploit their loyalty or vulnerability.

How should I deal with a flying monkey?

Dealing with flying monkeys can be challenging, but it’s crucial to set boundaries and protect your well-being. Avoid engaging in arguments or trying to convince them of the truth. Instead, focus on your own healing, seek support from trusted individuals, and establish a strong support network to help you navigate the situation.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment