Are You a Narcissist’s Flying Monkey?
What is a flying monkey?
In psychology, a flying monkey is used to refer to someone who acts on behalf of a narcissist. This means that they are a third party that helps the narcissist abuse another person. The flying monkey helps the narcissist by using manipulation tactics, gaslighting, aggression, and guilt-tripping. Since narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and believe that they deserve special treatment, they love having flying monkeys who confirm these beliefs. Moreover, flying monkeys make it easier for the narcissist to control drama without being caught up in the mess. Usually, these people are family members or close friends of the narcissist. As we often see in films and reality, bullies usually have two or three people who help them hurt others and these people are the flying monkeys.
Why would someone become a flying monkey?
1. To protect themselves
According to Claire Jack Ph.D., some people may become flying monkeys to protect themselves. That is, they believe that by ‘forming an alliance’ with the person who is perceived as the most powerful, they ensure that they do not end up ‘on the receiving end of narcissistic rage’.
2. They have been manipulated
Many people become flying monkeys not because they want to but because they have experienced years of the narcissist’s abuse and torment. As a result, they have lost their sense of self and have become manipulated into behaving poorly.
3. They believe the narcissist is a victim
Narcissists are known for their ability to play the victim, twist reality, and deny responsibility for their actions. If they manage to trick someone into believing that they are the victim, this person may become a flying monkey as they believe they are defending someone who needs to be protected. In reality, they have been tricked and manipulated.
4. They are a narcissist
It is possible that the flying monkey is a narcissist themselves. This perfectly explains why they would not see anything wrong with being abusive, deceitful, and manipulative. If they are a narcissist, they lack empathy and do not feel guilty after hurting the people around them.
Anybody can become manipulated and tricked into the role of a flying monkey. Pause, reflect, and ask yourself if you may be a victim of narcissistic manipulation and if, as a result, you have been the source of somebody else’s pain.