Flying Monkeys — Loved Ones Turned to the Dark Side

Flying Monkeys — Loved Ones Turned to the Dark Side flying monkeys — loved ones turned to the dark side
Photo by Matthew Fassnacht on Unsplash

Narcissists don’t operate in isolation. They utilize enablers and flying monkeys to execute their nefarious actions on their behalf. Flying monkeys and enablers are individuals who align with the narcissist’s narrative to advance their agenda.

It’s akin to proxy abuse, whether knowingly or unknowingly. You might have recently extricated yourself from the narcissistic relationship, only to find yourself in situations where third parties are engaging in a campaign against you, whether directly or indirectly. You anticipated your support network to be firmly in your corner, yet the circulating rumors leave you feeling like an outsider.

This is the reality when coworkers, friends, or even family members have been co-opted by the narcissist as their agents. You might have believed that the nightmare of the relationship was over, but now you realize that it’s akin to a nightmare within a nightmare as your loved ones have joined the Dark Side (a reference to Star Wars). It’s certainly not an enviable position to be in, and it can be retraumatizing to recognize that you don’t know who to trust when your close relationships further distort your perception of the abuse you endured.

Origins of the Term “Flying Monkeys”

The term “flying monkeys” finds its origins in the flying monkeys in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939 film), who were pledged to serve the Wicked Witch of the West against Dorothy and her companions. These monkeys were dispatched by the witch to carry out her malicious tasks. Over time, the term has evolved to describe those who carry out the dirty work of narcissists.

Why Do Narcissists Utilize Flying Monkeys?

Narcissists enlist flying monkeys for a range of reasons, all of which fall under the umbrella of manipulation and control. Flying monkeys can perform the following roles:

Guilt-tripping and manipulating you into submission.

Spying on you.

Spreading gossip and falsehoods about you, bolstering the narcissist’s credibility while undermining yours (smear campaign).

Harassing you directly to fulfill the narcissist’s objectives.

Apologizing on behalf of the narcissist.

Serving as peacemakers, convincing you to re-enter the relationship.

Creating an indirect communication channel, especially if you’ve implemented full no-contact with the narcissist.

Boosting the narcissist’s ego by reaffirming their power over others.

Why Do Flying Monkeys Support the Narcissist?

Flying monkeys can operate under the illusion that they’re impartial and seek the best outcomes for all parties involved. They may be unaware of the manipulation at play. On the other hand, some serve as flying monkeys knowingly. Key reasons people become flying monkeys include:

  • Coercion by the narcissist: Some individuals become flying monkeys due to direct threats from the narcissist. Failure to comply may result in severe consequences, such as losing jobs, facing demotions, being subjected to unwanted job transfers (for narcissistic employers and coworkers), forfeiting the narcissist’s favor, exposure of their misdeeds to family, loss of status, and more. Fear compels them to carry out these unsavory tasks.
  • Weak sense of self: Individuals in this category have been subjected to abuse and emotional torment by the narcissist to the point where they can’t advocate for themselves. They comply with the narcissist’s demands without distinguishing between right and wrong.
  • Attraction to drama and causing pain: Some people thrive in dramatic environments, deriving excitement from chaos. These individuals are apt to become flying monkeys, spreading rumors and engaging in well-intentioned but harmful behavior.
  • Enjoyment of inflicting pain: Certain individuals derive pleasure from causing harm. They actively engage in hurting others.
  • Fixation on problem-solving: Some individuals are driven to be enablers because they possess a strong desire to mend relationships. They can’t leave situations as they are and rush to the aid of the narcissist, who they believe has been wrongly accused in the relationship.
  • Loyal agents of the narcissist: People who hold deep loyalty toward the narcissist, often due to familial or friendship ties, are willing to make significant sacrifices to protect them.

How Can You Shield Yourself from Flying Monkeys?

If you’re facing attacks or finding yourself outnumbered by narcissistic enablers, here are some tips to manage flying monkeys:

  1. Hold Onto Your Reality

In environments rife with lies, gaslighting, and guilt-tripping, your reality might become distorted. In such situations, it’s crucial to maintain and affirm your perspective on what’s happening. Remember that you’re the one who truly knows your experiences and emotions. Regard the narratives spun by others as falsehoods, and anchor yourself in your version of the truth.

2. Avoid Convincing Flying Monkeys

You may be tempted to engage in discussions with enablers, hoping that presenting evidence (screenshots or photos) will validate your side. However, flying monkeys have often been manipulated to the extent that they might deflect evidence against you or view your efforts to persuade them as manipulation. This can lead to frustration and energy depletion, which could be better invested in self-care.

3. Practice Limited Contact or No Contact (Gray Rock Method)

Since flying monkeys can create an indirect communication channel between you and the narcissist, it’s beneficial to minimize contact where possible. By doing so, you undermine the power of their lies as there is no audience to hear them.

If cutting them off entirely isn’t feasible, keep your communication brief and focused on mundane matters, avoiding discussions about your narcissistic ex. If such discussions are unavoidable, frame your words in terms of their behavior, refraining from name-calling, as this can be manipulated against you.

4. Cultivate a New Support Network

Rather than relying on individuals co-opted by the narcissist, focus on building relationships with new people who understand your situation. Seek out those who can validate your experiences and provide the emotional support you require in a toxic environment. Be cautious when recruiting support; ensure you’re certain of their trustworthiness and your safety.


Dealing with any narcissist is undoubtedly challenging, as they employ various tactics to regain control or lure you back into the relationship for their own purposes. Flying monkeys are just another tool they wield to make your life even more difficult.

Remember, these flying monkeys are the minions of the narcissist, entangled in a manipulative relationship dynamic to promote the narcissist’s agenda. It’s particularly difficult when those enabling the abuse are individuals close to you, leaving you feeling trapped and unsupported. While not all flying monkeys act with malicious intent, it’s not your responsibility to rescue or convince them on your behalf — prioritize your well-being.

If you find yourself in this situation, strive to cling to your version of the truth, avoid those who align with the narcissist, and seek peace and healing in your life. Never hesitate to seek help to address emotional wounds and liberate yourself from the cycle of emotional abuse surrounding you.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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