We are all good people, right? At least, deep down, I hope we believe that; I mean, what person would intentionally, consciously, go out of their way to hurt and destroy another human being?
We probably have all been in contact with a narcissist at some point in our life. Maybe a boss. A friend. A neighbor. Or like me, even a member of your own immediate family.
Narcissists are very smart and calculating. They have had to be; they have been doing this for a very long time. They are self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant to others and their needs, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen, even though their front is a façade. “Victimized narcissists” can say hurtful things, but if you dare say something back to defend yourself, you are the enemy and considered abusive. There is no sense in debating with a narcissist; they will shift the blame at all costs. They will never see things through your eyes; they are incapable of reflection or feeling empathy. For this reason, sadly, they don’t have the conscious insight that we do to know that they exhibit this behavior.
Narcissists will suck the life out of you and leave you struggling to breathe. Narcissists don’t care that they pit one family member against another, even sibling against sibling if the narcissist happens to be a parent. Yes, the most excruciating pain is the reality that moms and dads can also be narcissists, leaving their children sometimes hating each other. And the one that dares to speak out to this abuse is left feeling defeated, battered, and bruised by the people they love most in this world even though the wounds are invisible to the naked eye (which is another reason why innocent people get caught in the trap of defending the narc).
And if the relationship becomes so intolerable with a narc that you are forced to make a painful decision of quitting your job, moving, ending a friendship, getting a divorce, or even going low or no contact with one or both of the people who brought you into this world, you become public enemy number one; the narc will attempt to destroy you and your reputation at all costs.
“Narcissist’s will DESTROY your life and erode your self-esteem. They do it with such PERSUASION that you are left feeling like YOU are the one letting them down.”
A narcissist’s public persona is very important to them, which is why they don’t publicly attack you—that would make them look bad. Instead, they carefully choose people in their circle to be their puppets. The narc delivers believable-sounding lies to sympathetic ears, ones that can be easily manipulated. Of course, very decent, loving, caring individuals can be caught in the trap of the narcissist and innocently become what is called “flying monkeys.”
A Flying Monkey? Up until a few months ago, I had never even heard the term. But I felt attacked from all directions and so on my quest to understand and survive this abuse I found this in Wikipedia and the pieces all came together in my mind: “Flying monkeys is a phrase used in popular psychology mainly in the context of narcissistic abuse. They are people who act on behalf of a narcissist to a third party, usually for an abusive purpose. Flying monkeys are distinct from enablers…. Enablers just allow or cover for the narcissist’s (abuser’s) own bad behavior.”
This is a phrase made popular by the movie The Wizard of Oz—the Wicked Witch sent her flying monkeys after Dorothy and her friends. In most cases, it is a humorous way of saying “Don’t make me come after you.” But there is nothing humorous about being hated and harassed by a flying monkey on its mission to destroy an innocent person. It is unfair, cruel and causes more pain to someone that is already struggling.
You may be a flying monkey if:
you find yourself believing gossip, even though the facts don’t add up.
you are an adult, yet you take sides, instead of staying impartial.
you are mad, stop speaking to someone and possibly hate someone else who has done nothing to you at all.
you accept someone’s version of the truth although you have no first-hand knowledge of the story.
you believe that the one you are defending is the only one deserving of sympathy.
you are overly involved, feeling the need to defend at all costs.
you are attacking someone else over something that quite frankly is none of your business.
And what should you do if you are on the receiving end of this hatred and smear campaign either from a narcissist or their flying monkey?
It is easier said than done sometimes, but keep calm and do not engage. DON’T ENGAGE. The narc is looking for you to react. It gives them fuel. Strength. Power. And they hate nothing more than the silent treatment, as they are then not getting their narcissistic supply.
Breathe. Ignore it. Read books and articles on narcissism. See a therapist. Write. Cry (it does make you feel better). Cry some more if you have to. Heal. Keep breathing.
Live a beautiful, healthy, productive, and happy life and don’t look back. Narcissists hate that and it does make them angrier. But don’t do it out of spite; do it because you are entitled to that. You are. And never let anyone make you feel guilty or beaten down or ashamed that you choose to do what is best for your life.
We are all responsible for our choices and behaviors and the consequences. Knowledge is a gift and you can always change. Say sorry. Forgive. So, if you believe that you have unintentionally been used by a narcissist as their flying monkey, what you do with that knowledge is up to you.
But know that, moving forward, what you do now is intentional and conscious.