Unveiling the Truth: Do Narcissists Turn Against Their Flying Monkeys?

Unveiling the Truth: Do Narcissists Turn Against Their Flying Monkeys?

Article ImageFlying monkeys, a term borrowed from "The Wizard of Oz," describes individuals manipulated by narcissists to perpetrate abuse towards their targets, weaving a complex web of psychological manipulation and trauma. This phenomenon poses significant challenges in understanding abusive behavior, narcissism, and the intricate dynamics of enabler and co-dependent relationships. Our exploration seeks to demystify the roles and realities of flying monkeys within the context of narcissistic abuse, offering insights into why they align with narcissists and the potential for these alliances to unravel.

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Delving into the motives behind flying monkeys' loyalty to narcissists and the conditions under which narcissists might discard their enablers, this article aims to provide clarity on navigating and protecting oneself from such toxic dynamics. Through examining scenarios of turned tables and strategies for recovery, readers will gain practical knowledge on recognizing and dealing with the repercussions of narcissistic manipulation, fostering a path towards healing from narcissistic abuse.

Understanding Flying Monkeys in the Realm of Narcissism

In the realm of narcissism, "flying monkeys" serve as the enforcers of the narcissist's agenda, often unknowingly perpetuating the cycle of abuse. These individuals can range from friends and associates of the narcissist to those in positions of authority. The reasons behind their compliance are multifaceted:

  • People-Pleasers: Often seeking approval, these individuals may lack the emotional intelligence to recognize manipulative behavior.
  • Denial and Susceptibility: Some may be in denial about the narcissist's motives or have disorders making them more susceptible to manipulation.
  • Narcissistic Grooming: Narcissists meticulously groom their flying monkeys, testing loyalty and manipulating them into submission.

Flying monkeys fall into two primary categories:

  1. Benevolent Enablers: Typically sociotropic by nature, these individuals suffer from a "disease to please," often unaware of their contributing harm.
  2. Malevolent Enablers: These individuals knowingly engage in abusive behavior, deriving pleasure from the distress of others.

Narcissists recruit these enablers by appealing to their own narcissistic tendencies. Benevolent flying monkeys are prone to vulnerable or covert narcissism, while malevolent ones exhibit traits of grandiose or overt narcissism. Recognizing these dynamics is crucial for anyone entangled in a narcissist's web, as it is the first step towards defending oneself against further abuse.

The Dynamics of Loyalty: Why Flying Monkeys Align with Narcissists

In the intricate dance of narcissism and manipulation, flying monkeys align with narcissists for a myriad of reasons, each driven by their own psychological needs and vulnerabilities. Here's a closer look:

  • Mutual Benefit and Ambition:

    • Narcissists may ally with other narcissists, eyeing benefits like power and prestige, harboring aspirations to outmaneuver their counterparts eventually.
    • The alliance crumbles when these anticipated benefits cease, revealing the opportunistic nature of their loyalty.
  • Psychological Profiles Attractive to Narcissists:

    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder Sufferers: Their constant anxiety is a magnet for narcissists who exploit this vulnerability.
    • Co-dependents: With a predisposition to serve, they bolster the narcissist's superiority complex.
    • Addicts: Desperate to remain in favor, they can become enablers, furthering the narcissist's control.
    • Dependents: Incapable of decision-making without the narcissist; they offer complete control.
    • Sociopaths: They operate in the narcissist's shadow, concealing their malevolence.

  • Mechanisms of Manipulation and Compliance:

    • People-Pleasing and Manipulation: A lack of emotional intelligence or denial about the narcissist's motives can lead to compliance.
    • Fear of Becoming Targets: Some align with narcissists to avoid becoming their next victim.
    • Desire for Power: Despite the toxic dynamics, the allure of being in the narcissist’s inner circle keeps them tethered.

This dynamic, fueled by a complex interplay of psychological needs and manipulation, underscores the precarious balance of power and vulnerability within the realm of narcissistic relationships.

Turning the Tables: Scenarios Where Narcissists Discard Their Flying Monkeys

In the shadowy dynamics of narcissistic relationships, the fate of flying monkeys is as precarious as their loyalty is manipulated. Narcissists, driven by their own needs and devoid of genuine attachment, may discard their flying monkeys when they cease to serve a purpose. This abandonment can leave flying monkeys feeling lost or empty, having been deeply enmeshed in the narcissist's agenda without realizing their instrumental role.

  • Scenarios Leading to Discard:
    1. Loss of Utility: Narcissists abandon flying monkeys when they no longer offer any benefit.
    2. Challenge to Authority: Any challenge from flying monkeys can provoke narcissists to sever ties.
    3. Recovery of the Addict: In cases where flying monkeys are addicts, their recovery can lead to the end of the relationship with the narcissist.

Post-discard, flying monkeys may continue to operate under the influence of the narcissist's programming, often unconsciously seeking another narcissist to serve. This cycle perpetuates their role as enablers trapped in a loop of manipulation and exploitation. Some may find themselves in chaos, searching for a new narcissist to follow, while others remain naive, acting according to the conditioning instilled by their previous narcissistic leader. Transitioning from one toxic allegiance to another, they seldom recognize the pattern of abuse, highlighting the profound impact of narcissistic manipulation on their psyche.

Recognizing and Protecting Yourself from a Narcissist's Enablers

Dealing with flying monkeys, especially when they are friends or family members, can be a daunting task. Recognizing their behaviors and employing effective strategies is crucial for maintaining your mental health and emotional well-being. Here are some practical approaches:

  • Setting Boundaries and Limiting Contact:

    • Be firm with your boundaries; communicate clearly what is not acceptable.
    • Limit contact, where possible, to reduce their influence on your life.
  • Strategies for Engagement:

    • Use the grey rock method: be uninteresting to avoid giving them ammunition.
    • Document any incidents of abuse or harassment for your records.
    • Seek support from trusted loved ones or a mental health professional to bolster your resilience.
  • Recognizing Signs of Flying Monkeys:

    • Siding with the narcissist and spreading gossip.
    • Engaging in gaslighting and dismissing your feelings.
    • Passing on information to the narcissist.

Understanding that narcissists use flying monkeys to manipulate and control is key. These enablers might also be victims of the narcissist's manipulation, often caught in a cycle of abuse themselves. Prioritizing your mental health and recognizing your self-worth are essential steps in healing from narcissistic abuse and protecting yourself from the toxic influence of flying monkeys.


Through the exploration of narcissistic dynamics and the pivotal role of flying monkeys, this article aimed to illuminate the complicated interplay of manipulation, loyalty, and abuse that characterizes these relationships. By delving into the psychological profiles of both narcissists and their enablers, as well as examining scenarios in which these toxic alliances unravel, we've provided insights into navigating and mitigating the impact of such dynamics. Understanding the motives behind flying monkeys' loyalty and the conditions prompting narcissists to discard them offers a foundation for recognizing and protecting oneself from these destructive patterns.

The journey toward healing from narcissistic abuse and safeguarding against the influence of flying monkeys begins with awareness and empowerment. Recognizing the signs, setting firm boundaries, and seeking support are crucial steps in breaking free from the cycle of manipulation. As we underscore the significance of these findings, it’s clear that the implications are far-reaching, not only for survivors of narcissistic abuse but also for anyone looking to understand the complexities of human psychological relationships. Moving forward, it is vital to encourage further research and dialogue on this subject, fostering a deeper comprehension and more robust defense mechanisms against narcissistic manipulation.


1. How can someone discourage a narcissist's supporters from furthering their agenda? To discourage a narcissist's supporters, known as flying monkeys, from furthering the narcissist's agenda, it's important to establish and maintain firm personal boundaries. It is advised to avoid direct confrontations to prevent unnecessary drama. Seeking support from trusted friends, family, or mental health professionals is also beneficial. Documenting any incidents of abuse or harassment can be important, especially if legal authorities become involved. Lastly, limiting contact with the flying monkeys as much as possible can help reduce their influence.

2. Are the supporters of a narcissist aware of their role in the abuse? The awareness of flying monkeys regarding their role in narcissistic abuse varies. Some flying monkeys may be utterly oblivious to their participation in the abuse and may genuinely believe the negative things the narcissist says about the victim. However, others may suspect or even know that the narcissist is lying.

3. What is the typical reaction of a narcissist when confronted with the truth? The reaction of a narcissist when confronted with the truth can differ based on their personality type. Generally, a narcissist will try to avoid and escape from someone who has recognized their true nature. If they think the person confronting them has not fully realized the truth or perceives them as weak, the narcissist may attempt to manipulate the situation and play psychological games.

4. Do the enablers of a narcissist ever recognize their part in the abuse? There are instances when flying monkeys, or enablers of a narcissist, come to recognize their involvement in the abuse. Some may be victims themselves, misled by the narcissist's deception, while others may act with little regard for the harm they cause, similar to a narcissist. Over time, especially when the narcissist's true character comes to light, some flying monkeys may reflect on their actions and realize the role they played in targeting the victim.

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