top of page

Lions & Tigers & Narcissists – Oh My! Flying Monkeys & Their Narcissists

They are the narcissist’s minions. They do their bidding, spreading rumors and the smear campaign about you trying over and over again to manipulate you on the narcissist’s behalf.

What are flying monkeys?


The term flying monkeys comes from the scary flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz who do the bidding for the Wicked Witch of the East. This is a term coined by mental health professionals to describe the people who abuse others on behalf of the narcissist, like a minion.    Often flying monkeys are the family – children, siblings or spouses or even work colleagues of the narcissist.

How do you identify them in your family?


The flying monkeys are there to further the narcissist’s agenda. They stand by every nasty, cruel thing the narcissist does to you or anyone else and praise them. They help spread the smear campaign which further isolates you and prevents you from getting the support you need.

The flying monkeys are often one of the ways the narcissist can get to you. He/she uses the flying monkeys to broadcast to you how much the narcissist loves you and wants to work it out. This is another perfect example of manipulation where they try to hoover you back.


When you encounter a family member who categorically agrees with everything the narcissist says or wants even when it’s unreasonable or impossible, you know they’re a flying monkey. Another way to identify them is simply when they won’t acknowledge anything you’ve spoken about happening. Like your experience just didn’t happen. Like they pretend the narcissist in your life just isn’t. He’s fine. You’re the problem, it’s you. They completely pretend what you’ve asserted hasn’t happened and what’s more, the toxic person in your life has always been wonderful top them – lies. You have total recall of times your narcissist stopped talking to these family members and called them names and belittled them. But they don’t see it now that you are the target.


How can you spot a flying monkey?

Flying monkeys not only spread the narcissist’s message but they gaslight you as well. They might say things like “he’s not that bad. I’ve never had a problem with him,” or  he’s doing a great job.” Flying monkeys love to add to the chaos, deny your reality and triangulating you.

What is abuse by proxy?


When someone uses the term flying monkeys with regard to a toxic relationship, it’s another way of saying “abuse by proxy.” People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder use family and friends to abuse their victims by proxy. The flying monkeys are tasked with spreading the narcissist’s chosen smear campaign, spying on their victim all the while portraying the narcissist as the real victim.


What can you do to protect yourself from flying monkeys?


1.    Don’t take their bait. Don’t engage. I know this is incredibly difficult, but they will find it disarming as you show your high emotional intelligence and ignore the provocation.


2.    Tell your story. This is the best way to educate them but remember the narcissist has told them lies about you for years, it may be hard, and they may not believe you.


3.    Seek support.  You need to have a strong support system who will listen to you and be there for you. You may also need professional support in the form of a therapist or coach.


If you’ve been in a relationship like this and experienced these flying monkeys, please talk to someone. Make sure it’s someone who understands what you’ve been through. You need to address this hurt before it bleeds into other aspects of your life. I get it.


You see, I didn’t get here by accident. I didn't set out to become a narcissistic abuse recovery coach. But after I’d suffered this kind of abuse, I realized that my story and my experience could help so many people who’ve suffered similarly. 


Often, we stay in these cycles of abuse because we don’t believe we deserve something better. I kept trying to make our relationship work, but he didn’t want me in his life. It took me a long time to understand that I deserved better.


You deserve better, too.


If you’re ready to change how you think,

If you’re ready to change how you feel,

If you’re ready to change your path,

You can't do this alone. I can help you.

Work with me one on one or take one of my courses.

Coming soon – my first course:

Free yourself from the narcissist. Break the ties that bind.

Break your trauma bonds for good.



57 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page