For some reason, my first post on flying monkeys is my most read page ever. I guess we all hate dealing with the monkeys! For those who aren’t aware, flying monkeys are people that a narcissist manipulates into bullying their target. They will go after a third party and attack that person completely based on the emotional and dramatic stories they hear from the narcissist. Where there are flying monkeys, you can be sure a toxic person is behind them! They stand out most of the time because they are very abusive, they are very determined and they are very riled up and emotional. They will repeat what the narcissist has led them to believe. When there is a flying monkey attack on someone, you will typically see a sudden spurt of targeted bullying against someone by half a dozen or so people. Sometimes more. It is usually very venomous and filled with anger–even though the person being attacked has had nothing to do with the monkeys. They will all have the same rationalizations for their attack because they believe what they are doing is justified.
What makes them, and their controlling narcissist so dangerous is, they are completely run by emotions. Very strong emotions. They are so angry on behalf of the narcissist, that they can’t see straight, and they are oblivious to facts. Narcissists rely on emotion. When they are called out for something wrong they did, they will usually pour the victimhood on very thick. They will cry about how badly they’ve been wronged, how they are so sick and stressed out, how very abused they are. And…naturally empathetic people will jump on that. We hear sob stories and we want to help! Unfortunately, this vivid and dramatic display of emotion is created to hide what really happened. It is created solely to get pity, so people will feel sorry for the narcissist, and get angry and upset on their behalf. If people didn’t get caught up in the emotion, they might start looking critically…and the narc can’t have that!
When my ex sociopath assaulted me, he was arrested after he confessed. I went to the Emergency Room. After he got out of jail, he was the most pathetic victim ever! He told everyone how hard it was to be in jail, how awful it was to eat the food, how hard it was to sleep, how cold it was in his cell, how horribly mean it was of the police to arrest him, and more. People felt so sorry for him! Poor guy getting arrested, (again.) They really fell for it. At no time did he ever remind them that he was arrested for assaulting his pregnant wife. That most definitely would NOT play into his plans! The narcissist doesn’t want you to know what they did that caused them to “suffer” so much, but they really want you to know they are suffering, and they want you to get personally invested in defending them against the person they blame for their suffering.
People react to emotion, and when they are caught up in it, they ignore logic. This is why charismatic cult leaders are able to fool people into doing insane things…like drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. These types of people know exactly how to play on people’s emotions and gain their loyalty. They can be so effective that their followers will bully, kill or die for them in extreme cases. And so, when a toxic person gets people very invested in their emotional stories, the most invested people can easily become flying monkeys.
It is great for a victim to have friends who support them. But…it is not great to have friends who bully others on your behalf. If a third party flying monkey is getting that invested in someone else’s emotional story, there is most likely some manipulation going on.