When we hear the term "flying monkeys" some of us may immediately think about the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz and her team of pesky flying monkeys who worked at her beck and call to cause chaos and confusion! Well, the narcissist is very much like the witch; they too are cunning and like to create and control their own flying monkeys who side with them, and do as they say.
Flying monkeys are people who have been convinced by the narcissist that he or she is in fact the real victim. These people inflict further harm on the real victim by submitting to the narcissist's wishes and demands. They side with the narcissist, threaten, torment, discredit, or add fuel to a smear campaign by spreading rumors, lies and gossip about the real victim who was abused by the narcissist.
The narcissist will persuade friends, relatives and new partners that their former partner (the true victim of narcissistic abuse) is actually the abuser. The narcissist will make up lies and tell stories to gain sympathy from friends and family by playing the victim. The new partner being lied to by the narcissist will be clueless about the narcissistic abuse that occurred. The real victim is then alienated from friends and relatives because they believe the lies told to them by the narcissist.
The narcissist will tell friends that their former partner is insane, unstable, or mentally ill because the narcissist has continually gas lighted them over the length of the relationship, causing their victim to question their own sanity. They will highlight the fact that their former partner is doubting their own sanity, telling the flying monkeys that he/she doesn't even remember what has been said or what happened in the past. When in fact the narcissist has denied things said or done or has told the victim that they didn't remember the events correctly. The narcissist will often bait their victim, pushing a sensitive button, provoking the victim to react in an angry manner in public so that the narcissist can indeed provide evidence of the real victims' unbalanced state of mind!
During a divorce the narcissist will tell everyone that their partner ruined their marriage, and that they didn't even want to get divorced, again purporting to be the victim. They will gloat about going to marriage counselling and trying everything they could to "keep it together." They will also be intentional about telling everyone how much money their spouse "stole" from them when in fact the courts divided the assets. Any mis-information they can use to make themselves appear to be the victim will be fed to their flying monkeys with the sole intention of inflicting yet more harm and pain on their victim.
If you're a victim of narcissistic abuse and find yourself being slandered by your ex, and have friends or family turning against you, it's important to focus on yourself and not react to the narcissist, as that is exactly what they are hoping you do. Eventually you will find out who your true friends are. Those who know you know the truth, and they are the only ones who matter.
If you have friends who are divorcing, please remember, there are two sides to every story, but the narcissist is much more intentional about manipulating the truth and telling their "reality" to anyone who will listen. Beware of listening to, or being recruited unknowingly as a flying monkey!