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Escaping the Narcissist’s Trap: Ending Your Role as a Flying Monkey
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Everyone who recalls viewing “The Wizard of Oz” when they were child would certainly recall how terrifying the Wicked Witch of the West’s flying monkeys were. These monkeys were sent by the witch to perform her filthy job, and since then, the word has come to be associated with those who find themselves doing the dirty work of narcissists.
Flying monkeys are susceptible to being involved in the schemes of narcissists, which often include endangering the lives of others. It’s possible the narcissist may use their flying monkeys as a piggy in the middle, relaying information from one gathering to the next. In order to make another person feel horrible and weak while simultaneously shoring up the narcissist, the flying monkey may use strategies such as gaslighting, open hostility, and guilt-tripping.
In addition to this, they are often engaged in arguing the narcissist’s side of the argument. Narcissists like the fact that having at least one flying monkey gives them a sense of importance and allows them to seem superior to those individuals below them (on both sides) who are caught up in the dirty aspects of the drama.
The narcissist will often recruit his or her “flying monkeys” from other members of the family, such as the sibling, spouse, or children. It’s also possible for close friends or coworkers to become flying monkeys. I’m sure all of us have encountered CEOs or political leaders who couldn’t operate without a band of volunteers willing to get their hands filthy.
Rosie related how she had acted as her brother’s “flying monkey” up to the point when she became aware that she was participating in an activity that may be considered unlawful. She confided in me, “I felt really intimidated by my brother,” and I believed her. “Despite the fact that he is highly violent and emotionally abusive, I felt safer staying home with him.
This may mean picking on our other sibling, writing letters, and basically supporting my brother anytime he’d done inappropriately. I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t tell what was appropriate or inappropriate anymore. I only wanted to be his closest buddy because I considered him as the strongest member of the family, and I knew that if I did that, it would prevent him from turning against me.
People turn into flying monkeys for a variety of reasons, including the following:
Safety and security for one’s own person.
Self-preservation was the driving force behind Rosie’s decision to become her brother’s flying monkey. This decision was rational and could be understood. She didn’t pay much attention, if any attention at all, to the consequences of her actions, just like other people who do a narcissist’s dirty work for them. It was much more important for her to take care of herself than it was for her to safeguard the safety of others.
One of the reasons people choose to play this role is in order to cultivate a relationship with the individual who is regarded as the most powerful member of a family or organisation. It’s possible that if you lie, spread false information, and engage in other forms of gaslighting against anyone who dares to question the narcissist, you’ll be able to keep your job and avoid becoming the target of the narcissist’s rage. This, in turn, will make it more likely that you won’t find yourself on the receiving end of narcissistic rage.
Redeeming the role of the narcissist’s “victim”
If you have a tendency to take on a rescuing role, you might feel compelled to come to the defence of a narcissist who blames everyone and everything for whatever is going wrong in their life. This could make you feel like you have no choice but to do so. Because of the rescuer role you play, standing up for the narcissist satisfies your innate need to feel valued and needed in the world.
A diminishing of one’s sense of identity.
When it comes to having the ability to distinguish right from wrong, certain flying monkeys have a significantly lower capacity than would be normal under normal circumstances due to the narcissist’s relentless bullying. They might have been subjected to years of emotional abuse at the hands of the narcissist, during which time they might have lost their sense of self and their ability to make independent decisions.
Enjoying the drama very much.
A few of the flying monkeys really feed off of the excitement. When you’re involved with a narcissist, it’s almost unavoidable that you’ll become embroiled in a few different dramas over the course of your relationship. What can compare to the rush of adrenaline that comes from being entangled in a web of lies, concealment, and deception?
Being a narcissist.
Flying monkeys often have strong narcissistic traits themselves, such as a desire for attention, a lack of empathy, and a desire to bully and manipulate other people. Other narcissistic traits include a lack of empathy. They may be involved in a family, work, or other situation in which they are aware that the best opportunity for them to fulfil their narcissistic desires comes from allying themselves with a more powerful narcissist. This may be the case because they know that allying themselves with a more powerful narcissist will give them the best chance to achieve their goals.
If you have reached the point in your life where you no longer wish to act as a flying monkey, the narcissist in your life is not likely to be pleased by this development and, at the very least, may not wish to have any further interaction with you once you are no longer of any use to them.
You are always going to be placed in a compromised and stressful environment if a narcissist uses you to take care of some of the less desirable aspects of their business. When you decide to change your role, you should make sure that you have the appropriate support in place so that you can make the transition successfully.
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