According to the Urban Dictionary, a Flying Monkey is someone who does the narcissist’s bidding to inflict additional torment to the narcissist’s victim or victims. From a Mind Map perspective a narcissist is an individual who was emotionally injured and uses primitive and destructive defense mechanisms to defend against wounds of childhood. Left to feel deflated and weakened, they create an overinflated and entitled “false self” to counterbalance their emotional injuries. Lacking empathy, they are disconnected from their damaging effects on other people.
To further defend against the injured “false self” and maintain their sense of superiority, power and control, they are known to use gossip and distorted information to demean, devalue, destroy, and eventually discard their targeted victim. They are master manipulators, and enlist their Flying Monkeys to protect their image and reinforce their sense of self righteousness.
The term Flying Monkeys came from the book The Wizard Of Oz, by Frank L. Baum. These Monkeys were the agents of the wicked witch and thus the term was born. Flying Monkeys can be family members, co-workers, mutual friends, and members of the community. The individual who surrounds him or herself with these Flying Monkeys has the intention of “looking good” staying in control, and being right at the cost of another. They will go so far as to use their children against each other and or against other family members to wield power and keep their upper hand reputation and image in tact. Their strategy is a very painful form of betrayal for those being targeted.
Often appearing as “wonderful people” and even stellar role models in the community, their tolerance for any form of real or perceived disagreement is slim to none. Often appearing as extremely clever, they seem to have the ability to “read” other people and access their psychological needs. They reward their eager-to-please Flying Monkeys by making them feel “special.” Typically we see this in family dynamics where one child is considered the “Golden Child” as a reward for agreeing with and carrying out this bidding.
The role of the Flying Monkey is to carry out this smear campaign against the victim and portray them as uncaring, selfish, manipulative, crazy, and even narcissistic. They easily manipulate because they tend to zero in the Flying Monkey”s needs to keep them on the supply list. This can take the form of rewarding them with money, compliments, and future promises that may or may not manifest–good luck with that sliding goal post that they randomly move at their whim!
Because narcissistically injured people think of people as “narcissistic supply” they make sure to surround themselves with many people who can offer up their Flying Monkey services. Because the Flying Monkeys are generally eager to please and have a place in the sun with these “special” individuals, they silently agree to carry out the plan to divide and conquer through gossip, gaslighting (making another doubt their sanity) and other forms of manipulation.