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Flying Monkey

Flying monkey is a popular psychology term for someone who enables the manipulative behavior of a controlling person. They are also known as agents or lieutenants.

Manipulative people often rely on psychological defenses commonly seen in dysfunctional narcissism. Therefore, they are often described as narcissists or highly narcissistic.

People who are manipulative may use flying monkeys to gang up on the person or people they seek to dominate. Flying monkeys are also used as proxies for the manipulative person in their campaigns of narcissistic abuse.

Someone willing to act as a narcissistic person’s lieutenant can be handy when a controlling person is discrediting a person they seek to control. A flying monkey is often used to corroborate the controlling person’s scapegoat story, even if it is completely false.

Nevertheless, flying monkeys may be benevolent or malevolent. In other words, they may act with or without malice depending on their character and circumstances. What distinguishes the nature of a flying monkey is their intent.

The benevolent flying monkey is a bystander operating in good faith. They have likely been deceived into believing the narcissist’s scapegoat story.

The malevolent flying monkey willfully participates in the narcissist’s scheme because they are opportunistic seeking to accrue power within the social hierarchy. Many flying monkeys wish to win the approval of the controlling person.

The origin of the descriptor comes from the army of winged monkeys who carried out the orders of the Wicked Witch of the West in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Narcissist’s Flying Monkeys

FLYING MONKEYS ARE ENABLERS who act on behalf of narcissists. They are usually friends and relatives who serve as surrogates, emissaries, fixers and drones in the narcissist’s network. Moreover, they make it possible for narcissists to carry out their campaigns of abuse by proxy. A person may rationalize playing the flying monkey role for a variety of reasons. Here are…

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