Flying Monkey Narcissist Meaning

Flying Monkey Narcissist Meaning

FLYING MONKEY is a term used that generally describes someone who, knowingly or unknowingly, enables the destructive behavior of another. It is commonly used in the context of narcissistic abuse in reference to people in the manipulator’s social circle who make it possible for them harm others without being held to account.

Flying Monkey Meaning

Flying monkey (noun): a person who is an abuse enabler. They makes it possible for one person to harm another by making excuses for them or acting on their behalf. They encourage perpetrators of abuse and shield them from the consequences of their behavior.

Synonym: enabler, hatchet man.

Flying Monkey Narcissist Meaning

Flying monkey narcissist (noun): is a term used to describe a narcissistic person who takes on the flying monkey role. Narcissism is a trait that exists on a continuum, and it is something all people have to a greater or lesser degree. Narcissistic abusers are skilled at appealing to narcissism in others as a means to recruiting them into their cause.

Example sentences

  • Rose McGowan says Harvey Weinstein did not respond to her accusations directly. She alleges that he had his flying monkeys Lisa Bloom and David Boies hire Black Cube to undermine the publication of her book.
  • Most people don’t realize it but in the film ‘Mean Girls,’ Cady Heron was Janice Ian’s flying monkey.
  • My youngest brother Chuck said he had my back but it turns out that he was our older brother Drake’s flying monkey.

Signs of Flying Monkey Behavior

Here are some behaviors commonly seen in flying monkeys:

  • Turning a blind eye – Flying monkeys ignore the narcissistic person’s aggression.
  • Vouching for the narcissist – Flying monkeys excuse and justify the narcissist’s behavior. If the narcissist commits a crime, the flying monkey provides them with a false alibi.
  • Smearing the recipient of the abuse – Flying monkeys participate in character assignation. They echo the narcissist’s talking points without verifying it. They don’t bother to seek out the recipient of the abuse and listen to their side of the story. Flying monkeys are instrumental in narcissistic scapegoating, i.e. DARVO.
  • Data mining – Flying monkeys often act as spies for the narcissist. A common tactic they use is pretending to be a friend to the recipient of the abuse only to pump them for information and report back to the chief abuser.
  • Acting as the narcissist’s emissary – Flying monkeys can also take on the role of the narcissistic person’s proxy, acting as their ambassador to carry messages to the recipient of the abuse. They may also negotiate or aggress on the narcissist’s behalf.

Further Reading

Understanding Narcissistic Abuse by Lana Levin.


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Justin Timberlake: “I want to take accountability.”

Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears

Justin Timberlake has made a public apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in the aftermath of the release of The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears on Hulu

The documentary highlights the glaring misogyny that shaped the narrative of Spears and Timberlake’s breakup in 2002.

Background of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

Timberlake is being criticized for smearing and slut-shaming Spears with accusations of infidelity and disclosing intimate details about their sexual relationship in the media. He is also being rebuked for profiting from the sexist narrative he promoted about Britney Spears by releasing the song and video Cry Me A River. 

In addition to this, the Hulu documentary details the impact of Timberlake’s actions on Spears’ reputation, career, and mental health.

Background of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson

Discussion of the documentary on social media also led to revisiting the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII half time show on CBS, during which Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast during a live CBS broadcast to an audience of 143.6 million viewers. 

CBS parent company Viacom urged Jackson and Timberlake to issue public apologies. Nevertheless, an exercise in misogynoir ensued. Jackson alone was blamed for the incident and Timberlake remained silent as she was publicly denounced and shunned.

Viacom CEO Les Moonves targeted Jackson and had all of her music and videos blacklisted on MTV, CBS, and its radio stations. Jackson was also disinvited from the 46th Grammy Awards and dropped from the starring role in a movie. Promotion of her eighth studio album Damita Jo ceased.

Scores of CBS employees disclosed to the LA Times that the Moonves created a culture of racism, misogyny, and abuse. In July 2018, Ronan Farrow reported that six women accused Moonves of sexual harassment, threats, and intimidation. The CBS board opened an inquiry into Moonves’s conduct and, despite his attempts to obstruct the investigation, found the witnesses to be credible. Moonves was fired.

Justin Timberlake’s Statement in Full

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.

“I specifically want to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed. I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from.

“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again. 

“I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn’t absolve the past. I want to take accountability for my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports. I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”

Photo by Drew de Fawkes.


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In the USA call 1-800-799-7233 or log on to thehotline.org.
In the UK call 0808 2000 247 or log on to nationaldahelpline.org.uk.


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