Flying monkeys (people who knowingly or unknowingly abuse a narcissist’s victim on the narcissist’s behalf) are not emotionally healthy people, especially when the behavior is for nefarious reasons. If they were more emotionally healthy, they would never do the evil bidding of another person. It almost goes without saying that flying monkeys are going to have several issues with their emotional health. So, are flying monkeys fueled by jealousy when they are carrying out the desires of their narcissist?
Generally speaking, many (not all!) flying monkeys are jealous of narcissists, their victims, and anyone the flying monkey perceives has something they want. Often, these jealous flying monkeys will either come to healing at a later age or even not at all because their jealousy grows over time as they relate to others in unhealthy ways throughout their lives.
The jealous flying monkeys are almost always the ones who are intentionally joining with the narcissist in harming the victim. And that is why they let their jealousy and cold heart guide their actions as they contribute to the abuse of their target.
Let’s take a closer look at all the different ways that flying monkeys show their jealousy.
Table of Contents
The Narcissist Chooses Flying Monkeys Because They are Jealous of You
The jealousy actually begins with the narcissist. The vast majority of narcissists have problems with jealousy. They want what others have, but think that they didn’t get a fair chance to magically get that same thing that the other person may have worked very hard for. Or maybe their jealousy stems from the fact that you are more self assured than they are underneath their narcissistic mask. So, they set out to control you and destroy your sense of self assurance. There are so many more reasons for their jealousy. It all depends on what the narcissist lets themselves believe.
The bigger issue here is that when the narcissist is jealous of their victim, they need to pass that jealousy on. They will be able to communicate that openly to some flying monkeys, who also let jealousy control their motivations and behavior. But for some flying monkeys, the narcissist will have to be much more careful. He will have to couch his words in concern, love, and care for the victim’s wellbeing. All while he knows very well he is trying to destroy his victim and lure in the well-meaning but not emotionally savvy flying monkey. What a mess!
Sometimes Flying Monkeys are Jealous of the Narcissist’s Victim(s)
There are times when the narcissist will choose a flying monkey because they will say something to the narcissist that gives away their jealousy. So, the narcissist uses the flying monkey to do his bidding, knowing full well that the flying monkey will be willing to do what he asks to satisfy his own feelings of jealousy.
This was the case in my life with my ex’s sisters. They would accuse me of the most random things. I couldn’t figure it out. But then, over time, I started realizing that the things they were most vocal about were things they wanted that I had. And they would tell me how “lucky” I was to have those things fall in my lap. Except they didn’t fall in my lap. I worked hard for them. Or they would tell me that they were really close to their brother until I came along and stole him. They would say it as a joke, but word would get back around to me that they were telling people that all the time, not as a joke.
Several years back, we got a really good deal on a beautiful, quite large home (we have eight children, so a large home was a good thing for us). When his older sister came to visit us, she made sure to tell me I had a nice little home. She would always insult me with compliments, which is a signature narcissist move. And she would always emphasize the insulting words so I would take the “compliment” exactly as she meant it. She didn’t want me actually thinking she was trying to be nice! It took me many years to wrap my head around her crazymaking behavior.
Click to check out this article with a lot of really good background information on flying monkeys.
How to Deal With the Flying Monkeys’ Jealousy
There is nothing you can do about other’s jealousy. You can only be gracious and kind to them in spite of how they feel about you or treat you. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat to them and allow them to walk all over you.
You can be kind and gracious and also stand your ground. Leslie Vernick, a popular speaker, author, licensed clinical social worker, and relationship coach, has more than three decades of experience in dealing with emotional abuse in all relationships and has some great resources that will help you to emerge from it with great progress in emotional maturity.
In her book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope, Leslie talks about CORE principles that will help you with literally every relationship you have. Once you learn these four principles and apply them, not only will your relationships become healthier (and the bad ones will fade away into the sunset), you will feel like a new, stronger, healthier person!
Following are Leslie’s C.O.R.E. principles that help you to maintain healthy boundaries and a good life regarding your relationships. Here is what each of the letters of CORE mean:
C – I will be committed to truth, both internally in my own heart and mind and externally. I refuse to pretend.
O – I will be open to the Holy Spirit and wise others, teaching me, maturing me, and guiding me into his way of living my life.
R – I will be responsible for my own responses to destructive behavior and commit to being respectful without dishonoring myself.
E – I will be empathic and compassionate toward others without enabling people to continue to abuse and disrespect me.
In a response to a follower, she goes on to say, “When you know and believe that you are a loved, valuable, worthwhile human being and live from that core place, toxic people lose their power to manipulate you. They can’t control and intimidate you as they once did when you felt worthless, dependent and needy.”
Once I learned these 4 really important steps and started practicing them, my whole world changed. If there is any book you could read that would literally turn your victimhood thinking into healthy, strong beliefs, this is the one! It will likely be one of the top books you read this year! You can check it out by clicking on the book here:
For more information on successfully surviving a narcissist, check out my article, Surviving a Narcissist: It’s Easier than you Think.
What Flying Monkeys Have to be Jealous About
In order for flying monkeys to be jealous, they have to have some pretty significant insecurities about themselves. So, when they see people around them who show self confidence and are self assured in the way they carry themselves, speak, and make good decisions, they become jealous of those people who seem to “do life” so easily.
What they don’t see is all the effort, study, and work that went into the person who is able to carry themselves so well. Or that underneath all that self confidence is someone who does at times question themselves and their thought patterns. We all do from time to time! Nobody except God is all-knowing.
If flying monkeys were able to gain a healthy perspective of the world around them, they would not have these jealousy issues. So, is it possible to help them get to a better headspace? Let’s take a look at that.
Can you Help Flying Monkeys to Heal from Their Jealousy and Other Issues?
You can only help the people who are looking for help and willing to listen to the truth. And unfortunately, there are many people, including some flying monkeys that are the same. But there are a lot of flying monkeys that may be looking to heal. Let’s first take a look at those who may want to heal from their issues.
When Flying Monkeys Want to Heal
There are some flying monkeys who are truly good people with good intentions but are swayed by the wrong people. Often, these flying monkeys will see the error of their ways and heal, often of their own accord.
There are some flying monkeys who are generally good people, but due to a difficult or abusive upbringing, or just not learning social norms, they do not recognize how to relate to others in healthy ways. Upon learning new social and relational skills, however, they learn how to deal with manipulative people and change the way they relate to people in every current and future relationship.
We can sometimes assist flying monkeys in learning to recognize their inappropriate behaviors and inability to recognize how they are being used by narcissists and other manipulative people. It is important to approach these individuals with empathy and a willingness to help them see the narcissist’s tactics for what they are. Ultimately, breaking free from the grip of a manipulative person requires awareness, support, and a strong sense of self-worth. What an amazing thing it would be if we could help them get to this new, healthy place!
And finally, I just want to remind you that these kinds of changes take some time to recognize and work through. If you are able to make progress with someone, remember they can only do it of their own accord. While you can inspire others to be better, you can’t make them do anything, even when it is clearly better for them. Be patient and graceful toward them, regardless of where they are on the path to healing.
When Flying Monkeys Don’t Want to Heal
When flying monkeys don’t want to heal, there isn’t a thing you can do about it.
Often, flying monkeys will allow themselves to be deeply affected by the influence of the narcissists that control them. The longer they are around narcissists and toxic people, the more their behavior will line up with the toxic behavior they witness. And in those cases, often these flying monkeys are not interested in improvement, change, or healthy relationships.
Check out this article on 45 signs of narcissistic behavior. You will find that your narcissist’s flying monkeys exhibit many of them.
Occasionally, a toxic flying monkey will hit rock bottom, realize their life is out of control, and desire change. It is a long battle getting back to a healthy place. But it is well worth it. If you know someone like this, and you know they are being sincere, then by all means, be a help and ally for this person. If they are willing to put themselves out there in order to heal, they deserve support.
Narcissists are Actually Jealous of Their Flying Monkeys
I want to preface this point with the fact that narcissists only see other people as a means to get what they want. They don’t see flying monkeys any differently. While they may have a “partnership” with their flying monkeys, they certainly aren’t out to protect them any more than they are protecting their own interests as the flying monkey can supply them.
So, while narcissists perceive their flying monkeys as a tool to get to their victim, this can cause a great deal of jealousy for a great number of reasons. Here are some of them:
- The flying monkey gets unfettered access to the narcissist’s victim. Often, the victim has likely set boundaries preventing the narcissist full access to them. This means that the narcissist is sometimes only able to experience the control of their victim through hearing about it later as the flying monkey recounts the experience. The narcissist can be intensely jealous that the flying monkey gets to talk to and spend time with the victim when he cannot.
- Narcissists can become jealous of the attention that their flying monkeys receive from their victims. If flying monkeys aren’t careful about the way they relay information back to the narcissist, they may find themselves on the narcissist’s wrong side. And they may end up understanding exactly how the victim felt. The hard way.
- Narcissists may become jealous of their flying monkeys if the flying monkey begins to develop a relationship with or feelings for the narcissist’s victim. While the narcissist doesn’t even necessarily want to be in relationship with their victim anymore, they don’t want anyone else to be in relationship either. They want their victim to suffer. They don’t want to see them getting along well with others.
At the end of the day, narcissists are jealous of anyone, including their flying monkeys, who seem to be doing better than them in any aspect of life, but especially in relation to their narcissistic victims. They still have to be seen as the best and most of everything.
It’s essential to recognize that not all flying monkeys are motivated by jealousy. Their actions can stem from various psychological and emotional factors, and it’s not always straightforward to pinpoint a single motive. Let’s explore some of the factors that may influence the behavior of flying monkeys.
- Fear and Coercion: Some flying monkeys may be acting out of fear or coercion by the manipulator. They may be afraid of the consequences if they refuse to comply with the manipulator’s requests. In such cases, their actions are driven more by self-preservation than jealousy. Often, they would rather not be in the position they are in between the narcissist and his victim. But they fear trying to escape.
- Manipulation and Grooming: Manipulators are skilled at grooming their flying monkeys, manipulating them into believing that their actions are for a just cause or that they are helping the manipulator. These individuals may genuinely think they are doing the right thing, unaware of the manipulator’s true intentions. I believe (but have no substantial evidence to back it up) that the majority of flying monkeys are in this position. I want to think that most people are good people who are trying to do the right thing.
- Belief in the Manipulator’s Narrative: Flying monkeys may genuinely believe the false narratives or accusations put forth by the manipulator. They may not be motivated by jealousy but rather by their trust in the manipulator’s version of events. This can be very frustrating because often the flying monkey has all the evidence they need to make a better decision. But for whatever reason, they hold on to the narcissist’s lies and false mask because that is what they want to believe in. Several of my ex husband’s flying monkeys were exactly this way. Even when our church publicly announced what was going on, they chose to blame me for causing the session to gang up on my poor husband. It was sad watching them put their nose in the air and walk away from me, making me feel like I was less than them. It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t my issue but theirs and I needed to live in my own truth and not let their false sense of truth affect me.
- Need for Validation: Some flying monkeys may have a deep-seated need for validation and approval, which the manipulator exploits. These individuals may engage in harmful actions to gain the manipulator’s favor and validation.
- Lack of Awareness: In some cases, flying monkeys may be unaware of the harm they are causing. They might not fully grasp the consequences of their actions or the extent of the manipulation involved. This is really an offshoot of the flying monkeys who sincerely think they are doing good things.
- Group Dynamics: Within certain social or professional circles, group dynamics can come into play. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in with a particular group can lead individuals to become flying monkeys without necessarily being motivated by jealousy.
- Guilt and Shame: Manipulators often use guilt and shame to control their flying monkeys. These individuals may engage in harmful actions as a way to alleviate their guilt or avoid the shame associated with refusing to comply. This is an extension of the first point above, fear and coercion. Because they know they are doing things for their own self preservation at the peril of others, they can hold a large amount of guilt and shame. But they don’t have the strength to emerge from their prison and do the right things for all involved.
- Personal Gain: While jealousy may not be the primary motivator, some flying monkeys may engage in harmful actions for personal gain, such as financial rewards or career advancement promised by the manipulator. Often these flying monkeys are narcissists themselves (or some similar diagnosable toxic disorder).
The world of narcissists and flying monkeys is certainly not a world of emotional health. So, you will not have a hard time seeing the jealousy and other side effects of unethical behaviors played out.
In the complex world of flying monkeys and manipulative individuals, it is clear that jealousy is just one potential motivator among many. While jealousy can undoubtedly play a role in some instances, it is essential to recognize that the motivations of flying monkeys are multifaceted and can vary widely from one situation to another.
Have you had to deal with jealous flying monkeys? How long did it take you to figure it out? How did you deal with it? Please feel free to share your thoughts regarding this in the comments below. It could be very helpful to the thousands of readers who are on this site daily!
Blessings and hugs,
Are you just now in the beginning stages of recognizing narcissistic abuse in your life and not sure where to go or what to do next? Or maybe you are in the middle of the trenches, trying to make sense of the craziness swirling around you as you work your way through. Or, maybe you are in the end stages and just need some confirmation that you are where you need to be as you are nearing the finish line of healing. I can help you start to put the pieces together to get quickly on the path to healing, make sure you are where you need to be as you progress on your journey, and finish well as you make your way to the light at the end of the tunnel. I have many resources you can check out here, but if you would like quicker, more direct guidance specific to your situation, a direct consultation may be more helpful to you. I am currently booking about 9 or 10 days out; you can check out the various consultation options here. (I am hoping to add more consultation slots in the next few weeks so we can get the time frame down to 3-5 days from the time you schedule until you get your consultation.)
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