How to Avoid Flying Monkeys

How to Avoid Flying Monkeys

Reading How to Avoid Flying Monkeys 4 minutes Next Types of Flying Monkeys

The natural question that springs to mind after learning about or experiencing firsthand flying monkeys is “how can I prevent these loathsome little critters from entering my life?” You can't. That is the bad news.

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do on the preventative end. It is exhausting to go through your life constantly questioning who in your social circle might turn into a flying monkey (a much better question in my opinion, which I will address later, “is how can I make sure that I am never ever recruited to be a flying monkey”?) 

Of course, once you are aware that someone is a flying monkey, you can distance and disengage from them. And if possible, this is exactly what you should do. But this doesn't help you to avoid them in the first place. In most instances, you probably cannot avoid, distance, and disengage with all of them. They may be coworkers, members of your church, or even family members.

So what can you do?

Dr. Ramani recommends in this video that you “Go through your life as your best you, and if the people around you don’t seem to understand narcissism, be careful around them because they are easiest to recruit."

I would strongly recommend listening to her video, but here are the highlights:

  • While it is easier said than done when you are dealing with a narcissist and his flying monkeys, try to hold on to your reality and don’t let anyone gaslight you. I remember constantly questioning my sanity and interpretation of events. Am I insane? Am I remembering events correctly? Did I do x,y,z? Am I a,b,c? No, no, no. I was not, and YOU are not. I wasn’t the problem, and you are not the problem, the NARCISSIST is the PROBLEM.
  • Don’t try to convert flying monkeys. They are lost causes because the narcissist is more cunning and manipulative than you are. You will only provide them with information they will use against you. Just ignore them. Block them on social media and if you see them on the street – skedaddle. I personally left the two most nefarious of the monkeys as friends on social media because I knew that seeing the posts of me living my best life was likely driving them nuts, but this is probably not a good approach. Sometimes it is really hard to be the bigger person.
  • Flying monkeys might come back around and realize that they were duped into believing the narcissist's lies. While each person must decide for themselves whether or not they want to forgive the flying monkey and let them back into their lives, it is important, even if you do forgive them, to not ever forget what they were willing to do. As for me, personally, I have chosen to forgive the people who were my narcissist’s flying monkeys, but they will never get a place at my table again, and I am much better off to have them gone.
  • Not all flying monkeys are created the same (see my post on Types of Flying Monkeys). Some are trying to get intel by pretending to be friends with both the narcissist and the victim. These are the particularly nefarious ones. Some are just stupid and want to be friends with the cool person and, sadly, the narcissist often is the cooler and more charismatic of the two of you. Regardless of the type, they are all harmful and should be approached with the same caution that Dorothy and her crew approached the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz
  • Build new sources of support. The world consists of what 7-8 billion people? Find new people you can trust. I was lucky enough to keep about 85% of my old support system (100 percent of my friends because anyone recruited to be a flying monkey was never a friend), but I also went out and made new friends who had no connections to my narcissist or his flying monkeys.
I would be interested to hear your tips for avoiding or dealing with flying monkeys, and as this blog progresses, I will write more on this topic. 

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