Skip to content

Narcissist Smear Campaigns and Flying Monkeys

Narcissist Smear Campaigns and Flying Monkeys

So you’ve managed to escape from the evil clutches of a narcissist. Congrats! But the nightmare isn’t over yet. The moment you leave a narcissist, they will immediately launch their flying monkeys and smear campaigns to tarnish your name and reputation.

By talking trash about you, spreading lies, and letting others know how horrible you are, a narcissist will feel vindicated and satisfied regardless of how your relationship ended. These smear campaigns are usually deliberate, calculated, and ugly operations that aim to spread poison in your life and your networks.

Smear campaigns

Narcissist smear campaigns are one of the most difficult things to deal with after leaving narcissistic abuse. What makes it worse is when they are enabled by their flying monkeys and you get abuse by proxy.

How do you not get tangled up in the web of lies and deceit that a narcissist creates when it’s aimed at destroying you and your reputation?

It really hurts because you think:

This doesn’t have to necessarily be a person you’re in a relationship with. It can be your boss or colleague at work. This could be a friend. It could be a toxic parent.

Read The Narcissist’s Smear Campaign

A narcissist has a deep wound, a childhood trauma, that leaves them with such a deep sense of shame. If that pain threatens to come to the surface it will completely overwhelm them. It will deny their entire existence – this grandiose persona they have created – to hide that wounded child inside.

If you start to break away from that narcissistic person and it’s clear they’re losing control of you, they fear you can see them for who they are. And can go from the heroic protagonist one minute to the wounded victim the next. They must win at all costs. By that I mean they have to control the narrative.

They fear you’re going to reveal the truth about them. So, they’ve got to control that and make it their truth, their narrative, which is that they are the victim. You abused them, not the other way around. They are out to destroy you before you can destroy them. And because they want to win at all costs they engage flying monkeys to help them do their work.

I love that term.

Flying monkeys

“There is a difference between supporting someone and feeding someone’s narcissism. One is support and the other is not.” – Fathom

I’m old enough to remember the Wizard of Oz. For those of you who aren’t, the Wicked Witch literally had these flying monkeys that would go and do her dirty work. And it was only after Dorothy threw water at the wicked witch and she melted away, was the spell broken. The flying monkeys apologized to her and said they were only doing as there were told.

flying monkeys

Abuse by proxy

Flying Monkeys are those people who are around the narcissist, also known as Enablers, that do the narcissist’s bidding. They’re either very naïve and get manipulated by the narcissist to believe their story and repeat the lies about you. They may even betray you and tell others that you are unstable. You’re the crazy one, not the narcissist. Or, they may be other toxic people, a little toxic group who are supporting each other and smearing you.

They’ll do this by telling people you’re the crazy one, or you’ve been having affairs. All sorts of campaigns to smear your reputation and your name.

  • If it’s a family member it would be that you’re ungrateful or cruel to them. You never thank them for anything.
  • If it’s a boss they may smear your name within the industry you work in. It can be a devastating smear campaign.

Read Flying Monkeys: How Narcissists Use Them To Torment Their Victims

Countering smear campaigns

So, what do you do in the face of a smear campaign, which is what many of you have been asking me?

The most important thing of all is to walk a line of integrity. I call it the straight, honest line that you walk in the midst of this smoke bomb of lies they have set off around you.

Don’t try to convince them that their smear campaign is wrong. Don’t go on the defensive. You have nothing to defend yourself against. You’ll never win. Don’t engage at all. I mean, any engagement. If you do they’ll feel they’ve got some control over you still.

Was it Kate Moss or Vivienne Westwood that said: Never complain, never explain.

Don’t complain – don’t say negative things about the narcissist to others. Hold your head high. If you start reacting negatively and emotionally, rather than choosing a rational, adult response to this behavior then you play into their hands.

They’ll say: You see I told you he/she is crazy!

Understand that they honestly believe they are the victim and that you have done them wrong. That’s that deeply wounded inner child telling them that. You’ll never convince them otherwise, so don’t engage. Reacting to them playing that dramatic victim role is not only going to hurt you, it’s won’t help you either. If you get as emotional as they do, you’ll fulfill their prophecy that you’re the unstable one.

Want to know more about this? Check this video out below!

How to recover from smear campaigns

“Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.” – Mason Cooley

Accept that you may lose friends in the process. Some of these flying monkeys won’t come to you later and say I’m sorry, I see the truth now as Dorothy’s did. You need to decide which of your friends are the ones who matter. They’re the ones who believe you and have the same core values as you do. The ones who are as close to your authentic self as possible. The rest you may have to let go of.

If you can go no contact with the narcissist it’s the best way. Opt-out of their game by going no contact if you can. And if you have to have contact because of children then try to limit that to a discussion about logistics, keeping all emotion out of it.

Don’t try and explain yourself. Don’t question their lies because they believe them – it’s their truth. You’re never going to win. They’ll use any emotional reaction to manipulate the situation further. So, try not to react. Choose your response, even if you have to take deep breaths first. And walk that straight honest line – the line of integrity.

You know what they’re saying is not true. It hurts, I know. But you know they are lying. So, disengage. Let flying monkeys go, who are hurting you. Don’t try to feel you have to people please to them or explain yourself. Forget trying to convince them they’re wrong. It’s just not going to help you.

Read How To Outplay A Narcissist And Beat Them At Their Own Game

You know, smear games at campaigns are really hurtful because what they do throughout your relationship is to gather and store information about you. Personal stuff they see as your weakness, that they can reveal later if they need to. That weaponry is painful and harmful.

Just stay true to yourself no matter what. Know who you are. Let people go who are joining in. And keep your head high as you keep walking forward. Don’t look back.

If you’re not joining in the game with emotional reactions. If you stay calm and serene, it will become apparent to others after a while, who the one jumping up and down creating drama is. You may even find that if you walk a straight honest line, moving forward with those blinkers on, one day some of those flying monkeys do work out the truth.

Perhaps they will say: I’m sorry I didn’t realize the extent of what you went through.

So, don’t complain or explain. Disengage and keep your head held high. Stay true to who you are and hopefully one day it will all go away. You’ll be left with the friends who matter and be stronger for it.

Written by Vivian McGrath
Originally appeared on Vivian McGrath
Narcissists and Smear Campaigns: How To Deal
Narcissist Smear Campaigns and Flying Monkey pin
Narcissist Smear Campaigns and Flying Monkeys pin

Vivian McGrath

Vivian McGrath is a TV Exec Producer making documentaries for US/UK and Australian television networks. She’s a survivor of domestic violence, motivational speaker and empowerment coach. It’s her mission to help women recover from abusive relationships, fall back in love with themselves and never settle for anything less than they deserve again! Watch her free Masterclass here: Author posts

Leave a Reply

Up Next

When Relationship Becomes Business: 5 Signs Of A Transactional Relationship

Signs Transactional Relationship

Are you in a transactional relationship? Transactional love is a form of romantic interest that results in a relationship of convenience. It can be considered like a business transaction where the focus is not on strengthening emotional connection, but on what one has to give and can receive from their partner. 

Let’s explore the meaning of transactional relationship to see if you are in one.

What is transactional relationship? 

To be honest, a transactional relationship sounds more like a business deal than a real relationship. It can be considered as a “business transaction” where two people enter a romantic relationship where one partner offers certain services or “gifts” and the other partner provides services in return. The

Up Next

Decoding The Narc Speak: Found In Translation

Decoding The Narc Speak

A narcissist tends to communicate differently than other people. Take a careful look at what narcissists say and what they mean. Understand Narc speak, as it often disguises their true intentions.

The way that our kind speaks is a language all of its own. Narcspeak appears at first to be a normal way of speaking, with the inferences, interpretations and connotations that one would ordinarily expect when hearing phrases such as ‘I love you’ and ‘I am sorry’.

You will not grasp that there is a different meaning to much of what we say to you, at least not until it is too late. Once you have mastered Narcspeak however it becomes readily apparent what is actually being conveyed to you. Understand this form of doublespeak from us is a useful skill to achieve.

Not only will it bring clarity to

Up Next

What Is Dark Psychology: 10 Most Common Techniques and Tactics of Manipulation

Dark Psychology Manipulation

All of us have a dark side, which most of us try to control, suppress and hide from others. We all have a unique relationship with our dark side which can define the type of person we are. Dark psychology enables us to understand this relationship with the dark side of our consciousness. 

What is dark psychology? 

Dark psychology refers to the dark side of the human psyche and is primarily used to manipulate others. It is typically regarded as the psychological study and application of thought control and manipulation. Generally, psychology focuses on human thoughts, behaviors, emotions and actions. However, dark psychology focuses on strategies, tactics and techniques of manipulation, persuasion, coercion and motivation that can help a person to gain what they wish for.

Up Next

Can Abusers Change? 11 Signs Your Abusive Partner Is Changing For Good

Signs abusive partner changing for good

“I promise. This time I will change. Please don’t leave me. Give me one more chance. A last one. I WILL change. You’ll see.” 

If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, you have probably heard this many times before. While abusers usually don’t really change, what if they actually change this time around? Are there any genuine signs your abusive partner is changing?

Can abusers change?

The quick answer is yes. But just like everything else in life, it is a lot more complicated than it sounds. A narcissistic, toxic, abusive individual may genuinely want to change due to certain life experiences. They may

Up Next

8 Lies Narcissists Tell

Lies Narcissists Tell

If you have ever been with a narcissist, you know that narcissists lie about everything. But how narcissists lie, and do narcissists lie often? Most importantly what do narcissists lie about? This post is all about the lies narcissists tell in order to manipulate and trap their victims.

Narcissists and the truth go together like oil and water, and nothing is really off-limits. If you’ve been with a narcissist, you know this. But there are some common lies that all narcissists tell, and we are going to cover those in today’s post. Let’s get to it.

Today’s topic is the lies that all narcissists tell in some form or another. So, if you’ve ever been around a narcissist, you’ve probably heard some variation of one of these lies, if not all of them.

So, talking through the lies