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.
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:
- How can somebody I love so much be so heartless and cruel?
- How can they lie so blatantly about me when all I wanted was to love them and look after them?
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.
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.
“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.
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.