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Hi everyone, it's Dr. Ramani. Welcome back. Today I'm going to be talking about flying monkeys. I'll say more about that in a minute. Please hit the bell, subscribe, you can hear not just about flying monkeys but all the other videos we have coming up. Get notifications so you know they're always coming out and always be up to date on everything you ever wanted to know on narcissism and maybe some things you don't. So more specifically than flying monkeys, what I'm going to be taking on in this video is what to do when the narcissist in your life starts turning other people against you.
So those of you who are embedded in this narcissistic world, you know the terminology. Flying monkeys is one of them. Flying monkeys is when the narcissistic individual comes into your life or is obviously already in your life and starts reaching in to the people who are important to you. That could be your parents, your friends, your siblings, could even be coworkers or just other people in your network and starts telling them really awful things about you in a hope of weakening your support structure and bringing those people over to the narcissist side of the street to support them.
The most common way we often see sort of the flying monkey dynamic play out is let's say two people are getting divorced. So as a result because they're married, they know each other's extended families and the narcissistic spouse will start talking to the other people in their spouse's world and start really saying terrible things about them in hopes of turning all of those people, the narcissist is hoping to turn those people into their own allies, undercut the support of the other person, of the healthy person in the relationship and then actually be able to stand even stronger against them and this also for the person who's on the other side of this, it fills them with even more self-doubt.
They are already being gaslighted left and right in their narcissistic relationship and the people around them are doubting them even more. You might be wondering how is a narcissist able to do this? How are they able to get in there and turn other people against you? Because narcissists are charming and charismatic and generous and they know how to work a room and trust me they're going to know how to work the people around you. They can often cut a very sympathetic figure. Talk about how hard they've been working on the relationship but you know what? I got to tell you some terrible things about your sister, daughter, friend. They're really good at setting the tone.
You know, I need to talk to you about something. This is really, really hard to bring up. I need to tell you some things about your daughter that are going to be really uncomfortable to hear and I hate to be the one to bring this to you. I really do but I think it's so important you hear this. They are that good at a performance. They are that cruel, manipulative and exploitative to try to get in there and spread this kind of stuff about you. They may take arguments you've had, things that have been said and honestly they might even fabricate full-on lies.
For narcissists they're singularly motivated by power and how do you get power? By getting everyone over on your side. It's actually quite childish, right? These almost sound like elementary school playground games. If I can get everyone on my side, well then guess what? I guess you'll be the king of kickball. I don't know what it is but it can start young but for narcissists they're still playing those elementary school games well into adulthood. It's a lot of it for them what motivates them is the win. I'm gonna win these people over but then they get all kinds of secondary gain because now they feel like they have more power over you.
So the question then becomes what do you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? We already know that narcissists do the whole flying monkey thing. We know all about why they do it but the question is what do you do? The first thing you've got to do is allow yourself to process the emotions involved. When people see that the narcissist in their life is turning other people against them, the people that were once close to them by telling them terrible things about them, there's a lot of grief and there's a lot of hurt. You feel like you can't believe you're losing people around you. All of a sudden people aren't taking your calls.
They're not getting back to you. They're canceling things they were gonna do. They can start canceling events or other things they were gonna do with you. You know there's one tale that I had been told of someone. This is a particular case of somebody who had a very narcissistic brother and the brother just needed to be the most beloved person in the family. However the non narcissistic brother was actually a very kind soul.
So the narcissistic brother basically started a smear campaign and anybody he could get to sit down long enough started spreading horrific rumors and saying terrible things about the kind brother who didn't live close enough to have regular contact with these people. So the next time he showed up at some family event he was actually very surprised at how cold and indifferent everyone was to him at that event. He couldn't make sense of it. He started racking his brains as many of us would saying what did I do? What did I say to these people? Why am I so mad? Did I forget something? Did someone die and I didn't pay condolences? Like he was really confused.
Several months down the road someone in that social network was finally kind enough to say hey I just want to take you aside and let you know that your brother has been telling everybody X, Y, and Z. The kind brother was absolutely shocked at this. He's like what? Now it makes more sense. When I talked to the various people in this story what was very telling to me was number one it was actually really sad to me how easily these people around this person could be manipulated. How easily that this narcissist was able to go in there and almost trick them.
There were a lot of reasons these were all you know complex family ties and everything but the kind brother in the story was particularly devastated and didn't know what to do. He went through a period of grief and hurt because this was once a robust network that he'd pretty much grown up in and now these people were literally turning their backs on him. Some of you may have gone through experiences like this person has. I'm going to come back to his story because some of it has to do with how to what do you do in your own situation. Some of this can really do real damage to you.
It can do damage to you in your workplace, damage in your community, damage amongst other family members. Like he can hurt you. It is amazing how narcissists don't think through the ramifications of their actions. Why would they? They don't have any empathy but this can do real damage to people in these particular circumstances. So when I talked to this man, the kind brother versus the cruel brother, I said to him do these people matter to you? And he said yeah they kind of do and I said then start reaching back in. Start talking to them.
Don't go in and defend yourself and don't go in and explain it all and the last thing you want to do is go in there and say my brother's a narcissist. But just go back in there and be you because they always liked you. It was your brother's words that turned them and he did. And what was interesting is as he talked to them and reached back in and they realized he was a lovely man, they thought okay and they kind of went back to a relationship and they looked at him a little confused and he basically was able to say you know what I think that there's been stuff going on in our family.
I'm sorry if you were told things you know unfortunately there's some conversations that are probably inappropriate happening. I'm so sorry that you were exposed to that and these people then slowly but surely had to start building an opinion of this person again. But the people who were always able to see him as a good person came around pretty quickly. What was more devastating for this particular person is the people who didn't come around and there were several of them. They bought hook, line, and sinker what that horrible narcissistic brother had told them.
When the kind brother came and talked to me about it I said you know what if they were that easy to lose were they really worth keeping in the first place? I know that sounds easy to say because these were real losses for him. I mean the people he had known for decades. But the fact of the matter is if somebody could be taken from you that easily listening to one person's stories it does make you wonder how good was the connective tissue in that relationship. And more importantly why didn't these people around you come and talk to you and say hey somebody's come up to me.
Your husband came and said these terrible things about you. Your sister came and said these things about your mother. Whoever the narcissist in your life is if they're going around and saying terrible things about you and doing a hatchet job if those people cared about you shouldn't they come talk to you? And the healthiest ones and those you've had healthier relationships with most likely will and say hey I just heard something and it was pretty unsettling. Just like happened with that kind brother the one good strong person in his network was the one who approached him. She's a lovely person and she was the one who was able to say this isn't okay.
And what was interesting in subsequent weeks when he was in that group other people did also come up and say you know these things were said and it doesn't seem to add up. The good people in your midst will see what's happening but for you it is that sense of having to build yourself up when you didn't do anything wrong which feels unjust which feels painful which feels uncomfortable and which feels cruel. And there's something really unsettling at watching your relationships be tested but who knows maybe in a really deep twisted dark perverse way that narcissist kind of did you a favor.
If they were that able to quickly turn someone's head against you on the basis of their words you've really got to reflect what kind of relationship really was this in the first place. The guidance I give to anyone who's had this sort of flying monkey number done on them and are trying to rebuild after that is I tell them go at it with grace. These people knew who you always were. Listen people are vulnerable that's and and narcissists are very good at playing on that vulnerability. They're salespeople they're they're charming they're charismatic they're able to do it.
But if you go forward with grace and sit with these people and say I was informed that you were told some really awful things about me and I'm and instead of saying and they're not true try this instead say to that person I'm so sorry you were told those things and I'm so sorry you were made to listen to those things. You know me very well.
Does that sound consistent with who I am? The person that's they know it doesn't and say I don't even want to get into why they would have said those things to you but please know they're not true and I'm always here for you to come to to talk to when somebody tells you these kinds of things. In many ways if you want to disempower the darkness of a narcissist the best way to do it is to bring in the light. Narcissistic individuals are motivated almost solely by insecurity which is why they often do they they treat they treat people like pawns on a chessboard to be moved around to win a game.
And when they try to tell these terrible things to people around you to convert them it's a game of chess to them. How many of those how many of those game pieces can they bring over to their side before they say checkmate? You can checkmate them first though. You just be you. Listen they may very well your the narcissistic person in your life may actually share with other people really inappropriate things that in your relationship that shouldn't be shared publicly. They may betray confidences. They may say things that you shouldn't have probably even shared with the narcissist in the first place.
I mean listen we're not all angels and it's quite possible that they may blow the top off of things that you may have said that could hurt other people. Perhaps you once told your narcissistic partner a family secret and then that narcissist lets other people know you shared that family secret. Sadly in some of those cases the rupture may not always be fixable. You can try and sometimes family members might even go into therapy together to see if they can.
What's so difficult is many times by the time you detect for example that a partner is narcissistic many many many years may have gone by and in those many many years as people often do in marriages and long-term relationships they share confidences and sometimes even family secrets. It's devastating to think that those family secrets could be taken out and used to hurt you down the line but they may very well be. If this happens to you as I said all you can do is attempt to fix the rupture. Get in there talk to the other person. If you did share things you maybe you shouldn't have shared take responsibility for that and do your best.
But I also tell people if you are going through this that the narcissist in your life has really harnessed the troops against you. It's incredibly destabilizing. It's one of the greatest examples of gaslighting you could ever imagine and I highly highly advise people often seek out therapy at that time because you literally feel like the entire world is crashing in on you and you don't know what to do. Someone in your universe is going to have your back much like the kind brother story I told you. There was a couple of people in his world that stepped forth and said I heard something and this simply cannot be true.
And sometimes if you did share confidence with the narcissist and they decide to weaponize that secret you once shared with them sometimes there's not a lot you can do except for cop to it, explain what happened and again hope for the best. Once again the people who are willing to step away from you sometimes the only thing you can realize is that if people were able to quit you that easily maybe there wasn't a lot there to start with. However this entire phenomenon of flying monkeys and of narcissists getting the people closest to you and telling them things to turn them against you can be one of the most horrific fallouts from a narcissistic relationship.
Thanks again for tuning in. As always please hit the bell to get notifications about more content and also keep in mind just much like the topic in this particular video a lot of this can be very painful so we're doing retreat seminars and other live events to do a deeper dive into these issues. Thanks again. .