“Narcissists are consumed with maintaining a shallow false self to others. They’re emotionally crippled souls that are addicted to attention. Because of this they use a multitude of games, in order to receive adoration. Sadly, they are the most ungodly of God’s creations because they don’t show remorse for their actions, do not take steps to make amends and lack empathy for others. They are morally bankrupt individuals.” – Shannon L. Alder, Author
The Idealization Phase
Dating a Narcissist can be very exciting, with large amounts of false intensity, fantasy and drama; they will pay you a great deal of attention, which of course is very flattering, strokes your ego and makes you feel great! Very romantic, flirtatious and seductive at the beginning of the relationship, they will tell you everything you have always wanted to hear a lover say; if you are on the receiving end of all this positive attention, it can be difficult to resist, especially as he or she knows how to push all the right buttons.
At first, he or she could not seem happier and will love absolutely everything about you while making you feel very special.
The following is typical while dating a Narcissist:
• Comes on very strong and sweeps the target off their feet;
• Portrays false integrity;
• Portrays false sympathy or empathy – appears helpful and comforting;
• Generous during the idealization phase;
• Convincingly mimics genuine human emotions;
• Falsely mirrors values, interests, goals, philosophies, tastes and habits;
• Fakes integrity, honesty or sincerity;
• Plays the role of victim – so others take pity; and,
• Wants to quickly get into a relationship, or to talk about marriage.
The Devaluing Phase
A relationship with a Narcissist always feels great at first, but these people often have very intense but short-term relationships, which typically burn out relatively quickly as they go through the cycle of idealizing and then devaluing their partners. Eventually, you will be accused of doing something ‘wrong’ or there will be the inevitable disagreement, challenge or criticism that occurs in all relationships. When this happens, the mask slips off and his deep, unhealed emotional wounds are revealed, and this can be terrifying. They can transform from being a loving partner into a vicious enemy who will seek to punish you for disagreeing with them, saying or doing anything possible to hurt you.
The following behaviours are typical at this stage:
- May begin to provide hints about his/her true personality, but the target fails to pay attention;
- Control freak tendencies – wants his/her partner to become dependent;
- Begins to devalue and dismantle their partner;
- The Narcissist enjoys cheating/two timing /double-dipping for more attention
The Discard Phase
• Victim is objectified and often brutally disposed of;
• The lack of conscience is shocking and incomprehensible; and,
• The Narcissist is unmasked and the victim often remembers several of the early warning signs.
The Discard is a strike first, blame first, claim to be upset first and the delivery of accusations first at their partner strategy of abuse. It is quite simply a power move to assert their power, especially if they suspect their partner is thinking about leaving them.
The Standard Cycle for the vast majority of Narcissists:
1. Honeymoon/Love Bombing Phase
4. Hoover Phase if possible
Flying Monkeys and the Smear Campaign
Flying Monkeys is a term used in popular psychology which refers to people who act on behalf of the Narcissist for abusive purposes. The term comes from the 1939 movie ‘Wizard of Oz’ where the Wicked Witch of the West used Flying Monkeys to carry out her evil deeds. This common narcissistic tactic uses friends and family of the victim to spy on them, spread gossip while painting the Narcissist as the victim and their target as the perpetrator. Flying monkeys can be your friends, family, or the Narcissist’s friends or family. Flying Monkeys are also known as:
- Extension(s) of the Narcissist
- Campaign managers
- The Entourage
Flying Monkeys can be can be divided into two main Types:
- Complicit and willing to do the bidding of the Narcissist – Negatively Intentioned
- Well-meaning pawns of the Narcissist who have been lied to – Positively Intentioned
During and/or after the Discard Phase the Narcissist will usually recruit Flying Monkeys to conduct a Smear Campaign against you. Flying Monkeys can be anyone who believes the lies of the Narcissist’s false self; some can be manipulated into believing the smears against the target but there are instances where two or more Narcissist’s work together to abuse by proxy. These individuals’ people seek to recruit other people trying to convert them into the false reality of the Narcissist; this results in abuse by proxy with other individuals abusing you either directly or indirectly. The Flying Monkeys can reject you, make you feel as if you are inferior, make feel ashamed, tell other people it was all your fault or even that you have lost your senses. They are also used to spread malicious rumours and lies while the Narcissist orchestrates all of this so he or she can appear to be blameless while avoiding any potential negative repercussions. Flying monkeys make the Narcissist feel like they’re important feeding theirgrandiose sense of being special and having a high status as if they are famous or some type of celebrity which feeds his or her essential Narcissistic Supply. These people become consumed in the false reality they believe is very real because the Narcissist appears so convincing (remember they can be excellent actors and actresses) providing an enormous amount of energy and emotion into their performance of lies. They are desperate to discredit you so your credibility is reduced while seeking to make you afraid of speaking up and telling your truth. The Narcissist sets out to destroy your reputation often spreading lies about things you have done which in fact they carried out themselves engaging in Projection.
They can also pretend to their Flying Monkeys to be “concerned” about you; female Narcissist’s use this strategy more frequently than men but whatever the gender of the Narcissist they will seek to spy on you. Often they will reveal something about your health that should remain private or you would prefer not to be shared. Alternatively, they will fabricate a story regarding an imaginary ‘concern’ seeking to obtain information about you and spy by proxy so they share the fake ‘concern’ with a Flying Monkey. My ex-narcissist used the ‘concerned’ tactic on me after we broke up; she told two mutual friends she was ‘concerned’ about me and they turned up at my front door unannounced one day which was very unusual. I had blocked her on all social media platforms, we had zero contact and I had not seen any of her associates so unfortunately, my friends who came to visit me had been unwittingly used as Flying Monkeys.
- Do not react and stay completely in your integrity. If respond angrily it can support the Flying Monkeys lies fed to them by the Narcissist.
- If possible go No Contact with the Narcissist immediately.
- If any of the Flying Monkeys are ‘friends’ on Facebook etc. delete all of them because what you may see online could be very upsetting.
The smear campaign can be devastating for some targets and interacting with Flying Monkeys can be upsetting, depressing and draining. Feeling attacked, invalidated and isolated can be a very difficult experience however, looking at it from a positive perspective you may actually discover who your true friends are. You will also know who your Flying Monkey fake friends are and should terminate contact and if that is not possible keep any interaction to an absolute minimum as clearly they are not loyal or trustworthy.