Narcissistic Abuse By Proxy. (Understanding Narcissism.)

How narcissistic people abuse others by using others to do their dirty work, flying monkeys, enablers, and their smear campaigns.

”No one throws a bigger tantrum than a narcissist whose losing control of someone else’s mind.”

When a narcissist feels they are or have lost control of someone, even before they’ve lost control. To keep control over another, they can enlist Flying Monkeys. They can Triangulate, and they can embark of their mass Smear Campaign Against You.

If they can, a narcissist will gather an army of Enablers to unwitting help the narcissist’s abuse of you. Abuse by proxy, where the narcissist will create situations where abuse is inflicted on another, not done directly via the narcissist.

They can gather their friends and yours, their family and yours, authorities, neighbours, work colleagues, they can manipulate anyone, their new partners, even your children’s teachers to unwitting help with the narcissists’ abuse of you.

The narcissist will often control these people how they once controlled you. Through many manipulative tactics, often they will Idealise just like they do in a relationship. They will Twist the story to play the victim. They will Intimidate those around them to gather an army of supporters through love, fear or hope. They are often using Future Faking. With those around them to get new partners, new members of staff with the workplace, siblings to help with their abuse of you.

The narcissist will use coercive controlling behaviour. They will Stalk. They will threaten. They will harass. They will Provoke. They will even use a simple Conversation. They will use any manipulative means possible to keep control over another person’s life.

Abuse by proxy often starts within the relationship with a narcissist, whether that narcissist is a friend, boss, parent, partner, or whoever they are in your life. It will continue long after the relationship is over.

Some examples of abuse by proxy.


Isolating people from friends and family, through smear campaigns, or getting their target to walk on Eggshells around the narcissist, so they dare not go out and often end up isolating themselves.


An abuser often uses financial Abuse, so their target becomes dependent on the abuser. Then once out, this abuse can continue, through family courts, through not supporting any children, through sabotaging jobs, calling employers, and ex-bosses, smearing your name so no one will employ you, or so no one goes to you for business.


They don’t co-parent, they counter-parent, and they don’t care for the damage caused to a child’s mind, so long as they are getting at you.

A narcissist will use their Children. To further control and abuse their target, and they end up abusing their children too.

They are creating negative situations.

They will call bosses, smear your name to as many as they can, take you in and out of the court system, anything they can to create toxic, negative situations for you to overcome.


Through triangulation, they get others to doubt each other, to fight each other over the narcissist, and they gaslight people into doubting themselves and shattering people’s self-worth. When they triangulate, people often don’t even know what’s happening, and most of the time, neither party knows the truth.


When we’re happily discussing something, then we either don’t agree with their point of view, or they feel criticised, or we’ve asked them about something they didn’t want us to know about. To gain control and win, as that’s what narcissists want to win and be in control. They’ll suddenly switch the conversation onto something else. Usually, something we’ve done wrong in their eyes, or something we haven’t done for them, or they will chip away at one of our insecurities. They project out loads of word salad to provoke us, confuse us, hurt and upset us. Suddenly we’re in defensive mode, and the original conversation has disappeared, and then we get blamed for everything for defending ourselves. Or we are reduced to tears, and they’ll sit back almost looking pleased and watch you cry while still blaming it all on you.


To help with their smear campaigns, they will use people’s insecurities, weakness, and even their strengths to push people to their limits. We all have our limitations. They will push people’s buttons until they React. They will often do this so others don’t see how they provoked, yet, they all have an audience for your reactions; they’ll deny or downplay any of their behaviour and exaggerate all of yours.

They are recruiting reinforcement.

They will lie and smear other people through the Smear Campaigns they will pity play, so you feel bad for the narcissist and want to help them and protect them, unwittingly taking on the narcissist’s opinions to become an enabler and assisting the narcissist in bully and destroy others believing the narcissist is innocent and the third party is at fault.

Flying monkeys.

The term flying monkeys comes from the movie. “ the wizard of oz.” when the witch sent out her flying monkeys to do her dirty work.

Flying monkeys are people who act as a third party on behalf of the narcissist to abuse the narcissist’s targets further.

Flying monkeys can be anyone, the narcissist’s parent, child, partner, friend, yours or theirs, or any family members.

The narcissist wants others to carry out orders. Flying monkeys will spread gossip, lie, threaten you, and stalk you, often with the narcissist seemingly looking like they have nothing to do with it.


Enablers are people who will help the narcissist achieve their aim; they will most often unwittingly defend the narcissist, support the narcissist, or help the narcissist; an enabler is a person the narcissist recruits to their side. They might not always agree with or defend the narcissist, yet they put up with their behaviour or stick up for them and even bail them out. People usually unwittingly become enablers to the narcissist and often don’t typically have a malicious motive; they can genuinely think they are doing the right thing by the narcissist or that they are trying to keep the peace; some can become enablers out of fear of the narcissist has instilled into them if they don’t conform to the narcissist’s demands, so they have turned to the survival mechanism Fawn, meaning they will go along with what the narcissist says, for fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t. Others often believe the narcissists lie and think they’re helping the narcissist when, in reality, they are enabling the narcissist to do their worst. Then we have the narcissist’s family members who will do anything to protect their family, they either believe the narcissist to be innocent, or they are narcissistic themselves and running in a pack in order to protect the family name.

The smear campaign.

The narcissist uses the smear campaign so that they can keep their toxic behaviours hidden from society, so we look like we’re jealous and either want the narcissist back or want to seek revenge on the narcissist. They use the smear campaign to make us look like we’re crazy or obsessed with them. They will either play the hero that tried so hard to help us. We are often left looking and acting depressed, a shell of our former selves, or they’ll be playing the victim of how we’ll no longer allow them to see their children or that we abused them. They’ll exploit others by using their empathy against them. They’ll be telling all those who’ll listen to everything that they did to us, only they’ll be making out to others that we did to them. So they shift the blame and walk free from any responsibility.


Stalking is when the narcissist is trying to intimidate you and restrict your freedom to keep control over you. Stalking often causes emotional and psychological harm to the target. You usually end up living in some state of fear.

Stalking is the willful harassment of another person, from repeatedly turning up at your home, bombarding you with messages or calls, getting friends and family to do so, turning up unexpectedly where you are, frequently driving past you, and even moving across the road and sending you messages of what you are dressed in—approaching you, harming pets, stalking your children, calling your boss to make false accusations, sending threatening or sexual letters, any letters or messages, emails or gifts. They can guilt-trip you with I’m sick messages to play on our empathy, they can threaten to tell our insecurities to make us feel shame, and they can and will make up blatant lies to say to friends, family and work colleagues etc.

What can you do?


We can not change or control someone else’s toxic, harmful, destructive, cruel behaviour towards us or their opinions of us, their views of us are not for us. Only we define who we are. We can control how we walk away from those people and how we react. It’s hard to start when they push all our buttons, yet it is so worth it for our inner peace and happiness.

Emotions are telling you to either change your perceptions, change your procedure, change your communication, change your expectations, or change your circumstances. Change your situation. You need to change your state of mind. Your mind controls your emotions. You own your mind.

1. Give no reactions and no responses; if people come asking you, if they want to gossip, just let them know. “They’re my past. The truth always comes out eventually.” And leave it be.

2. If your friends ask, not the narcissistic friends or their flying monkeys, your friends, tell the truth to them. People who say things like. “It takes two to tango.” Etc, they are naive. It only takes one to manipulate and teach them if they don’t want to be informed. They are not the people you want to associate yourself with.

3. Block the narcissist, their friends and family on everything; go no contact with all. If you have children, set up a new email or use Facebook messenger, it’s got a great ignore button, so you still get messages and can communicate about children, but you are not getting constant messages from them. You can look when you’re calm and know what they say you will only respond to if needed, only communicate about the children.


Self-care is a deliberate act within ourselves to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health first, so we can be at our personal best to take care of others without being taken down by toxic people. We often overlook self-care to help others out; when others are not interested in helping us, our own inner needs get more and more neglected as we try to help those who are unable to help themselves.

To start, you need to stick to the basics, creating new routines and habits for you; just start simple and basic, then keep adding more. You need to actively plan using your conscious thoughts in the beginning until your subconscious has been programmed to do it naturally.

1. Categorise lists and do them in priority order.

Relationships (friends, family etc.)

Physical health.

Emotional health.


Be authentic with yourself, note things that might stand in your way and take action to see what you can do.

An essential checklist to get yourself started.

  • Start with a list of things you don’t like, something you don’t want to do and behaviours you’ll no longer accept from yourself and from others. Things like, I’m no longer checking their social media, people who can not accept no are not the people for my life. I need to stop people-pleasing. I need to stop putting myself last, and I want to get up at the time set. Learn my boundaries around others.
  • Saying no to others can be challenging to start. However, it’s a must when you really don’t want to do something or don’t have the time.
  • Create a list of your own beliefs and standards; you don’t need to do them all at once; you can keep adding and only ever change them for you.
  • A healthy diet, start slow if you’ve not done it before, and keep a diary of your eating habits, to keep you accountable.
  • Start a simple exercise routine, listen to motivational videos, meditation, and yoga, and find things that pick you up on low moments and help you keep focus. This can help your mental and physical health-boosting your mood, and lowering your stress.
  • Try to get enough sleep, and if you stop up way too late and feel tired in a morning, just go to bed 5 minutes early each night until you get to the time you’d like to go to bed, same in a morning if you get up way too late and end up rushing get up 5 minutes early, try to prepare things you can the evening before if you always find yourself rushing around in a morning. Sleep can have negative effects if you’re not getting enough and a positive impact on your emotional and physical health when you are.
  • Spend time around positive quality people. It rubs off on you. Go to new places to meet new people. This can be hard to start if you’ve been isolated. Try getting in touch with old friends and family who you know are good people, smile at others and pay them compliments.
  • Keep a reflection journal, one if you still miss the ex, write the negatives about the relationship and look at them when you’re having doubts. Then a positive journal. Each day tries to add at least three things you’ve achieved in that day. Also, put something down you’d like to accomplish the next day to keep yourself accountable.
  • Get organised, keep notes of appointments and where you’re supposed to be when
  • Try to get some time to relax, doing what you’d like to do for yourself.
  • Talk moments through with good understanding people. Any time you feel down or low, chat to the right people.
  • Look for an opportunity to laugh. Laughing really is the best medicine.

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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.

Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.

Reactive abuse.

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