As Wayne Parr said, “Don’t under-estimate the stupidity of people.”
As Jeffrey Holland said, “Smear campaigns separate your true friends from the haters, people who will believe anything if the story is good. “
Friends will likely perceive a second smear campaign from a narcissist in the same way they perceived the first. A narcissist’s “flying monkeys” are generally people of very low personal awareness, integrity and accountability. Most of these people are apaths. Some are sociopaths and narcissists themselves. Those who are able to recognize YOUR integrity because they have integrity themselves will not allow themselves to be used in a narcissist’s smear campaign against you. These people will be in the minority among your “friends.”
Shannon Thomas, author of “Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse,” told Business Insider an apath is someone who is apathetic to the harm in their social circle, particularly if someone is being manipulative, hurtful, or abusive. Their role, she said, is critical to the narcissist’s game.
An apath is the wing-person to a narcissist and plays a key role in normalising the toxic individual and their harmful behaviors towards others,” she said. “A narcissist must have apaths in their life to keep the facade of social normalcy going. Apaths create the illusion that a narcissist has friends, is well-liked and can get along with everyone, except the target of abuse.”
Rather than standing up for the victim, or giving them support in the fact they are being mistreated, the apath will instead be completely indifferent to their suffering. When challenged, they come up with excuses and say things like “it’s not my battle,” or “well, they don’t treat me that way.”
By minding their own business, they are effectively being a pawn on the narcissist’s gameboard, making the victim believe they must be going crazy.
In some online forums, apaths are known as “flying monkey”s,” like the Wicked Witch’s helpers in “The Wizard of Oz.” They do all the narcissist’s dirty work behind the scenes while the narcissist can sit back and watch.
Many apaths are also hidden abusers themselves and they will cluster together in family and friend groups to keep each other’s secrets,” Thomas said. “Another type of apath believes it is better to join the abuser in their games than ever run the risk of becoming a future target of the narcissist.”
In other words, apaths recruit an avoidance strategy and a “rather you than me” mindset to stay in the narcissist’s good books. This makes them particularly dangerous, because there’s no way to tell where their limits are. Studies have shown how people can blindly follow orders and become agents in a terrible, destructive processes as as result.
If you feel something is wrong with how you’re being treated, trust your gut. You can’t always depend on someone’s social circle to stand up for you, as it could be full of apaths. Instead, familiarise yourself with the red flags someone is bad news, and look out for yourself.