Flying monkeys (popular psychology)

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Flying monkeys is a phrase sometimes used in popular psychology to describe people who are acting at the behest of another to control a targeted individual.[1] It is a metaphor taken from the Wizard of Oz wherein the Wicked Witch of the West used winged monkeys to carry out evil deeds on her behalf.[2]

"Triangulation" is a psychology theory that examines this and other third party influences on relationships."Triangulation" is a key element of Murray Bowen's Family Systems Theory.[3] [4]


  1. ^ Mayfield, Emily. "What Is a Flying Monkey". Mindset Therapy. Mindset Therapy. Retrieved 29 June 2021. When the narcissist uses a flying monkey, triangulation occurs. Triangulation is when a third party is used to communicate between two people.
  2. ^ Lindsay Dodgson (1 March 2017). "7 psychological phrases to know if you're dating a narcissist". Business Insider. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  3. ^ Childress, Psy.D, C.A. "The Flying Monkey Newsletter" (PDF). Child Rights NGO. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  4. ^ Bowen, Murray (1985), "On the differentiation of self (1972)", in Bowen, Murray (ed.), Family therapy in clinical practice, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., p. 478, ISBN 9780876687611.

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