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spike bullet June 1999 - Personality Dragons

Overview of the Dragons
The Greed Dragon
The Impatience Dragon
The Arrogance Dragon
The Stubbornness Dragon
The Self-Deprecation Dragon
The Martyrdom Dragon
The Self-Destruction Dragon
Slaying the Dragons
Books and Articles

Overview of the Dragons

Dragons are personality traits that act as challenges to overcome in achieving our life’s purpose.  Almost everyone has one dragon; many of us have more than one. 

Personality Dragons represent the obstacles on our path in getting to the end of our Game.  The "dragon" name originates from ancient myths and stories, where there is always a dragon that must be slain before we can reach our goal. 

Self-Destruction.  This is the tendency to harm oneself either physically or emotionally out of the belief that life is not worth living.  Self-destruction affects about 10% of the US population.

Greed. Greed is a desire for more and more of something they become fixated upon (for example: money, love, food, experiences).  Greed affects about 15% of the US population.

Self-Deprecation. This is a sense of unworthiness with a low self-esteem. People often apologize first or put themselves down.  Self-Deprecation affects about 10% of the US population.

Arrogance. Arrogance is a false sense of superiority, often covering intense feelings of low self-esteem.  Arrogance affects about 15% of the US population.

Martyrdom. This is the sense of being victimized and creates suffering for themselves.  Martyrdom affects about 15% of the US population.

Impatience. Impatient people constantly rush from one thing to another — missing out on where they are.  Impatience affects about 15% of the US population.

Stubbornness. Stubborn people do not want to change or let go of their position or viewpoint.  Stubbornness affects about 20% of the US population.

Dragons have the ability to so tightly integrate themselves into a person that they become invisible to the person with them — as in fairy tales.  The Dragons disguise themselves as beautiful friends, changing shape as they transform themselves to stay hidden.  Dragons are extremely powerful and cunningly deceptive in their ability to "pretend" to be something good for us or to pretend that we have eliminated them from our personality.

Remember, the Dragons are part of our challenge to overcome in the Game of Life.  They extend the Game and keep us playing.  They play a big part in helping us walk into unpleasant situations without seeing them coming.

For people with two Dragons, sometimes only one is operating at a time.  At other times, both may be operating.  For example, a person may be Arrogantly Stubborn, or Stubbornly Martyred.

The Greed Dragon dragon_santa.jpg (3014 bytes)

How Greed Affects the Workplace

People with the Greed dragon may take things that are not theirs, take advantage of other people to gain things they don’t really need or are constantly be striving for "more" even they seem to have plenty already.  In severe forms, people with greed may steal or hoard things to such a degree that they call attention to themselves.

We have all seen people with greed in the workplace — people who can never get enough.

Many people in our culture actually view greed as an admirable trait.  It is not, since it does not respect others nor does it lead to happiness.

A person with the Greed dragon will never feel happy or fulfilled, not matter how much they have.

How Greed Develops

Often parents abandon their children in ways that are unplanned (e.g., going to war, death, physical illness, mental breakdown).  Also, parents don’t give their children what they need — love, nurturing and attention, so the children are abandoned emotionally.  Instead of love and parental attention, children are given substitutes such as television, toys, candy or baby sitters.

Children know that these things are substitutes and they grow up believing that every person is a substitute for what is real. They are always looking for that "real" person to fill up their own emptiness.  Yet, because of their experience, they don’t really know what qualities are real.

Greed tends to fixate on one thing: money, food, emotional needs, power, etc.  People with the greed dragon often follow a binge/purge pattern of over-doing getting something then over-doing getting rid of it.  For example, gaining lots of power or success then losing it; eating lots of food then starving themselves.

People with the greed dragon are very selfish and may hoard whatever they gain unreasonably.  They take advantage of other people and think only of their own emptiness and their insatiable desire for more.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of not having enough ( . . . whatever the person is fixated on)

Greed Dragon's Beliefs

  • My needs are always greater than what I have.
  • There is never enough of what I want.
  • I want more and more and more . . .

General Characteristics

  • May be greedy for emotional support, experiences, love, money (whatever their fixation).
  • Always struggling
  • Intense fear of not having enough
  • Have trouble accepting abundance
  • Outer Manifestation: conspicuous consumption or hoarding
  • Inner manifestation: feeling deprived, always hungry or feeling empty
  • Greed is a lack of expression.

Physical Characteristics

  • A look of being hungry — "I want to eat you up"
  • They tend to be "n your face" causing people to back away from them
  • Often, it can be seen in the eyes and mouth — like they are trying to eat or grab something.

Famous People with the Greed Dragon

  • Fidel Castro, Hilary Clinton (manifests as a desire for experiences), Joan Collins, Joan Crawford, Whoopie Goldberg, Adolph Hitler, Lee Iacocca, Jacqueline Kennedy, Imelda Marcos, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Taylor

The Impatience Dragon 

How Impatience Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon are often late.  They are late to work and they are late in getting things done.  They may cut corners in their belief that there is not enough time to do something well or completely.

If they are managers or influence others, they will be pushing or rushing other people because of their own belief that there is not enough time.

People with the Impatience dragon may have huge "to do" lists that never get finished.  They spend so much time rushing around that they fail to spend enough time on what is important.

They don’t listen well and don’t remember things.  People with impatience will usually show signs of restlessness (pacing, drumming their fingers, chewing their fingernails) that can be very annoying to others.  Taking time to rest and relax is very difficult for them.

How Impatience Develops

A child may have many situations where they are not able to fully experience life.  They may have been deprived of experiences or not allowed to play freely. Sometimes this happens through a major illness, very restrictive religious or other beliefs of the parents.

Children learn to look to the future when they will have the opportunity to do all the things they were not allowed to do as a child.

As adults, they are always rushing through life, rarely on time and always feeling pushed.  They believe there is not enough time for them to do what they want to do.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of missing out.
  • Fear of being trapped.

Impatience Dragon's Beliefs

  • I don't have time to wait.
  • There is not enough time to . . . 
  • Hurry up!!

General Characteristics

  • Pushing out action
  • Outward manifestation: impulsiveness
  • Inner manifestation: internal frustration
  • Impatience is a lack of action at the right time

Physical Characteristics

  • Never present where they are, always out of sync with time
  • Head seems to be forward
  • Eyes are snappish
  • Look as if they are already somewhere else
  • Movements are abrupt and without grace
  • May be restless, pace, drum their fingers, kick their ankles, chew their fingernails or scratch their bodies
  • Different people express impatience with different physical clues

Famous People with the Impatience Dragon

  • Ludwig Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Danny DeVito, George Goldie Hawn, Katherine Hepburn, Dustin Hoffman, Angela Lansbury, Shirley Maclaine, Florence Nightingale, Sean Penn, Gene Siskel, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis

The Arrogance Dragon

How Arrogance Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon may appear to "know it all" when they feel insecure.  Their aloofness creates a protective shield that drives people away.  If they perceive that someone is judging them, they can become very defensive.

A typical example that most of us have seen is the technical expert who refuses to listen to a problem and work with someone to fix a problem.  They get highly offended if anyone questions their shield of perfection.  Some professionals who are paid more than they are worth develop a very offensive air of Arrogance.

The damage to the person with arrogance is that have no friends who will tell them the truth and they are unable to work well in a team environment due to their own excessive defensiveness.  They also tend to be overly critical of others.

How Arrogance Develops

Children with arrogance grow up being compared to impossible people or standards.  Parents constantly judge the child and criticize them harshly for not being perfect.

Children tend to have little or no privacy and become very shy and self-conscious.  Children learn to be afraid of others and their judgments and may develop an aloofness that keeps people away.

As adults, they carry serious self-doubts about their worthiness.  Often, they strive for perfection to prove that they are really OK and so that they will not be criticized again.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of vulnerability.
  • Fear of being judged inadequate.

Arrogance Dragon's Beliefs

  • I'm afraid others will see my weak spots and won't like me.
  • I'm going to be so good at what I do, that it will make others feel foolish.

General Characteristics

  • Afraid of not being good enough
  • Outer manifestation: ostentatious show, vanity
  • Inner manifestation: shyness
  • Arrogance is a lack of inspiration

Physical Characteristics

  • Most easily recognized by the facial stance — chin up and eyes back (as if "looking down" your nose) — a way of hiding the feeling of inadequacy; they pull back from judgment by others
  • Can be confused with Discrimination and Dominance (both have eyes looking down)
  • Not breathing deeply
  • Smile is not genuine (not relaxed)

Famous People with the Arrogance Dragon

  • Aristotle, William Buckley, John Calvin, Sean Connery, Frances Ford Coppola, Thomas Edison, Werner Erhard, Clark Gable, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ernest Hemingway, Ayatollah Khomeini, Madonna, Michelangelo, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ralph Nader, William Shakespeare, Steven Spielberg, Donald Trump

The Stubbornness Dragon

How  Stubbornness  Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon will have difficulty adjusting to changes, especially those that are sudden.  They may resist anyone else’s opinions.

People with stubbornness need more time to adjust to any change.  Pushing them to move more quickly will only harden their determination and resistance.

The stubbornness dragon must be melted and softened, it cannot be attacked head on.

How Stubbornness Develops

Parents often rush their children, drop them off somewhere and leave, or in other ways don’t give the child enough time or warning to prepare for a change.

Children learn to distrust authority and develop a fear of sudden change.

As adults, they will tend to resist any change that is imposed on them.  They appear very rigid in their opinions and hold their body tightly.

Physical symptoms may develop as a result.  Back, hip or jaw tension tend to show up in people with the stubbornness dragon as does constipation. Women with stubbornness may experience long labor as their body tries to resist the natural changes that happen in childbirth.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of change.
  • Fear of loss of integrity.

Stubbornness Dragon's Beliefs

  • I'll do anything except change.
  • I'm sticking to my guns.
  • You can't make me!

General Characteristics

  • No Action (can be confused with Perseverance, which is Action)
  • Refuses to act or go along with someone else
  • Outer manifestation: won't budge, unmovable
  • Inner manifestation: I’m going to do it, very determined
  • Stubbornness is a lack of assimilation

Physical Characteristics

  • See stubbornness in the jaw — clenched teeth
  • May have back and hip problems (rigidity), constipation.
  • Women with Stubbornness may have very long, hard labor when having children

Famous People with Stubbornness

  • Charles Bronson, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Leonardo DaVinci, Queen Elizabeth II, Jane Fonda, Galileo Galilei, Steven Jobs, Stephen King, Benito Mussolini, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Thatcher, Mark Twain, George Washington, John Wayne

The Self-Deprecation Dragon

How Self-Deprecation Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon may not try things that they are actually capable of doing or plead incompetence when asked to do something, believing they cannot succeed.

Often, they hold their head down, avoiding strong eye contact.  They slump their body, which restricts their ability to breathe deeply.

They will avoid anything that calls attention to themselves and apologize for themselves and anything they do.  When office pictures are taken, they are absent.

How Self-Deprecation Develops

Children with self-deprecation grow up without praise or rewards, and a very negative expectation of their ability to achieve or be successful.

This is reinforced by their own failures and they learn to withdraw from life.

When their breathing is constricted, they may act "dumb" due to lack of oxygen.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of being inadequate

Self-Deprecation Dragon's Beliefs

  • I am unworthy.
  • Everyone knows that I can't do it  so why should I try?

General Characteristics

  • Don’t try to hide or mask their inadequacy — they wear it on their sleeve
  • Always apologizing for themselves, what they do and who they are
  • Feel responsibility for everything that goes wrong
  • They are the mistake
  • Don’t like having their picture taken
  • Extremely difficult to accept love, support and nurturing
  • Not validated as a child
  • Outer manifestation: humiliated, deflated, self derogatory
  • Inner manifestation: afraid to leave the house, not showing up, hiding, withdrawing
  • Self-Deprecation is a lack of inspiration

Physical Characteristics

  • "Hurt puppy" look
  • Dull eyes
  • Rounded shoulders and caved-in chest (can’t breathe deeply)
  • Head hangs

Famous People with Self-Deprecation

  • George Bush, George Carlin, Bing Crosby, Phil Donahue, Patty Duke, Michael J. Fox, Albert Gore, Willie Nelson, Edward James Olmos, Tom Selleck, Ringo Starr, Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey, Jonathan Winters

The Martyrdom Dragon

How  Martyrdom Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon constantly complain and whine about whatever is going on.  They always find someone else to blame for anything they perceive is wrong.

No matter what efforts others make to help them and make them feel better, the person with martyrdom is unhappy and unappreciative.  Other people start to avoid them because they are so unpleasant to be around.

How Martyrdom Develops

Parents may force a child to be compliant at all costs.  They must "be good or else."  Parents shame, humiliate or severely punish the child if they do not do what they are told. Parents are very dominating and controlling.

As adults, the person grows up feeling they must be good, but they suppress their own rage and hatred, because they feel they are not worthy of expressing their true feelings.

They create a life for themselves that looks like they are victims.  They will not and cannot allow anyone to help.  Their friends leave them and they fulfill their fear of abandonment.

People with martyrdom will defeat any attempts to help them.  They often have physical problems because of the physical stress on their body.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of being a victim.
  • Fear of being trapped.

Martyrdom Dragon's Beliefs

  • If it wasn't for (. . .), I would be happy.
  • I can't do this because . . .
  • Why do I always get the bad side of the deal?
  • After all I've done for you . . .

General Characteristics

  • Draw bad things to them (Action)
  • Things happen to them
  • Angry at the whole world because they are a VICTIM!
  • Tend to crumble or cry when confronted instead of getting angry
  • Outer manifestation: complaining, whining
  • Inner manifestation: resentment, holding bitterness and blaming
  • Martyrdom is a lack of action

Physical Characteristics

  • A Suffering look in the eyes
  • A pained look on their face
  • May sense a dark cloud around them
  • Look as if carrying the entire world on their shoulders, may actually be slumped over.

Famous People with the Martyrdom Dragon

  • Joan Baez, George Washington Carver, Saint Joan of Arc, Carl Jung, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Oliver North, Yoko Ono, Yitzhak Rabin, Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Spock, Jimmy Swaggart

The Self-Destruction Dragon 

How Self-Destruction Affects the Workplace

People with this dragon may have little regard for the property and safety of others, or they may act in ways that are destructive only to themselves.

The Self-Destruction dragon in people who are immature or psychologically unstable can lead to serious violence in the workplace or in their community.  Outer demonstrations of the Self-Destruction dragon are noticeable recklessness. Internal manifestations may be quiet desperation and a sense of futility.

How Self-Destruction Develops

Often there is a family pattern of physical abuse and abandonment that does not follow a rational, logical pattern.  For example, alcoholic parents who demonstrate erratic behavior, don’t come home, leave the children alone, go to jail or abandon them in other ways.

Children in these situations never know what to expect and life seems to have no meaning.

As adults, they try to be in control because they never had a sense of what to expect as a child.

Some grow up to act out violence or destruction against other people or against society in retaliation for their bad treatment as children.  Others demonstrate habits and actions that are only destructive to themselves. In the extreme, they are suicidal and eventually destroy their own life.

Underlying Fears

  • Fear of losing control.
  • Life is not worth living, so why bother.

Self-Destruction Dragon's Beliefs

  • I don't want to be here anymore.
  • I can't help myself from ... (taking risks, drinking, taking drugs hurting myself or others, destroying things)

General Characteristics

  • May push the limits — drive too fast, drink too much, take too many drugs
  • Looking for the edge of control
  • Emotional instability
  • Belligerent quality
  • Outer manifestation: wild living, recklessness
  • Inner manifestation: quiet desperation, despair, hopelessness
  • Self-Destruction is a lack of expression

Physical Characteristics

  • Wild look
  • Hungry
  • Looks like a fear of being out of control
  • May hold in the thumbs
  • Look of being scared
  • May look like Aggression Mode

Famous People with the Self-Destruction Dragon

  • Many Rock Stars, John Belushi, Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison, Vincent Van Gogh

Slaying the Dragons  

Dragons make themselves known to others although we often have trouble seeing them ourselves.  When we are under stress, our dragons become more obnoxious and more visible to others. Slaying the dragons is a life-long effort.  Even when we think we have killed them, they may be simply lying in wait to trick us again. 

The best ways to slay the dragons are:

  1. Become aware of them
  2. Acknowledge that they are keeping us from getting what we want from life
  3. Learn their symptoms and how they affect our life, our health and our relationships
  4. Learn how they appear to others
  5. Ask our friends and other supporters to help us get them under control
  6. Learn how to lessen the stress in our life that feeds the dragons
  7. Actively take part in slaying our personality dragon.

We have noticed that many of the dragons are accentuated this year and making themselves known very prominently. 

[More details about slaying the dragons can be found in the July 1999 newsletter article.]

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994) ISBN: 1879181177

An excellent book devoted entirely to the subject of the dragons.  The book covers how the dragons develop in childhood, how they affect your relationships, your life, your body, your health, your creativity and your spirituality.  In addition, it contains excellent exercises for slaying your dragons and recognizing the dragons in others. 

Other books with information about the dragons:

  • The Personality Puzzle: Solving the Mystery of Who You Are. Jose Stevens, JP Van Hulle. Pivotal Resources; (December 1990) ASIN: 0942663063
  • The Michael Handbook. Jose Stevens, Simon Warwick-Smith. Warwick Press. 1990 ISBN: 0941109003
  • Michael: The Basic Teachings. Aaron Christeaan, JP Van Hulle, M.C. Clark. The Guided Crystal; (December 1988) ASIN: 0942663012

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