June 1999 - Personality Dragons
Dragons are personality traits that act as challenges to overcome in achieving our lifes 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.
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 dont 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 dont 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 dont 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.
Greed Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with the Greed 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 dont listen well and dont 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.
Impatience Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with the Impatience 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.
Arrogance Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with the Arrogance 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 elses 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 dont 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.
Stubbornness Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with Stubbornness
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.
Self-Deprecation Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with Self-Deprecation
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.
Martyrdom Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with the Martyrdom 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, dont 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.
Self-Destruction Dragon's Beliefs
Famous People with the Self-Destruction Dragon
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:
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.]
Other books with information about the dragons:
Page updated: June 05, 2009
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