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Nagging and Criticism

Dreams of nagging, guilt tripping, manipulative criticism, and the delightful people (and sides of ourselves) who indulge in these recreational pastimes.

Fritz Perls wrote a lot about this game between the nag, or topdog, and the nagged, or underdog. It's a game you can play for your whole life... if you like having your blood sucked. His prescription was simple, one-sided, drastic, but effective: underdogs must defy the naggers. Even if the nagging's truly meant to improve you, it just creates resistance. It never, ever, ever works, so just ignore the nagging and do what you want, openly, instead of hiding it or being ashamed that you're such a low, stupid, wicked, tacky person. Since you'll do it anyway, why not save time and trouble for everyone? And underdogs who go for what they always wanted, rarely go wild--they're often happy with quite a modest taste.

I concur. In my dreams, underdogs indulged will often grow into subtler, stronger characters who do finally attain much of what their topdogs hoped they'd achieve; but tossing a bone to a topdog usually just encourages them to find more to nag about.

RELATED TOPICS: embarrassment and shaming - guilt - pessimism, skepticism, scoffing - shadow figures - dream-guides - teachers and mentors - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 2300 dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.

ACORN AND PELT: by Wayan; 1983/7/19, a simple sex dream growing to a mystical extravaganza
I fall in love, defying dwarf-tossers and Toulouse-Lautrec, till I become a time-traveling bunny...
AICORN'S BANANA: by Wayan; 2016/6/13, a dream-parable on owning your (weird) tastes
An artificial intelligence acquires fans and has orgies with her groupies. Her creators don't care as long as the advertisers get product placement. But she has this size fetish...
ARIANE'S HONEYMOON: by Wayan; 1986/4/11, a dreamlet meant to shock; chapter 2 of UNICORN TAG, a set of nine linked dreamtales.
I'm happily married to a childhood crush of mine. Till she talks to my sister, and I overhear what she really thinks of......
THE ASHE SISTERS: by Wayan; 2010/1/26, a dream portrait.
My two moms sell art fabrics designed by these grayish batwinged sisters whose new ad campaign pushes the edge...
AT LEAST HE'S A DOCTOR: by Wayan; 1982/4/7, a sharp warning dream.
I'm a Puertorriqueña who falls for an Anglo doctor, but he's not what he seems...
BABY'S COMING: by Bruno Oliveira; late summer 2011, a genderbent dream
I'm very pregnant and feel bloated. My mom says "That's what you get for not using a condom"...
BAD NANCY!: by "Nancy"; March 1985, a prodromal/diagnostic dream
A second me punches me in the breast. I fight back, yelling "Bad Nancy! Bad Nancy!" Five months later I find a malignancy...
BLIND ANCESTORS: by Wayan; 2007/8/6, a nightmare poem about all of us
While we’re off at work, blind Ancestors come smash our homes--and we all take zombie vandal relatives for granted...
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST (BUT, MOM!): by Anna Kingsford; 1879/10/17, a religious dream turning personal
I argue that Christ’s “blood” is a metaphor for “spiritual perfection.” But my mom says I’m killing her; she begs me to repent...
BOB THE TREE: by Catshall; c. 2013/6/21, a dream-haiku on our marriage
I dreamt Bob was a tree-god enthroned in ivy. I said...
DAD FALLS ASLEEP AT THE PODIUM: by Jenny Badger Sultan; 2008/3/8; a dreampainting from the Box of Dreams
My father is supposed to speak, but he falls asleep onstage. I rush up to try and rouse him, but...
DRAMA IS HELL!: by Thomas Hood; 1824?; a comic nightmare
When my first play failed, I tried to console myself by reading Paradise Lost. But drama and devils don't mix...
FISHERGIRLS: by Wayan; 2.6M, 42 illus.; 1996/7/15; a sexy dream epic.
I had a spectacular dream one night, that lasted many days in dream-time--a true other life. It wasn't Earth, and we weren't human.
I was a teenage lemur, sailing with two friends into unknown waters--a rite of passage. I woke on deck deep in the night, my friends curled around me, and realized I didn't WANT to pass the test, be declared a grown woman, marry and have pups. I loved my girl friends. In a world lacking the very word, I was groping toward queerdom. Sailing into unknown waters! "Here be dragons," the old maps say. And they were right...
If 2600K is too big to load, try it in parts: 1: HOME, 650K, 2: VOYAGE, 1200K, 3: BACK 750K.
FRACTURE SPEEDS MARRIAGE: by Wayan; 2001/1/1, a dream of advice on health and romance.
A baseball star breaks her leg (with a little help from the other team). It delays her career but but speeds her marriage. Did she NEED a....break?
FREEZE!: by Wayan; 1984/5/29, an asymptotic dream.
Demons of fire invade the house, and the Voice of Truth says they can't be killed. What would you do?
GISLI THE OUTLAW: by Gisli the Outlaw of Iceland; 966-973, a series of at least ten life-saving dreams.
Gisli had two spirit-wives who told him in dreams how to evade the bounty-hunters after him... for 13 years!
GRAMPA HAS SPOKEN: by Wayan; 1989/11/26, an oracular dream.
In a worldwide junkyard full of warring spooks, I finally meet the one whose message I need to hear...
HARPY: by Wayan; 2000/6/2, a stylized nightmare
My dad's paralyzed, my car's stolen. So I dream a stylized harpy made of steel, like a living Calder statue, holds three girls hostage...
HERE COMES A CHOPPER: by Wayan; 1983/6/20, an absurd nightmare on families and denial
The helicopter over our family home dipped too low. CRASH! Burning rotors in the living room. I call 9-1-1, but the pilot scolds me! "Calling over a little explosion like this!"...
HUBRIS EGGS: by Wayan; 1981/6/11, a short defiant psychic dream.
I'm wrapping my heavy-metal eggs too slowly, so the Judges sink my car! I set out to get revenge...
JILL THE PEST: by Wayan; 240K, 2001/2/22, a nondream visionary comic.
I had a headache and couldn't sleep. I started drawing, and asked for a cure. And a cartoon angel said...
KISS THE CATS: by Wayan; 2008/8/23, a dream poem, Dreamverse #13
I have to kiss a mess of cats. Fishy, but I'm not chicken. My real beef is with the humans watching...
LOSE YOUR TEMPER!: by Emily Joy; 2007/8/30, a tough-love dream.
My mom hires a therapist who really goes for my throat! Why is she so desperate to make me lose my...
MOM POPS: by Wayan; dreamed 1983/8/5, a dream of what happens when you defy your inner pessimist
The flood sickens my fuchsia bush. My mom says my fuchsia is hopeless, but I make up a treatment. When it works, well... read the title.
THE MOUNTAIN, THE MAGPIE AND THE ROAD: dreamed 2013/3/26 by Rustling Leaves; an issue-baring nightmare
I visit a beautiful artificial mountain with loved ones--but my demons overwhelm me one by one.
OTTO SUGGESTION TO A HORSE IN DRAG: by Wayan; 1995/8/8, a dream on body image.
My uncle mocks the racehorse he rides! Smears lipstick on this stallion, calls him a wimp... Why?
OWL AND CHEESE: by Wayan; 1986/7/8, a dreamtale of a Shadow?
An alien woman makes a mess of our economy, ecology, world--but insists she wants to be my friend...
PIGEON WITH A HEAD LIKE QUEEN VICTORIA: by Jenny Badger Sultan, 2010/7/26, painting of a pest
A pigeon with a head like Queen Victoria's keeps fastening onto my clothing with its beak, and this nagging feels familiar...
POIROT AND THE DICKHEADS: by Wayan; 2010/3/11, a comic antilucid dream
I'm detective Hercule Poirot, but I'm losing my case and my brain--because my story isn't by Agatha Christie, it's a knockoff...
PRECAMBRIAN SLEUTH, or, MURDER BY ATMOSPHERE: by Wayan; 2013/6/2, a shamanic warning dream.
I'm a detective in a research station two billion years ago. No one warns me the ancient atmosphere isn't just anoxic, but deadly...
REFLECTIONS IN THE POOL: by Wayan; 184K total, 2 panoramas; a 1994/7/2 dream.
Night. A mirror-maze of contradictory preachings. But in the secret mermaid pool, I find love.
Then... sphinx-angels war in the air! A war of riddles. Can I, a batwinged devil, make peace?
REJECTED! SO?: by Wayan; 2004/11/12, a dream of political AND personal advice
A middle-class girl rejects me. Then a newsman dismisses my political positions as irrelevant. "Liberal media" my ass...
SHARK SENSE: by Wayan; 1988/12/9, a diagnostic dreamtale.
I'm a circus tiger, then a performing shark. One day, I block my human partner's high dive... Why?
SONG FOR THE DANCE: by Roswila; 2000/11/25, a dream-poem
A joyful song about ignoring your critics. The last stanza came verbatim from the dream...
SOUL-SHARD: by Wayan; 2000/10/5, a rebellious dream
I’m a wolf in an ashram studying astral travel with my spirit-wife. Our souls blend a bit, enraging our guru, a Hindu god, who sends demons to make us stop this spiritual “contamination”...
SPIN-WITCH, or, THE MAGIC LIGHTER: by Wayan; 1985/8/10, a dream on defensiveness.
Leona's a fighter--she rejects compromisers like her husband, her friends, that girl she's been sitting on...
A SQUIRRELY BUSINESS PLAN: by Wayan; 2009/3/2, a Looney-Toons dream
I'm slow to catch on that this guy's business-plan slideshow isn't about profit; it's about seduction...
TAROT: GUILT TRIP: by Wayan; Tarot card, 3x5", summer 1979.
When the card CARING comes up reversed, you wake up with this crucified guy floating over your bed...
TURTLE HARANGUE: by Wayan; 1997/1/29, a warning dream.
A man mocks the turtle he caught, calling it "inept"--what's an adept turtle, then? I distract the guy while the turtle tiptoes...
THE UNMAKING OF A DANCER: by Wayan; 1994/5/22, a journal extract on dance and health.
Ballerina Joan Brady quit, but ten years later, returned. Her body rejuvenated! So what can MINE do?
AN UNPRODUCTIVE SQUIRREL: by Wayan; 2013/11/27, an advisory shamanic dreamlet
I meet a giant squirrel. But a Committee condemns the squirrel for such long periods of unproductive hibernation. The squirrel points out a teensy flaw...
THE VERA DREAMS: by Vera and Wayan; 1991/7/25, a pair of shared/psychic dreams.
I dream my friend Vera's ordered to just study and sleep--no play, no dating, no nothing. Next night I dream Vera works with gangs, as an armed peacekeeper. Vera's shocked when I tell the dreams, because...
VICARIOUS ATONEMENT: by Anna Kingsford; 1880/1/31, an anti-shamanic dream
Kingsford meets a girl who burns herself as a protest. K flips out! She rants “This is wrong!” when help is what’s needed...
VRILLASSA’S ONLY PRIEST: by Jo; 2007/2/10, a dream of meeting God
A job as the only priest on an island colony sounded perfect, only I’m the wrong religion...

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