What does it mean to dream of someone you know – your mother or father, your partner, a work colleague or friend, a child or even neighbour? Is there something in common with all these dreams that can help us understand them? The answer is yes… And it is surprisingly simple…
One thing that all of these people have common in your dreams is quite simply: YOU. You are the dreamer, so no matter who appears in your dreams, the person is in your dream, in your mind, and therefore must be thought about in a context of what this person means to you…
This is a critical point. In dreams a person you dream of is not acting objectively, making their own choices and living their own life with you as an impartial observer. You must remember they are in your own mind. They are not really your mum, or your wife or husband – not matter how real they seem. So whatever actions the person you know is taking in your dream, remember that does not mean they have been doing that thing in real life, as if you have a secret video to watch them when you are not there. Nor does it mean these are actions that will definitely occur, as if you can predict the future or travel forward in time to watch them.
But dreams of other people can be disturbing if it is something like a partner cheating on you, someone you love hurting you or dying, or someone invading your privacy, attacking you etc.
The important thing to remember is that dreams often act on many levels at the same time. They can be symbolic at personal level whilst also representing greater feelings about the world at large, past history and much more.
When you dream of another person, it can be helpful to think of the different ways this dream has a message just for you:
- Is this dream representing a fear you have? Are you afraid of your partner cheating on you or your parent dying in waking life? If you have buried feelings you don’t want to admit, you may dream of your fears so that your subconscious encourages you to really face up to something you don’t want to think about. That doesn’t mean it is going to happen, just that a fear or insecurity we have can make us act differently than we might like. Knowing what our deep feelings are can help us address them and even improve a relationship. But if you are denying a truth you know deep down but don’t want to admit, your dreams will try to nudge you to face your fears. The most difficult thing is to recognise what your fears are, and what the truth is. Dreaming of something does not make it true in waking life.
- Are you projecting your feelings onto another person? It can be hard to admit when we have “difficult” feelings like anger and jealousy, so sometimes rather than admit to them, we subconsciously see them in other people. If you are working with an attractive, successful person and secretly wish you had what they have, you may dream of them trying to sabotage you or undermine your achievements. This is projecting your envy onto another and in trying to protect yourself from this unpleasant feeling, making the other person into the “bad guy.” Being able to confront our difficult feelings and admit we have them will likely change these dreams into something more helpful, and improve waking life too.
- Does this person symbolise something? A dream of your mother may not be about your actual physical mother, but about concepts associated with mothering in general, such as you need to nurture or be nurtured, or about your sense of connection with Mother Earth for example. A baby may symbolise a new beginning, a new project, your own inner child or perhaps feelings around innocence, issues with trust and so much more. Often a dream may be symbolising more than one of these things at the same time.
- What is this dream telling you about your own relationships? Sometimes dreams of other people really do represent themselves on some level (remember, just represent, in your mind – they are still not actually themselves!) If you have been having difficulties communicating with your teen, you may dream of her in a way that helps you realise a new way to approach her so you can have a break through. If you dream of losing your mother when you are putting her into an aged care facility, you may gain insight into how to process the sorrow of her aging and to make the most of the time you have left together. Dreams of this sort try to reveal solutions to our problems, and to understand our relationships at a deeper level.
So remember, when you dream of someone dying or cheating or hurting you, don’t jump to the conclusion that this is literally happening or about to happen. Look for the deeper meaning. Question your own heart. We all seek deep and meaningful connections with other human beings, and we all fear loss, abandonment and betrayal on some level. Our dreams often arise from our deepest feelings.
Dreams of other people ask us to consider what we desire from others, and what we fear. They give us an opportunity to consider how we relate to others in the world, and how we relate to ourselves. Who we are, and who we most wish to be, defines how we can be with other people. To have the best relationships with other people, we must have the most honest and loving relationship with ourselves…
For more specific information on other people in dreams, try these posts:
- Lost Baby dreams
- Baby dreams
- Mother dreams
- Making Love dreams
- Cheating dreams
- Sex with an Ex dreams
- Death and dying dreams
- Chase dreams
- Attack dreams
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