THE MEANING OF PEOPLE IN DREAMS. Whether someone you see in a dream is a family member, friend, stranger, or a famous personality, people in dreams are important to the message. A dream character can (i) act as a mirror; (ii) give feedback about a relationship; or, (iii) present true facts about another person.
BASIC FACTS ABOUT PEOPLE IN DREAMS:
1. IT IS ABOUT YOU. A dream character mirrors something about you.
2. RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS. How a person acts can be feedback about interactions in a current relationship.
3. FACTS. A dream may present true facts about someone so that you can understand or help them.
A DREAM PERSON ACTS AS A MIRROR. When a dream features a person, start by exploring whether the dream character is a mirror of you. We are good at hiding from ourselves. Does the person’s actions, attitudes or feelings resonate as what you may be feeling or doing? For example, if a dream shows a sad person, can you identify with sad feelings? Are you normally upbeat but feel blue, lately? The person may mirror your sadness so that you can acknowledge it and deal with it. Once you name a hidden feeling, you can change it—which is why dreams point out attitudes or actions that could trip you up.
A DREAM CHARACTER AS A SPOTLIGHT ON A BLIND SPOT. Although a dream person at times points to a positive trait as a pat on the back that you are on the right track, most flag a blind spot. A negative behavior mirrored in a dream invites you to deal with a flaw; recognizing the flaw is the first step to correcting it. A dream that shows someone acting vain or bad tempered may not be welcome news about self, but noticing is good news. Blind spots hold strong, hidden, emotions and motives. Once you recognize a blind spot and re-channel it constructively, it releases energy and strength, and expands your potential. Seen in that way, a blind spot represents untapped energy and progress.
HOWEVER, if you push a negative away and pretend that it doesn't exist, a blind spot can turn into "run-away energy" as a time bomb that explodes when you least expect it. The explosion can show up as an emotional outburst, impulsive behavior, a poor decision, or an unexplained reaction. Even if you do not see your blind spots—others do, which can affect reputation and self esteem. Dreams highlight hidden flaws to help. Be gracious and accept a spotlight on a negative—as a gift.
RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS IN DREAMS. People in dreams can play out a troublesome relationship dynamic with others, revealing attitudes and motives—yours and theirs. Relationships can be complicated. It can be hard to decipher another's motives or actions; dreams provide perspective on what is going on.
FOR EXAMPLE, after a major fight with her husband, a wife dreamed that she had a huge, ugly, pimple on her face. As she watched, it festered and burst open and horrible looking bugs gushed out. The dream said: “The fight you had ‘bugs’ your husband and will make his emotions fester; it will create trouble in the relationship.” The dream helped her see that her words hurt her husband. Thanks to the dream, she apologized and made amends before things went downhill.
A DREAM CHARACTER CREATES A CHANGE. Sometimes a dream creates an intense experience that actually changes the dynamics of a relationship.
FOR EXAMPLE, a woman had a brilliant but difficult boss; due to his cold manner and nit-picking, she resented working with him and her resentment grew with each sarcastic and chiding word he threw out. One day she dreamed of him as a little boy. In the dream, he was frantic and wild. He needed help, he needed an anchor to hrlp him settle down. When she soothed him, the boy in the dream transformed from a wild child into a calm, peaceful friend, which made her feel good. When she woke up, her animosity towards her boss was gone. From then on, she saw the troubled boy beneath his sharp exterior, a boy who needed her help. From then on, she helped him with kindness, and the resentment turned into a new sense of peace and satisfaction.
DREAMS CAN GIVE YOU TRUE FACTS ABOUT OTHERS. Dreams can provide factual information about others, especially loved ones and those who are important to you. When you are concerned about a spouse, a child, a friend or a loved one, a dream can describe their feelings, career, talents, or a weakness. FOR EXAMPLE, if dream of your child playing a piano or a tuba, the dream may suggest that they take music lessons or join a school band.
Once you know a dream is not about you because the story does not fit your feelings or your life, check if it provides information about someone else.
A FAST WAY TO DETERMINE WHAT A DREAM PERSON MEANS. When a story has a main person, try this “Two plus Two technique” to see what message they hold. The results can be surprising and at times, funny. Choose two positive traits and two negative traits that you see (or surmise) in the dream character.
This is how to see what a person represents to you is:
(1) List two positive traits of a person in a dream.
(2) List two negative traits.
(3) Ask yourself if those traits say something about you, or about a current situation.
Stand back and take an honest look at yourself. If you recognize any traits, the dream person is acting as a mirror. If you cannot relate to the traits, see if they remind you of someone else like a family member, friend, or acquaintance. If so, the dream may be about that person. In psychology, this is called a "projection exercise." It is easier to see a trait in someone else than in yourself and the dream person is a stand-in actor who gives an insight about self, that you might otherwise miss.
What If the Dream Person Is a Stranger? Whether a dream character is someone you know or a stranger, pick positive and negative traits quickly, without overthinking it. Even when it is a stranger, you have opinions about perceived personality, abilities, and traits.
Need More or Less? If you recognize a positive trait in a dream person, decide if the story suggests you may need more of the trait or something you lack and need to develop. If you recognize a negative trait, take it as good news, rather than as a blow to your ego; nobody is perfect. A dream brings a negative trait to your attention so you can turn it around, which can empower you to become happier and more successful.
FOR EXAMPLE, suppose you see dream of a party and see someone sitting on the sidelines. You are not shy at parties, but you realize that at time you sit on the sidelines at work and do not speak up at meetings when it would be beneficial to do so. It dawns on you that you were wondering why you do not get promotions and new projects. The dream is a message that you need to interact more with coworkers to let your talents shine, which will help your career.
IT'S ALL GOOD. Dreams often give important feedback about people and relationships. We love positive feedback, but the negative feedback is equally important. By greeting every dream as good news, you put yourself on the path to success, happiness, and contentment.