Inspired living

The meaning of people in dreams


One of the keys to understanding the meaning of dreams is to recognise that most things within them are not literal, but symbolic.  This includes people.  It is a very common mistake to assume that when someone appears in dreams your dreams could reveal hidden feelings or even literal wish-fulfillment about them in waking life.  While this may be the case on rare occasions, far more often the person in the dream is actually a symbol, just like all the other aspects of the dream.

Trying to treat a person in a dream as a symbol can be difficult, as your first thoughts will usually be around your relationship with them. But learning to analyse the symbolic dream meanings of a person is a great exercise in training your mind to recognise and understand the language of dreams beyond the obvious and literal.

To help understand what a person may be representing in your dream, try answering some of the following questions:
–    How would you describe this person?  Are they generous or selfish, shy or brave etc?
–    How does this person make you feel?  Valued, or ignored, or anxious?
Once you have these words, ask yourself:
–    Are there qualities of this person you wish you had?
–    Or does this person remind you of behaviours in yourself you are not so proud of and would like to change?
The person in your dream is likely a symbol of one part of your own personality.  It is up to you to decide if that is a part you wish to develop or not.

To further understand the message this person-symbol may be trying to impart, it can help to look at what you are doing with them.  Sometimes dreams can show disturbing scenes, like attacking a person.  This could be a symbolic indication that you are trying to destroy an aspect of yourself that this person represents.  A dream fight with a friend you consider outspoken may indicate you are “battling” with your own feelings about sharing your opinions and when it is suitable to do so.

In the same way, dreaming, you are intimately involved with someone can be symbolic of your desire to unite with what that person represents.  For example, to dream of sleeping with the boss may indicate that you are starting to embrace your own leadership qualities and learning to wield your own influence and power.

So, next time you dream you are fighting with your friend or sleeping with the boss, remember to stop and think what these people represent to you.  They are often not themselves, simply masks your dream has used to express concepts too complex to condense into a few words.



Amy Campion is a writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and dream coach who works globally with people using their dreams, intuition, imagination and consciousness. She is the founder of The Dream Well, a website dedicated to helping people understand and become experts of their own dreams. She also runs an online course on sacred dreaming, which includes lucid dreaming, shamanism, Tibetan dream yoga, dream incubation and a variety of other approaches. Amy holds the following qualifications: BA (Hons) Comm Arts, Post Grad Cert (Strategic Foresight), Member IASD (International Association of the Study of Dreams).