Exploring the Sleeping Mind

Using Dreams to Gain Insight to Our Relationships

Dreams can give us a fascinating glimpse into our intuitive connotations with certain people and our emotional health in our relationships with them. The abstract concepts of who takes the lead in a relationship, who is more dominant, and how well we understand each other, are often manifested through simple physical symbols in a dream.

One of my best friends and I often go to each other for advice. We both respect each other and take each other’s opinion seriously and with humility even if we disagree. I am a few years older so have more often been the first to experience major life changes, like graduation and starting a career. The last time I dreamed about this friend, we were driving together. I was in the driver’s seat, and she was in the passenger seat next to me. Being the only two people in the car shows the closeness of our relationship as we progress down the road of life. Sitting side by side, we are equals, at the same place on the road. A healthy relationship, we can both look forward to the path ahead but can also continue in conversation. As the older person in the friendship, I am in the driver seat and therefore first to react to any changes down the road the road of life. We drove along smoothly, remaining side by side, even as the scenery around us changed; just like our friendship, which has stayed strong even as our lives have changed over time.

Compare this friendship to another one I have just recently started with a coworker: this friend is much more dominant, and about ten years older. She initiates more of the conversations and usually sets their tone. Being farther along in her life and career, sometimes I don’t fully understand her unspoken feelings, and often find myself pondering her comments and body language. The last time I dreamed about her, she was pulling me by the hand. I followed behind, only able to see her back. She took the lead, marching confidently somewhere, just like she does with our friendship. Facing forward, I can’t see her face or expression, which reflects the emotional distance I still have in a new friendship with an older person who is very different than me. If she were to stop suddenly, I would have to stop as well to avoid bumping into her, reflecting the dominant place she holds in our friendship. Being a new friendship with the complications of the workplace, I don’t yet know where it will lead; with her in front of me in the dream, I can’t see where the path she is walking will lead either.

To look for insights on your relationships in your own dreams, pay attention to every detail when someone you know appears in a dream. Can you see their faces? This could reflect your understanding of them. Being unable to see a person’s face is a common expression of confusion about that person. Are they taller or shorter in the dream? This could reflect dominance. If they tower over you, there may be some intimidation or awe. Are they in front of you or trailing behind? This gives you a clue to who takes the lead in your relationship. To what level are you able to interact with them? If you can see them, but they can’t see you, you may be feeling quietly reflective of—or powerless in—your relationship. Don’t forget to take note of the general feeling you have in the dream as you interact with that person, whether excitement, unease, peace, fear, etc. All of these things can give you clues on your intuitive, sometimes subconscious associations with the people in your life.



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