The Shocking Meaning Behind Your Dreams of Other People


You’ve probably heard the phrase “it was just a dream” all your life. The phrase is used to indicate something is, like your dreams, relatively unimportant. But think about it for a minute: we spend one-third of our lives asleep. How can something you spend so much time doing be unimportant?

In reality, dreams are very important, but only if you know what they mean. And we’re here to help you make sense of those strange dreams that keep you guessing at their meaning. Keep reading to discover what all those weird dreams you’ve been having really mean!

Dreaming about people from your memories

We don’t remember most of the dreams we have, but it’s always more memorable when you dream about people you once knew. What does it mean when you find yourself dreaming about people who are no longer part of your life?

The meaning behind these dreams has to do with the very act of dreaming. When we dream, our minds are processing the various things that we have seen and experienced throughout the day. Dreams about former acquaintances (say, an old high school friend you haven’t seen in years) usually occur because you saw someone or heard something that, on a subconscious level, made you think about someone you once knew. Once you go to sleep at night, though, your brain gives those subconscious memories new life by making these people appear in your dreams.

RELATED: 6 People Who ‘Came Back To Life’ Describe What They Experienced

Dreaming about people you know

It’s a bit more common to dream about the people you know in your life. While you may see them several times per week in your waking hours, it’s only natural to wonder what it means when you find yourself dreaming about a coworker or fellow student.

Speaking of students, you may need to dust off your old Psychology textbooks to understand the meaning of these dreams. Basically, when you dream about someone you know, your brain isn’t thinking about the actual person but instead the qualities you associate them with. When you dream about a person with a certain quality, what your brain is really doing is thinking about these qualities in yourself.

For example, when you dream about a strong person, your brain isn’t necessarily thinking about that person being strong. Instead, your dreams about them are a reflection that your brain is thinking about your own inner strength and how important that quality is.

Dreaming about complete strangers

While it’s common to dream about people we are familiar with on some level, about half of the people we dream about are complete strangers. What does it mean, then, to dream about someone when you don’t know who they really are?

In these cases, the strangers in your dreams are basically walking metaphors for different things that your brain is processing. For example, dreaming of male strangers often means that your brain is processing some aggressive impulses. That doesn’t make you an aggressive person, of course. In fact, processing your aggression in dreams may even make you more pleasant to deal with from day to day!

RELATED: 17 Tips To Get More Deep Sleep

Dreaming about old flames

Nobody should live in the past, which is why people get nervous when they dream about their former romantic partners. When you dream about an old flame, does it really mean that, on some level, you haven’t gotten over them?

The honest answer is “it depends.” For example, if you have some unresolved baggage from the relationship, you may be dreaming about an ex because your brain is craving closure. However, when you date someone for a while, they are likelier to pop up in your dreams even after you stop dating them because your brain has filed them in the “people you know” category. Therefore, as with other people you know, you may be dreaming about them because your brain is remembering some quality about them that you see in yourself.

And you can breathe easy: whatever your reason for dreaming about an old flame, it’s most likely not because you’re hoping to get back together.

Dreaming you are getting cheated on

Ever woken up and punched your partner because of something they did in your dreams? This often occurs because you dreamt that your partner was cheating on you. But when you have a faithful partner, what does it mean to dream that they are cheating on you?

The good news is that this dream doesn’t mean that your partner is being unfaithful, and it doesn’t even mean you think they are literally cheating on you in real life. Instead, you may be subconsciously worrying about things your partner focuses on a bit too much, and this may include anything from their career to raising your children. In some cases, dreams about a cheating partner mean that you are worried about recent arguments or even worried about the relationship getting stale and burning. 

As usual, it’s important to openly and honestly communicate your worries to your partner. Not only will this make the relationship stronger, but it will make you less likely to experience these unpleasant dreams.

RELATED12 Subtle Clues Your Partner Is Cheating On You

Dreaming about getting chased

There is nothing quite as scary as a dream about getting chased. These are the kinds of dreams that leave us waking up from a tense night of sleep with our hearts beating like jackhammers. However, the meaning behind these dreams isn’t nearly as scary as you might imagine.

That’s because the people (or animals, or monsters, or anything else) chasing you in your dreams doesn’t mean your brain is worried about you getting physically attacked. Instead, the thing chasing you may be a metaphorical representation of some quality of yourself that you are ashamed of. In that case, you are running away from that person because, symbolically, you are running away from yourself.

If that’s not wild enough, the thing chasing you may also represent a positive quality that, for whatever reason, you are running away from. The thing chasing you might represent qualities such as brutal honesty or even sexual liberation that you have been afraid to embrace. In these cases, your brain is rooting for you to “get caught” and become a changed person.