What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (2023)

Howard is a regular lucid dreamer. He likes finding ways to increase his lucid episodes and enjoy the dream world.

What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (1)

Dreaming in the Third Person?

Waking up after you've dreamed of yourself can be confusing. As with many other types of dreams, the whole experience doesn't always hit you at once. Oftentimes, the return to the waking world brings with it a flicker of the dream, and then all the details begin to fill in slowly over the next few minutes.

Looking for an explanation, you might go back to the beginning of the dream and try to track it to its end. Unfortunately, dreams often don't have coherent, linear story arcs. This probably leaves you still looking for answers.

Of course, we're always dreaming about ourselves in a sense. Usually, though, we have a first-person point of view in our dreams. This article is concerned with seeing ourselves in the third person.

Let's consider some of the commonly accepted traditional interpretations of seeing yourself in a dream. Keep in mind that these explanations are not scientific by any means; dream interpretation is a highly speculative realm. Each person will have to decide for themselves how much weight they'll give to these interpretations.

Interpretations of Seeing Yourself in a Dream by Scenario

  • Seeing yourself (a doppelgänger) in a dream
  • Seeing your reflection in a dream
  • Dreaming of yourself as a child or a baby
  • Dreaming of an elderly version of yourself
  • Dreaming of yourself as a monster
  • Fighting yourself in a dream
  • Talking to yourself in a dream
What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (2)

Seeing Yourself (a Doppelgänger) in a Dream

In general, seeing a double in a dream is considered to have negative implications. Seeing yourself in a dream could mean you have concerns about how you're behaving. It might be time to think about how you're acting and make changes to your behavior if necessary.

Seeing or meeting your doppelgänger might mean that you should stop doing something and that there could be consequences if you don't. It could also be a warning that there's danger ahead or that some sort of misfortune is imminent.

What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (3)

Seeing Your Reflection in a Dream

As with seeing yourself in the third person, seeing your reflection in a dream could mean that it's time to assess your behavior and modify it if necessary. The traditional explanation for seeing your reflection in a dream is that bad things are headed your way. Daily discouragements and roadblocks may interfere with your plans. This dream may also portend illness with accompanying financial hardship.

Alternatively, a dream of this nature could mean that you're thinking about your identity, how you see yourself, and how others perceive you. It might be time to dig deep and find out who you really are. Are you unhappy with who you've become?

What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (4)
(Video) Seeing Yourself vs Being in a Dream!

Dreaming of Yourself as a Child or a Baby

Dreaming in the third person doesn't always mean we see ourselves as we are. Sometimes, we see ourselves as we were in the past—as a baby or a child.

Seeing yourself as a child could mean you're feeling the strain of adult life. Work, family, and other responsibilities and duties may be overwhelming you. This might reveal a desire to return to a more carefree existence and to have someone else look out for you. Do you feel like you've been acting immaturely?

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A dream of this nature could also indicate that you haven't come to terms with something from your childhood or that you want to return to something that was important to you as a child.

Dreaming of yourself as a baby could represent many of the same things as dreaming of yourself as a child, but the implications may be amplified. This could mean that you're feeling vulnerable, that you want someone to take care of you, or that you desire unconditional love. Alternatively, it could indicate that you've been acting like a baby about something and need to "grow up," so to speak.

What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (8)

Dreaming of an Elderly Version of Yourself

Dreaming of an older or elderly version of yourself could indicate that you're rigid in your ways or unchangeable in your views. It could be a warning that your stubbornness isn't benefiting you and that you need to become more open-minded before it's too late.

Alternatively, a dream of this nature might highlight reservations you have about aging, like worries about how you'll be cared for or who will still be in your life. In a refreshing change, this dream has a possible positive interpretation as well. If your older self seems alright, it could indicate the wisdom of your decisions. You might be on the right track, living with sound judgment and planning well for the future.

Dreaming of Yourself as a Monster

Seeing a scary or wretched version of yourself in a dream could mean that you feel that you're changing into something you don't like. It could be something physical—maybe you're not taking care of yourself the way you think you should. Or, it could represent a negative personality trait you feel is growing—selfishness, greed, hostility or anything that could distance you from others.

This dream may also symbolize a realization that you're getting to know your true self. Perhaps you're becoming someone you're not proud of, and it's getting harder and harder to ignore it.

What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (10)

Fighting Yourself in a Dream

Having a physical confrontation with yourself in a dream might mean that you are experiencing an internal conflict. Perhaps you're torn between two or more courses of action or behavior, and your dream is representative of your struggle to figure out what to do.

Alternatively, you may be frustrated with yourself or feel that you've let yourself down. Is there a part of you that wants to make yourself pay for what you've done? A self-loathing interpretation also seems obvious with this one.

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What Does It Mean When You See Yourself in a Dream? (11)

Talking to Yourself in a Dream

In any of the above scenarios, it is possible that you may have conversed with yourself during your dream. If the conversation was related to how your other self appeared or was acting, that may support the aforementioned interpretations.

But what if nothing unusual was happening? What if you were simply having a casual conversation with yourself? This could mean you want to tell yourself something important. Is there something you know deep down but aren't really acknowledging?

My Experience

I've only seen myself in a dream once, and it was one of the most memorable dreams I've ever had. I got out of bed (in my dream) and walked out of my room into a wide hallway where my washer and dryer were. I saw myself standing at the far end, about twenty feet away by the washer.

Instantly, I was furious. I rushed at my other self, uttering threats. I punched at my double's head, but they evaded the shot. I then grabbed their head and started slamming it into the washer. They then tackled my midsection.

The dream ended suddenly, and I woke up. This is one of my favorite dreams ever, topping many lucid episodes. It couldn't have been more than twenty seconds long, but it struck me as being so funny, and I still laugh at it sometimes. Who knows what it means? Some mysteries are too deep for the mortal mind to uncover.

The Common Elements of These Interpretations

As you probably noticed, the traditional interpretations shared above don't leave a lot to be hopeful about when it comes to meeting or seeing yourself in a dream. The only purely positive possibility is in seeing yourself in old age.

The obvious commonality among all the other variations is that they're negative. They all seem to suggest that you want to change something about yourself or your life, whether it's a personality trait or something you're doing. You're being warned to make a change if you want to avoid future unpleasantness.

If you're optimistic, you could put a positive spin on these meanings by taking the view that they're offering a second chance. You're being given a warning; it's in your power to use it to your benefit. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some unfinished business with myself . . .

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Matt on June 16, 2020:

I saw myself in a dream last night.I was in my childhood bedroom and I noticed myself standing in the corner.I then lost sight of myself and had to squint or adjust my eyes in some way to see myself again.This I did and we both checked each other out amazed.The other me looks like me now ,but the me I seemed to be inhabiting looked like a younger version of me. A strong thought suddenly came to me to tell my other self that I loved him.I did and he said " I love you too man" .My other self then sort of turned into a ball like a pillowcase full of clothes or stuffing and went into my bellybutton area Like catching a football and absorbed.....I then woke immediately and it was morning a few minutes before my alarm went off.

Alyssa on May 04, 2020:

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I had a dream where I was looking at myself into a mirror but my reflection was cracking a smile in a horrifying way, kind of like the scene on the show Locke & key where they boy was looking at a mirror shaped door, and his reflection was smiling at him the exact same way my reflection did. I was in a dark room and the only thing I could see was the mirror and this terrifying version of myself. Later on in my dream other people judge my reflection and don’t see anything wrong with it, in fact they don’t see this terrifying version of myself, they even complement it. I stare at this monster like version of myself, thinking that this version of me was going to do something bad to people I care about, then my dream ended with my reflection still staring at me.

Srishti on February 08, 2020:

I saw myself in a mirror ..i have long hairs in real and colour in between black and brown

but in my dream my hairs were up to my shoulder and raven black colour ..i was admiring myself touching my hairs and face

and plus my face looked so different and beautiful

and i found it scary because how i was seeing myself.

Howard Allen (author) on January 31, 2020:

Chris,

This sounds very difficult. The only thing I can suggest is researching how to turn these childhood experiences into triggers for a lucid dream.

Essentially, you'd "reality check" while awake every time you thought about anything from childhood. You'd also imagine scenes similar to the ones you've dreamed, trying to feel the emotion of it, and use that feeling as a sign to reality check. The idea is that while you're having one of these troubling dreams, you'd realize that it might not be real.

I'm not suggesting this would be an easy fix. It's worth a try, though.

Thanks for reading. I hope you get some relief.

Chris Devenport on January 31, 2020:

(Video) 7 Things You Shouldn't Ever Do in a Dream

I have dreams in third person about some really bad things that happened when I was a kid!!

I Wake up wore out drenched in sweat i’m breathing like I just ran a mile

And mentally broken

FAQs

What does it mean if you see your self in a dream? ›

Seeing yourself in a dream could mean you have concerns about how you're behaving. It might be time to think about how you're acting and make changes to your behavior if necessary. Seeing or meeting your doppelgänger might mean that you should stop doing something and that there could be consequences if you don't.

What does it mean to dream about answering a question? ›

When characters respond or give you an answer in a dream, it is usually because you are not acknowledging something important. You can see it as "you" saying something to yourself. Some side of you is questioning what you are doing and the answer should be explored as a type of direction that you are not considering.

Can dreams give you answers? ›

Ken Paller at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and his colleagues found that people could answer questions and even solve maths problems while lucid dreaming – a state that typically occurs during rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep when the dreamer is aware of being in a dream, and is sometimes able to ...

Why do I keep dreaming of exams? ›

Exam dreams are most clearly connected to stress, Ellis said. The dream can be a reflection of the stress that the person was feeling in their past, when they were taking exams, and the stress imprints on the mind so that the next time they are feeling stress, their dream takes them back to that same moment.

What is it called when you watch yourself sleep? ›

Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep.

What do people in your dreams mean? ›

When you dream about someone, it is usually a reflection of how you feel about them in your waking life. Your dream may be telling you to pay attention to that person in your waking life. Your subconscious may be trying to connect the dots on something and needs your conscious mind to help them figure it out.

Is a dream real or unreal? ›

Contrary to the rationalist hooey that dreams aren't real (“You're just dreaming”), dreams are very much real. They convey real information, real impact, real emotions, and have real consequences if ignored.

What is the meaning of lucid dream? ›

What Are Lucid Dreams? Lucid dreams are when you know that you're dreaming while you're asleep. You're aware that the events flashing through your brain aren't really happening. But the dream feels vivid and real. You may even be able to control how the action unfolds, as if you're directing a movie in your sleep.

What does it mean when you dream about someone you've never met? ›

"When we dream about people we've never met, they could be a placeholder for someone we do not want to see, for whatever reason," Jeffrey notes. But these strangers could also be a manifestation of a part of ourselves that's not yet known or familiar.

How do you ask for a dream? ›

Keep a dream journal.

You'll be amazed how much more vivid and telling your dreams become if you write them down in the morning, first thing upon waking. Just start with whatever you remember and the details will magically start to fill themselves in.

Is it true if you see someone in your dream they miss you? ›

One of the most common reasons people dream about someone is because they miss that person. It's human nature to feel a sense of well-being when we're with someone we care about. In other words, if you dream about someone often, and think it means they miss you, it may be because you're the one missing them.

Why do we dream about school? ›

Dream Moods Dream Themes: School. Dreaming about school points to feelings of inadequacy and anxieties about your ability. If you are no longer in school, such dreams may point to unresolved childhood issues. The dream may also reflect a life lesson that you need to learn.

What is it called when you have a dream and then it happens? ›

Precognitive dreams are the most widely reported occurrences of precognition. Usually, a dream or vision can only be identified as precognitive after the putative event has taken place. When such an event occurs after a dream, it is said to have "broken the dream".

Why did my dream feel so real? ›

Dreams feel real because we use the same brain to process them! Parts of the brain that process “real” sensory information in wakefulness are active in REM sleep. The more rational parts of our brain only switch on in wakefulness. This is why dreams play out like any “real” experience!

What happens when you realize you're dreaming? ›

Lucid dreaming happens when you're aware that you're dreaming. You're able to recognize your thoughts and emotions as the dream happens. Sometimes, you can control the lucid dream. You may be able to change the people, environment, or storyline.

What are the 3 types of dreams? ›

The types are: 1. Dreaming is Passive Imagination 2. Dream Illusions 3. Dream-Hallucinations.

Do dreams have meaning? ›

Domhoff also emphasized that while dreams can have meaning, his research suggests they aren't symbolic. During sleep, people don't appear to be able to access the parts of the brain involved with understanding or generating metaphors, he said.

When you dream about your ex? ›

A possible cause for dreaming about an ex may be recalling past trauma in your relationship. Research shows that stressful emotions and trauma during waking hours can impact your dreams. Trauma can also come from the death of a partner or loved one.

Why do I keep dreaming of my ex? ›

“Dreaming about a long-ago ex — especially a first love — is incredibly common,” says Loewenberg. “That ex becomes symbolic of passion, uninhibited desire, unafraid love, etc.” These dreams are your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you want more ~spice~ in your life.

Can you feel pain in dreams? ›

The results indicate that although pain is rare in dreams, it is nevertheless compatible with the representational code of dreaming. Further, the association of pain with dream content may implicate brainstem and limbic centers in the regulation of painful stimuli during REM sleep.

Why do we forget dreams? ›

“Since dreams are thought to primarily occur during REM sleep, the sleep stage when the MCH cells turn on, activation of these cells may prevent the content of a dream from being stored in the hippocampus – consequently, the dream is quickly forgotten.”

How long do dreams last? ›

The length of a dream can vary; they may last for a few seconds, or approximately 20–30 minutes. People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase.

What triggers lucid dreams? ›

The most common reasons for inducing lucid dreams include wish fulfillment, overcoming fears, and healing. Some studies have also shown a link between inducing lucid dreams and overcoming the fear and distress associated with nightmares.

Are lucid dreams safe? ›

Risks of Lucid Dreaming. Although more research is needed, some experts suspect lucid dreaming could come with negative consequences. The most concerning potential dangers of lucid dreaming are disrupted sleep and mental health issues.

How rare is it to lucid dream every night? ›

In our questionnaire samples, the proportion of individuals who reported spontaneous lucid dreams on close to a nightly basis constituted approximately 1 in 1,000 respondents.

Can 2 people have the same dream? ›

We have to conclude that people everywhere do occasionally experience the same dream as another individual.

What does kissing someone in dreams mean? ›

A kiss to a friend indicates reconciliation with enemies. A kiss among a married couple symbolises harmony in domestic life. Kissing someone on the neck suggests a romance is in offing. Kissing in the dark signifies danger in your routine life.

Do dreams come true? ›

Sometimes, dreams come true or tell of a future event. When you have a dream that plays out in real life, experts say it's most likely due to: Coincidence. Bad memory.

Can dreams be false? ›

The short answer is yes. For starters, the human memory is pretty error-prone, says Dr. Nancy Irwin, PsyD, a clinical psychologist. The brain can distort or create memories because of our natural biases and due to outside influences like suggestion, says certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg.

When should you stop dreaming? ›

5 Signs It's Okay to Give Up on a Dream
  • You've lost that loving feeling. Remember that passion you had for a dream at the very beginning? ...
  • You keep thinking about what you “should” do. ...
  • Your vision or plan changed. ...
  • You want to walk away. ...
  • You start thinking “what if” about something else.
24 May 2017

What is the meaning of lucid dream? ›

What Are Lucid Dreams? Lucid dreams are when you know that you're dreaming while you're asleep. You're aware that the events flashing through your brain aren't really happening. But the dream feels vivid and real. You may even be able to control how the action unfolds, as if you're directing a movie in your sleep.

What does it mean when you are not yourself in a dream? ›

To dream that you're a person other than yourself can represent the need to see your life from a different perspective. If you've been stubborn and dug your heels in regarding a certain idea, it may be time to loosen up and open your mind to alternatives.

What does it mean when you see yourself as a baby in a dream? ›

“Usually baby dreams are a really positive sign that represent growth or development, either with you personally or with something that you're working on,” Loewenberg says. “It's a messge from your subconscious saying this new thing is great, it's time to focus and nurture it.

What does it mean when you have a dream about yourself being pregnant? ›

“Pregnancy dreams are typically connected to something else in your life that is in a growing and development phase,” says Lauri Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst and author. “Plans that are in the works, or maybe a degree that's in the works, that will, when it comes to fruition, result in a new life for you.”

What are the 3 types of dreams? ›

The types are: 1. Dreaming is Passive Imagination 2. Dream Illusions 3. Dream-Hallucinations.

Why did my dream feel so real? ›

Dreams feel real because we use the same brain to process them! Parts of the brain that process “real” sensory information in wakefulness are active in REM sleep. The more rational parts of our brain only switch on in wakefulness. This is why dreams play out like any “real” experience!

What triggers lucid dreams? ›

The most common reasons for inducing lucid dreams include wish fulfillment, overcoming fears, and healing. Some studies have also shown a link between inducing lucid dreams and overcoming the fear and distress associated with nightmares.

Are dreams trying to tell you something? ›

Dreams tell you what you really know about something, what you really feel. They point you toward what you need for growth, integration, expression, and the health of your relationships to person, place, and thing. They can help you fine-tune your direction and show you your unfinished business.

Can a dream tell the future? ›

At this time there is little scientific evidence suggesting that dreams can predict the future. Some research suggests that certain types of dreams may help predict the onset of illness or mental decline in the dream, however.

Can you see yourself in the mirror in a dream? ›

Seeing yourself in the mirror implies that you are in need of a bit of self-reflection. Perhaps there is something happening to you, or something going on that you don't quite understand. This meaning changes if you like your reflection in your dream.

What does it mean when you dream about your ex? ›

“Dreaming about a long-ago ex — especially a first love — is incredibly common,” says Loewenberg. “That ex becomes symbolic of passion, uninhibited desire, unafraid love, etc.” These dreams are your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you want more ~spice~ in your life.

What does it mean if you dream you have a baby girl? ›

Dreaming of having a baby girl – General Meaning. To dream about a baby girl is a sign of optimism and a new beginning. A girl child is a dream symbol of innocence, purity, charm, beauty, and elegance. It also symbolizes the emotional nature of the dreamer.

How can I get pregnant soon? ›

Experts say the best way to get pregnant fast is to have sex once a day, every other day, during the fertile window right before and after ovulation. If you have sex too often, your partner's sperm count may be reduced, and if you don't have enough sex, the sperm may be old and unable to swim as fast.

What does it mean when you dream about someone who is already dead? ›

Per Regular Dream, dreaming about a dead relative, friend, or acquaintance means you miss the person, which is totally natural. The outlet added that your subconscious brain is trying to tell you something.

What does it mean when you dream about your crush? ›

Dreams About Dating Your Crush

Most dream experts believe that dreaming about being in a relationship with your crush signifies positive feelings about yourself. It shows that you have a good self-image and that you believe you deserve to have everything you want in life.

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