The people who appear in dreams are the characters with which we write our ‘play’. Often they appear simply as themselves, particularly if they are people we know or have a relationship with in the here and now. We may introduce them in order to highlight a specific quality or characteristic. We may also permit them into our dream scenario as projections of our inner life or state of being, or as ways of handling problems in our everyday life.

Sometimes, rather than trying to decipher the meaning of the dream, it is enough to look at what bearing the dream character’s actions have on our everyday life. Below are interpretations of some of the most common interactions with people in dreams. Crowds in dreams can indicate how we relate to other people, particularly in a social sense.

They may indicate how we can hide ourselves, or indeed how we hide aspects of ourselves and do not single out any one attribute. We may also be attempting to avoid responsibility.

A huge crowd suggests information that we may not be able to handle.

An individual from the past could link us with that period of our lives and with specific memories that may, or may not, be painful.

A neighbour or close associate usually appears in a dream to highlight a particular quality in that person.

Somebody else’s mother, father, brother etc. May suggest our own family members or possibly jealousy.

To interpret why we have adopted a particular role we would need to examine their lifestyle. When there is some conflict within us between love and aversion for a particular person we are more likely to dream about them. Often in dreams there may be a noted difference between two of the participants to illustrate two sides of our thoughts and feelings.

Similarly there may be a marked contrast in the way we handle a situation with two of our dream characters.

It is as though two options are being practised.

As with composite animals, the composite character will emphasize one characteristic or quality in order to draw our attention to it.

The fact that it is not just one person emphasizes the many-faceted human being. Every character who appears in our dreams is a reflection of a facet or part of our own personality and can often be better understood if we put ourselves in the position of that person.