It will obviously depend on whether we are being sadistic or if someone is being sadistic towards us as to the interpretation. We know that in dreams other people can represent parts of ourselves, so we need to consider whether we are causing ourselves harm deliberately or inadvertently. We may feel that we wish to punish ourselves for some supposed misdemeanour and, as a displacement activity, we dream of sadistic behaviour.

The very fact that it is sadistic may also mean that it is masochistic – that is, self-involved.