Not Everyone Is A Good Audience for Telling Your Dreams
The other day I was in a lively conversation with a close friend of mine about her growing business. She recalled a time when a coach she was working with shared with her in a one-on-one a dream he had. She was the subject of the dream.
“I see you standing inside a metal doorway. You’re stuck.”
My stomach turned a little as I listened to my friend tell the story. On the one hand, I could feel myself internally agreeing with the advice the coach ended up giving my friend. I could empathize with his experience of dreaming of his client and seeing the value in the sharing of it with her.
On the other hand, as I become more confident about my own intuition and precognitive dreaming abilities, I’ve started to question the usefulness, as well as the ethics, of sharing my visions or insights when they are arise about my friends or family.
Sure, I believe in the healing opportunities dreams and visions present. However, I see it as an opt-in therapeutic. Not one I just deliver to your doorstep before you even knew you needed it and asked.
My intention here is not to be judgmental of my friend’s coach. I’ve been guilty of sharing dreams or unsolicited intuitive hits intentionally or unintentionally too many times to even count. It’s only recently I have started to become more careful about who I share claircognizant-type information with and when. Most important, I’ve gotten into the habit of asking first.
But, let’s say you’re not a precognitive dreamer or an intuitive. Instead, you’re someone who simply sees the value in dream work. Or you’re curious. Perhaps, your dreams have become more vivid all of a sudden. Or, you’ve read some Jung or Freud or Rodger Kamenetz.
Bottom line: You’re excited about your dreams! And you want to talk about them.
I don’t blame you. This was me for most of my thirties. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many people in my life who were both willing and able to hear my dreams in a way I later learned I needed to be listened to.
Either I would share a dream with someone like my then-husband who would attentively listen, but then shrug apologetically when I would get to the end and say, “Well?” (He was self-admittedly not a good dream analyzer.) Or I would, with un-contained enthusiasm, burst out in the middle of the work day, “Holy crap! I think I dreamed this last night!” and be on the receiving end of dubious stares.
Not fun. Nor, encouraging.
It’s important to take care with your dreams in the same manner you might with a brand new business idea. You wouldn’t share a new business idea with a person who has a history of negativity or pessimism, would you? (I hope not! And, if you do, stop it right now!)
I started sharing my dreams with my friend Ariella after we had been walking together for over a year. She was pretty upfront about not being good at “dream analysis,” but what she was really good at was validating my intuition. She was one of the first people who told me to stop calling myself “almost psychic,” a phrase I had been using on social media for a few years in a shy, self-deprecating sort of way. It was her belief in my “superpowers” that made it feel safe to me to share with her my dream life and dream stories; specifically, the growing number of instances of waking life events matching previous dream experiences.
If you are a precognitive dreamer, or you think you might be, I recommend being mindful of who you share that information with. Not because you’re in any danger or you’re putting yourself at risk being vulnerable, but because validation is what you need most in those early days of not knowing what’s going on.
When we first start having such experiences, it’s startling. Finding a friend or a guide who can quietly affirm your reality is a good strategy.
If you’re not a precognitive dreamer, but rather someone who wants advice or perspective on a message your subconscious is trying to get to your conscious waking mind, I recommend you take care there, too.
My same friend from the earlier story shared a dream she had the other night. The story involved people and places we both know. As I was listening to her tell the dream, I started silently analyzing it. I knew for certain the dream must be about her business. It was so obvious! However, at the end of the dream, she added in commentary about an incident I didn’t know happened involving a neighbor of hers, who also was a main character in the dream. As soon as she mentioned the incident with the neighbor, I knew I likely had been off in my analysis!
There is a big risk in sharing your dreams with another person, and that risk is called “projection.” In psychology, projection is the act of placing your feelings, beliefs, urges, negative traits, desires, etc. onto another person without realizing it or without really wanting to. Freud researched this in relationship to “defense mechanism.”
Psychology aside, human beings project all the time without knowing we are projecting. Even those of us super aware of our projections continue to project all day long, all the time. We are walking projection machines.
If you are really seeking advice from someone when it comes to your dreams, you first need to know that projection exists, acknowledge it, and name it, either to yourself or out loud to your friend. I’m not saying this needs to be a formal step in the process, just that there should be an implicit or explicit agreement between you that the friend is there to offer an outside perspective, not to make claims or accuse you or humiliate you by telling you how obvious it is from your dream that you want to, let’s say, sleep with your boss.
Just as we are mindful with sharing our secrets, we should take care with our dream life and our dreams. Being vulnerable and allowing others in can be a gift. It certainly has been for me. But choosing the right person, right time, and right environment is key.