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
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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:
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:
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