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Dream Interpretation/Why do I always dream about being misunderstood?

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Question
Hi,

I don't have a question about one specific dream, but rather a theme which seems to constantly recur in my dreams.

Essentially, what happens is that I say something in front of a group of people, this statement is misunderstood, and then I suddenly feel incredibly immature, offensive, and generally like a child who has done something wrong... I feel like I am being shunned by everyone, and need to atone somehow, but can't.

For example, recently I had a dream about an old History teacher. I was in the class and he said something about a relative dying. For some reason this made me cry. I then said something, I have no idea what... But he was angry for some reason, as though I had said something incredibly insensitive. He then angrily said that his husband (apparently in my dream he had suddenly become gay?!) had died. And then the feeling that I described before came over me. The whole class seemed to be disgusted with me.

This kind of dream nearly always takes place in a school context, so maybe that's significant in some way... Generally the people who I 'insult' are people who I really, really want to like me for some reason(such as the History teacher.)

Generally I'm a bit skeptical about the significance of dreams, but these dreams are so intensely emotional that it would be interesting to have the meaning interpreted...

Thanks for reading!

Answer
Hey Alex,

Thanks for entrusting me with your dream questionl.  I hope I can shed some light on this for you.  

So in the dreams you feel basically misunderstood by people you want to impress and feel like people are disgusted by your reaction to things?  Even though their interpretation is certainly not what you were intending to communicate?  Well does this kind of thing happen in real life (even if on a smaller scale)?  Do you feel like people don't really understand what you mean half the time?  Do you often feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in social situations for one reason or another? Do you feel like you need to apologise for yourself? If so, then this is bound to be what these dreams are all about.  And since this is a recurring theme, it usually points to an issue in your life that has become a problem, but for which you haven't been able to find a suitable solution for or have had difficulty dealing with for whatever reason.

Also, often when dreams occur in a school setting, it is symbolic of your need to learn something (so that would really fit in with the recurring nature of your dream).  On the other hand, if the school was a school that you used to (or currently) attend, then the dream might refer to issues that first came up for you at that time of your life (when you attended school) and that are still problems in your life now. (If you are still at school, then it might relate to something which occurs at school.)

Also, from what you said about your dreams, it is always a group of people that seem to have a problem with you.  So this group of people might represent society as whole, or your perception of them.  If you are part of a marginalised or minority group of people or if you feel that your culture or lifestyle is not mainstream or not understood by mainstream society, then this would really explain the dreams as well. Saying something in front of a group of people is really about expressing yourself openly.  So there may be some issue with how you feel about expressing your true feelings, culture, lifestyle, political affiliation, whatever you feel is part of your identity.

It sounds as if there is some part of your life/health/culture/behaviour which carries a major stigma with it.  I think the fact that it is people who you want to like you in the dream who seem offended is saying that you really want to be accepted but feel that you aren't being accepted for whatevr reason.  On top of that, you feel you need to explain and make amends for this.  Perhaps this is because you are not yet confident enough within yourself to deal with the prejudices of others?  Or it could mean that there are aspects of this issue or dimension of your life which you don't feel entirely comfortable with.  

Often the details in a dream can be quite insightful.  The dream with the history teacher - sometimes the people in our dreams can represent some aspect of ourselves or our lives. so this might give a further clue as to what the dreams are all about.  How would you describe your history teacher?  How is he similar and how is he different from yourself?  What do you admire about him?  These questions will help you figure out what your history teacher symbolises to you.  For example, in the dreams you said the people are always somebody you really want to impress but in fact the opposite occurs.  So for instance, this might mean that you would like to be more like your history teacher in some way (as described by the questions) but feel it is ridiculous to even try (perhaps due to the reason described earlier).

Also in this dream, you said that a relative, who ended up being your history teacher's husband, had died.  Often, deaths in dreams are symbolic of something in your life, or some aspect of your life coming to an end.  The thing that has come to an end in your life could be something "related" to your history teacher.   And as it was the history teacher's "husband" that died, it could be something you associate with men or masculinity in general.  For example, (and this might have nothing to do with your life but i just want to use it as an example to help illustrate what I mean) say you associate masculinity (and your history teacher in particular) with strength and confidence.  Now lets suppose that for some reason, you are not as strong (either mentally or physically) or confident as you would like to be due to some health issue.  The death of the husband then, might represent your own strength and confidence coming to an end.  (Remember, this is just an example to get you thinking.). Once you figure out what your history teacher and masculinity symbolise to you, just substitute your history teacher traits with my example of "strength and confidence" and see what you comes up for you.

Another possibility for the meaning of these dreams is that the people that seem offended and disgusted might be coming from your own internal voice.  Sometimes we become overly and unnecessarily negative about ourselves and our abilities.  We become our own worst enemy in a way with constant negative self-talk and put downs which aren't even based on fact.  Do you think this could be happening to you?  If so, try to be more aware of when this is happening and challenge those beliefs.  Try to stop yourself from this kind of negativity because it can be quite destructive and demotivating to say the least.  

Well those are my thougts on your dreams.  let me know what you think.  If it doesn't seem to quite fit with your experience, let me know as I am sure we can figure it out. Feel free to send a follow-up question too.  My apoligies for taking so long to respond, I promise not to take so long next time!!  Lol.

Take it easy...  

Dream Interpretation

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