My view on dreams, as a psychologist, is that they are just the brain tidying up at night. However The Psychologist this month has an article (written by Christine Parsons and Melanie Rosen) who claim that when we share dreams we’re trying to construct a self-image for the listener; i.e. they think that by sharing complex dreams we make ourselves seem more interesting and creative.
Here are some of the other interesting points they make:
- If you know someone who can’t stand it when you share your dreams, then just tell them you had a dream about them last night and they might suddenly be interested in hearing more!
- We are selective about who we report to and what we choose to share.
- Our dream-self might have a different personality!
- Some believe that dreams can tell us hidden truths about ourselves and that certain objects symbolise people or emotions.
- Others believe that dreams are meaningless cognitive rubbish.
- Reporting a dream requires more than just recollection, as we have to impose a story-line onto it.
- There is always a temptation to filter and fabricate the dream stories!
- Dreams of sexual infidelity can correlate with lower feelings of intimacy towards our partners over the next day or so.
So perhaps the most interesting thing about dreams is not what happens in them, but who we share them with and how we share the “story”?