It is quite common to dream of being chased and these dreams can often be classed as nightmares. A person, animal, shadow, or strange object might be doing the chasing, or you could be the one chasing someone. In this article, we will look at what these dreams mean.
What Does it Mean to be Chased in a Dream?
It is a natural instinct to run if you are being chased. It dates back to the early days of civilization when people probably had more cause to run from predators. Although we have less cause to run away from wild animals (See also zebra dream meaning) now, there can be instances when we have to run away, such as if we were being chased by criminals.
If you dream about being chased, it can often mean that you are anxious or fearful of something in your waking life. Perhaps you fear taking the next step in a relationship or accepting a promotion. Maybe you are worried about something and don’t want to face up to your responsibilities. Of course, being chased can have a more literal meaning. Maybe you live in a dangerous area and are scared of your neighbors. Perhaps you need to think of moving to a safer area or take a self-defense class.
Common Examples of Being Chased in Dreams
Dreaming about being chased can be frightening and you may wake up in a cold sweat. There are numerous ways in which you might be chased, and we will take a look at some of them here.
Being Chased by an Attacker
You may have a dream where you are being chased by someone you think is going to attack or even kill you. This can mean that you are trying to avoid something in your waking life. Perhaps you don’t want to have a meeting with your boss as you are worried about what he wants. Does he want to sack you?
Maybe it’s something simple such as avoiding someone you have fallen out with. You could be afraid of something that is currently happening, and you don’t want to deal with it. If you are feeling stressed and confused, you may dream of an attacker.
The space between you and the attacker is also important. If he or she is getting closer, it means that the problems and stress are going to surface soon. If the attacker is far away, it could mean that you don’t have to fear these problems as much as you think.
If you escape from the attacker, a more positive time is coming. However, if you are caught and attacked, this accentuates your fear, and you may have good reason to be afraid.
Being Chased by the Authorities
Another dream you could have is being chased by the authorities, for example, the police. This could mean that you are feeling guilty about something, for example, lying to your partner. Maybe someone is trying to prevent you from doing something you want. It could also be more literal. Perhaps you have committed a crime and are worried about going to court.
Being Chased by Your Own Self
Sometimes you may dream that you are being chased by yourself. This could have many meanings and you need to look at the dream as a whole to fully interpret it. For example, you could be chasing yourself inside a house which means that you are running away from your feelings and fears. You may have unresolved fears which you are unable to confront.
Another meaning of this type of dream is that you are feeling regret for something. You could have hurt someone and even if it was unintentional, you are feeling sorry and want to remedy the situation. You could be feeling guilty about self-destructive behavior. Perhaps you haven’t done yourself any favors at work or have destroyed a relationship by being moody or needy.
Running Away as a Recurring Theme in a Dream
You may have many dreams where you are being chased which can be quite frightening. You don’t have to have exactly the same dream for it to be recurring. You might be in the same setting, but you may have different people or animals chasing you. Perhaps one night you might dream about a work colleague chasing you and then the next, a bear could be chasing you. The general meaning of being chased dream after dream means that you are very afraid of something in your waking life, but you need to delve deeper into the bigger picture of the dreams to fully interpret them. If you are able to identify what really is frightening you and take steps to resolve the issue, these dreams should stop.
Dreaming Where You are Chasing Someone or Something
You could dream that you are the one doing the chasing. This dream can be either positive or negative depending on the other aspects of the dream. On a more positive note, it could mean that you are pursuing your dreams and that they are within reach. If you dream about chasing butterflies, it could indicate that you are living in the moment and embracing life. On a more negative note, it could mean that you are chasing obscure or flighty hopes and dreams.
On an even more negative note, this dream could mean that you are going to have financial problems or that you already have them and are trying to reestablish yourself. However, it doesn’t always mean that you aren’t going to be reasonably comfortable, but there will be times when you have financial worries.
How to Interpret a Dream Where You are Being Chased
When you have a dream about someone chasing you, it is a good idea to interpret each aspect separately as then you should be able to understand the dream as a whole.
Identify the Attacker
The first thing to do is to identify the attacker. It is quite common to dream of being chased by an animal. Look up the meaning of different animal (see also chameleon dream meaning) symbols. If, for example, you are being chased by a dog it means that everything will go forward at a fast pace. If you see a dog chasing a hare or rabbit or beagles on a fox hunt, it means that your friends are in trouble and you need to help them. If a dog is chasing a squirrel in your dream, there is a disagreement between friends or family, and you need to help to sort it out.
If you don’t recognize who is chasing you, it can mean that you are afraid of the unknown. Perhaps you are about to start a new job. You could also be worried about a situation that is in progress.
If you dream that a dead (see also ashes dream) person you knew is chasing you and you can’t seem to get the power to run away, it can mean that you are in a relationship that has problems and needs a resolution. It can also suggest that you are running away from your responsibilities.
If you dream about a queen chasing you it means that you are afraid of stepping into a role of power. Perhaps you have been offered a promotion at work and aren’t sure whether or not to take it.
Look at the Setting Where the Dream Takes Place
The setting of the dream is also important when you are trying to interpret your dream of being chased. If, for example, you are being chased in a wooded area, it usually means that you are having been cheating (see cheating dreams) yourself and it’s time to go for what you really want in life.
The weather and the elements can also have meaning in your dream. If you are running to escape water, perhaps waves at sea that are too powerful for you, or if a river is overflowing, this could mean that you are running away from your emotions and feelings. Perhaps you are afraid of taking the next step in a relationship, not wanting to admit how you really feel about that person. Maybe you have been hurt before.
If you dream about a tornado, that expresses real fear. It suggests that somebody you know is showing volatile or unpredictable aggression toward you and you don’t know how the situation will turn out. It also indicates that you don’t know why the person is acting that way, which makes you more afraid. The dream is telling you to avoid that person as they are a negative influence in your life.
If you dream that you are being chased in snow, there could be either a negative or positive meaning. Snow indicates coldness and dreaming about it could mean that it is time to unfreeze your emotions. Perhaps you are holding back in a relationship. On the other hand, it could mean a fresh start in life. Perhaps you are starting a new job, moving, or getting married. Because snow is white, dreaming about being chased through it could mean that you can achieve spiritual peace and a sense of clarity.