As you know, not all dreams are full of fantastically-impossible things that you wish you could do in waking life.
Some dreams you have, wake up, and hope they never come true, and dreaming of being kidnapped is certainly one of them.
So why do we dream about things we never want to happen?
Negative dreams are very rarely a prediction of these bad things happening, but it’s equally important to figure out why you’ve had this dream.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Why Difficult Dreams Are a Good Thing
Those dreams which make you feel as though you’re having a heart attack (see also Heart Attack Dream Meaning And Interpretation), questioning the state of your mind, or even looking at someone in a different light can be an inconvenience to say the least.
A dream of being kidnapped, or something else which is equally disturbing, can easily color the rest of your day, making you feel anxious, suspicious, or frustrated.
But that’s not to say that these dreams don’t have something to tell you.
A dream of being kidnapped often acts as a ‘release valve’ for any underlying anxiety or stress you may be under.
If you’re holding onto a lot of negative feelings, or if you are struggling to find positivity in your waking life right now, this dream is a way of letting go of some of it.
It is essentially your subconscious piling all that stress and anxiety into something which makes sense in the immediacy of the dream, and it’s forcing you to confront it.
While you may have felt powerless in this dream, this is your subconscious helping you let go of some negativity. It can also make things easier to confront in your waking life, as you’ve already faced part of the difficulty within your dream.
Difficult dreams and nightmares also occur when you feel someone isn’t being completely honest with you, or you feel you’re being pushed into a situation that you cannot control, very similar to a situation of being kidnapped.
Maybe someone is making you feel as though you have no agency to choose your own path, where you feel the only option is to go along with what they want you to do, not what is best for you.
They may be forcing you to make a decision that they feel is right for you, but you know it’s not the one you’d choose. They may be trying to manipulate you, or take advantage of you.
This dream is getting you to recognize how you feel, and your subconscious is urging you to question whether doing what they want is the best thing for you, or whether you should follow your own path.
It may indicate that you need to be wary of someone, and take steps to protect yourself.
An unsettling dream can also reflect unexpected and challenging situations that life throws at us. Maybe you’ve picked up on small details changing, hinting at a bigger change coming your way.
It can also be your subconscious’s way of measuring how well you react under immense stress or pressure.
So, when you find yourself under a huge amount of stress, you’ll actually find yourself doing better than you thought you would, because your brain has been sharpening those skills.
Common Kidnapping Dreams and What They Mean
Kidnapping dreams can manifest in different ways, and no two are the same.
The details within your kidnapping dream can change the meaning of the dream entirely, so let’s look at several common ones to help you understand what yours might symbolize.
Dreaming of Being Kidnapped
A dream of being kidnapped suggests that your sense of security has taken a huge blow. Your dream is reflecting the vulnerability you feel in waking life right now, where you feel anxious, uncertain about the future, and perhaps how you’ll cope.
Dreams of being kidnapped indicate that you feel powerless over a situation in waking life, or an issue that’s been shadowing your every decision, but you don’t know how or if you’ll overcome it.
It could be that you’re struggling with your finances, where something unexpected has meant that you have a lot less money right now than you were expecting, and it’s a constant worry.
This dream can also highlight a deep distrust of other people, and what they are capable of. Maybe you’ve been through a horrible situation because of someone’s mistakes or malicious intentions.
While the situation is long over, you still have to process the emotion it caused, and ask yourself if you should forgive them or not, and learn to forgive yourself, too.
Dreaming of being kidnapped by a stranger can also reflect a fear of your choices being made for you. You worry that someone will try to manipulate you, and you won’t see it until it’s too late, or being put in a situation where you cannot make your own decisions.
Dreaming of Being Kidnapped by Someone You Know
If you dream of being kidnapped by someone you know in waking life, this is highlighting issues that you have with this person.
Maybe some of their recent behavior has you questioning whether you can trust them or not. Perhaps they cancelled on you at the last minute, when they had agreed to do something important, and now you’re reluctant to rely on them again.
It could be that you saw them acting completely differently. Maybe you know them to be kind, but they were being awful towards someone else, or took something out on someone who really didn’t deserve it.
If that doesn’t sound right, it’s worth looking at it from another angle. Perhaps you don’t mistrust this person at all, and you don’t have a problem with them, or you haven’t seen them in years.
In this case, dreaming of someone kidnapping you is not about the kidnapper, but what they represent.
We all associate people with the qualities we recognize in them, and this dream can be a warning not to get too caught up in these qualities, or perhaps we need more of them in order to thrive.
Dreaming of Being Kidnapped by Your Partner
This is a more common dream than you might think, although it’s not exactly a good sign. Dreaming of your partner kidnapping you mirrors how you feel trapped or stifled by your relationship.
There’s an imbalance within your connection. This may be that your partner is making all of your decisions, or dictating how you should live your life when you’re not with them. In which case, your dream is warning you to change something.
You may be feeling dissatisfied, perhaps you don’t share the same connection you once had, or you feel they are taking over your life.
It’s important to remember that any relationship is a two-way street, and while you need to be able to compromise, there needs to be a balance. You both should get the love and fulfillment that you put in.
Dreams of Being Kidnapped and Escaping
Dreaming of being kidnapped but managing to escape might have felt like a bad dream at first, but it’s actually a good sign.
It indicates that whatever you’re going through will be over soon, and this dream is also drawing your attention to your ability to cope with incredibly stressful and unexpected situations.
Alternatively, dreaming of being kidnapped and escaping reflects your desire to run away from your problems in waking life. You feel they are too much for you, and you want something to be different, but you don’t want to actively change things yourself.
Dreaming of Your Partner Being Kidnapped
Dreaming of your partner being kidnapped implies that you’ve been taking your connection with your partner for granted.
You get a lot of meaning and satisfaction from your relationship, but you may have fallen into the trap of expecting things to always be the same.
Things are easy right now, and there’s nothing bad about enjoying that, but you should be prepared for things going wrong, as they always do.
Or, you’ve been focusing too much on the negative aspects of your relationship, where the tiny details are annoying you. You’re feeling a lot of frustration from your partner’s bad habits or tendencies, and maybe it’s time you communicated better.
This dream can suggest that you need to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship instead of the negative. Not everything is as bad as it might seem at first glance.
Or, your dream is reflecting how you’re questioning your relationship. Maybe your partner relies on you to make most of the decisions, and this kind of pressure is getting to you.
What does a Dream of a Baby Being Kidnapped Mean?
Babies in dreams represent many things. They can represent you, as your innermost self, that vulnerable part of you which you hide from others.
Or, they can represent a long-term idea or project which has the potential to change your life, or they can represent actual babies.
Dreaming of a baby being kidnapped suggests that something in waking life is threatening your sense of security, or someone’s trying to get to know you on a deeper level you’re just not ready for. You feel vulnerable on some level.
Alternatively, dreaming of a baby being kidnapped indicates the possibility of a project changing your life is nearly gone. You’re not open to the idea, too safe in your current routine or situation, or you’re reluctant to throw yourself into it.
Dreaming of a Child Being Kidnapped
If you dream of a child being kidnapped, and you are a parent in waking life, this reflects your fears of something terrible happening to them. Like any parent, you want the best for your child, and you hope that they have a good life.
Dreaming of a child being kidnapped when you don’t have any in waking life suggests that you want to help someone in waking life, but you’re not sure how to go about it. You’re worried about offending them, or you fear you may do more harm than good.
Or, dreaming of a child being kidnapped indicates you feel you’ve lost part of you, or you’re outgrowing part of you that you felt you’d never shed.
Dreaming of a Ransom Note
Dreaming of a ransom can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t necessarily mean bad things are on the way, quite the opposite.
If you dream of receiving a ransom note, you’ll enjoy an uptick in your luck soon. Things will seem a lot easier, and any worries you currently have will soon be dispelled. It’s a great sign for your professional life, where things will get easier.
Dreaming of getting out of paying a ransom note indicates you’ll soon be more independent. Maybe the current situation has meant that you’ve had to seek help from others, but it will soon be over, and you’ll feel better once you feel more responsible for yourself again.
However, if you dream of being held hostage and a ransom note is sent, this indicates that you feel too reliant on other people.
You want to be able to stand by yourself and make your own decisions, but you may not be in a place where you have the knowledge to do so. There’s no shame in asking for help, so you can then stand on your own two feet.
Dreaming of Being a Kidnapper
Dreaming of being a kidnapper and holding someone hostage or for ransom indicates there is a major power imbalance in your life.
You feel as though you have no control over your own life, and things only seem to be getting worse. It may be time to exercise a little control, making the smallest of decisions and working your way up into the big things.
Perhaps you need to confront someone about how much control they seem to have over you, or how they may mean the best, but you want them to step back a little. Maybe they’ve become overbearing.
Dreaming of being a kidnapper also suggests that you feel you need people to respect your choices, even if they don’t agree with them. You feel you’re not getting the same respect or trust that you place in other people’s hands.
A dream of being a kidnapper can imply that your behavior is less than ideal. You want things that don’t belong to you, or you feel you cannot obtain by normal means. This will only lead to trouble.
What Do Kidnapping Dreams Mean?
Now that you’re more familiar with kidnapping dreams, hopefully they will be less unpleasant now that you know what some of the most common ones mean.
But what about yours in particular? Every dream is different, and being no closer to finding out the meaning behind your dream (see also How To Interpret Dreams) can be just as upsetting as the dream itself.
Themes in dreams often reflect the same feelings in waking life. Dreams of being kidnapped indicate that you feel confined in some way, where you’re not free to make your own decisions or move forward.
You feel trapped, but you’ve either forgotten exactly how much you are capable of by yourself, or there’s something preventing you from overcoming your obstacles. Maybe you don’t want to let go of a situation because you don’t know who you would be without it.
You might have outgrown your relationship, but it’s defined you for so long that you’re afraid what life will look like without it.
Alternatively, dreaming of being kidnapped indicates that a part of you is ruling the rest of your life. You’ve allowed something to color your every decision, and there’s an imbalance in your life.
Dreaming of being kidnapped also refers to a lack of trust in people. Perhaps someone has broken your trust or taken advantage of you, and you’re struggling to come to terms with it.
Your dream is telling you that you need to find a way to put your faith in people again, and smaller steps will help you do this.
Look At the Details
Even the smallest details in your dream can change the meaning behind your kidnapping dream. Think about who was being kidnapped, and why – if there was a reason within your dream.
What the kidnappers look like in your dream, what they wear and how they act can also shape the meaning of your dream. If a kidnapper showed kindness, perhaps you’re searching for the good in a terrible situation, or you believe that everyone is capable of being good.
If, within your kidnapping dream, there is no redemption or the kidnappers are wholly evil, this dream is drawing your attention to your mistrust of others. You feel things are bleak right now.
Who the kidnappers are in your dream also changes the meaning. If they are strangers, they could represent hidden parts of yourself.
If you dream of a ransom note, the color, the wording of the message and the way it is delivered can also inform the meaning. If the message is in red letters, jagged handwriting, or it is ripped, this suggests you’re struggling with a lot of anger and frustration.
Your Sense of Safety or Trust is Broken
If you think about the event of a kidnapping, someone is held against their will and made to feel vulnerable, and threatened.
Having a dream which involves kidnapping indicates that you feel you cannot trust someone, place your trust in people in general, or you feel unsafe.
Perhaps someone has broken your trust, or shown themselves to be completely different to who you thought they were.
Kidnapping and other unsettling dreams often occur when you are in a transitional period, where you haven’t yet gained a new equilibrium, your home has been threatened, or where you feel you cannot trust someone.
Maybe you’ve had items stolen, or someone has broken into your home, and this dream is reflecting all the emotions that come with it: anger, outrage, fear, and uncertainty.
This dream serves an important purpose of giving you an outlet for these emotions, and it can be your subconscious telling you that you’re not over the situation like you thought you were.
Dreaming of being kidnapped reflects feelings of being unable to control every aspect of your life. There are just too many variables, and when life reminds us of this, it can be difficult to cope.
This dream frequently happens when the illusion of safety has been shattered. There are always things we cannot control, no matter how much we would like to. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, just that you are human.
Dreaming of being kidnapped may reflect how you feel you cannot control a situation, a person, or your own behavior. It also serves as an outlet for any overwhelming anxiety or worry you may have.
It may be time to take a minute for yourself, and focus on what you can control, and start there.
A kidnapping dream can also manifest when you’re feeling vulnerable, or less capable than normal. Maybe you’re going through a challenging time, or a new transitional period, and you’re not sure how well you will adapt.
You may be starting a new stage of life, chasing after an ambition or new career, but because it’s completely new, you’re unsure how you will adapt, and if you’ll make the right decisions.
Or, someone has made you feel vulnerable in some way. Perhaps they’ve demonstrated that you’re not as in control as you thought, and this is a source of stress or worry.
Or, they’ve taken advantage of your good nature or lack of knowledge in a situation, and now you feel a bit directionless.
You don’t know where to go from here. Start with something small, something simple, and work your way through. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track, and maybe much better off than you were before, a little more knowledgeable of what you’re capable of, and a little wiser.
What Does It Mean When You Dream Of Being Kidnapped And Escaping?
A dream of being kidnapped is terrifying, but this fear lessens if you manage to escape. This dream reveals how you will get out of a troubling situation in waking life, one that feels like it has no answer currently.
It points out that you have enough knowledge, skills, and self-belief to get yourself out of any scrape you find yourself in.
What Does It Mean If You Dream Of Kidnapping A Family Member?
A dream where you kidnap a family member implies that you’re struggling to hold onto a sense of control. Specifically, this has something to do with the person you kidnapped in your dream.
Maybe your relative has more control over you and your life than you do, and this is a source of conflict and resentment.
Sometimes, a dream of kidnapping someone you know doesn’t have anything to do with them. Instead, this person is a projection of yourself. Maybe a single aspect of your life has taken over the rest of your life. This dream draws your attention to this imbalance.
What Does It Mean If You Dream About Being Kidnapped With A Friend?
A dream of being kidnapped implies that someone is influencing you or manipulating you to do something you wouldn’t normally consider. Dreaming of being kidnapped with a friend reflects how it is not just you who is taken in by this person, but also someone you love and respect.
What Does It Mean If You Dream About Being Kidnapped And Killed?
A dream like this reflects how hopeless you feel things are in waking life. You suspect that a situation is about to go extremely badly.
Alternatively, a dream of being kidnapped and then killed is a good sign, as unlikely as it might sound.
Death in dreams points to the end of something in waking life, so a horrible situation in your dream ending in death reflects the end of a run of bad luck in your waking hours.
You might soon find yourself on an entirely new path in life, and gain a new perspective that will serve you well in the future.
What Does It Mean If You Dream About Being Kidnapped And Rescued?
A dream where you are kidnapped and ultimately rescued suggests that you need to turn to people you love and trust for support.
If you’ve been going through a tough time lately, while you’ve been doing okay on your own, it’s time to look to your loved ones for help or to recharge.
It also implies that any difficult time you’re currently going through will soon be resolved, probably without your input. Out of the many dream scenarios of being kidnapped, this is one of the best you can have.
What Does It Mean If You Dream About Being Kidnapped By An Ex-Boyfriend?
Dreaming of being kidnapped by your ex reveals that you are not over your relationship with them. The emotional attachment remains.
What Does It Mean When You Dream Your Child Is Kidnapped?
A dream where your child is kidnapped reflects your hope for them to have a long and happy life.
If you don’t have children, this dream reflects your concern for someone and your uncertainty about how you might help them.
What Does It Mean If You Dream About Being Kidnapped And Killing The Kidnapper?
Dreaming of being kidnapped and ultimately killing your kidnapper to escape is a good sign. It suggests that anyone trying to control you will soon find that you’re not that easy to manipulate.