As someone who has been a strong dreamer her entire life, nothing has been more hurtful, embarrassing, or rude than when I've started a sentence with "I had a dream last night . . ." and the person I'm talking to rolls their eyes, scoffs, or flat out begs me to stop.
Dreams are so intensely personal and universal. For years I took for granted how easily and strongly dreams came to me. I assumed everyone dreamt as I dreamt and it would be no big deal to breach the subject in casual conversation. Often it's only in sharing the dream aloud that I am able to finally comprehend what the dream was really about.
But I've gotten more than one, shall we say, rude awakening.
Now, I think the first rule of dream sharing should be DO NOT SHARE YOUR DREAMS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT SUPPORTIVE.
But on the other hand, some people just need to be taught how to share dreams properly-- and how to receive them properly.
Here is a quick etiquette guide, a rule book if you will, on dream sharing. For both sides of the sharing. . . it's a lot like grade school people.
Dream Etiquette For Listeners
- Don't laugh at the dreamer or the dream. Feel free to laugh with.
- Don't interrupt. Interruption can sidetrack, way lay, or otherwise diminish a dream and it's message and/or a-ha! moment. On that note:
- Be Patient. Don't expect the dream to follow a linear train of reason. Or to especially have a climax or big reveal.
- Avoid projecting your own interpretations on a dream. Standard dream sharing practice is to preempt any insight with "If it were my dream . . ." thus deflecting your ability to take power over the dream and it's message.
- Ask questions: what did the dream feel like? How did you feel when you woke up? Where did the dream take place? Which details stand out?
- Encourage action: ask the dreamer what they will do next in light of the dream. Ask them if there's anyway it could play out in waking life. What is the dream asking them to do?
Dream Etiquette For Dreamers
- Don't share your dream if the person is obviously not interested. It will just bring you, them, and the dream down.
- Discriminate. Just because you remember seven dreams from last night doesn't mean you need to share all seven. That's what a dream journal is for. Pick the most interesting one to share. The one sticking in your craw. The one just beyond the grasp of understanding.
- Or not. Share the simplest one, funniest one, or easiest one to tell. If you share at all.
- Keep a little for yourself. If you suspect you've had a BIG dream, or sense power in the dream, keep a little to yourself. Not out of selfishness, but out of respect. That dream had to do a lot to get to you. Don't turn around and give it all away without thinking about it first.
- Reciprocate. If you have a friend with whom you can enthusiastically share every single harebrained dream that crosses your psyche, you are truly blessed. Truly. Do them a solid and reciprocate. "Do you remember any of last night's dreams?" is an act of love in my book.
And you can ALWAYS share your dreams with me. *wink*