Sunday, 7 December 2014

Interpreting popular dream themes (9) - Naked Dreams

Finding yourself naked or unsuitably dressed in a dream is a universal theme, and one which is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, shame or fear within the dream narrative. Many dreamers describe their 'naked dreams' as a nightmare due to the unsettling nature of being exposed in public. Naked dreams often involve the sensation and realisation that the dreamer is naked in a social environment where those around them are able to see their shortcomings. Up to 75% of people will experience a 'naked dream' during their lives, and can be interpreted as either positive or negative depending on the context of the dream narrative and the comfort level of the dreamer during the dream. Dreaming of being naked in public is the fourth most popular dream, according to dream analysts. 

One interpretation of the naked dream is that the dreamer may be feeling accountable in either their domestic life, workplace or in a specific relationship. Insecurity and fear of rejection is also another cause of many naked dreams. The dreamer may lack confidence and feel 'stripped' of their defences or protection - the clothing as a 'shield' has been removed, revealing impotence weakness or powerlessness and causing humiliation. Additionally, the dreamer may be experiencing a loss of privacy in their waking life, or feelings that they are susceptible to the influence of something they wish to protect themselves from. 

It may be that the dreamer has a secret which they feel will lead to them being shamed if they are exposed or observed in some way. Naked dreams tend to happen when the dreamer is burdened with something - perhaps guilt, regret or shame. They may worry that they will not live up to expectations of them or that they have revealed themselves in a way which leads to scrutiny or judgement by others. There is a strong notion of vulnerability linked to naked dreams. Clothes are a form of concealment and protection from the elements - the dreamer may be aware that they are hiding something and nudity within the dream represents others around them learning or discovering something about the dreamer which they wish to keep under wraps. If no-one else seems to notice that the dreamer is naked in the dream, it may be that the dreamer is magnifying a situation and making it more troublesome than it really needs to be; the dreamer's fears may be unfounded or insignificant. 

Nakedness may also symbolise being caught off-guard or unprepared for something in the dreamer's waking life. Some interpretations suggest that the dreamer may be avoiding responsibilities or afraid of letting go of something. While naked dreams are common during puberty and adolescence, signalling an awareness of sexuality, it is also suggested that they symbolise a longing for lost innocence and childhood - the self stripped of social conditioning and societal norms

If the naked dream is a positive experience, it is thought to represent the dreamer's carefree, open and honest attitude - they are proud and do not feel the need to hide their true nature from the world at large. The naked dreamer is happy to reveal their true self and not hide behind a veil or mask. Nakedness offers an unrestricted freedom. It may also be a sign that the dreamer wants to see the 'bare facts' of a waking situation and therefore needs to strip away the layers and look at what lies beneath. Alternatively, it may be that the dreamer is drawing attention to themselves in a waking scenario, but going about it the wrong way.

Jungian dream theories do not link the naked dream with themes of sexuality or sensuality. Instead, naked dreams may reflect an inflated ego or sense of self - in his nakedness, the dreamer is showing himself to be more than what he really is, although in cultures where nudity is a social norm, the naked dream should not be interpreted as particularly meaningful in itself. Freudian dream interpretation suggests that naked dreams are a form of 'exhibition dream' - where the dreamer's dream reflects suppressed and forbidden wishes from childhood.

Dreaming of naked, sexually desirable dream characters is usually perceived as a form of erotic dream and wish fulfilment, as are naked dreams which also involve sexual activity or the promise of it. 

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