If you’ve ever had a dreams about running and hiding from someone chasing you, keep in mind that this is a very specific dream.
A lot of people mistakenly assume that the meaning of this type of dream is the same as that involving running dreams or hiding dreams. Some would even confuse seeing themselves as a fugitive in their dreams about running and hiding from someone.
This is a very specific dream with a very rich nuanced context. It cannot be easily confused with other types of dreams that may have similar motifs.
Please read the detailed interpretation below to see the proper context of your dream.
This way, you’re more likely to have a more accurate reading of what your nighttime vision is about.
What Does It Mean When You Dream About Running and Hiding From Someone
This is a very exciting and action-packed dream. In many cases, it seems like you’re watching a movie.
Not surprisingly, when people wake up, they feel uneasy as their heart races and their mind is unsettled.
The truth of this dream involves context. You have to pick apart the different pieces and look at the other aspects of the dream scenery to put together a workable interpretation.
The big temptation here is to give in to the excitement and sense of urgency of this dream, and automatically assume that it’s just all about running or all about hiding from someone or some sort of concealment.
It is much richer than that. But if you’re not careful, it’s more troubling than that.
Pick apart the different motifs I’ve outlined below and piece them together to fit the specific circumstances of your dream. This is the best way forward when it comes to coming up with a realistic interpretation that is more likely to be accurate.
Why Do People Dream About Running and Hiding From Someone?
Where does this urge come from? This is not an unnatural urge.
If you’ve ever played hide and seek when you were a kid, you know that there’s a thrill involved.
When the person who is “it” is looking for people hiding, you can’t help but get excited.
You don’t want to be found out. You want to stay as hidden as possible.
You’re thinking to yourself: “Why did I pick this hiding instead of somewhere else?”
You’re also running different scenarios through your head as to which places are better hiding places or if the person who is it is more likely to pick to find somebody else.
There’s all sorts of things going on in your mind and these don’t come from nowhere. They have a prehistoric origin.
Think of your long distant ancestor, hiding behind the tree, and there’s a saber-toothed tiger on the prowl, looking for prey.
There are other prehistoric people around hiding in fear for their lives.
This type of dream speaks to your survival instinct. We all have this instinct.
Otherwise, if our ancestors did not have such instincts, we wouldn’t be here. Their genes would not have been passed on to us.
No matter what country we come from and what we look like, we all have these instincts seared into our DNA.
When you dream of running and hiding from someone, this is what is triggered: your sense of survival — not just in terms of physical survival but also spiritual and emotional.
It grips your complete being.
You want to preserve what you have. You want to hang on. And you want to continue what you’re doing.
But it’s under threat! It’s under question.
By checking out the contexts below, you can get a good understanding of why and what you can do about it.
Why Are Survival Dreams So Common?
This is a psychological relic of being chased by some sort of wild animal.
But when it comes to our modern existence, the wild animal has morphed into our past, certain people, what people think of us, or our regrets about opportunities that we took and the ones we didn’t.
The wild animal can also relate to things we did that we’re not all that happy about.
Regardless, being chased by a wild animal that has the power to kill you creates an emotional overhang. This is our brain’s way of simulating some external danger.
We can’t quite put our finger on it, but we are engaged to the point that our survival instinct is triggered.
If you have such dreams in succession, your subconscious is preparing you for how you might react in real life.
Now, this doesn’t mean that this is the way you should respond, but your brain is priming your mind to be aware of how you normally might be expected to act.
This is why this dream is so common. It is mental preparation for challenges up ahead.
It is absolutely necessary, but it doesn’t have to take this form.
You can prepare in a wide range of ways.
Still, seeing yourself running and hiding from someone that might kill you gives you a sense of urgency.
Your mind is telling you: “This is not a joke!”
There may be things that you have been putting off or overlooking but none anymore.
You cannot continue to sweep these things under the rug because pretty soon, it’s payback time. It’s showtime.
You have to show up and you have to be ready.
What Does It Mean to Dream That You Are Being Pursued?
Now, please understand that there’s a big difference between running because you’re being chased and dreaming that you are being pursued.
You could be walking and then there’s somebody pursuing you. This in turn is different from walking and then somebody stalking you.
You can’t tell that they’re there. They’re deliberately hiding because they want to pop a surprise on you.
Know the difference!
In this context, you are being pursued. It doesn’t mean that you’re running.
What this dream normally means is that your subconscious is detecting pressures from your waking life.
Maybe these involve your duties, responsibilities, or your roles.
But they are beginning to have an overhang in your dreams. You can’t avoid them anymore because they’re following you in your dreams.
Your subconscious is telling you that you have some sort of fear or anxiety regarding a certain aspect of your waking life.
Maybe your relationship isn’t going all that well.
Maybe you feel that your job is going nowhere.
Or your educational experience is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Whatever the case may be and whatever the reality is, one thing is indisputable. You’re fearful, anxious, or worried about these things.
There is a sense of threatened loss but you can’t quite identify it.
Maybe you’ll drop out of school. Maybe you can’t get hired. Maybe your relationship will break up.
You don’t know where it’s coming from and what shape it will take.
No wonder you feel like you’re emotionally, slowly slipping. Before soon, you might feel that you’re out of control and this is all threatening you.
What your subconscious is telling you is to wake up to these realities and face them head-on.
Don’t assume that somehow, someway something will happen and everything will fall into place. Things rarely work out that way.
You have to step up. You have to confront. You have to make sense of things.
Try to Remember Who You Are Running From in Your Dream
It would really be helpful if you have a dream of running and hiding from a pursuer to identify that person. If it’s an animal, identify what kind of animal.
The key here is to be clear on the characteristics of the person or thing that appears in your dream.
Try to connect the dots. How were they related to your waking life?
For example, if you’re being chased by your boss, this can indicate issues at work.
If you’re being chased by the ex-boyfriend of your current girlfriend, this can indicate your insecurities regarding your relationship.
Whatever the case may be, identify the pursuer because this might lead to interpretations involving burnout, relationship stress, anxiety regarding your career or educational choice, or problems in your family.
There are many different directions you could take, but you have to try to remember who is chasing you.
What Does It Mean When You Dream About Running?
If your dream’s main focus is of you running and you can see your sneakers or running shoes, chances are, you are focusing on your reaction to certain issues in your life.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but your subconscious is telling you to be clear as to how you handle threats.
How do you stand up to intimidation? Or do you stand up at all?
In this context, there’s no need for a chaser because, at the end of the day, your subconscious is trying to tell you to do some sort of self-audit or make some sort of self-assessment.
How do you stand up to internal stresses?
Because eventually, you might have a dream where somebody is chasing you.
Consider this dream where you are the focus as some sort of mental preparation for what may possibly lie ahead.
Why Do People Dream About Being Chased by a Stranger?
There’s a big difference between being chased by a stranger and chased by somebody you know.
For example, if you’re being chased by your father, there can be certain issues regarding your family relationships.
Maybe you have an issue with the authority of your father or you have mixed feelings about certain childhood memories.
But if you’re being chased by a stranger, your subconscious is telling you that this is a proxy for yourself.
Absent any other contexts, being chased by a stranger can indicate that you need to take some time off for self-reflection.
Does this mean that you have to go on a vacation or go on a retreat to some sort of exotic locale?
Maybe you just go to your nearby coffee shop and grab yourself a cappuccino and just give yourself permission to zone out.
Focus on yourself.
And without being obvious, maybe focus on your breathing or what you’re looking at. And oftentimes, by quieting our minds, our emotions slow down as well.
And when you sense that emotional fog lifting, things start to fall into place.
This is not going to happen overnight so don’t rush it.
Still, the key here is to give yourself the opportunity to know yourself better.
You may be thinking to yourself: “Well, I don’t have time to do that. I’m too busy or I don’t have money.”
Well, there are many things that you can do. You can go to a park or some sort of open space and just chill.
Think of this as an investment.
If you think that you have to constantly chase after your goals or attend to other people’s needs, eventually you will run out of steam. This is especially true if you are the emotional and physical as well as financial caregiver of your family.
At some point, you will run out of things to give out because you have not taken the time to give to yourself first.
What Does a Dream of Being Chased by an Animal Mean?
As mentioned above, animals especially wild animals indicate a primal instinct for self-preservation.
In many cases, you don’t even need to identify the animal. You just need to see its shadow and it’s enough to trigger this fight or flight response.
It is wired into your very being. You can’t fight it.
So the key here is to understand that it is natural to be intimidated. It’s natural to be fearful in this context.
You have to get a hold of yourself and ask: “What kind of resources do I have available? Can I take a stand? What do I know? Or am I assuming the worst?”
An alternative meaning to this type of dream is that some powerful people are trying to intimidate you.
In reality, they are only powerful because you believe they are powerful. They are only as scary as you give them permission to be.
Unless they are associated with the police or the military, they really can’t physically harm you legally.
Another alternative reading of this dream imagery is that someone is trying to get you to change your decision about something. They are using fear of loss or fear of you losing your safety to whittle away your resistance.
Don’t let them do it.
Dream Of Hiding After a Chase
If you see yourself hiding behind some sort of pillar or structure after someone or something chasing you, your dream is telling you that you’re not doing yourself any favors.
You’re avoiding people because you don’t want to confront them head-on.
You may be avoiding issues because you don’t want to be bothered with thinking deeply and possibly getting in touch with your feelings.
Maybe you’re afraid that you may revisit traumatic feelings and issues that you feel would do more harm than good.
Whatever the case may be, you are just simply avoiding these, and this is just a form of self-delusion.
Your subconscious is telling you to step up and be an adult. You need to face your fears because they will always be around.
And worse yet, they’ll continue to grow in power unless you turn around and stare them in the eyes.
What Does It Mean to Be Chased by a Friend or Loved One in a Dream?
If the person chasing you is someone you know really well in life, your dream is telling you that you are just simply being too hard on yourself.
Your expectations of those around you are not realistic so you either obsess about them, worry about them too much, or refuse to let them grow up in your head.
It also leads to a sense of resentment because here you are with your stilted or immature way of dealing with them.
But in reality, they’re living their lives. They’re growing up. They are dealing with reality as they see fit.
But in your mind, they are stunted. They are frozen in time based on how you choose to caricature them.
So you come up with all sorts of unrealistic expectations and when they disappoint you on these (which they will do), you become resentful.
This is the classic example of “familiarity breeding contempt.”
Don’t do it!
It’s not fair to them, and it’s definitely not fair to you.
What Does It Mean to Be Chased Through a Maze-Like Area?
Chances are, if you just watched The Hunger Games on Netflix, you probably would have this type of dream.
But even if you didn’t, you might see shrubs or like a park layout or even some sort of walled interior space that acts like a maze.
You are running through it, solving the maze, while at the same time your chest is pounding because the person or the animal chasing you might kill you.
This elaborate dream image simply involves feeling stuck in a certain situation.
Maybe you have a job that you hate.
Maybe you’re in a relationship that you feel is stuck. You can’t seem to take it to the next level.
Maybe you love somebody in your family, but you refuse to change. For example, your mother is an alcoholic or your father is a drug addict or a womanizer.
Whatever the case may be, you’re feeling stuck in an impossible situation.
Your subconscious is telling you that as you try one end or turn of the maze after another, the answer doesn’t lie with them.
They are who they are. It is what it is.
Maybe the answer involves your assumptions and expectations. If you were to change these, you may start acting differently and this could have a different effect on those you’re trying to reach.
What Does Being Chased by a Faceless Stranger Mean?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, a faceless stranger can be a proxy for your own self.
But it can also indicate generalized anxiety.
Whatever the case may be, when you focus in your dream on the fact that the stranger is faceless or alternatively wearing some sort of mask, this can involve your subconscious’ growing awareness that you have bad coping mechanisms.
It takes quite a bit of maturity to admit to yourself: “I just coped with certain situations in the worst way possible.”
But the good news is the moment you acknowledge this, then the solution is possible.
You know it’s bad. You know you made the wrong choice.
Now, you can choose a better one.
What Does a Chaser Brandishing a Weapon Mean?
If your chaser is showing a gun or a baseball bat or some sort of knife, what your subconscious is going through is just entertaining the worst-case scenario.
Now, you’re probably thinking: “That’s is cold comfort. I still wake up in a sweat. This is scary.”
Well, you might want to look at your assumptions.
The problem is when you are so gripped by the fact that the person chasing you in your dream is carrying a weapon, you just make all sorts of assumptions.
It is the worst-case scenario. You’re about to die. You’re trying to save your life.
What’s wrong with this picture?
That’s right! You are unwilling to stop, observe, and think things through.
Remember, it’s a dream.
When you turn around and examine what’s really happening, it might turn out that they’re not holding a weapon. They may not even be chasing you.
There are many other interpretations, but your mind is not grasping any of these because your assumptions are undermining you. You’ve already assumed the worst case.
What Does It Mean to Dream Of Chasing Someone Else While You Are Being Chased?
Your subconscious is playing a trick on you to highlight your personal hypocrisy. You ask others to live up to one standard, but you don’t apply it to yourself.
You also don’t apply it to a certain select people.
This usually happens to people who are constantly comparing themselves to others.
When they go through their Facebook timeline and they see that somebody’s loved one is sick or somebody is doing a GoFundMe campaign because they’re trying to bail a brother or sister from jail or they’re facing some other unfortunate event or setback, the first thing that runs through this person’s mind is “at least I’m not like that person.”
You’re miserable but your misery is relative to others, and you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others. Eventually, this will break down.
Your subconscious is telling you: “This is not sustainable because you are becoming the worst version of yourself.”
That’s not how you deal with comparison. You deal with comparison by comparing yourself to yourself and rising to the highest version of yourself.
What Does It Mean to See Yourself as the Chaser?
If your dream of running and hiding from someone involves you as the chaser, this is actually a very powerful and positive dream.
Your subconscious is telling you that you do have the inner power, strength, and integrity to drive relentlessly toward a goal and achieve it.
But here’s the catch.
When your mind’s eye focuses on you as the chaser, your subconscious is telling you that while you are driving towards a goal, deep down inside, you know that it’s out of your grasp.
It’s not obvious but it’s just out of your grasp. Only a few inches would’ve spelled the difference. There’s just a few missing pieces and all the success would’ve been yours.
Your subconscious is telling you that you have what it takes to succeed but you just need a few missing pieces. A lot of the time, this involves patience and empathy.
How many times have you gone close to a goal, but somebody else eventually reached it?
It isn’t that other person. It’s you who has a problem.
They didn’t beat you to it. You beat yourself or slowed yourself down.
What Does It Mean to Chase Someone and Then Stop to Gasp?
If you’re seeing yourself as the chaser in your dream and then you stop to catch your breath, this dream imagery represents your anxieties about your desires.
You’re asking yourself: “Am I really chasing after the right goals?”
Oftentimes when people find themselves in this situation, they focus on the obstacles that get in the way of the goal.
Let me clue you in on a very important truth.
If you take your eyes off your goal and start focusing on what stands in your way, those obstacles become bigger and bigger.
If you are not careful, this constant second-guessing will make your obstacles seem so big and strong that you rob yourself of victory — not just once, not just twice but every single time.
Pretty soon, you start doubting your goals and then you also start doubting your ability to run after your goals.
So you choose a comfortable prison. A lot of people take this path.
When you look around yourself and check out other people, they all have the opportunity and the potential to become great.
But they don’t take that opportunity. At some point, they stop.
Now is your turn. Are you going to make the same choice?
What Does It Mean to Be Chased by Your Father?
When you’re being chased by your father, the only thing that you can be sure of in your dream is that it is your father.
This dream involves authority issues. Your father tells you to do certain things or gives you certain advice, not because they want to give you a hard time.
I found this out the hard way.
When I was younger, I thought my dad was the biggest jerk in the world, and he was just hell-bent on making my life miserable so I made mistake after mistake when I didn’t need to.
I only needed to listen to him. But my pride would take none of it so I continued to screw up.
And things only began to become clear when I myself became a father.
Understand the power of authority. There is a good purpose behind it.
A lot of people chafe adult authority. That’s perfectly fine when you’re younger.
But view it in context.
Understand that there is wisdom behind it. It isn’t repeated for thousands upon thousands of years for no good reason.
Another dimension to this image of being chased by your father is the ambivalence of becoming your father.
Again, I learned this first hand.
But now that I’m older, it would be an honor indeed if people mistake me for my father because as I get older, I appreciate his wisdom more.
So look at this image of you being chased by your father, not as a scary motif for your personal issues about authority. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to grow up.
What Does It Mean to Be Chased by Your Mother?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman. When you’re being chased by your mother, you have issues with your intuitive side.
This is the part of you that seems to make sense and seems to draw a lot of its persuasive power from your lived experience.
You can’t quite put your finger on it. You can’t quite articulate it.
But you know it’s true, it’s real, it’s powerful.
And it also scares you. In fact, it scares you to the point that you confuse kindness with weakness or vulnerability.
There is a big difference between those things.
Trust your intuitive side more. Allow yourself to be nurturing.
Stop thinking that for your slice of the pie to get bigger, somebody else’s has to get smaller and vice versa.
You can give and walk away more fulfilled and more complete.
Oftentimes, the only way to gain is to let go and give, give, and give some more.
This doesn’t make you a martyr nor does it make you a sucker.
Instead, it makes you human, one that’s worth loving and caring for.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.