Have you just had a dream where you killed someone? If so, it was probably more like a nightmare and the chances are that you are feeling pretty shaken. You might be scared or even be wondering if you have an aggressive alter ego.
But you don’t need to worry. Even though killing someone in a dream is an extremely violent act, it isn’t necessarily an omen of repressed hatred or aggression. The real symbolic meaning depends on the dreamer, what is happening in their life, and the context of the dream.
Read on to find out about the different reasons your subconscious could have for showing you a dream where you kill someone.
Violent Dreams Have Symbolic Meaning
Before we look at dreams where you kill someone, let’s take a moment to consider the meaning of violent dreams. Dream violence can mean that you are losing your power or moral strength. Maybe you find yourself in a situation where you feel like a victim.
Violence in a dream can express frustration, for example, if there is something that you want to achieve, but obstacles keep getting in your way. It can be symbolic of battling real-life challenges, often either emotional or spiritual. The challenges can also be physical such as overcoming an injury or a serious illness.
What Can a Dream About Killing Someone Mean?
The meaning of the dream varies depending on how you kill the other person, who the other person is, and whether it is an accidental killing. Before we look at specific scenarios, let’s find out what the general interpretations of dream killings include.
1. You Need to Overcome a Past Issue
A dream where you kill someone can mean that you are holding onto anger over something that happened in the past. If you cannot move on, you are in danger of becoming overwhelmed by the negative emotions in your waking life.
Holding on to anger and resentment hurts you more than the person who wronged you. When you are free from negative feelings, you make room for healing and for good things to enter your life.
2. You Are Ready to Let Go of Something
A dream where you kill someone can be a positive sign that you are ready to let something go. It could be an unhealthy habit such as smoking or a mindset that is keeping you from achieving your dreams.
The killing in the dream is a metaphor for the end of an old part of you and a sign you are ready for a transformation. You are ready for renewal, whether it is, for example, adopting a healthier lifestyle, more spiritual practices such as meditation, or learning a new skill.
3. You May Be Unhappy at Work
Have you been stressed or miserable at work? Perhaps there are issues with a colleague or your boss or maybe you just feel bored. If so, then a dream about killing someone could mean you want to leave but cannot see a way out. You might even want to change your career, but cannot for financial reasons.
The dream reminds you that you are in control of your life. Maybe quitting is not an option, but could there be a way to dedicate some time to what you want to do and make the move gradually? Even the smallest steps towards your dream job can make you happier and less stressed.
4. There Might be Someone Toxic in Your Life
A dream about killing someone could mean you need to distance yourself from a person in your life. Perhaps this person only takes and gives nothing back. Maybe they discourage rather than support. Whatever it is, the dream might be telling you to surround yourself with positive people instead.
Who you kill can be significant when interpreting your dream.
5. Killing Your Partner
How is your relationship with your partner? If you have been having issues, then the dream is most likely a reflection of the state of your relationship. You might feel bitterness and anger towards your partner and these are reflected in your dream.
You want to end whatever is causing the issues between you two. The dream is a sign that you need to address it urgently before it is too late to salvage your relationship. Find time to talk to your partner to see if you can reach a mutual understanding.
6. Killing a Family Member
This dream can be a sign of your resentment toward that family member. Perhaps they have been intruding too much in your life or questioning your choices. Maybe they are always criticizing you instead of giving you the approval you wish for.
The only way to solve the situation and have a healthy relationship with that family member is to talk to them. The likelihood is that they hadn’t even realized how they made you feel.
7. Killing Your Boss
The most straightforward interpretation of this dream scenario is that you are having a difficult time with your boss. Maybe you feel undervalued or he/she is not open to hearing your views. The dream could prompt you to have a frank conversation with your boss or to look for new employment if all else fails.
A less literal meaning is that you are not getting job satisfaction. This is the more likely interpretation if you have a good relationship with your boss. Perhaps you need more challenges in your role or a promotion. Again, the first step is to talk to your real-life boss.
8. Killing an Enemy
Did you dream about killing an enemy? Then you might want to prepare yourself for good news, as the dream can be a sign that great success is coming your way. The enemy can be a metaphor for obstacles in real life and killing means you are now overcoming them.
Even though your first reaction to a dream where you kill someone, even if it is an enemy, is horror, you should be happy. Defeating an enemy means you are much closer to realizing your dreams.
9. Killing a Stranger
If you kill someone you don’t know in a dream, it could be a sign that you need to change an aspect of yourself. This can be particularly true if you have been working towards a dream, but keep getting stuck.
The dream is a sign there is something holding you back or you are unintentionally self-sabotaging your efforts. You need to identify what it is, perhaps an old belief or a habit, and once you change that, you build your self-confidence, and achieving your dream will become easier.
10. Killing Someone Whose Face You Cannot See
A dream where you cannot see the face of the victim can mean you are trying to protect yourself from a person or a situation.
When you cannot see the face of the person you kill, it may be a sign that you are facing a challenging situation. Your inability to deal with it means you would rather avoid it completely. The dream’s message is that you can overcome the challenge, but it won’t be easy.
How the killing is done is also symbolic.
Did you use a weapon in the dream, whether a knife, a gun, or some other weapon? If so, the dream could be symbolic of your efforts to change your life. The weapon represents the effort you are putting into it and your readiness to fight for what you believe is yours.
11. Killing Someone With a Gun
If you used a gun to kill someone in your dream, it is a sign of your strong desire for power. You want to feel that you are in control of whatever situations you are facing in your waking life.
The dream can be a sign that you are too preoccupied with gaining power and being in control. The fact is that you cannot control everything in life and the dream might be telling you that you will cause yourself unnecessary stress trying to control everything and everyone.
12. Killing Someone With a Knife
When you use a knife, it is symbolic of an aspect of yourself you don’t like. It expresses your wish to eliminate that personality trait or bad habit. Once you have identified what the aspect is, then you need to improve yourself by, for example, changing habits or meditating.
13. Killing Someone by Accident or in Self-Defense
You might have a dream about accidentally killing a person if you are being criticized in real life. The dream is calling for you to take time for yourself and introspect. Reflect on how you can deal with the criticism and move on.
If you kill someone in self-defense, it is a sign of a crisis you need to face. It could relate to physical or mental invasion of personal space and your need for security. The message from your subconscious mind is to persevere, and you will achieve the sense of security you need.
Scientific Research into a Killing Dream
Researchers in Germany observed the dreams of 400 people to establish a connection between killing dreams and human psychology. Their research showed that people who play aggressive games before bed were more likely to have such dreams. They also proved how powerful emotions such as rage or resentment are portrayed via dreams.
Now you know that dreams about killing someone are not a sign that you have a hidden aggressive personality, you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, you should not ignore these dreams, but heed their messages and act accordingly.
If you keep having dreams where you kill someone or they cause you anxiety, then consider talking to someone. Discussing your dreams may help you get to the root of what is causing them. If you have questions for us about killing dreams, write them in the comments section.