Experts Say Dreaming About Your Boss Can Be A Sign Of Something Much, Much Deeper

And not necessarily about work...

Originally Published: 
Shot of a tired businesswoman napping at her desk with adhesive notes on her eyes

Spending 40+ hours a week with your colleagues and boss can be trying enough, but if that time starts to seep into your personal life with some strange and sometimes, well, personal dreams of your boss, it can leave you feeling a little confused, and even a little embarrassed. However, if you’re trying to get some well-deserved rest, and you have a dream of your boss talking to you, it doesn’t always relate back to work. So what does it mean? Bustle spoke to a dream expert and it turns out it might not be anything to worry about. In fact, it could even mean you are ready to step up yourself.

What Does It Mean When You Dream Of Your Boss Talking To You?

Whether it's an argument with your manager, setting off on an adventure with a supervisor, or erm... getting up close and personal with your boss in your dreams, you don't exactly expect to see colleagues once you have closed your eyes. I know I've woken up on more occasions than I care to admit having had a dream featuring my boss and assuming that there must be something wrong.

If you do find yourself in this situation, professional dream analyst and author Lauri Loewenberg tells Bustle that there's almost certainly some deeper meaning at play. “First, ask yourself if there is a current issue with the boss you need to resolve. If not, then apply the rule of thumb, what stands out about the boss?” she says. “For most, the boss will symbolise your own ability to take charge and make tough decisions: do you need to be more authoritative at home or in a relationship? Do you need to take charge of a current issue and handle it like a boss?”

Dreaming about your boss might actually mean you need to take control of a situation yourself. “If you are having a current issue with your mum, significant other or bestie, they will typically show up in your dream because your subconscious is trying to sort out the issue,” says Loewenberg. “However, we often dream of people we have no issue with, we haven't seen in years or that we don't even know, such as dreaming of a celebrity. This is because, typically, every one character in your dream tends to be an aspect of yourself.”


So, if you are having a dream about your boss, it might be worth asking yourself if they’ve upset you in some way or if there is some conflict at work. Because although while you're conscious you might not be willing to sort it out, you can’t stop your brain from ticking over in your sleep.

Loewenbeg explains, “a good rule of thumb to use, when trying to figure out what that person means in the dream is to ask yourself what three things first comes to mind when you think of this person. Say you are dreaming of Wendy from high school. Say that what you remember most about her is that she was head cheerleader, she was perky, and popular. Odds are, she represents the part of you that is a cheerleader to others, the part of you that can lift others up.”

uDreamed dream analysis backs this up by saying that you “rarely dream about people you don’t feel strongly about”. So whether good or bad, you will have some sort of connection with your boss in order to dream about them.

If you look up to your boss as someone who is a natural leader, powerful, and decisive Loewenberg says this might be because there is some area in your life where you need to adopt these qualities or highlight this part of your personality.

It can be a little disconcerting when you switch your emails off for the night, drop off, and are faced with your boss again but Loewenberg says that if your dream feels completely real it might be something to pay attention to. She says, “in my decades of research, I have found that the more intense the dream, the more important the message.”

What Can You Do When You Dream Of Your Boss?

If you’ve dreamt about action between the sheets with your boss are you supposed to go and tell them? Aside from that being a complete HR nightmare Loewenberg says there are ways to tackle what your dream might mean and keep your job. All you need to do is know what your dream means.

Loewenberg says, “if you are having sex with the boss [in your dream], fear not! That's usually a good indication you are merging those boss-like, authoritative, decision making qualities into your own personality right now. If you dream your boss is sick, in danger or dies, that's a good indication that your own assertive, in-charge self needs help or needs to be revived, for example. If your boss is being harmful or dangerous to others in the dream, then it may mean you are being too bossy somewhere in your real life and you need to step back a bit.”

She continues: “The behaviour and nature of your boss in the dream, even a boss from a former job, will reflect your current boss-like self.” So next time you have a dream with your boss in the starring role, you might need to delve a little bit deeper to figure out what's going on. But it doesn't mean you need to hand in your notice, so no need to panic no matter how graphic it might be.

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