Have you ever dreamed about yourself from someone else’s view and wondered what that means?
Maybe you thought that you were experiencing the dream as someone else, or maybe even as an out of body experience.
This is called a third person dream, or dreaming in the third person point of view, and it is actually more common than you may think.
Often, people who dream in 3rd person say that it’s like watching a movie play out as they watch themselves do different things.
Whatever sort of third person perspective dreams you’re having, we’re here to help you interpret the dream perspective meaning of seeing yourself from someone else’s perspective, or point of view, in your dreams.
What Are Third Person POV Dreams?
Dreams tend to manifest most commonly from two different point of views (POVs).
First person is the most common, with third person being the second most common way that people experience their dreams.
Ashley, a spiritual coach at The Awakened State, defines this type of dream as:
[…] where you witness the dream from an audience viewpoint as a disembodied watcher or point of awareness.
So, dreaming in the third person is basically just watching or seeing yourself in the dream instead of experiencing the dream first hand. So, instead of feeling the soft fur of a dog that you pet in your dream, you instead see yourself petting the dog.
A person on Reddit describes third person dreaming and the experience as this:
Even when I am a character in my own dreams, I’m usually watching myself do things from a distance, like in a video game.
For the reason described above, this type of dream is often called a cinematic dream. This due to the experience basically feeling like a movie playing in your head, where you’re the camera operator instead of the star actor.
What’s really cool about these 3rd person, or cinematic dreams, is that you often experience camera zooms and slow motion shots, just like when you watch a real movie. These types of dream are also often characterized by jumping from scene to scene, just like in the cinema.
Many people who dream in the third person also experience serialized dreams, meaning that each night their dream picks up with the previous night’s storyline or plot. Now you see why these dreams are often called cinematic or movie-like dreams.
Here’s a question to ask yourself if you’re having these dreams – when you see something in 3rd person, is it really like a movie or is it like being there but removed from what is happening? It may be hard to tell the difference. I guess if you feel like you can not be affected by what’s happening, then it’s truly 3rd person removed.
I know I’ve had dreams that shift out of 1st person to 3rd person almost as if to protect me. Like I may be in a fire then suddenly I’m just watching the fire as if it were a movie.
One interesting thing that I’ve learned when researching this type of dreaming is that third person perspective dreams are often associated with the nREM (non REM) period pf sleeping.
Can Your Dreams Change Perspective?
If you talk to anyone who has experienced third person dreaming perspective, then you already know the answer to this question.
Not only can your dream switch between third person and first person point of view, but that perspective can change back and forth several times in a single dream.
Sometimes you’re the passive viewer of the dream, and then suddenly you are experiencing the dream from first person point of view.
My dreams often change perspective back and forth. For example if I am watching the movie in a dream, it’s likely that it will eventually become a dream with me in it as a character, but then it can switch back to me watching the end credits.
Some Possible Meanings of Dreaming In Third Person
There are a variety of reasons why you might be dreaming about yourself in third person. So, if you’re wondering what does dreaming in the third person mean? then let us help you make some sense of it.
You see yourself as equal.
It may be you just see yourself as equal among others. Like your dream gives “fair treatment” to all its characters.
This symbolism seems to coincide with losing a sense of self in the dreams. Like, you’re watching the characters like a camera, but you’re not one of the characters, and you don’t really have a personhood as the passive viewer.
You feel removed from your life.
You may be experiencing feelings in your waking like that have you feeling removed or not part of something, which leads to the 3rd person POV dreaming.
You feel like you have no control.
In your waking life, you may feel like you have no control over what’s happening to you or how your life is progressing – like you’re just watching it happen and can’t do anything about it.
So, what does it really mean for you?
The most important place to start is… how did you feel IN the dream. Feelings in dreams are never disguised, so how you felt IN the dream is how you feel about its subject in your waking life.
Have you had a third person perspective in your dreams? Do you have questions about it? Do you have a cinematic 3rd person POV dream interpretation or meaning that we don’t have and you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
What if your dream is in a POV where you only see what’s happening. I can’t see my body hands or anything. It’s like a virtual game POV.
I had to force My boyfriend wake up scared from his dream because he was screaming and sounded really scared.it took me a while to get him up.it seem like he was being attacked I started to get scared from his screaming and sounds he was making I had to wake him up.when he got up finally he said he had the scariest dream ever.that he was watching himself get stabbed by himself and he actually was feeling himself being stabbed at the same time.so he was doing the stabbing and was the one receiving the stabbing and from far away watching it happen at the same time.so he was all three people.i just need to know what that can mean because that seems like something real serious to me.he felt the enjoyment or relief when he was stabbing himself and felt the pain of being stabbed and was watching it happen from the corner of the street at the same time.maybe you can help us understand what that could mean.
so i’ve never stabbed myself and felt it but i have been stabbed in third person and felt it. it’s a very strange experience where you feel that pain but you’re only witnessing it. i wouldn’t worry to much about it my body literally sends me into 1st person just so i can experience the pain and then kicks me back out, it’s been happening for years. dreams are weird i wouldn’t think to far into it.
I always have 3rd person dreams but I myself am very very rarely in my dreams. Most of the time they’re characters from books or media that I’ve enjoyed. They play out all the What Ifs my brain comes up with when consuming media. And it’s akin to 3rd person omniscient POV in novels so I feel/sense what all the characters in my dreams feel/think if I focus on them.
Its the same for me like i dont exactly see it for me its more or less being immersed in a book
Same! Usually, when I have 3rd person dreams, I don’t see myself. Sometimes the characters are people I don’t know, meaning they are made up. Recently, one of the characters was based off of Morgana from The Little Mermaid 2. That was a little creepy.
From the dreams that I remember at least I’ve only ever dreamt in 3rd person perspective. Like I can see myself interacting with others/objects. I don’t think I’ve ever had a continuation of a dream like described here nor have slow-mo happened.
One particular sequence of dreams I had started in the third person with original characters unrelated to myself, and ofc when it shifted, it still had the same storyline and tone, but completely different logic (as dreams often go), and then the third phase came back to the main logic when one of the characters realized she had to do something very tragic to the other girl to save the world, and the POV shifted to the first person as I became her and reluctantly did what I needed to do, and then I woke up with tears in my eyes. I just thought it was an interesting transition between third to first person.
I had a dream last night that sound like what you described.
It started off with me in the first person, I was on some kind of vacation near a beach resort and was there with a group of friends. These people weren’t people I knew in real life, except for one of my friends named Chelsea who was but she has passed away in real life. At first everything was normal and we were just enjoying vacation on the beach, then in my dream she died somehow. I could feel being sad and was suddenly walking alone down a hallway, then I could see myself walk pass my other self. In my dream I realized that I was seeing myself in third person, I thought to myself wow this is what I look like to someone else. I continued waking since I was already gone. At this point I was watching myself in the dream. I was suddenly in another place, a beautiful spot by the ocean and the sky was blue and I was hugging my friend Chelsea and asking how she was there any how did she feel so real! Then she walked me to this house that was close by and we climb through the attic, when we got to the top and entered it looked like beautify blue sky and green grass and she tells me it is the essence room. All of a sudden I am at the crawl space in the attic and I am watching myself have this conversation with Chelsea from another point of view. It was like the conversation was happening live but when I was watching myself I couldn’t see my friend standing there now. It was like I was watching myself talking to a ghost, I remember thinking that I looked crazy at that point. That was the last thing I remember. I woke feeling very strange and a little sad but also a little happy. Confused why I could two versions of myself in my dream at the same time. It felt a lot like a out of body experience.
Thanks for reading. -Anastasia
Great article, I actually prefer my dreams this way now. It’s a recent phenomenon for myself and I think after reading all three reasons apply to why they started but now I would not want to dream in another way. Outside looking in for me is such a better perspective. I do need to write some down. I honestly wake up thinking holy crop that was awesome story I wish I could keep watching.
I’ve noticed over the past year that I am having dreams where I am detached and just watching. Some of them are funny. Some
Of them are horrid—but I’m detached enough not to be afraid as if I was IN the nightmare. Reading this article reminded me of my dream
Last night where I was actually playing an older character…but only at times. Some of the time I was just watching the events take place, and for brief periods of time I was actually this older character.
Again, the main thing is how dampened my emotions are towards the dream—only rising to the level of knowing what I am watching is not real…or is at least not really happening to me.
I just had the weirdest dream. Basically the whole dream was first person as myself and then I got shot and died and the dream resumed in 3rd person. This freaked me out because in every other scenario you wake up right? But no I died and then saw myself dead but woke myself up after a few minutes. Scary
I had a weird dream for a while I was in first person and a lot was going on first her dad came in and was upset at her for being awake so long then her whole family of 8 showed up and her grandmother told me to stand up and hug her I did she said your not feeling so good are you I said yeah I’m fine and she squeezed me wouldn’t let go till my girlfriend told her too then she looked at her and said that’s all he needed I woke up and fell back asleep then I had a dream that I was at my girlfriends house we went fishing and had a blast I woke up naked on her couch and told her it’s okay I’m dreaming in real life I really have clothes on which I found weird but on the way back to her house after fishing I fainted and I saw my whole body laying in the truck floor I dumped water on me and my body woke looked at me and said that’s not helping so we had the idea to carry my body back in this house and lay it on my body where I was asleep to fall back asleep then my phone started ringing and it said cut , I woke up and my phone was ringing in real life does anyone know the meaning of this dream or was it just random ?? I’m confused and if it had a meaning I really want to know what it was
Now I know more of the story. I had never given much thought to this subject until today. Most all my dreams are vivid and are in the ‘third-person’ version. At times, I go back to 1st person and actually participate in the dream. I sleep about 6 hours a night and usually after 3 hours, I awake, remembering much of what occurred during the dream. A few minutes later, I’m back asleep and have a totally different (non-connected) dream. Dr. Parker, when I read your words:
••”You feel like you have no control.
In your waking life, you may feel like you have no control over what’s happening to you or how your life is progressing – like you’re just watching it happen and can’t do anything about it.” ••
This hit me as though a sledgehammer did. Your statement is spot on. It did not take me long to realize and know this is exactly the primary reason that I dream in third person and I know why. I do love dreaming (most of the time -I get to watch two virtual movies in six hours), however, there are some negatives that come with the package.
That you for allowing your messages/knowledge about dreams to be shared openly.
My dreams have always been in the third person. They’ve never switched perspectives and i have never picked up where a dream left off. I don’t feel anything either, I can feel the feelings of the character I’m watching but never what they are physically feeling. It also is weird in the sense that it doesn’t feel like a movie, it doesn’t feel like anything.
My dream last night was a little different and I’m trying to figure it out. I was not in the dream. In my dream I was a teenage girl named Lizzie. At parts in the dream I was first person as Lizzie, at one point I was first person as another character in my dream (a boy named Craig), and at times I was watching Lizzie, Craig and another character in the dream. At no point was I in the dream at all. It felt very real, regardless of the POV I was in… I was feeling the emotions of the current character, or as I would if I were watching a movie if I were in third person. I have no idea what any of this means except that I have a great imagination.
Side note: I often have dreams that I am not a participant in at all, where I am someone other than who or what I am. Sometimes not the same gender or nationality.
Removed from my life, out of control. Bravo, incisive, no pulling your punches. But aren’t we all? Isn’t being in control as much an illusion as the concreteness of (1st person) selfhood? Then again, anyone in my dreams (guardian angels, monsters, heroes & creeps) is obviously Me, an aspect of my totality, who has something relevant to convey.
Not just 2 full feature films a night, but the best producers,directors,script writers & actors just tailor made for me, and all I have to pay is attention.
I always dream in third person, however, I am always in control of myself. I can also feel pain that I see being inflicted on myself. For instance, a few nights ago, I dreamt that a scorpion was stinging my hand and I could feel the physical pain, so I then realized it was a dream and something was probably stinging me in real life so I woke myself up. Nothing was stinging me so it was just mental. Also, sometimes I can fly or breathe under water. Lastly, my dreams take place sometimes in the same house that I’ve never seen, but it’s mine. Dreams are strange.