Keep Dreaming About Being Shot? Here's What It Actually Means + How To Work Through It
Dreams can range from being pleasant to downright terrifying, and in the case of dreaming about being shot, we'd definitely call that a nightmare. But why do these dreams happen and how can you stop having them? Here's what to know.
11 dreams about being shot & what they could be telling you
According to professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg, dreaming of being shot is quite common, though there are a number of different scenarios that can play out.
Generally, she says, the main reason people might dream of being shot relates to feeling victimized, or otherwise on the receiving end of someone elses wrongdoing. Perhaps you feel criticized, insulted, or wounded, she explains, with the gun representing an emotional weapon more so than a literal one.
"When it's used against you, someone is emotionally wounding you—but it can also relate to your ability to fight back and protect yourself from someone else's wounding actions and remarks," Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen.
Depending on where you were shot on the body, where the dream location is, and who shot you, you can dig deeper into understanding what your particular dream means.
Dreaming of being shot in the head
If you dreamt you were shot in the head, that's an indication that someone has said or done something to you that wounded your intellect or your ego, according to Loewenberg. And your head represents your thoughts too, she adds, "so perhaps someone shot down an idea you had, because ideas come from the head."
Dreaming of being shot in the chest
Moving down to heart, dreaming of being shot in the chest or heart area is related to an emotional wounding. Someone has emotionally hurt you, Loewenberg explains, and it feels like you've been "shot in the heart," figuratively. Pay attention to who pulled the trigger and why, as this could indicate where your heart is hurting in real life.
Dreaming of being shot in the back
According to Loewenberg, there are two ways to interpret being shot in the back. One is, of course, feeling stabbed in the back (or in this case, shot in the back) by someone else in your waking life, with this dream indicating betrayal.
In other cases, though, she notes it can also be your subconscious "telling you that whatever issue has you feeling emotionally wounded is something you need to put behind you."
Dreaming of being shot in the foot
Our feet are the foundations we stand on, so Loewenberg says if that's where someone shot you in a dream, you might be having a hard time standing up for yourself in your waking life. You might also feel unstable in your self-confidence because you can't stand up for yourself, or being victimized has left you feeling ungrounded.
Dreaming of being shot in the stomach
If you dreamt you were shot in the stomach, according to Loewenberg, this instance often relates to gut feelings. She advises paying attention to who shot you, and getting clear on whether you have any gut instincts about that person.
It's also possible that this dream relates to being victimized about your weight, she adds, such as someone making a nasty remark about weight gain or how much you eat.
Dreaming of being shot in the hand
Sometimes dreams use wordplay and other word associations to get a message across, with hands in dreams relating to how you are "handling" something in your waking life. So, Loewenberg explains, "If you're shot in the hand, someone in your life has probably insulted the way you handled something."
Dreaming of dying from a gunshot wound
Some might wake up instantly when they're shot in a dream, but if you can feel yourself dying in the dream after being shot, Loewenberg says this can mean there's something your subconscious wants you to change about how you handle criticism and victimization. "Some of us take criticism really hard—we don't let it go. This dream is your subconscious telling you that you need to let this part of you die and rebuild yourself as someone with thicker skin," she notes.
Dreaming of a gun without shots fired
What if someone has a gun pointing at you in the dream but doesn't actually pull trigger? According to Loewenberg, in this case, you're likely feeling under pressure in real life. "You're 'under the gun' so to speak, and the fact that the trigger isn't pulled is important. Is there something you haven't pulled the trigger on yet, or a decision you need to make? You're feeling that pressure," she explains.
Dreaming of a gun fight
In some dreams about being shot, you may very well have a gun too, finding yourself in the midst of a gun fight. As Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen, this dream most often relates to a conflict you're facing in real life. "This gun battle is the way your subconscious illustrates a war of words you've had with someone recently," she adds.
Dreaming of a gun malfunction
If you have a gun in the dream too, but find you can't pull the trigger, Loewenberg says it can mean a couple different things. One, she says, is that you're feeling ineffective somehow in real life. "You're not making any sort of impact, like maybe you didn't pull the trigger on a project," she explains.
But additionally, this dream can also be the way your subconscious is telling you that you're not giving something your best shot. "Whether it's a goal, a relationship, some startup you want to do—you're just not giving it enough of a shot for it to fire off and go anywhere," she adds.
Dreaming of being shot in your home
And lastly, where the dream takes place is an important piece of the puzzle too, and tends to be pretty self-explanatory. If you're shot in your home, for instance, this can indicate some sort of domestic trouble you're facing at home, whether with a roommate or partner. And this logic applies to other locations too, Loewenberg adds (i.e. dreaming of being shot in the workplace would relate to work troubles, dreaming of being shot at a friend's party would relate to friendship troubles, etc.).
How to work through this dream
The best way to work through a recurring dream that you don't want to have anymore is by figuring out how it relates to your waking life. From there, you can take steps to address the issue in real life, and the dream should stop.
Given that dreaming about being shot typically relates to feeling emotionally wounded or victimized, Loewenberg says pay attention to how you felt in the dream. Were you angry, scared, or unable to fight back? These emotions are showing up somewhere in your real life, and were likely present the day before you had this dream.
"If you frequently dream you're getting shot or you're in some kind of gun battle," she adds, "then you have to take a good look at how you're being treated and why you're letting people treat you that way." She suggests unpacking a potential victim complex, or at least, asking yourself why you're consistently in emotional conflicts.
Once you pinpoint what scenario in real life is being mirrored by your dream, you can work on making changes to that situation.
Dreams and their symbolism offer us a unique view into the inner workings of our minds, and if you keep dreaming about being shot, get curious about what it could be trying to tell you about a real life situation—it could be a message you don't want to ignore.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.