What It May Mean If You Dream About Getting Shot (Sounds Like More Of A Nightmare To Us)

Everyone's familiar with the clichéd dream where the dreamer is naked at school, filled with crowds of people laughing and pointing. Then there are sex dreams, which can either be really fun or really not, depending on the situation. But one type of dream that no one wants to have is one where they get shot or otherwise injured. After all, sleepy time is for relaxing and recharging, not being scared for one's life, right?


However, even upsetting dreams play a crucial role. "[Dreams] help us take the sting out of our painful emotional experiences during the hours we are asleep, so that we can learn from them and carry on with our lives," writes neuroscience and psychology expert Matthew Walker in Greater Good Magazine. Fortunately, a dream about getting shot is not so much a premonition for impending doom as it is a wake-up call of sorts, albeit delivered in a somewhat traumatic manner, as per World of Dreams.

What getting shot in a dream means

Some of the scariest dreams are those that are all too realistic. After all, people get shot every day in real life, but few people actually show up to work or school butt-naked. So when a bullet is fired, it's pretty scary, even if it's only done in a dream. But getting shot in a dream should not be taken literally, as it's actually a metaphor for other things going on in the dreamer's life. The dreamer who's shot may be dealing with feelings of betrayal or a threat in their waking life, according to World of Dreams. It's also common for people with unresolved problems regarding traumatic experiences to dream of getting shot, and people who feel out of control might wind up with the same nightmare.


The mind may be doing you a favor by showing these disturbing dreams, as they can help a person process upsetting things that are happening during waking hours. In fact, a dream about getting shot is probably the brain's way of telling you to take some initiative and make changes, whether that's standing up for yourself in an argument, getting out of a toxic relationship or job, or other upsetting situations. Sometimes, it's all about how you spin it, as a dream about being shot can also be more positively interpreted to mean that you're ready to experience emotional healing, personal growth, or rid yourself of a bad situation. 

It matters where you get shot in a dream

The part of the body that's shot in a dream can also reveal what it is really about, says dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. "As I always say, nothing in a dream is random. Where the bullet hits you in your body is important," she explains on her blog. A person shot in the heart in a dream has probably been hurt by a loved one, so the bullet to the heart is symbolic of emotional heartbreak. If the gunshot hits the head, it could mean the dreamer feels that their intelligence has been attacked, perhaps by a superior at work, or maybe their ego took a blow thanks to the comments of a loved one. A bullet in the stomach, however, could indicate some guilt or responsibility over a bad situation, per World of Dreams.


Being shot in the back may signify the dreamer feels vulnerable, and being shot in the leg can mean the person's mobility feels threatened. This could be literal mobility, but it can also indicate that the dreamer feels trapped and unable to reach the next goal or stage in life. Lastly, someone who dies in a dream of a gunshot might be feeling threatened. On the other hand, it can actually mean that they are ready to close the door on one chapter and start a new one, which is about the best spin possible on an otherwise angsty nightmare.