Dreaming of being trapped is generally a troubling experience. In most cases, it suggests that something in your waking life is not going as it should be.
Looking at the details of your dream of being trapped can help you identify specifically what in your life is upsetting you.
Trapped Dream Summary
Trapped Dream Symbolism
Dreaming of being trapped can at worst symbolize that there is something dangerous going on in your life. It could also symbolize a situation where you are not in danger of physical harm, but there is an ongoing source of discomfort or frustration.
Either way, dreaming of being trapped symbolizes that you feel oppressed by other people or by circumstances in your life. Often you feel that you do not have the power to change this situation.
Common Dreams of Being Trapped
- Dream of being trapped in a car
- Dream of being trapped underwater
- Dream of being trapped in flames
- Dream of being trapped in an earthquake
- Dream of being trapped by a malicious person
- Dream of escaping from being trapped
Trapped Dream Symbolism
It is important to consider in the interpretation of your dream of being trapped what you thought was going to happen to you, even if you woke up before this outcome happened. A dream of being trapped where the ultimate consequence was that you were going to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced has a different interpretation than a dream of being trapped where you expected to be seriously injured or die.
If you feel that the situation where you were trapped in your dream was very dangerous, this could be a warning that something is seriously out of order in your life.
When you are trapped, usually you feel like you have no ability to get out of it, so dreaming of being trapped would symbolize feeling powerless. This may be associated with a situation where someone else’s behavior is having a negative effect on your life, but you have no control over what they do.
Other dreams of being trapped involve difficult circumstances that are not really anyone’s fault, like natural disasters. Situations like this can actually be harder than those where there is a specific person making your life difficult because there is no one you can confront to try to resolve the problem.
Common Dreams of Being Trapped
Dream of being trapped in a car
If you dream of being trapped in a car, who is driving the car? Generally when you are driving the car in your dream, you have some control over where things are going. If you are driving the car in your dream and wind up trapped in a dangerous situation, this could symbolize that you have concerns about your own judgment or your own capabilities.
If someone else is driving the car you are trapped in, and that is a person known to you in waking life, the dream may be about problems in your relationship with them. You might feel like that person is intentionally bullying and controlling you.
Alternately, you may feel that the person is not intentionally malicious, but maybe they are needy and dependent on you in a way that results in you feeling burdened by them, and you don’t know how to get out of the burden without hurting them.
If that doesn’t sound right, you may feel trapped by something that you feel that person represents. For example, if you dream of being trapped in a car driven by your boss, this may represent that you feel trapped more broadly by your responsibility to earn money.
Regardless of who is driving, dreaming of being trapped in a moving car could symbolize that you feel trapped in a situation where you can’t step back to evaluate whether the path you are on is a good one. You feel compelled to continue a course of action that you have some misgivings about.
Dream of being trapped underwater
If you dream of being trapped underwater, it may help to look at the symbolism of water as discussed in Dream about Water – Interpretation & Meaning. Some of the bigger symbolic associations for water are emotions and the unconscious.
Dreaming of being trapped underwater may therefore symbolize a situation where you have been trying to run from your own overwhelming emotions but can no longer get away from them. You may also feel forced to confront something lurking in your unconscious that you would prefer not to deal with.
Alternately, dreaming of being trapped underwater could symbolize a situation where someone else in your life continually uses big emotional displays to manipulate you into doing what they want, and you don’t know how to get out of this pattern with them.
The term “underwater” is used in a financial context to describe a situation where you owe more on your house or another asset than it is worth, as noted on Investopedia, so dreaming of being trapped underwater could also refer to feeling overwhelmed by financial problems.
Dream of being trapped in flames
Fire is active and tends to get out of control quickly. If you dream of being trapped by fire, this could symbolize that you are affected by a situation in your life where people are acting in a reckless way and seem unable or unwilling to reflect on what they are doing.
Burning at the stake was a punishment used in some societies in the past, and some people today report that they have memories of past lives that ended in this way. If your dream included imagery of this sort, but you don’t feel that your dream has anything to do with reincarnation, it could symbolize that you feel persecuted for your beliefs or your identity in your current waking life, as this was typically the context in which burning at the stake was used as a punishment.
Dream of being trapped in an earthquake
If you dream of being trapped as a result of an earthquake, like if the building you were in collapsed and pinned you under debris, this could symbolize that you feel like you cannot trust your environment to be a safe place. Something is wrong with the basic structures of your world.
An earthquake is definitely not anybody’s fault, so a dream of being trapped in an earthquake can symbolize this sense that no one is in control of events. It is, however, possible to build buildings with some level of resistance to earthquakes, so a dream of being trapped in an earthquake could symbolize a situation where better preparation could have improved the outcome.
For more information, see Earthquake Dream Meaning & Interpretation.
Dream of being trapped by a malicious person
Many of the dreams discussed so far have been about getting trapped in ways that are not necessarily anybody’s fault. If you dream that a person with bad intentions has intentionally trapped you in order to harm you, then that takes things in a very different direction.
In a way it is easier if you dream of a malicious person who has intentionally trapped you rather than if you dream of being trapped by a big wildfire. You can actually confront such a specific person, whether or not you do so within the narrative of the dream, in a way you cannot confront a fire.
If the person who has intentionally trapped you in your dream is someone you know in your waking life, you might have some problems in your relationship with them. If the person who trapped you in your dream is just a creepy stranger, the stranger might represent someone in your waking life who gives you bad vibes.
Overall, a dream of being intentionally trapped by another person definitely asks you to look at your relationships. Another thing to look at in your dream of being trapped by a malicious person is whether there are bystanders and whether they intervene, because bad relationships often do not happen in a vacuum.
Dream of escaping from being trapped
If you dream of escaping from being trapped, this is a great omen that you have the ability to solve the problems in your life. While most people stay trapped because they feel powerless, somehow you have managed to overcome that feeling of powerlessness.
One big thing that often keeps people trapped in bad relationships in waking life is the fear that they will somehow hurt others by leaving. For additional insight on your dream of escape, you might therefore look at whether there were other people involved in the situation in your dream and what your relationship was with them.
When you carefully interpret your dream of being trapped, it can give you insight on what you feel is holding you back in your life. Knowing the answer is only the first step toward solving the problem.