Reconciliation -or- With A Little Help From My Friends

Jane, 18

In my dream I am with three of my friends just hanging out. (One of the three girls was my best-friend, but we got in an argument and have not spoken since. Her name is Betty.) Back to the dream, Betty apologizes to me and we settled our argument. At that point I felt so happy because I really did miss her friendship. I have had two dreams with Betty and I and in both we forget the argument and start to talk to each other again. Can these dreams possibly mean a reconciliation between me and her?

Mr Hagen's Reply; Reconciliation -or- Forgive and Forget

"To err is human; to forgive divine." Alexander Pope

It was somewhat of a surprise to find that about 1 in 4 dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) had the key word "friend" in it, such as the one below. My own conscious experience with friends started sometime when I was about 4 years old, for which I have memories of interacting and playing with other children. Then again, on second thought, the fact that friends play such an important role in our every-night dreamscape should be of no surprise. The Small world experiment's basic assumption of our social interconnectedness is the conceptual idea of a "friend of a friend". Our social networks are revealed in our dreams and friends play an important role in them. When I have told people (that are more or less the same age as I am), that I have maintained friendships (40+ years) out of my adolescence, many often respond that they regret having lost touch with old friends. Friends drift apart, often because of arguments as illustrated in the dream below. There are many dynamic types of friendships which are reflected in our dreams.

In Friends and Enemies: Our Need to Love and Hate Dorothy Rowe explores the experience and meaning of the divided world we live in, one defined by friends and enemies. Our peer groups often define and influence who we are, our need for acceptance plays an important role in our dreams. Negative peer pressure can cause feelings social rejection for those who do not conform and comply to peer norms. On the other hand, friends and peer support can often help us as a safety net in times of crisis. A study published in the American Sociological Review (June 2006), speculated that Americans were suffering from a loss of quantity and quality of friendships.

From a popular culture perspective, films that speak to modern women's friendships include; Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes and Thelma and Louise. For men, the Toy Story franchise, Wedding Crashers and The Hangover provide the male stories of friendship. TV shows such as Friends, Seinfeld () and more recently Big Bang Theory have attracted large audiences because of our need for friends, friendship and companionship. From a popular music perspective, there are a number of songs that come to mind; James Taylor You've Got a Friend, Bill Whither's Lean On Me, Dion Warwick and Friends That's What Friends Are For and of course the Beatles classic, With a Little Help from My Friends.

We all have differences of opinion, sensibility and taste, these differences often lead to arguments and the separation and loss of friendship and dialogue such as seen in the dream above. Reconciliation of the dialogue of friendship is possible, especially if people would focus on non-violent conflict (argument) resolution. Sometimes an apology is all that it takes to settle an argument or a conflict, sometimes it is important to forgive and forget (as in the dream above).

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.