Whether the anger or aggression is expressed by you, or someone else in the dream, it still relates to your own feelings. It must be remembered that aggression or fear – fight or flight – is a fundamental response to threat. Animals constantly practice aggressive acts, or acts of flight, to be ready for actual threat.
The more threatening our environment becomes or appears to us, the more fantasies or dreams of aggression we will experience. If not that, then we may become passive and withdrawn or hopeless, which is another form of response to external stress or fear of it.
Therefore some dreams of aggression, whether practised against someone else, or upon oneself, may have their origins in external threat or fear of it. Such dreams or fantasies may be a form of preparation, a practising, as with animals, to ready us to defend ourselves or find an escape from the threat or an appropriate response to it.
Aggressive feelings are one of the main expressions of our energy, along with sex, ambition and survival. Generally speaking, it is not wise to hold them back even though they are in an awful and destructive phase. Wherever possible it helps to seek a more satisfying and constructive expression for them – allowing them to fully express in your dreams; or beating a pillow with a rolled up newspaper and allowing your feelings to vent.
Hostility toward society or authority sometimes becomes directed inwards and is self destructive. Introverted social hostility leads to inability to express adequately in the world. This can cause illness and lack of self value. Meeting anger, aggression and hostility in your dreams is healthy, does not lead to suppressing it or expressing it socially.
Therefore it is helpful to consider what the anger is about, what period of your life it dates from, and in what way you can safely express it now. See: Anger; hostility
Many aggressive or hostile feelings arise from childhood experiences, and are, at their origins, directed toward one or both of our parents. But unfortunately in adult life they tend to fire toward someone we have an emotional link with, such as our partner or even ones child.
Useful questions are:
Is the anger in the dream directed toward me or someone else?
If it’s toward me, am I dealing here with anger in myself I am not recognising, or am I sensing the anger in someone I know?
Am I frightened of expressing anger or hostility?
Can I allow a safer expression of my anger?