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Dreams of the Phone Not Working

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 25 Sep 2023 | comments*Discuss
Dreams Dreaming Dream Analysis Dream

Have you ever had a dream in which you need to make a phone call and you simply cannot? You may be trying to dial 911 to report an emergency but you just keep having problems with the phone. It almost drives you mad as you keep trying to dial and either you dial the wrong number or the buttons just do not seem to work. You may even find yourself dialing the wrong number or having an operator put you on hold. You may wake up feeling both frustrated and anxious.

Many of our dreams involve a phone, whether we cannot dial a number to reach someone or we get through, but we are put on hold. Understanding your phone dreams can help you recognise what is going on in your life and with those around you.

As might be expected, in our dreams a phone is symbolic of communication. When you dream of using a phone but have trouble, you may be avoiding something or someone in real life. First, you need to determine to whom it is that you need to communicate. In your dream, were you calling a person or a service such as 911? If you were calling a person, think of what communication difficulties you may be having with that person during waking hours. Examine the relationship to see if you are truly being honest with this person about your feelings. Are you thinking of breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but just do not know how to tell him or her? Do you want to ask your boss for a raise, but just aren’t sure how to go about it? All these situations deal with communication and can cause phone dreams.

This dream can also mean that you feel a certain person in your life is not being responsive to your efforts for communication. Is there someone in your life you have been trying to communicate with that is ignoring you? If so, see if you can figure out if it is just a case of them not being interested in communicating or is it perhaps the way in which you are trying to communicate.

Listen to Your Inner Voice
While phone dreams are about communication, sometimes the communication needed may be with yourself. Try to remember all you can about the dream. Were you calling someone, but were put on hold? If you dream of being on hold, it can be symbolic of you ignoring what your inner voice has been telling you. Maybe you have been working too hard and know you have not been getting enough rest, but you ignore any conscious thoughts of slowing down. If you dream you are put on hold, consider re-evaluating what is important in our life and what you can ease up on a bit.

If you dream you are being ignored by a phone operator, again, it may be that you are ignoring your inner voice. You may have been putting off getting help with something, such as a problem like alcoholism or drug abuse. If you have been feeling a weight on your shoulders due to the lack of confronting this issue, seek out qualified help for your problem. Listen to the part of you that is telling you through these dreams that you need help. Usually, your subconscious knows what is best for you!

Dreams of using the phone and it not working can be exasperating, but remember, there is a meaning behind them. Try to see if you are lacking in communication with someone in your life or if you are not being true to yourself in certain situations.

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I keep having the same nightmare, repetitively, I am either being kidnapped or about to be kidnapped or I am, or I see killers around me and I try to call 999 but I never have signal or my buttons aren’t working or they answer and I can’t hear them, so I try to text 999 but the texts aren’t delivering. Someone able to help me stop them? I am ruined everyday with a feeling of unease.
sgs2006 - 25-Sep-23 @ 8:34 PM
I have had this dream multiple times and don't know what it means. In my dream I'm trying to call my mom. I try so hard to dial the numbers but no matter how hard I try I can't. The numbers get jumbled up or the phone isn't working. It's like I'm desperately calling her over and over and I just can't. My mom passed 14 years ago and I don't understand my dream. It's like I'm needing her for something but can't reach her.
Mom - 4-Jul-23 @ 12:15 AM
In my dream I am trying desperately to call my boyfriend of 16 years. I know the number but I can't dial the phone correctly. I end up trying to use other people's phones or giving them the number to call for me. I never get the call to go through.
Crissy - 14-Mar-23 @ 8:19 AM
My nightmares of not being able to use the phone to call for help started when they switched from rotary to push button.
Bootsy14845 - 11-Nov-22 @ 5:41 AM
I had this dream, someone was going to attack my boyfriend I try searching for his number in the phone but couldn't find it. The phone kept popping up unknown contacts. In another dream he saw me standing on the road and walked passed me as though he never knew me.
Agasu - 6-Sep-22 @ 8:50 AM
I had a dream were i received a phone call from my boyfriend, then i picked the phone in my hands i tried to pick but i failed to until the phone hanged up before picking... kindly need your advice what could be the meaning of that dream.
Nique - 10-May-21 @ 1:42 PM
I have vivid nightmares almost every night. Last night I dreamt I was with my niece and parked my car in a stranger’s yard. I got this sled out, attached it my car and put my niece in it even though it is summer. I give her a ride and find a side road and put her back in the car. The road is white but it is not snow. I see a gorgeous beach on the left. Aqua water and white sand I’ve never seen. My ex shows up and then I turn away and my ex, niece, nephew and dog are gone. The area is a prehistoric study site. Throughout the NM I can’t phone out. I keep screwing up the digits. One be one they are. First the ex, no legs, next my nephew, ok but I’m still going crazy because my 9 year old niece is out there and I still either can’t find a working phone in the facility or I can’t seem to dial the right number or my fingers don’t work properly! My niece is found and my dog is on the beach and there is danger buys he won’t come. I go to the beach where there are creatures to get my dog...and the nightmare ends!
Chris - 24-Jan-21 @ 6:41 PM
I’ve just awoke from a 999 call dream. The house was on fire. Started from the roof. Everybody evacuated from the house even a man I don’t recognise? But he went back in and fetched my belongings. Whilst everybody else evacuated only with guitars. I tried dialling 999 Multiple time’s but was faced with various advert To skip before proceeding with the call. Once I had connected to someone it was a woman with broken English and then a man which kept going around in circles. I decided to hang up and the fire went out. I then woke up. Any idea anyone?
Bf - 19-Aug-20 @ 9:16 AM
I have been catching myself more recently, dialing my own phone number and doing it without thought. I will dial the number 2xs before getting the correct number dialed on the 3rd try. I thought it was just an accident but now, I am not sure anymore and life is bad, though not as it could be. What does it mean to be woke and calling/dialing my number subconsciously, while woke?
aira - 21-Jul-20 @ 7:41 PM
my dreams are usually very scattered and depict things that could happen/have happened in my daily life. part of my dream last night involved me thinking that i was still with my ex boyfriend, but i felt like i hadn’t heard from him in a month, so i tried calling him to see if he was okay. the numbers on my phone started looking distorted, my head was pounding and i was stumbling, my phone physically wouldn’t let me call him. in reality, i haven’t spoken to my ex in months. it was a horrible relationship with no trust or respect, and i’m glad i’m not with him, but i’m still hurt and healing from it. last week he texted me out of the blue to ask if he left a bag at my house. he’s moving in with the girl he cheated on me with and couldn’t find the bag when he was packing. i don’t have the bag, so i didn’t reply, but i wanted to.
ken - 10-Jun-20 @ 9:49 PM
I mostly dream about not being able to call 911 most of it has to do with being in danger or afraid and everytime i try to dial 911 i cant get my phone to work and i get afraid and upset..i cant really think of the details but I do remember every one of them trying to dial my mom or 911 and i cant
Jayne - 11-May-20 @ 9:41 AM
The night went on, and continued getting ready for a concert, I tried calling my ex, because she was the person I was meeting up with, the phone was ringing. A woman’s voice answered and she told me, “you can’t make a call at this time and won’t be able to because you are dreaming”. Soon as I heard those words, I opened my eyes, I noticed the street lights coming through my blinds. I asked myself am I still dreaming? Is this even real, i got up, started walking around, as soon as I looked where I was laying, i woke up for the 2nd time, only to wonder, is this in fact reality. I texted my ex, to ask her the question that lingers on my mental. “Is this real life?”, she responded, “yes, yes it is, you have another bad dream”. I think last night was the first night I ever experienced a false awaking, or was it me actually realizing the fact I’ve had them before. I have many questions, because lately I’ve been lucid dreaming more than I’ve ever had in my entire life. I just want to know why.
CousinVinny - 26-Mar-20 @ 8:37 AM
In dream I was going to give my phone number to a girl. But the phone looks thin and new and fancy. It's her phone. So I tried to find my phone but it was turned off. I tried to turn it on and the screen showed some text to ask question that look like what type of phone mode or system. I was trying to decide and I woke up.
Dreamgirl1223 - 24-Dec-19 @ 2:21 PM
For the past several nights I've been dreaming about my car being stolen, vandalized, or having objects stolen out of it like my sons carseat. So I try to dial 911, but I can never correctly dial 911, its always different variations of 9s and 1s Or I'll dream somehow I've jumped too high into the sky and I feel the momentum as I'm falling back down to the ground Or a dog that chases and attacks me It's all odd.
Brbailey - 17-Nov-19 @ 2:39 PM
I had a dream I was trying to call my father (he died 25 years ago).I knew in the dream he was coming home from a vacation but no matter how many times I tried to call him, I couldn't.I didn't recognize the phone I was using, it was rubbery.I was screaming and crying and begging to reach him and saying I'm going to get a new phone.The next thing that happened I was going to my front room.My room mate had invited some colorful guests that were men.I was nude.I said hello and they were smiling and I started saying oh well what the heck I'm nude and said hi.
Gen - 13-Nov-19 @ 10:06 PM
(Added bonus to the two below comments:) While I was rereading these comments of mine on this site, I had taken my computer outside and sat below my outdoor umbrella. It was only 5:30AM, so it was still dark. Suddenly, my laptop mouse pointer starts jumping around the screen. Randomly, it makes the pages larger, smaller, moves all around in crazy ways. I brought the laptop inside and, in the light now, I see that water had been dripping from the canopy above me, right onto the mouse pad. So, while the pointer still crazily jumps around, I dry the pad. Finally, it stabilizes. But now it's not working at all. I can't get out of your web site. Finally, I resort to powering down the computer. As it reboots, I have just enough time to consider I might be dreaming. But I'm convinced I can't possibly be in a dream, no way. Now, I have to suspect I'll spend the rest of my life in some real-unreal dream-state.
Doc - 24-Mar-19 @ 1:59 PM
(Continuation of my comment above)just so believable until I couldn't dial any phones. Next, I get out of bed and leave the room, enter the common rooms of this London hotel suite, where my staff are all bustling about. (Yep, I'm still dreaming and I don't realize it.) I tell everybody to stop in their tracks. "Nobody continues their work until we find my phone, please." Instantly, my phone is recovered. It was charging in some tucked away location of the suite. Glad now, I dial the number to my Los Angeles office. It doesn't work. I think, "Is the country code ZERO one one? Or just one one? Or is it zero four four?" I start to dial different versions to reach the home office. When I start to get the familiar feeling of angst in this task, I think, "Waaaaiiit just a damn minute..." And I wake - this time for real.
Doc - 24-Mar-19 @ 1:09 PM
I often dream of frustrating complications while dialing number on a cell phone. Usually, it's someone else's phone I'm trying to use because I've misplaced mine. These dreams are recurring enough that I've trained myself to 'recognize' that I'm in a dream. Funnily, each time I tell myself, "I must be in one of those 'can't dial a phone' dreams," I'm initially convinced that I certainly could not be. In those moments in my dream, I start looking at things in fine detail like the smudges on the face of the cell phone; I feel things like the surface of the device, the floor beneath me, the air around me; I even take note of the scents around me. All this helps convince me I can't possibly be dreaming. And so then I go back to the irritating task of trying to dial with no luck. This morning, I dreamed the typical phone-dream scenario. For some reason, I'm working out of my hotel room in London. Many of my co-workers are here with me. We're on a video conference call back to Los Angeles, where I'm based. (I have livid dreams - I even remember the spreadsheets we were going through on the screen, even some of the figures that were displayed.) When the call ended, another co-worker enters my hotel suite. He's a late arrival to this London team, from Los Angeles. He shows me a large device, on which he has the trailer to a new game show, about which he's very excited. (It was called "GS2", and apparently it's a reboot of the original "Gong Show", ha!) When I finish watching the clips of this TV show introduction, I try to close the site. It won't close. I use the menu, the options button, the settings - nothing lets me close this web site. I realize the device isn't my phone, it's too big. So the search for my own phone ensues. There are plenty of rooms in this hotel suite, as well, there are plenty of people milling about, yakking with one another. In my mission to locate my phone, I see there's also plenty of others' phones littered around. Each one at first appears to be mine - but, with a little inspection, I realize it's not. Next - my effort to dial my phone number from somebody else's phone, one frustrating attempt after another, one phone after another. I try to convince myself "it's one of those dreams" but I immediately dismiss that notion because "this is real". I reason how I'm in London on business, and I'm in this hotel suite with my staff. I go through the motions of observing the details around me - seeing, touching and smelling everything. As an added measure to really "know this is not a dream", I run through all the names of the people around me at the moment. Then, one name doesn't make sense - she's not a staff member, she's a friend. Why is she here? Because I'm dreaming! Convinced this isn't real now, I close my eyes and tell myself to wake up, repeatedly. Finally, I abruptly suck some air into my lungs and wake in bed. I'm amazed that it all actually was indeed a dream - it was
Doc - 24-Mar-19 @ 1:04 PM
I dreamt I text my mum who had passed away if I can come live with her
Lisa - 24-Mar-19 @ 11:30 AM
I had a dream that there was a old lady laying on the floor, I'm using my phone to call for the ambulance but unable to do so as my fingers are to fat to press the numbers, then I try a phone box, same thing happens and then I use a key pad same thing happens
mjgejag - 2-Mar-19 @ 5:13 PM
I have a dream, I was under a tree and others was around there too and heard an alarming noise and when I turn, I saw a girl running towards my direction, to alarm us of a car running towards our direction so I escaped and the car hit on the tree and the tree begarn to fall and I woke up.
Wise - 7-Feb-19 @ 12:44 PM
Every dream I can remember for as long as I remember involves a phone I need to use but am unable to.The reasons vary from no service,wrong numbers,to just unable to get my fingers to work to even dial. Sometimes its super crazy dream reasons I desperately need the phone & sometimes its just bc I want to talk to someone but I never am able to - the phone never works for me.Every single dream - Guess that says alot about my communication skills eh?Lol geez
Kj - 21-Jan-19 @ 3:48 PM
This kind of didn’t touch back on calling 911-it asked if you’re calling a person or 911- then if you’re calling a person.. list of questions.. no, I was trying to call police for an unwanted female, forget how she came into play and why I was annoyed with her.
Sumbliss - 6-Dec-18 @ 3:38 PM
Mine was about not being able to call a cab. There was a flood and I didn't feel comfortable driving home but I didn't want to be stuck at my old high school (for some reason. I'm in my 30s now) so I was trying to call a cab. I couldnt remember the numbers and I couldn't find the numbers either. I asked people for help but they couldn't remember or help. One could but I couldn't dial the number. So I tried calling my step father but I couldn't find his or my mom's number. Then part of the school collapsed from the flood. Very frustrating dream. My cat woke me so I don't know if I ever got home lol
Sassy - 22-Nov-18 @ 6:31 AM
I had a dream where my stepmom took me but she drove from the passengers seat. and my phone had no service so i couldnt call my dad. then when we got there i could call him and he sounded so upset i took the keys and stole the car. but i also was driving from the passengers seat. And when i tried to call him again literally every noise just stopped and the dream went on in silence i woke up after the noise stopped cause like yikes. (They are currently going through a divorce btw)
Wootwooot - 21-Nov-18 @ 3:21 PM
I have dreamt sporadically about not being able to use a Phone when I really need to .Its almost as if I have boxing gloves on or big fingers - too big to ring the correct number.I frequently get to the last digit - thinking all ok and then it goes wrong again.
Leeney - 1-Nov-18 @ 11:24 AM
i felt like I was hostage and I was in a hospital and there were a handful of doctors in this certain wing that were telling everyone to ignore me because I was crazy when I sad to call the police. my phone didn’t work when I called 911 - it wasn’t the police - but they asked for my name and I told them and they laughed and said thanks for giving me your name but this isn’t 911, I had to ask strangers to call for me but they’d look at me like I was crazy and the doctors would soon catch me and I’d have to run and hide in the hospital and find a good nurse or a patient and try to dial 911 for me... Then I got home to my house but it was bad there too, the same bad doctor would pull up and run to the unlocked doors before I could lock them, this happened serveral times as he would run to a different door and it would always be unlocked... it just kept happening, until one time I locked all the doors except one and as he broke through I had to knock this doctor guy unconscious at the temple.
Dr - 7-Oct-18 @ 3:52 PM
Phones have NEVER worked for me in dreams,and still don't , although I don't have those dreams as much as before.I was always trying to get help for myself or someone else in distress in these dreams.No matter who it was for,the phone never worked.It finally dawned on me what the dreams were a bout.For me the dreams meant quite literally... No one is coming to rescue you.You have to handle your own problems yourself. Don't even try to look for an easy way out. Once I had that realization the dreams ceased.
Diane - 6-Oct-18 @ 3:43 PM
Giggles - Your Question:
I have a reoccurring dream that I'm driving a car, thing is. I'm not in the car, I'm behind it. It's almost as if I'm driving a remote control car like kids play with, except in my dream it's a real car. It's getting further and further away from me and harder to see what I should do, there is a curve in the road and even though I can't see, I keep driving the car around that curve. Sometimes, I just keep driving it blindly untill I somehow know I've crashed, other times I will stop and hope nothing is going to crash into me. I'm always trying to catch up with it to see what's going on.

Our Response:
It seems as though you are looking at your life objectively. Perhaps you know certain situations are going to present themselves and rather than heed warnings or take advice of others you may keep on going towards that situation regardless. In other words, when you anticipate there is going to be a metaphorical car-crash in your life - you keep moving towards it and can almost see yourself from outside of yourself and seemingly do not have much control over your inner emotions. We often think we have control of our lives, but sometimes we can feel more like pawns or puppets of a bigger more external force that gives us little control over our rational selves.
AnalyseDreams - 13-Sep-18 @ 9:44 AM
I have a reoccurring dream that I'm driving a car, thing is... I'm not in the car, I'm behind it. It's almost as if I'm driving a remote control car like kids play with, except in my dream it's a real car. It's getting further and further away from me and harder to see what I should do, there is a curve in the road and even though I can't see, I keep driving the car around that curve. Sometimes, I just keep driving it blindly untill I somehow know I've crashed, other times I will stop and hope nothing is going to crash into me. I'm always trying to catch up with it to see what's going on.
Giggles - 12-Sep-18 @ 7:41 AM
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