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This Is A Major Warning Sign You’ve Got A Toxic Person In Your Life

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Sarah Regan

November 11, 2023

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

By Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor’s in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

Image by Saptak Ganguly / Stocksy

November 11, 2023

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Our dreams can give us a glimpse into our subconscious, offering us guidance for what steps we need to take in our waking lives—but only if we know how to interpret the dream in the first place. Here, we’re looking into rats in a dream, what they mean, and what to do if you keep having this dream.

Rats in a dream meaning

Rats in a dream can have many meanings, ranging from a sneaky person (AKA “rat”) in your life, an issue that’s “gnawing” away at you, or even secrets.

According to professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg, cultural associations and wordplay come up a lot in dream symbolism, with the term “rat” often colloquially used to describe a person who would snitch on you, throw you under the bus, or otherwise “rat you out.”

Speaking of cultural associations, Loewenberg also calls out The Secret of NIMH, a popular children’s movie from the 80’s that has rats as characters. “So rats in a dream can represent secrets, because of that association The Secret of NIMH,” she notes.

And when thinking about wordplay, we associate gnawing with rodents, so if there’s some issue or person that’s been gnawing away at you, Loewenberg says rats can show up in your dreams as a representation of that distress. Similarly, when we get bad news, we might say, “Oh rats,” so the rats in the dream could represent disappointment or feeling let down, as well.

However, she adds, only you can understand what rats really represent to you, and if you had a sweet and affectionate pet rat in childhood, the rat could actually represent an aspect of yourself that’s misunderstood.

Here are some more interpretations on rat dreams based on the context.

7 interpretations for rats in a dream

1.

If the rat is dead

According to Loewenberg, a dead rat in a dream would represent some negative issue in your life that is now over. This could be anything from a relationship to an obligation to a conflict—but the point is, it’s done now.

2.

If the rat is biting you

If the rat is biting you in the dream, Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen this most likely has to do with “biting words.” As she explains, “It’s likely connected to you being on the receiving end of someone’s criticism, someone whom you perceive as deceitful, cunning, and in it for themselves.”

3.

If the rat is in a cage

Oftentimes, our dream symbolism actually represents some aspect of ourselves, so if there’s a cage present, it could very well indicate a self-imposed cage that you’re keeping yourself in. As Loewenberg explains, you might be trying to stay tame, hold yourself back, or rein yourself in.

If you have positive associations with rats, however, she adds you may feel someone else is holding you back.

4.

If the rat is friendly

According to Loewenberg, a friendly rat in your dream can indicate that you’ve made peace with someone you formerly didn’t trust—and that person could even be you. “You could be making peace with, or beginning to like a part of yourself, that you previously rejected, and now you’ve begun to reconcile that,” she explains.

5.

If there’s a rat infestation

In some cases, you might dream about an infestation of rats, and in this case, Loewenberg says it represent an amplification of whatever problem you’re dealing with. “In any dream, the more there is of something, the more of an issue it is for you in real life,” she explains.

The infestation could be about negative thoughts infesting in your mind or negative issues in your life, and where the infestation occurs is also a big clue, Loewenberg adds. For instance, the bedroom is about intimacy and romance, while the kitchen is about nourishment and preparing.

6.

If there are rats in your basement

Basements in dreams often represent the past, Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen, so if you’ve got a swarm of rats in your basement in the dream, they could be indicating an unresolved issue from the past that’s still impacting you today.

However, she adds, this dream can also deal with the part of our psyche where we push things down that we don’t want to deal with. “The subconscious gives that area of your mind the form of a basement [in dreams] because basements are subterranean, so this can mean there are a lot of negative issues or negative memories you need to bring to the surface and examine, integrate, process, and learn from,” Loewenberg explains.

7.

If there are rats at work

Last but not least, as you might imagine, rats in your workplace in a dream indicate some issue at work, whether it’s with your schedule, responsibilities, coworkers, or boss. As Loewenberg says, your work responsibilities could be gnawing at you, or you might feel like you’re on the receiving end of biting criticism.

How to work through this dream

More often than not, our nightly dreams have something to do with the day before, so Loewenberg always recommends looking to the previous day for clues to interpret your dream.

“Can you connect the emotion of the day to the dream, as well as the action or struggle in the dream? Because something from yesterday is showing up here,” she notes.

You’ll want to get clear on how you felt in the dream, as well. “If you were overwhelmed by fear or the amount of wrath or whatever was going on, what real life is making you feel that same sense of overwhelm? Or who in real life disgusts you?” Loewenberg explains, adding, “The subconscious is bringing it to your attention because it’s something it wants you to fix.

These are all things you can self-reflect on, and of course, you can always jot down your thoughts in a dream journal (which is another effective way to get better at interpreting your dreams, according to Loewenberg).

Once you pinpoint what scenario in real life is being mirrored by your dream, you can work on making changes to that situation.

FAQs:

What does it mean to see rats in your dream?

What is the spiritual meaning of a rat?

The takeaway

Dreams and their symbolism offer us a unique view into the inner workings of our minds, and if you keep dreaming about being rats, get curious about what it could be trying to tell you about a real life situation—it could be a message you don’t want to ignore.

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