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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi im just writing a post to ask if anyone has experienced people with an irrational fear of rats?

My new girlfriend is absolutely terrified and wont be in the same room with them if they are out.

Ive tried holding them and showing her they dont bite , they have NEVER peed on me (that ive noticed) they arent particularly skittish.I just wish she could chill a bit and relax when there out because I dont wanna punish my rats by not letting them out when shes round , I dont see why I should !

Ive thought about dressing up as a giant rat , then hiding and scaring the **** outta her as a kind of therapy so shes not scared of the little ones but have decieded this may not be the best idea ive ever had...

Any other ideas?
 

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My father hates them with a passion. But besides him, I haven't met anyone else who was completely terrified of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just cant understand it , to me they are one of the cutest animals I know of...
 

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my father and my best friend hate rats too. however, with a girlfriend/boyfriend it should be a case of "love me, love my rats"... and in your case, if she doesnt like them, its her problem. tell her she doesnt have to have them at her place, but as your ratties are your ratties and live in your place, they have the run of the place when they're free-ranging.
 

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As a person with some irrational fears, I would say please don't purposefully force the issue on her. It won't be therapy, it will be trauma. If she truly can't deal with your rats, then I would suggest you guys probably aren't for each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Katherose said:
As a person with some irrational fears, I would say please don't purposefully force the issue on her. It won't be therapy, it will be trauma. If she truly can't deal with your rats, then I would suggest you guys probably aren't for each other.
Thats quite an enormous assumption. I dont particularly like spiders but if a girlfriend I liked had some as pets id see that as a pretty minor issue to deal with.

And as for the dressing up as a giant rat ? get a sense of humour !

Jeez
 

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Gary26Uk said:
Katherose said:
As a person with some irrational fears, I would say please don't purposefully force the issue on her. It won't be therapy, it will be trauma. If she truly can't deal with your rats, then I would suggest you guys probably aren't for each other.
Thats quite an enormous assumption. I dont particularly like spiders but if a girlfriend I liked had some as pets id see that as a pretty minor issue to deal with.

And as for the dressing up as a giant rat ? get a sense of humour !

Jeez
"don't particularly like" and "is terrified" are two completely different things in my book. If someone's a little squeemish about rats, that's one thing, but if someone is honestly truly scared of them, that's another altogether in my book. I don't mean to be assuming so much, but you said "irrational fear" and "terrified" which says to me that this goes beyond "don't particularly like."
 

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I can understand the trauma comment. I am terrified of heights. If someone pretends to push me off someplace high it is not funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Come on guys seriously.Did you honestly think I was going to hire a giant rat costume , hide in a cupboard for several hours , then leap out squeeking all in the name of therapy ?

Some people have no sense of humour ! 8O
 

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Gary26Uk said:
Come on guys seriously.Did you honestly think I was going to hire a giant rat costume , hide in a cupboard for several hours , then leap out squeeking all in the name of therapy ?

Some people have no sense of humour ! 8O
Clarification. I wasn't necessarily talking about the costume. I was talking about the situation in general and you trying to get her to like them when she obviously doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok so gently trying to persuade her that there is no need to be afraid of rats isnt acceptable ?

I think you should do some research before posting.

The only way to deal with fear is to confront it and learn about it.Its a fact.

Im not throwing rats at her , im not locking her in a room with them , im simply trying to educate her in order to make her and my life easier and was looking for constuctive ways to help her overcome her fear.Not negative and presumptious comments about my relationship , thankyou very much.
 

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my cousin and my aunt are afraid of rats-- but as long as they are in the cage they are fine with them. My dad has never seen them--- but he doesn't like them, in fact my dad thinks both me and my sister are crazy for having rats--- he just doesn't understand
 

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Gary26Uk said:
Ok so gently trying to persuade her that there is no need to be afraid of rats isnt acceptable ?

I think you should do some research before posting.

The only way to deal with fear is to confront it and learn about it.Its a fact.

Im not throwing rats at her , im not locking her in a room with them , im simply trying to educate her in order to make her and my life easier and was looking for constuctive ways to help her overcome her fear.Not negative and presumptious comments about my relationship , thankyou very much.
I apologize. I have been in counseling off and on for several years trying to cope with my fears. Please keep in mind, though, that tone of voice cannot be communicated through text. When you first posted, I had no way to know whether you were serious with your idea of forcing the issue or not. When you said to "get a sense of humor," I thought that that was in relation to you doing it to her, not in relation to you getting a laugh about the absurdity of it from us. Again, I apologize for my assumptions.
 

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alot of people our afraid of rats but alot of people when tought more about rats they can sorta lose thier fear of rats it is just like the fear of other animals
 

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I think it really depends upon the person.

My mother started out "hating" rats (by reputation,) and, over a couple of years, has grown to the point where she will approach their home, speak to them, tell them they're "cute boys," and even be in the room - albeit, across the room - when I take someone out and hold them. She's come a long way.

On the other hand, in a few days, my 85 year old Aunt is visiting from Chicago. We talked on the phone, and I asked her if she would hate my rats, and she said an emphatic, "YES" right away! :lol: Then she continued, though, that she felt bad saying what I could do with my pets in my house. I put her at ease, telling her that my boys ALWAYS stay in my room, and usually in their house in my room. I said that, after all, my room wasn't that fascinating, and, if she preferred, she didn't need to go in there at all. She was quite relieved, and I'll bet she never goes in my room at all.

So, figure out how your girlfriend really feels. If she agrees to come into the "rat room" as long as their home (cage) is locked, that's a start on the road to acceptance. Then, she might notice (or you might point out) some "cute things" that rats do.

If she truly is terrified, though, then don't force them on her...it's her loss for not sharing in your rat family, and besides...you don't want to make her uncomfortable.

As for the giant rat costume, this is me, with Big Boy Gus:
 

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you need to figure out where her fear level really is. i have a grandmother taht gets squimish if i even talk about my rats she's that afraid. she won't come visit me because i have rats in the living room that i can't hide from her. i accidentally ran into a person that had a very high fear of rats once as well. she was across the room from me, saw the rat on my shoulder and went into hysterics. for these people there is no coming round to ratdom. i've had others that thought they were creepy but weren't really afraid and they were able to come around. and of course there are levels in between.

so long as she isn't like my grandmother, or starts to cry or get very upset if you say you are going to take them out then i think you might be able to help her get over it just by talking about them and letting her watch them while they are in their cage.

if she stays over for a while and you need to have free range time with your rats, tell her to go watch tv or find something to do for a while, while your rats get their exercise.

but if she is like my grandmother or gets upset about the idea of them coming out of the cage while she is there realistically, you may not be the best match. from what i've seen on this site you are very passionate about your rats and i can't see you rehoming them to save someone's feelings, nor should you have to. i also can't see you not having rats, but perhaps i could be wrong there. however, girlfriends come and go too. they are the world to us while we have them but when we let them go, we get over them, shift them to a friendship position and move on. its not something you have to feel guilty over either. rats are such a part of my life that i use them as an early test to see if this person is right for me. if they can't at ;east tolerate the rats that i don't have to feel bad about my interactions with them then they aren't for me and i stop dating them. luckily i have boyfriend that is a closet rat nut (there's nothing cuter then seeing a full grown man coo over and zoober a little rat baby).

if you like you can look at this way (the way that i see it). imagine you have a child and the person you are dating doesn't like your child. you wouldn't keep dating that person would you? i know i wouldn't. i'm a package deal. that means when dating me, you don't just get me, you get my son,rats, cats, bunny and all mine and their quirks. you don't have to love everything or everyone all the time but you do have to at least like it all.

having said all that though i hope you and girlfriend are able to work this out and enjoy your rats together.
 

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You said she won't be in the same room as them if they are out right...

If I were you I would find some excuse to leave her in the room with the cage, while you go off to do something (so if the cage is in the front room, and she is ok with being in there, go off to make dinner) if there is not much distraction she will probably start to watch the rats, and slowly over time she might start talking to them (that's when you know you're getting somewhere). Once she starts paying them attention inside the cage, find a reason to get just one out briefly (oh I just need to give rat some medicine, do you mind or would you rather leave the room) time this right (in the middle of her fave soap for instance) and chances are she will stay.

I would say baby steps, letting her feel she is in control of the process will work best. She may never be a rat fan, but I'm sure she will learn to tolerate them :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi , thanks alot for your replies , especially Twitch , you made alot of sense.
Ive had a talk with my girlfriend about my babies and she says she doesnt mind them , "its just their tails" lol
She still doesnt like it when I get them out to play on the sofa and kind of watches them nervously as they play but im sure its not a full blown phobia.
Ill just have to see how it goes I guess.
 

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i'm glad i was able to help. it sounds like she's not really afraid of them so much as they are just something she is not used to an dhas heard some bad things about. i have converted many people into liking rats who have started out "its their tails". hopefully you'll be able to do the same. give it time and some patience and let her interact on her own terms (with some gentle persuasion--"aw! look how cute she is when she's holding something to eat" "her tail is so soft after her bath, see?") and she'll likely come round to at least being comfortable in their presence if not like them herself.

and of course there is always talking about it with her to find out what exactly about their tails she doesn't like. you could remind her that if its about the look armpits aren't normally that attractive either and the tail of rat is essentially their armpit. but if you don't focus on the armpit of someone who often find out they are really quite nice and even pretty. once you can find out what exactly it is that bothers her about rats there is much more room to see if you can get her not to mind it so much.
 

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Ask her how willing she is to get over this fear. Lots of kids are imprinted with the fear of rodents by their parents or by the media (screaming gir;s when they see a mouse or rat. If she likes you, I am sure she wants to explore this fear in order to get over it.

I learned to accept snakes by understanding them, was afraid first. No I don't have them as pets, they live in the wild around my home.
Understanding grows into acceptance, into appreciation and even into love for these little rats.
 
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