Even though prepping is more common today than it was just a short decade ago, it still isn’t a mainstream activity.
As a prepper, you’re going to get some weird looks from people and you can expect your views to be challenged a lot. Most of the time you can simply ignore it, but when it comes to friends and family, those you spend most of your daily life with, it’s important to try to convince them that prepping isn’t crazy.
However, convincing someone who doesn’t “get it” is easier said than done. If you want to convince someone that prepping isn’t crazy, try these tips and you just might win someone over to your side.
Lower Their Guard
It doesn’t matter how sensible and well-presented your ideas are if the person you’re trying to convince has a completely wrong idea about what prepping is.
Thanks to sensational reality TV, movies and other media, many people automatically associate prepping with doomsayers, hardcore militants, and anarchists. This misconception will nullify any effort on your part to teach them the truth about prepping.
That’s why the first thing you need to do is clarify exactly what you do. This isn’t hard. Just honestly tell them some of the things you do. Most things preppers do aren’t crazy or even that exciting…in fact, it can be downright boring.
It will also help to use different terminology from what they’re used to hearing. Terms like “prepper”, “survivalist”, “SHTF”, “bug out”, and other terms are familiar to us, but they can be intimidating or alienating to non-preppers.
Instead, use softer, positive-sounding terms that mean the same thing that they are more familiar with. Use terms like “self-sufficient”, “sustainable”, and “self-reliant” to sneak through their mental defenses.
Find a Situation Where They Agree
If you want to convince someone of anything, you need to find some common ground. This gives you a starting point to expand from.
Ask them if they’ve ever been in a dangerous situation or in an emergency situation. Give them some easy examples to get them started. Things like car crashes, hurricanes, blizzards, power outages, fires, and other emergencies they’re familiar with are excellent ways to find common ground.
Ask them about what they did during those emergencies. They might respond that they had some basic equipment like a flashlight during a power outage, a blanket in their car during a blizzard, or a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.
If they had any of those basic things with them, you’re in a good position, because you’re now both preppers. The question is no longer whether prepping is good or not, but rather how much prepping is good or not.
Take That Situation and Escalate It
Stay on the topic of the emergency they lived through where they used some basic gear. Ask them if having that gear with them helped at all and what it would have been like if they didn’t have it.
Now, ask them to imagine the situation was a little worse. Maybe the power outage lasted for two days instead of one, or the hurricane was more severe than predicted.
Would the gear they used still be enough? Probably not. Ask them what they would have needed to get through this “worse version” of their emergency situation.
At this point you are no longer trying to convince them…they’re convincing themselves by going through this “what if” scenario in their minds! People naturally resist when new ideas are forced on them, but they change their minds quickly when they convince themselves.
After your conversation, let some time pass for them to think everything over. Later on, follow up with a small but fun survival related gift. This is a non-intimidating gesture that might get them to start prepping on their own.
Know When to Let It Go
Some people just can’t be convinced no matter what you say or do. Don’t be hard on yourself if this is the case. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do.
They may have serious hang-ups that are too deeply ingrained to be changed with something as simple as a conversation.
It might be that they either can’t see anything in the world as a serious threat, or they don’t want to believe that anything could go wrong. This type of person has a positive, albeit naïve, outlook on life.
Rather than having a heated argument and potentially ruining your relationship, it’s probably best if you let them stick to their beliefs.
It can be frustrating to live with someone who doesn’t understand why you prep, but when an emergency does happen, they’ll be thankful you did even though they didn’t support you.
Do you have any funny or frustrating stories where you dealt with non-preppers who just didn’t get it? Tell us your story in the comments section below!