One of the most common issues I’m asked regularly about is something along the lines of, “My husband/wife/significant other ridicules the whole idea of prepping.” It is disheartening, to say the least, when someone we love isn’t on board with something about which we can be very passionate. In my experience, this issue seems pretty evenly split between the genders. There are just as many husbands as there are wives who experience this problem.
What is the real issue?
Part of the problem often stems from our own presentation on the subject. Think about it like this. Let’s say your spouse is really into NASCAR. I mean, he’s always yammering on about stats and drivers, who took the pole this week, who got a new sponsor, on and on and on. You, on the other hand, could not possibly care less about it.
About three seconds in, your eyes glaze over and you’re thinking about how the microwave really needs to be cleaned. Sound familiar? Guess what? Reverse the roles and replace NASCAR with prepping. That’s exactly how some of us come across. We can’t help it, sometimes. We are just so passionate about the subject, we want to get everyone we know on board, right? This tends to do more harm than good, though. We sometimes (maybe often) go overboard and our loved ones tune us out.
The solution in this case is to, as the kids today sometimes say, slow your roll. Introduce the topic in smaller doses and work on it gradually. For example, if you come home from the store with a case of canned vegetables, mention to your spouse how you got a great deal on those cans and, having bought extra, you’ll be able to eat tomorrow at today’s sale price. No need to go into elaborate detail on how many days these cans will last the family in the event of a disaster.
Liken prepping to buying insurance. We buy policies for our homes, our cars, even our health. And, with very rare exception, we make those purchases with high hopes that we never need to actually use what we’ve bought, right? I mean, how many fender benders are there in this country on daily basis where the drivers agree to just take care of the damages privately, rather than involve insurance companies?
Prepping is similar in that we buy products in hopes we never need to use them, or at least use them for their intended purpose. Sure, we buy extra food and certainly plan to consume it – but we’re hoping those meals won’t be prepared using camp stoves or solar ovens out of necessity. It’s a different matter if it’s by choice.
Focus on the Real World, not the [Insert Apocalypse Here]
Whenever possible, use familiar and local examples of why prepping is a good idea, too. If you know of a neighbor or family member who recently lost their job, talk about how that is happening to so many people today and by having a full pantry, you’ll be able to provide for the family should that happen to you or your spouse.
In my area, there was a massive blizzard a few years ago that stranded hundreds of drivers overnight on an interstate. Those who had the foresight to have blankets, water, and food likely weathered the event in much better shape than those who didn’t.
Blizzards, broken down cars, and job loss are relatable problems that we see in the real world every year. It’s not a huge stretch to imagine them happening in our own lives.
A complete economic meltdown and global pandemic that destroys the delicate web of our just-in-time shipping system are, well, not. They are not relatable because most people currently alive in first world countries have never lived through anything like that, and if they know someone who has, it either happened way back in ancient history (you know, the 1930s) or far away in another land (not their country).
By keeping your arguments for prepping centered in the real world, free from conspiracy theories and such, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting the “buy in” from loved ones.