I’ve faced many stigmas over the years, from being a stay at home wife, to removing narcissistic people from my life, and for being a prepper. There is this funky and ridiculous stigma centered around being a prepper.
In this day and age when quirky or different are the new normal, I would expect prepping to be perfectly acceptable. Yet most people have to be secretive of this fact because there is such a shameful stigma around the title of prepper. This made me start thinking about the reasons behind this, because I was really curious about it.
Doomsday Preppers. When I tell people I am a prepper, the first question is, “like a doomsday prepper?” I despise this question, because we’ve all seen the show. So I prepare for the judgement when I answer, yes I suppose so. This always conjures up the image of the conspiracy theorist who has spent millions of dollars preparing to live underground for the rest of their life eating MRE’s.
Keeping Secrets. I have had a couple of people tell me that they cannot publically follow me on social media because of the stigma attached to prepping. They are completely closet preppers because after trying to talk to friends or family, the response is just ugly. I find that sad. Who cares if someone is different? Prepping isn’t the cool kind of different, I guess.
Conspiracy Theories. I talked about this a bit earlier. I remember telling one friend that I was becoming a prepper, because it simply made sense to me. It was a lifestyle choice. The response was, so you’re moving to a shack out in the desert with a bunch of AR-15s? Because that is where people like that belong. No, I’m not the Unabomber. I’m simply changing my lifestyle a bit to be ready for emergencies. When did that constitute crazy?
Being a prepper is embarrassing. I personally don’t feel like taking steps to protect myself and my family is something to be embarrassed about, but maybe I am crazy. Should I be embarrassed about having life or car insurance, or money in my savings account? There really isn’t much of a difference.
I know where I am going when something happens. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say this to me, I could retire and go hide in an underground bunker with a whole bunch of AR-15s and become the stereotype. Lol. I always see this as the lazy response. I don’t want to think about that stuff, so I’ll just depend on you instead because we’re “friends.”
What people don’t realize is that they are missing out. They are missing out on the opportunity to secure a better future for themselves and their family. That is an opportunity that I certainly don’t want to miss!
The thing that I find interesting and probably a bit annoying is that preppers are part of the problem. Yes, I said it. Where do people find information about prepping? Where we all find any kind of information, the internet and social media. Too many preppers get involved in arguments on social media and create a hostile environment.
Some people just want to lurk and learn, but that is almost impossible when a thread is filled with hostility and the “it’s my way or the highway” mentality. That is not a welcoming place to learn, by any stretch of the imagination.
Prepping is not a one size fits all concept. It is different for everyone, but too many preppers treat it like their way is it. There are a million different factors that go into how each person, family, or household prepares.
Things like space, budget, living situations, special needs, the number of people to prep for. All of these are factors that go into how a person or family prepares, and it varies for everyone. That is why the one size fits all idea doesn’t work.
In groups on social media, there are some people who just like hearing themselves talk. You know where you ask a simple question like, how do I get started preparing, and get the novel of answers instead of just the basics. Cue the glassy-eyed look and whoever asked the question stopped reading around the 250 word mark due to boredom.
Many people also think that prepping has to be expensive. If you haven’t bought the best gear for a situation, you’re an absolute failure and you might as well have just done nothing at all. It doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does everything need to be purchased all at once. Even something as simple as buying an extra bag of flour during the next grocery store trip is a great start, or a case of bottled water. Or go read a blog about prepping, or search YouTube or a podcast. I follow several that have varying ideas on how to prepare, and they are fun to read and listen to.
The question is, how do we change this stigma around prepping and being ready for emergencies? The short answer is, we will never change everyone’s mind. Some people are dead set against prepping and think it is stupid. But there are still many ways we can at least reduce the stigma around it.
Start by just being nice. I feel like this should be common sense, but it seems to be becoming less and less common by the day. I love talking to people about prepping, and I am always happy to answer questions in regards to it. Take the time to do that when you have the knowledge, but do it in a gentle way.
The goal isn’t to scare people away from prepping. The goal should be to help others be more prepared, even if it isn’t to the same extent you do. Some people may just want to learn and gain more information before deciding to prepare. Everybody has a reason for prepping, and some may need information to figure out their own why.
If you aren’t a prepper, be tolerant of those who are. Everybody makes different lifestyle choices. This is no exception because being prepared is a lifestyle choice. I would love to see this stigma and shame centered around prepping end. I’d love to see that end for anyone who is considered different or quirky. Everybody is different, so why waste the time being hateful or treating others like they are crazy.
The truth is preppers are all around us. They are normal, average people we see on the street every day. Our neighbors, friends, even family. But they may very well be afraid to tell you about it because of these stigmas.