How To Help Your Friends & Family Understand Prepping

understand prepping

Do you need your friends and family to understand prepping? You’re not alone.

The act of “prepping” is now fairly mainstream. Nowadays many people enjoy stockpiling, collecting survival tools, preparing bug-out plans and more with friends and family.

However, others aren’t so lucky. For many, prepping is something they do in secret – or is something they fight about since their loved ones don’t understand. And this can cause a ton of anxiety, frustration, and tension in relationships.

Thankfully, there are ways to help your loved ones understand your prepping mindset and behavior. And a good way to start is by following these survival tips on… 

How To Help Your Friends & Family Understand Prepping

Get In The Right Mindset

Ever notice how nobody is able to have a rational, productive discussion when they’re in a heated argument? There’s something about this type of confrontation that causes us to put aside our “thinking brain” and work out of our “reactive” brain. And when two people are purely reacting rather than thoughtfully responding, it can end up in disaster.

Before even approaching the friend/spouse/family member, make sure both of you are in a calm and in a good mood. Think about how to bring up the topic, what you’re going to say, and how you think the other person will respond.

Also, prepare to listen to the other person and consider their perspective. Merely understanding where they’re coming from and being sympathetic to that (which isn’t the same as agreeing) can help keep both of you relaxed and help the conversation stay productive.

If you approach it from a loving, understanding stance rather than a confrontational one (or a motivation to “prove them wrong”) you’re much more likely to be successful.

Consider Your Perception About Prepping/Preppers vs Theirs

So much of what we think about things is based on our past experiences with them. And if someone has only experienced prepping through watching reality TV shows and extremists, you can bet they’ll have a skewed perception about what prepping is and what its purpose is.

That’s why it’s very important you understand this and get to know where the other person is coming from. Don’t just listen to respond (or to prove them wrong). Be genuinely curious about their views, what their influences are and why they believe what they do.

Then calmly explain the way you view prepping, and the purposes you feel it serves. By getting out of “black and white” thinking (i.e: the idea that either people don’t prep at all or are doomsdayers) and recognizing the grey area in-between, you’re more likely to coax your loved one into a more balanced view of prepping.

Another way to help get the other person on your team is by using the right language. For instance, if your loved one already has strong views about the words “prepping,” “SHTF,” “bug out” etc. then they’re very likely to stop listening as soon as you mention them.

Instead, go with words such as “self-sufficient,” “sustainable,” “prepare,” and “becoming self-reliant.” These are much easier to relate with for non-preppers, and they lend themselves to more positive meanings.

Look For The Common Ground

One of the best ways to ensure a productive discussion is to find the common ground between both parties. This helps remind both of you you’re on the same team, and that you have similarities you can fall back on.

One piece of common ground you can rely on is the idea of being ready for minor emergencies. For instance, we all want to be prepared if our car breaks down on the side of the road, if we get pulled over while speeding, etc. We all want to have the necessary documents/tools to have success in these situations.

So often people tend to think in extremes – and many worry that “prepping” means they have to abandon their entire lifestyle, spend a ton of money and get ready for every emergency possible that may or may not happen. And that type of thinking can make anyone overwhelmed.

Instead, help your loved one understand where you’re coming from by offering a “What if” example. For example, “What if you drove your car today and you got a flat. Would you be able to change the tire and get back on the road?” or “What if you got pulled over by the police tonight for speeding? Would you have the necessary documentation (that isn’t expired) to show the officer?”

By walking through these minor examples – and explaining to them how you, too, want to be prepared for these events – you can find common ground.

In addition, by starting off small with examples like these, you can help them understand the importance of preparation. You can then start working up to bigger and more impactful scenarios (i.e: natural disasters, EMPs, government collapse, etc.).

Finally, help your loved one understand that that it’s up to the pair of you to figure out how little (or how much) you want to prepare for different emergencies. By making it clear you have the other’s best interests at heart, you’re more likely to help the other person see your side and participate in prepping (in any form).

Know When To Drop It

This is quite possibly the hardest lesson to learn – and it’s one most all of us have struggled with at one time or another. Therefore, we all can benefit from practicing this more often.

The truth is you can’t control other people’s responses to you. And there’s a chance that, despite your best efforts, the conversation just isn’t productive. Maybe they’re in a bad mood, maybe they’re convinced nothing bad will ever happen, or maybe they’re not willing to budge on their opinion… whatever the case may be, it’s up to you to recognize when to drop it and walk away.

It’s important to let it go, because if you keep beating a dead horse the conversation will only get worse (and often leads to saying something we don’t mean). At some point, we all need to “agree to disagree,” and let that be enough.

It can certainly be frustrating living with someone who isn’t supportive of your prepping. However, if an emergency does occur, you’ll be prepared – and your loved one will likely be grateful you did.


Have any good advice for helping non-preppers “get it?” Let us know in the comments below.