Letter Re: Matching and Meshing Personalities for Close Quarters Living

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I have read your novel “Patriots” and found your web site. I have been going through your archives to see if anyone has touched on this subject but so far I’ve only found partial references to this topic. Although I have not made it through all the archives yet.In your book I noticed that the characters knew each other for years and had time to work out differing personality traits or not be included in the group. (BTW, it really saddened me when you killed off two of the characters.) I got to thinking about the types of personalities that will come together when TSHTF. and I wanted to offer some insights to people building their retreat group.

One of the biggest challenges to survival will be to learn to live with others.We won’t have unlimited computer time to hide in or malls or friend’s houses to escape to and hang out at. There might not be 1,200 or more square feet of private space to storm off to and stew and or pout. most of us will be living in tight quarters practically on top of one another with duties, chores, and responsibilities to attend to. When I was considering the mission field a recruiter/trainer explained that one of the biggest problems with retaining missionaries was not: funding, people, dedication, or training, but rather the lack of emotional maturity and the ability of the team members to live in isolation away from modern familiar creature comforts and to just plain get along. This cost the missions lots of money and time when people deserted their post or demanded to be sent home because they couldn’t bear another personality or presence. I am a private person and mostly quiet, with a slightly melancholy personality. This sometimes irks the fun-loving prankster because if the joke is at someone’s expense who is not really laughing I don’t find it funny and this makes me a spoil sport.

What about the male or female flirt? Think of the tension and drama for a new married couple or an insecure spouse if too much attention or help is given to another, or if those cold and boring guard duty assignments start to seem too cozy. Does this sound silly? But we have all seen public arguments over some poor slob looking at a passing pretty woman for too long. And marriages end over so much trivial stuff now that we’ve termed it irreconcilable differences. Women need to consider that monthly moodiness that can lead to tears, sullenness and cold shoulders. Now multiply that by a wife, a couple of teenage daughters, and a girlfriend or two. That makes ravaging looters start to look absolutely friendly.

Men: Don’t get too smug. You’ll face your challenges too. There will be no televised sports. Bye bye NASCAR, NFL, NBA ,WWF, Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and The Fishing Channel. Work becomes tedious and shooting draws too much attention and depletes ammo when there is no rest,or escape from stress, nagging,whining,indifference or complaining.Here are some thoughts on what to do.

Melancholy people: Lighten up, learn balance,compassion, stability count your blessings once in a while everything won’t always end badly.

Pranksters and life-of-the-party types: Tone it down. We don’t always like being the butt of your fun.

Seducers: Have mercy on the single people,everyone knows your beauty and talent just make sure the praise is earned and the beauty is more than skin deep.

Whiners/complainers: Stop annoying others take it to God only He can give peace and satisfaction in every situation

Addicts (including drunks dopers, gamblers, over eaters, and porn seekers.): Fight and defeat your addictions. Fight now, fight hard, and get help. Seek mercy and forgiveness from family friends and the Lord or you’ll find yourself on the outside looking down the barrel of a gun.

Teenagers: Sorry! We adults messed things up and let the wolves get in charge.you will pay a hugh price in loss of childhood but get angry then get over it there are no more malls, iPods or freebies. Pull your weigh. Start unplugging from electronics and the Internet, including MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Reintroduce yourself to your family. Give them the same courtesy and chances that you gave your Internet friends. Learn to channel that restlessness, hormones, and teen angst in ways that help you grow and aren’t hurtful or endangering to your retreat group. Getting your own way all the time is no longer the norm, storming off somewhere or sneaking off to meet unacceptable acquaintances for a little harmless fun will no longer be just selfish or no big deal. Nor will it be an easy fix with mom and dad’s checkbook or [social] position but instead a possible life-threatening endeavor for your entire group. Information and facility security must be taken seriously. How much of your family’s or the group’s supplies do you think will be fair to trade to get you back safely from your new cool friends who understand you oh so much better than your family? If you want to be seen as an asset and as and adult–not a child, burden or liability–then learn something. Help out, take care of others, contribute to the homestead, and be an example and dependable help with younger siblings. Have interests that don’t always involve electricity. Remember chess, checkers, board games? As I asked the girls in my church group, if you don’t enjoy your own company why should anyone else.?

Procrastinators: Get it done, stay on schedule.

Perfectionists: Have pity, have mercy, have patience. We all know you can do it better and/or faster but you can’t always do it alone. Let us help and we’ll all get there.

Controllers and Micro-managers: Delegate, rest, trust us, lean not on your own understanding. God is in control.

Fatties: Get chocolate and sugar cravings under control now with nutrition, herbal remedies I found a great book on this called “The Complete Medicinal Herbal” by Penelope Ody from a mention in SurvivalBlog’s Bookshelf page and I checked it out from the library. Now I am looking for my own copy to add to my supplies, medicines and exercise. Yes the dreaded “E” word. Exercise can be a walk with your husband (remember him?) neighbor (they aren’t all creep) )friend or kid who you have only seen coming and going from the car rear view mirror all week. Keep your eye open for holiday sales of your favorite goodies as a treat not a life or death issue. Learn hobbies that are restful soothing and can be necessary for survival or bartering: crochet, knitting , weaving, sewing, hunting, fishing, flower gardening for soaps lotions and perfumes. (You know… the stuff our grand mothers and great grand mothers did for themselves and their families.)

Parents; Your kids will no longer be the responsibility of the state, school, church, or clubs. Start collecting age appropriate books for games, crafts, and lessons. Homeschooling will become a priority and a necessity not an option.Look to others with skills and temperaments that you would like your child to emulate to supplement your training but they are your kids so get busy There are numerous homeschooling networks available now check the library. How they turn out is partially your doing. Remember why you had them and remember that at sometime you did love them now learn how to like them they’re pretty terrific( God don’t make no junk).Families;couples and groups star talking resolve those years of hurt and hateful words and actions. Confront the problems, we are running out of time and room to hide. Drugs will run out, alcohol will be scarce or nonexistent and some of us might be tempted to shoot you ourselves if we have to listen to one more petty argument about something stupid someone said or did yesterday, last year or 20 years ago. I read a news story about a man in Italy who tried to get arrested this past Christmas season just to get away from his relatives who had come to visit. When the police wouldn’t take him he went next door to a store, threatened the clerk and stole some candy then sat down to wait while the clerk called the police. Pitiful!

I know my faults and I know my failings (mostly). I moved 2,000 miles away from my family to find peace and adventure. I have found both in God but He’s not finished with me yet and I am doing my part to not be obnoxious to those around me until He is done. So search yourself , learn about yourself, know yourself, and like yourself . We already have plenty of self love, and you will be in high demand as a retreat member when times turn to TEOTWAWKI. Thanks for listening and much success and many blessings to all you Preppers out there. See you on the flip side.- Theresa in California