We’re filming some free instructional video footage today, so this one is going to be a brief. (But the good news is that when I’m done, I can let you all know how you can get your FREE video tutorial for my “Perfect Bread” recipe.)

This may be considered a touchy topic by some. But frankly, I believe it needs to be addressed in order for all of us who have a desire to make a greater impact on those that we love and care about—specifically in the aspect of Preparedness. Besides, is there anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while that’s surprised that I would take on a touchy topic? *grin*

Do you know what I mean when I say “flaky person”? To me a “flake” is a person who is usually unkempt, seriously socially awkward, and usually missing a verbal and mental filter. They willingly embrace flawed and sensationalized information. As a result, their input to discussions and initiated conversations is often inappropriate and very uncomfortable for others. Sometimes you see or listen to these kinds of folks and wonder if they haven’t been drinking alien Kool-Aid or participating in some other reality altering substance. As a result of this persona which some people convey, what they share with others often lacks credibility.  In some cases, it’s deservedly so because the flake factor is frequently spawned by unfounded, nonfactual, and even completely mythical information spread via You Tube and chain e-mails. In some instances, the information that they would share with others IS truthful and factual and is even important for others to know. However, their flakey demeanor and their lack of a social filter speaks louder than their truth and effectively obliterates any value of the information they could share. As such, instead of helping others, they end up scaring the crud out of them, or worse associating anything that they have to say with the Flake Factor that they convey.

I find that I’m really sensitive to that “flake factor”.  I think I possess some major “Flake Radar” because I clearly have an aversion to flaky people. Unfortunately, given my professional pursuit I have a tendency to attract the flakes abundantly as well. *cringe*  Recently I was teaching a class regarding the “10 Principles of Preparedness.”  I was really thrown for a loop when two older women disrupted the flow and the education of the rest of the group as a result of their disturbing rantings about off-topic issues.  I felt seriously challenged in dealing with them.  I tried several different tactics that I have learned over the years as a professional speaker/educator to disuade them of their rant, but I’ve discovered that sometimes, flakes are impossible to reign in because of the “social short” which plagues them. I try to be nice, to be accepting, but honestly, I’m also trying to get out of the encounter as soon as possible. In some instances I’m sad…sad that they are misrepresenting such an important topic and in such a poor manner—such as preparedness.

When it comes to preparedness, unfortunately, there is no shortage of sensationalism, fear mongering, mythical predictions, sprinkled with a bit of social awkwardness.  I suppose even Peace has an extremist relative, right?  After being confronted with these two uber flakes in my class, I had to stop afterwards and do an accounting of my own self. Do I come across inappropriately?  Do I come across as credible and educated, or wacky and worrisome? As a result of this moment of clarity, I decided to try and plead with other folks who are trying to get better prepared to please be mindful of how they are coming across to others.  We all have the opportunity to make an impact. What that impact will be, though, will speak louder than the facts and truth we may share.  I do wish that there were more preparedness minded persons who were more conscientious of the image they project. I think that the preparedness way of life could dramatically benefit from a face lift of articulate, confident, calm, and polished persona.

For many years the world of preparedness has been associated with anarchists, militants, and “dooms-day-ers.”  And yet the type of preparedness that I believe in has everything to do with wisdom, humanitarian involvement, peace, confidence, happiness, and prosperity.  I try to convey that in how I teach my classes, how I present myself verbally as well as physically, and in the quality of the resource guides or products that I recommend or dispense.  I really try to steer away from anything that would be likely to lump me in with all of the negative aspects of preparedness.  I believe that the one’s Flake Factor can be eliminated with conviction, positive presentation, facts, calm, peace, and confidence. As such, I really try to be on my game when educating or conversing with others about this topic. I presume that the intent of my heart is evident as well, and perhaps responsible for filling in the credibility gaps that I may have missed.

So, that’s what today’s article is all about.  I hope that we can all realize that we don’t get very far talking to others about NATO, the New World Order, enemy plans for the American genocide, or alien abduction. Whether these are topics of merit or not, they will not do much good in paving the way towards a calm, rational, and educational conversation. They don’t convey feelings of hope, independence, cheerfulness, and charity. Instead, they will make the initiator look like a flake, and make the listener run away with an awful impression.

So, the next time you head to a preparedness education event, ask yourself, what can you do to better promote and convey the positive aspects of preparedness that will encourage a more self-reliant and comfortable life for others?  Can you be certain that your personal presentation and how you come across to other folks is far away from setting off someone’s “flake radar”? Ultimately, if we are obstacles to others becoming more independent and content in their life, then that is the real disaster.

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Kim · April 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Kellene, I hope the encounter you mentioned wasn’t at our preparedness fair! But I’d like to thank you for this article. I agree with every word and thought it was written very tactfully.

Kim Wengreen

    Kellene · April 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    And no, it wasn’t. 🙂

jamie · April 21, 2010 at 12:14 am

Yes I am a flake in a way. I do think this way of life of self reliance is critical. But I have changed my format, from all the negativity of the US government reports to being self-sufficient. I listen a lot more to folks hopes and fears. I’ve got a new neighbor who wants some answers for herself and not from the government. She’s giving me ideas, and they are good ones.
So many times I find myself preaching to the choir. Because others see me as a wing-nut. It’s frustrating when all you are advocating is a well stocked pantry and folks think you will go all “Rambo” on them. I look for folks that agree with me, not new converts.
Thank you Kellene, I didn’t think your posts applied to me. (again) But I have found new insights to help others prep. Let them lead the conversation. Answer the questions, and give them the benefit of your learning.
I hope I’m learning how to be subtle and how to help. I always want to help! I have a lot harder time with subtle. I have tendency to expound, gosh there is a lot to learn if you just listen.

Katie · April 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I’ve never heard the word ‘flake’ used in this context before. I’ve always thought of it as someone who is late or doesn’t do what they say they will. I am actually very glad to see your interpretation of it, because I’ll be more careful when using this word in public in the future!

Semantics aside, the message was a great one. There are so many conspiracy theories and other weird things out there that are easy (for me) to get hung up on.

Diane Bush · January 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm

just cruising thru your
just cruising thru your website and saw ‘flake’. After reading it does make one stop and evaluate our presentations in our daily lives. I realized that several members (ladies) of one group are so clueless as to what to do during any emergency situation that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Most of these members are older, retired and even widowed. They will have to depend on family and friends (who are probably just as un prepared as they are) to support them during a crisis. So I must be aware of any sharing of information and keep it un challenging and non-threatening.
Thanks again, for your level headed advice and information.

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