Zombie Cliche Lookout: Toughen Up

There’s a notion out there, particularly among manly men, that the best way to teach something is to use “tough love”. This is essentially a technique whereby you teach by being gruff and mean, which suits me just fine. Of course, some jerks use this to justify being jerks, but I guess that’s just  jerks being jerks. Jerks.

Ahem, sorry about that.

At this point you’re probably wondering what in the hell this has to do with zombie stories. Consider it a motivational technique. In zombie stories, characters generally cover a pretty wide range of characteristics, from brave, strong, and forthright, to cowardly, weak, and conniving. This is important because interpersonal conflict is one of the driving forces in a zombie plot (the other part involves zombies, obviously). Survivors like to stick together. There is strength in numbers, after all. To do this, they need to get everyone moving toward the same goal, which is often difficult because people all have different motivations. The tough love comes in when Character A uses it to bully Character B into following direction. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires violently.

About this Episode:

I’m really happy with the last two panels. I had a very clear image in my head of Abe’s body language, which is often very difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce with LEGO® minfigs. Happily, it worked quite well here.

And there was much rejoicing.

Discussion Question: Best Motivator

As you can probably suss out from my write-up, I like the idea of “tough love”, but don’t think it works terribly well in practice. I’m sure it works for some people, though. So that brings me to you guys: what do you think is the best way to motivate someone? Also, what about when time is a factor? If you have to motivate them quickly, does that change your approach?