It’s Halloween night. The boulevard is tightly packed with revelers all dressed in costume. Fog machines and red lights give the dark street party a sinister feel. As they enjoy the evening and admire each other’s costumes, they have no idea that a devastating virus is infecting those around them.
At first, many wonder if the man dragging his foot and biting the arm of a woman in a Yoda mask is part of a street theater presentation. That theory collapses as the woman in the Yoda mask rises from the ground, rips off her mask and attacks a Donald Trump look-a-like. In turn, he attacks a bearded female impersonator dressed as Wonder Woman. The chain reaction gains speed and soon half the crowd is attacking the other half. It becomes clear to anyone who watches TV that they are at ground zero of a zombie apocalypse. What are the uninfected to do?
Fortunately, those same television shows give the partiers-turned-survivors their next move. Since there is obviously power in numbers, they must form groups. That’s what they do on all the shows. Nobody wants to go it alone. However, as any fan of the Walking Dead also knows, they don’t want just anyone on their team. Unless they serve a purpose, they will hold everyone back.
During the mass transformation of humans to zombies, you may not find the time to log in to 16Personalities. However, each personality type will have what a team needs in this cataclysmic new world. So, here, as a public service, we provide a guide of things to remember about personality types when the zombie apocalypse erupts:
A survival team wants to recruit Explorers from the very start. The whole world is going to change quickly and drastically, and Explorers eat change for breakfast. In fact, it’s among their favorite things, and they will likely handle the initial reaction as skillfully as anyone can under these peculiar circumstances.
The living are likely to experience a great deal of fear and confusion as the hordes of the undead descend on them. Our research suggests that fear does not inhibit Explorers to the degree it does others. Explorers also tend to “think on their feet.” Through gruesome trial and error, the inventive Explorers are the most likely to quickly work out the location of the vulnerable sweet spot that finally puts these tortured zombie souls out of their misery for good. In the early hours of a zombie apocalypse, decisive action is needed. Too much fear, and the initial battle will be lost. Explorers are an excellent choice to run the triage that replaces any emotional hemorrhaging with practical action. Since the world may be unpredictable for a while, they are also worth keeping around past the initial attacks.
After the shock wears off, the group will want to consider long-term plans. For this stage, Analysts will come in handy. Because Analysts are the strategic thinkers, they will develop a system of living that offers sustainability. They can help a community construct a rational system for survival.
Time will be of the essence and the need for protection will be great. Because of the urgency, the Analysts will not have the luxury of taking time to explore diverse ideas and to pick out the best of them as they are accustomed. However, they will have already been observing the mayhem throughout the countryside. The Analysts will have noticed the zombies’ herding style. They will have probably already noted what gets their attention. From this Analysts can pick the perfect spot to set up a defensible compound. They will probably develop a method to keep the undead outside the perimeter, and come up with an early warning system, should the perimeter be breached.
Once their team is relatively safe, Analysts will likely begin to explore ways to systematize daily life. A small leadership team will naturally form around them. This team may begin to divide the labor among the survivors. Some Analysts will be part of the leadership team. Those who aren’t will remain close by as advisers, helping the group find new ways to survive oncoming waves of the undead as new challenges arise.
Once the Analysts’ plans are accepted, someone needs to make it all work. Because of their sense of organization, some Sentinels will be among the leaders in this area. Someone also needs to oversee the inventory of food, weapons, and medicine. Work schedules need to be created. Sentinels are a natural choice to act as the administrators in these fledgling communities. They will know when supplies are low. They will know when to send the scavengers (probably Explorers) to visit the local abandoned grocery store.
Besides overseeing the basic needs of the group, Sentinels may also take the lead in organizing lessons for the young ones. They might also care for the old and infirm if that’s required. Some of them will also likely take the role of morale officers. The loyal Sentinels will be the people most concerned with keeping the group together. It will become the most important aspect of survival to the Sentinels. They will work to assure the group’s cohesiveness.
So, we now have a community bent on survival. All the pieces appear to be in place. But hold on... Apparently, there’s no need for the Diplomats? What practical skills do these dreamy visionaries have? Perhaps they should be left as zombie bait?
Ah, but as any fan of the zombie genre knows, there are times when the zombies are the least of anyone’s problems. Walking Dead fans don’t wait for the next season to discover what the zombies are up to. Zombies are as predictable as the moon’s phases. They’re just not very interesting. It’s the living that cause all the dramatic conflicts that draw the viewers back. The undead are nothing compared to the miscreant humans who lost their moral way in a world with no rules or boundaries.
Diplomats may play a softer but no less essential role. These human moral compasses will shine a light on their comrades when they have crossed the line. They will heroically remind their friends that survival at any cost is not survival. Diplomats are the conscience of the group. In a post-apocalyptic world, there are a lot of moral questions to consider. Diplomats will help maintain those ethics which civilized people value. They will keep their team elevated above an animal existence based solely on survival. They will strive to help everyone on their team become better people. They will help keep compassion on everybody’s radar.
So, now everyone should be ready to choose their teams when that terrible night comes. Who among the people you know will you recruit based on their personality traits? Choose carefully. And good luck. Happy Halloween.