In the heat of battle, one needs to study what his opponent cares most about. The knowledge of your opponent’s thoughts during battle is an overwhelming advantage for your cause. The benefits of knowing what others care about are not limited to the battlefield. Knowing what people are passionate for can aid you in your day-to-day world as well. When you know what somebody’s soft points are, you can compliment, interview, and comfort them. These soft points being things that are personal to them. Letting someone know about the things you care about puts you in a vulnerable state. Say you are an avid farmer for a hobby. If your coworkers find out about a business you run on the side, they have the power to damage your reputation at your mutual employer’s workplace. The things you care about tend to be important, and you can do a lot of damage to people whose deep interests and connections you know.
We Care About What We Defend
To know what others care about in their lives, you will need to spend some time with them. The general rule is to follow their defenses. People defend things they care about – this is a rule of thumb that tends to ring more true than false. You can tell a lot about a person’s core beliefs by connecting what things they defend in their everyday speech. Recreating those connections will give you a surprisingly clear picture of what the person you’re studying cares about.
The reason people defend the things they care about is because they’re too smart to promote them. People do not want to be obvious in revealing all their cares and desires to the general public. So they do not promote their beliefs in order to not rile suspicion. However, people tend to fall into the trap of defending an attack against something that they care about. Their control mechanisms aren’t strong enough to capture this emotionally-driven action.
If you want to know what a person cares about, you need to give them a chance to defend those things. Cycle through the potential list of topics you anticipate your audience to care about and play the devil’s advocate on all of them. You will get small hints of which way a person leans through the way they conduct themselves along the way. Use these hints to further make your subject defend the selected topic. Remember, the more they defend a position, the more they care about it. The way you would have known if someone voted for Trump is if you attacked Trump in front of them. Hilary supporters would defend attacks against her with the same passion.
Analyze what people defend during your time socializing with them. You’ll be surprised to notice that people constantly defend things in conversation. We defend what we care about, with our defense strengthening the more we care. Analyze for the defense of people, thoughts, behaviors, actions, strategy, and stances. You will begin to get a sense of people’s instincts and stances quicker and more effectively.