If you go back a few days, I wished life were as easy to win as the internet.
I’m not so sure it isn’t.
Examining the elements of interaction is all it takes to see that dominating the way I communicate is merely a matter of adaptation and methodology. The formula increases in complexity when you bring it into real-life situations, and demands a much higher reaction time and capability to think on your feet, but the process is the same, in the end. Bear with me, here.
In any internet interaction, it’s always a matter of reading comprehension, followed by finding the pressure points in what another person’s saying. If you know what you’re doing, you can identify these sensitive spots just based on simple pattern recognition, with enough experience. Identifying familiar patterns goes a long way in saving your words for when it matters, which is necessary to preserve your own sanity, as well as the perception that will be drawn around you. It all comes down to what kind of persona you’re trying to emit, and how that persona is to counter the persona of your victims (or potential allies). So, I suppose the key tenets would be:
1) Don’t waste words. That doesn’t mean be reclusive, but save a response for when a response is both called for and productive. If you’re doing it right, you’ll be impossible to trap into circular or never-ending arguments (which degrade your image and sap your energy), and your words will be seen as something that shouldn’t be ignored.
2) Know your target. Identify your subject of communication, but more importantly, know your subject’s tendencies and qualifications. This is necessary to ensure that you aren’t trying to bullshit someone that knows more than you do, but also for stocking your bag of tricks. Watching how others communicate with your target is the best method for collecting knowledge on your target; approaching unknown entities is not advisable. Lurkers are dangerous for this same reason, as they rarely reveal enough to grant an understanding of their patterns, but often have the patience and the know-how to cripple any discussion on the table, and thus must be avoided, and confronted with caution.
The best knowledge will be in the form of key phrases and buzzwords that they react positively AND negatively to (depending on how you want them to react), an understanding of their favorite topics and the topics with which they have the most experience, a smattering of personal information (primarily gender, political affiliations, marital/child status, and location), and an understanding of their true personality. Their true personality is not what will be displayed at all times, but the causality behind everything they say.
3) Know your goals. Every interaction has a goal. Generally, you’re either looking to corner them as efficiently as possible, or you’re looking to generate a positive response (via humor, a thoughtful post, encouragement, or sharing interests). You can do both, of course, and it’s the best words that do just that. You have to know what you’re aiming to do. Aim for a simple goal (produce a quality counter-flame), and then work up. Not every encounter will be a supreme victory. To dominate, sitting on the sidelines to wait for the opportunity to rip face will just not do. Sometimes you have to settle for mediocre, to build up towards the truly winner moments.
4) Know your available methods, AKA know yourself. Knowing what you’re good at is what it’s all about. Focusing your strengths on the vulnerabilities of your target is what’s it all about, and unless you know what your strengths are, you can’t even begin to do that. That’s why arrogant newbies suck.
My point in writing all this is that if you’re careful in examining all of that, it’s pretty easy to realize that all of that transfers perfectly over to real-life interaction. The way I write about it sounds incredibly manipulative and subversive, but I’m inclined to think it’s just a realistic look at how people interact in a semi-anonymous manner. The rules and boundaries change when you bring it into the real world. The taboos change and what’s effective here isn’t worth a thing there. It’s all a matter of pattern recognition in general interaction, and then identifying what’s most effective for communication on an individual basis.
My preliminary tests suggest that I’m not off target.