People watching can lead to insight


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  I like to watch people. I know it sounds weird, but hear me out.

  One of the most entertaining things to me is sitting in a crowded area and watching people go about their lives and their daily routines. It’s fun to see how people live, but also how they interact with each other.

  I’m not telling anyone to go follow Jimmy, your high school crush to see his every movement, but in order to gain a better understanding of how humans interact and how people act in front of other people you should just observe.

You can sit in the Commons at lunchtime and just take it all in. Watch people wait in line to get food. Watch people talking to their friends. You can even watch people who are watching people. Heck, the janitors and principals do it all day.

  I’m not condoning pre-judgment of any kind; however, you can learn a lot about people in general and some individuals by just watching them at lunch time. Someone much more intelligent than I once said that you can see what kind of a person someone is by seeing how he or she treats their friends. I find this statement to be very true, and I can spot the people who I know I wouldn’t want as my friends from all the way across the loft.

  What’s cool is that if you look hard enough lunchtime is almost like a small little drama. There’s excitement (getting fed), heartbreak (finding out the food sucks), and even an unhappy ending (going to class) all wrapped up in a quick fifteen minute eating schedule. Just watch the faces of the students, and you’ll see it all.

  Any good sociologist or psychologist can tell you that to understand how people act is to understand how people think. This can help you understand how you yourself think and in turn allow you to become more aware of your actions.

  One thing I’ve learned from the cafeteria drama? To bring my lunch.

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