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Author Topic: Observers United! {The People Watchers Club}  (Read 6720 times)
Lady Arachne
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2010, 08:51:04 pm »

Add me to the eccentric  bunch of people watchers.. I have been doing since I can remember, I see things most do not. From the tiniest creature fighting for it's life as it scurries through the foot traffic. To the tear, an older lady sheds as she watches, the small child laugh and play in the park. Observing people, things is a favorite pass time. I can sit for hours wondering, exploring thinking up their life stories. Mind you being an visual artist I suppose it is in my blood.  So if you are ever in Vancouver, see a long haired, blond woman dressed like a bohemian gypsy,in scarves, skirts, pheasant blouses, sandals and the  most amazing brightly coloured, alpaca wool sweater,with a garden gnome hood watching  life wave hi.. Might be me Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2010, 09:23:31 pm »


 Several years ago, while I was expecting our first cogling, friends of ours owned a bar and venue at which Mr P worked as a sound engineer. This building had a ground floor where most of the action was and two mezzanine type floors, the top one of which was staff only. From this glorious private topmost vantage point I would sit unseen and thus able to stare and gawp, quite sober due to my interesting condition, and watch the people below getting more and more intoxicated. It was fascinating, you could clearly see who was attracted to who and then watch their increasingly clumsy and obvious advances; it seemed that after a certain point the only thing people had on their minds was either copulation, crying or conflict. It was rather like watching a speeded up backward evolution...

 On this, does anyone else find themselves getting so drawn in to watching people that you don't realise you are staring like a creepy weird person? I sometimes forget that those I am observing can see me too... Embarrassed
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Herr Döktor
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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2010, 10:10:09 pm »

No, no; just ignore me, I'm just watching everyone else...
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Lady Ava
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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2010, 10:43:59 pm »

My bus to college arrives at college almost an hour befor classes begin. This makes for excellent people watching during the morning.

My favourite is one VERY skinny girl, who comes into our construction canteen wearing dark shades, and always buys SO MUCH food. I wonder what happens when she leaves...
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The-Geared-Gentlemen
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2010, 06:29:18 pm »

I do this a lot simply for ideas for characters in short stories or books that I work on. Though sadly most people are hardly fit to be even a once mentioned throw away character. As someone that studies body language and relationship dynamics people tend to seem extremely dull. Sure there are a rare few out there worth hanging out with or getting to know but I feel like most people are just cardboard TV cut outs. They live and breathe whatever is "in style". Watching people is a good reason I got into Steampunk people around here found something that suites their taste rather then what the magic box told them is cool.
Do any of you ever end up not just watching but listening to what people say? It’s like none of them have EVER picked up a book or had a creative thought in their lives. They spew forth what the latest TV drama is and not much more. *sigh* This is why I keep to my books, the net, and a few close friends……
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plum phlogiston
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2011, 06:39:37 pm »


 Does anyone else covertly (or occasionally quite openly gawping forgetting that just cos I can't see myself looking doesn't mean everyone else can't either) observe what the person in front or behind is loading on the conveyor belt in the supermarket and try to draw conclusions (or create preposterous fantasies) about them from it? Or am I just a nosy bugger?
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Herr Döktor
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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2011, 09:00:00 pm »


 Does anyone else covertly (or occasionally quite openly gawping forgetting that just cos I can't see myself looking doesn't mean everyone else can't either) observe what the person in front or behind is loading on the conveyor belt in the supermarket and try to draw conclusions (or create preposterous fantasies) about them from it? Or am I just a nosy bugger?

Yes.

And Yes.

Smiley
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darkshines
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2011, 10:45:56 pm »

I overheard a little boy of about 4 years old enthusiastically explain to his dad "he was a man but then he transformed into a spaceship!". I thought maybe they were discussing Transformers but aving just come back from the Tron sequel (which was a PG) I think he might have been to see that. Sometimes overheard conversations are better than people watching for me. The gem of the crop was one of the first times I ever went to the farmers market on a Sunday down by Riverside and I heard a man comforting his mate. His exact words were, in the most sympathetic tones "Nah, mate, see you are more like a salmon, a lone fish, you don't need THAT in your life". Made all the better that it was said in a very thich Welsh valleys accent!
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plum phlogiston
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2011, 11:08:06 pm »

  *Warning: Total derailment* Wink

 I used to live in a shared house just by there Ms Darkshines, that market was wonderful, we'd all wake up with hangovers, remember it was that special day and stagger down the road for sausages.Grin I take it if you are familiar with the locale you have sampled the glorious Indian snacks from Madhavs? Mmmmmm, I miss Madhav bhajis and samosas. And the little sweet sticky balls you have to drink with gallons of tea...

 *Derailment over*

 Actually the house we lived in there was glorious for people watching, right on a big crossroads opposite two parks. Looking out of my attic window was way better than anything the gogglebox could offer.
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2011, 11:55:29 pm »

Hello,
I study psychology (and to my distaste sociology; sorry to any sociologists but the subject isn't for me) and people watching gets a lot more interesting when you know some social psychology... it also gets a little scarier as well...
~Longeye~
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Professor Cyrus Poe
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2011, 05:26:41 pm »

Quote
Posted by: darkshines
Sometimes overheard conversations are better than people watching for me.


I have noticed a lot of people seem to enjoy doing that.
I have sort of invented a little teaser game, I like to play at the expense of the “ listener ”
I turn the conversation to really interesting subjects like:

 The way we will divide a huge sum of money, and make sure we don’t arouse suspicion of the tax man or the police.

How big of an ice cooler we would need to hold a body. How we would dump the cooler in the ocean without it being found .

The strange lights that came out of the sky and  the lost time we suffered.

Why are we being followed, do “they “ know about, “you know what“? If they do we better make a run for it.

It realy is intristing to see the looks we get after this sort of thing.  I can only wonder what the stories that the listners tell their friends and familes.                                                                     
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2011, 08:36:24 pm »

I've been people watching since I could remember.  My mom used to get so mad at me for having the bad manners to stare at people.  I've since learned how to do so much more covertly. Smiley

People watching, IMHO, should be a hobby for all writers--the material you can garner is worth its weight in gold, and even if you don't use the EXACT thing you saw/heard/observed, the ideas and questions it sparks are worth it.

Professor Cyrus Poe--I've always been the quiet one in the bunch, not because I don't like to talk, but because I like to listen.  Once my friends realized what I was doing, they started doing this to me! Now I never know when they are being serious. (Oh, and yes, they know. Run. Run now.)
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sixbynine
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« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2011, 11:21:30 pm »

This group is brilliant! I LOVE watching people, it's even better if you can do it with someone else...it's lovely to know your amusing assumptions and theories are shared XD

I used to get public transport a lot, and it is amazing for people watching, especialy if you travel hooked up to an mp3 player, watching people without having a clue what they're saying can be hilarious.

I have to admit i do occasionally dabble in a bit of people mocking as well...especially in central London some of the folk you run into...well...it makes you wonder sometimes Tongue
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Jupiter Harsh
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« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2011, 01:37:00 am »

You can count me in among the nosey buggers Tongue

A favorite of mine is passing a 45 min bus trip trying to tell what language the foreing people behind me are speaking or approximating a bit more precicely than "foreing drivel" Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2011, 08:55:23 pm »

A tea shop is a wonderful place to people watch. You can sit all afternoon, reading and observing the most interesting people, listening to their most interesting conversations. And did I mention there was tea?!

My personal downfall is an omnibus. When a 'bus stops on a busy street, whichever side of the everso-slightly-tinted glass I am on it just does not cross my mind that any gawping I do will be blatantly obvious to the gawpee.

What I mean to say is can I join the club Smiley?
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citizen_erased
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« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2011, 09:40:31 pm »

I actually at first never really realised I`m an observer as well. It wasn`t until a friend and me were discussing the actions of some people at school, and she told me "I love how we`re both observers". Only then did I realise that I`ve always done this.

It came in handy, really, as as both a cassier at the castle ruins and a guide at the caves, it`s important for me to watch people. I need to gauge how much chance I have at selling them combination tickets at the register Wink    but I also need to adjust the tours through the caves, need to adjust to the people, need to make sure everyone is following, everyone can keep up, everyone is enjoying it, so I`m very glad I`ve always watched people.

To me, the most interesting and unpredictable people at the caves are the teenagers/people in their 20-somethings. They`ll either end up looking annoyed and dragging behind, or they`ll join in actively and joke around with me. The other day, I had a young couple in one of my groups, and they were so lovely! They kept holding hands, and otherwise he`d be standing behind her with an arm around her, and they were really focused on my story and really listening and joining in.

I also love watching how people change from the moment they come to get information/buy a ticket, to when they leave the caves. Most of them will be watching around apprehensively at first, unsure of what to do. Then the excitement comes from "we`re going into the caves!", the excitement of walking around underground, hearing the stories, the different emotions and responses we try to get from them, from joy to amazement to disbelief, fear even, and then the slightly awkward atmosphere when it`s all over and there`s sunlight again and we all go a different path again. I love standing at the entrance when they go inside, and then standing at the exit when they all leave, it`s so amazing to see the difference made in roughly one hour.

[/rant]
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« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2011, 02:35:03 am »

[raises hand, whilst enjoying the irony of unlurking in a forum of observers]

I've always found people-watching an amusing hobby, and often a useful skill - the only problem I've had is when I used to use my superpowers to try to help out in my circle of friends.

Due to the prevailing notion that everybody is some form of unique snowflake with free will unfettered by societal programming and inherent tendencies, observing that their predicted reaction to a situation would be 'x' because that was their habitual response, they would always angrily try to do 'y' instead, find it didn't work because they were fated to do 'x' but now they couldn't or wouldn't do 'x' - and anger would ensue.
Eventually I learned to keep my mouth shut, and let 'x' work itself out anyway.



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Tito Alba
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« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2011, 02:32:32 pm »

Good to meet some like minded folk.  I've been a people watcher all my life, sometimes to the extent of avoiding participation with them.  I studied anthropology which which also made it all the worse as those guys literally spend all their time watching for unofficial rules of behaviour.  Once you've been made aware of some of them you can't help but see them everywhere.

Is anyone here also a people-experimenter?  Someone who does unusual things or deliberately hangs around with people who act bizarre in order to observe the reaction of people when confronted with the unexpected.  I would expect most steampunks are as there is something about waltzing down the street in Victorian dress that is a kind of people-experiment in itself.

Maybe some of you have some good stories of social experiments to share?
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barb dwyer
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« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2011, 03:39:12 pm »

Quote
Is anyone here also a people-experimenter?  Someone who does unusual things or deliberately hangs around with people who act bizarre in order to observe the reaction of people when confronted with the unexpected.  I would expect most steampunks are as there is something about waltzing down the street in Victorian dress that is a kind of people-experiment in itself.

Maybe some of you have some good stories of social experiments to share?

I probably have always people watched,
being an only child,
I remember sitting in other people's houses,
just watching their family dynamic-
brother -vs- sister etc
because I had neither.

Then, in high school
I was the youngest member of
a method acting theatre company;
an was sent to the Atlanta airport
with other actors
to watch people
and then bring 'characters' back to the class
that we'd observed.

So it's not a 'second' nature
it *is* my nature.

The lines at Wal Mart are legendary at Christmas time.
My friend and I were in line just buying some household thing
nothing like some of the overloaded barges people were pushing
one foot at a time waiting for checkout.

There was a fundraiser for some Christian charity
that when you donate like five bucks
they put your name in a star and hang it on the wall...

I picked up one of the stars and
showed it to my friend
(a lady in her seventies)
saying, "hey, look a cardboard star"
I held the star across the cart toward her
then pointed to the blank line and said,
"wouldn't it be great to see one that said,
'wishing you great success ... then sign it
...Satan'?"

(said it like 'the church lady' on SNL)

Then I tried to hand it to her saying, "dare ya"-

The entire line cracked up.

If I'd had five extra dollars then, *I* would have done it!

The mood of the entire waiting line changed.
The cashier relaxed and things went faster.
People began speaking to each other in line,
conversation passing time while waiting
where before they'd been just staring sullenly
at what they *had* to buy because of the season.

It's often EASY to change
the entire vibe of the room
(or store)
if you can get the timing right.

I always think it's worth a try.





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Tito Alba
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« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2011, 12:28:42 pm »

That's very true.  The way people treat us is very often a reaction to the way we act towards them but most are so conditioned to reacting that often end up with whole rooms full of people who all want to talking and laughing and not a single one of them will break the ice.

The same can be said of "personality" too.  People tend to think of it as static, unchangeable and integral to their identity and so go through much of life getting the same reactions from people because they always act the same towards people.  I used to be very quiet and would watch people rather like one would watch animals on safari (with a bit less shooting of them afterwards) and discovered I could be seen as quite intimidating.  Once I decided to escape the IT game and go into a more sociable line of work I had to undertake some considerable restructuring of what I thought was basically me in order to avoid scaring people away.
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D.Oakes
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« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2011, 01:09:39 pm »

Shhh!  I'm observing right now.  There are people from the highway department out working.  As was expected the neighbor at the corner had to rush out and make sure they knew what belonged to him.  Then the leader of the group is this big guy, he seems like an idiot, as is expected with our borough, but nobody will question him because he is a big guy.  Like squash my skull with one hand big. 

I got into people watching when I came to college.  The first few weeks I kept a low a profile as my experience in high school had not been that great and once I understood the group dynamics, I went from being extremely quiet to being the life of the party. 

I love messing with people's heads too.  Although sometimes it irritates me.  I was doing some advertising for one of the galleries and had a table set up off the sidewalk by one of the restaraunts people always had breakfast at.  They seemed mad that something new was there and would interfere with their daily routine.  Sheeple....
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barb dwyer
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« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2011, 03:59:32 pm »

This is truth:
Quote
I used to be very quiet and would watch people rather like one would watch animals on safari (with a bit less shooting of them afterwards) and discovered I could be seen as quite intimidating.

For years,
I had teeth problems
that made smiling ... not pretty.

SO I never smiled.

When I FINALLY got the money
and had the work done -
I smiled- in my sleep, practically.

And everyone EVERYONE around me ...changed.

It's amazing what a random act of smiling can do!
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