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People Watching: Rude or Fun?

I can't help it. Whenever I'm in a public place, be it an airport, an outdoor cafe, or park bench, I love to people watch. I'm not obvious about it (or at least I hope I'm not), but just taking a few glances at the people passing by somehow relaxes me. People are just so interesting to me because we're all so different.

I find great joy in watching old ladies walking their dogs and couples holding hands. I like to see groups of friends and how they interact, and I of course have to check out what everyone's wearing! I love seeing dads and their kids and mothers and daughters spending quality time together. Seeing people's interactions is inspirational, and it can really uplift your mood. I can relate in some way to all these strangers, and it makes me feel connected and human.

I do think you have to be cautious with who you watch and how you do it. You don't want to freak anyone out or make him or her feel self-conscious. There's a huge difference between people watching and stalking! So what do you think about people watching? Are you a fan or do you think it's a no-no?


Join The Conversation
keiramoe keiramoe 9 years
I people watch all the time! Theres nothing wrong with checking out your surroundings and seeing what the world is up to. If it was so horrible we wouldnt have professions like socialogy and the like. Watching other people, seeing how they interact with eachother, can help us in our own relationships I think. Ive seen plenty of mothers berate and yell at their kids in public and I would like to think Ill never do something like that, likewise Ive also seen many acts of kindness and hopefully that has influenced me as well.
Beaner Beaner 9 years
I don't think it's rude if you do it discreetly. Just don't make it obvious.
graciepants graciepants 9 years
me and my sister and her friend sat upstairs in a food court with a huge glass window overlooking the triffic lights and the shops below and we would comment and observe people adn what thw wore and their little habits, its so funny cos they can't see you and its fasinating just to watch. do it sometime . . . its great cheap thrills
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I love people-watching and seeing everyone interact with each other. But there's a difference between people-watching and staring, I hate when people stare at me.
higgydt4 higgydt4 9 years
I love to people-watch but I hate when people-watch me!! haha
Marci Marci 9 years
People watching is a true sport. I love it! But I agree that it should be done without being rude. I was in an airport once flying home for my mother's funeral. Who even knows what I had on - and who even cared at the time. While waiting for a connecting flight I saw a woman eye me up and down and then whisper in her husband's ear. So I just kept my eyes on him and when he turned to look at me, I was looking right back at him. He was totally embarrassed and tried to pretend he was just looking around but he was beet red. I actually didn't think they looked so great themselves to be judging anyone.
rightmyer rightmyer 9 years
People watching is fun!
mlen mlen 9 years
i think everyone people watches right? as long as you aren't pointing and laughing and making snide comments out loud, i don't see the problem! i love watching people interact and what people are wearing and what they are doing. its fascinating because, as you said, we are so different! some people astound me with how they look and act lol but others inspire me. one of my fav things to do is get an outdoor table with a friend and a few margaritas and sit there for hours watching people walk by on the street!
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
I do it, but I do think it can be rude if you are pointing or staring too much. I people watch when I go anywhere really.
ImJessica ImJessica 9 years
I love people watching. One game I really like to play is to look at couples and try to guess how long they've been together by how they interact with one another.
msmishka msmishka 9 years
I definitely do it. I'm working on my MS in Psychology- people watching is in my blood now. I watch to study interactions, body language, all kinds of things. I'm usually quite covert about it as to not make anyone uncomfortable.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 9 years
I do, but I'm careful so the people don't think I'm staring. I wouldn't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
ms_dior_cherie ms_dior_cherie 9 years
oklahoma - I totally know where you are coming from. Very true!
ma9321 ma9321 9 years
I people watch sometimes. I don't have much time to people watch because i'm always in a rush.
oklahoma oklahoma 9 years
Not to seem like a snob, But I think it depends on what the watcher looks like.. If it is a creepy man, wearing creepy clothes or a woman even. That is where it gets rude or uncomfortable. If that person continues to stare at you and smiles and trys to keep your eyes locked on you. I've just had a fairshare of creepy almost stalkers & I DONT like it..
ms_dior_cherie ms_dior_cherie 9 years
I am such a people watcher! Sometimes I will sit in a parking lot for close to an hour just watching people pass by my car while I am on the phone with a girlfriend or just building up the energy to go shopping. I just like to watch people, how they interact, their body language, etc. Its funny what you will see sometimes.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
This is why i love mirrored sunglasses. :D no one can SEE that I'm people watching. just what direction my head is looking.
tati33 tati33 9 years
i like people watching..I mean I don't stare at the people...Having sunglasses helps :ROTFL: At the airport I agree is a fun place...
LolaDub LolaDub 9 years
no..ur not mom does the same thing..and she dont think its rude. i think its therapuetic at times too.
Jeng112 Jeng112 9 years
I'm guilty. Especially at the local fairs, they tend to bring out the weird ones.
erthed erthed 9 years
It's one way for me to feel better about myself. I don't poke fun at people (not out loud), but you can tell a lot of people are actually going through things in their lives at that moment, and i like to sit back and wonder what it is. It helps me realize that everyone has their own issues. That other people grew up struggling. That work may be tough, but I'm not the only one going through hardtimes. I don't know. It's not just the deeper level of people watching that I enjoy. I can be superficial too! Not that I should be proud of it, but that's why it's so great for me! It fulfills me in so many different ways --- and I'm not hurting people when I do it.
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
I love to people watch...always have. Now that im married, if i go out for the night with my girlfriends, the best thing to do is watch all the "singles" stalking about looking to hit on someone...its makes me happy to be married and fun to watch too! I agree...airports are great places to people watch...such diversity!
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
I love it. It's not rude if you're discreet about it. It's most fun to do it with another person. My SIL & I always try to guess what a person's life is like, what they do, etc. Sometimes we just have a good laugh, because some people are just goofy!
brenababy brenababy 9 years
I love people watching, I try to imagine what kind of car they may drive or how they deocorate their homes, and it is just fun to watch people be silly when they think no one is watching! :)
Cymone Cymone 9 years
i love people watching! its fun to think about where they're going or what they just did. when my friends and i are people watching and we see a couple being flirty and cute we'll be like, "i bet they just had sex!" or we see a creepy guy we'll say, "ew, he probably just killed someone!" those are just a couple haha our imaginations go farther than sex and death!
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