18 Signs You Might Have A Serious People-Watching Problem

Shutterstock / pio3
Shutterstock / pio3

1. When your parents took you for ice cream as a kid, you were excited about the ice cream part, but more so excited because it meant you got to watch tons of interesting people coming and going.

2. You have a hard time actually working out at the gym because you’re too busy watching everyone else work out. But like, in a non-creepy way.

3. You try not to get super upset about traffic, because you know that if you’re stuck for a little while, you can at least watch what everyone around you is doing, including the guy picking his nose or the woman that’s clearly in a screaming match on the phone with her boyfriend.

4. When most people say “Let’s go to the mall!” they’re implying that they would like to walk around to several stores and shop. But what you think is “Let’s go to the mall, get some Ben & Jerry’s, and then sit on a bench for an hour and watch crazy shoppers roll by.”

5. Public transportation is awesome, in your humble opinion. You actually look forward to your commute because it’s the perfect opportunity to watch a variety of characters all in the same enclosed space together.

6. Boardwalks are your dream come true.

7. When traveling, you try to board the airplane as soon as you can. Yes, so you can have ample space for your bag in the overhead bin, but also so you can sit in your seat and watch everybody else walk by, shove their bags in tight spaces, get frustrated, and ultimately provide ample entertainment for you.

8. If you attend any kind of religious service, trying to focus on praying is a lost cause. Your eyes basically just dart all over the place throughout the entire service watching different people trying to focus, or falling asleep, or texting while holding their phone inside their purse.

9. …and if there’s some sort of a communion line? You just give up on praying and look at people’s shoes instead.

10. When you’re out to dinner with someone and they stop paying attention to you and start playing on their phone, you don’t feel weird about just sitting there and staring at them until they look up and feel awkward enough to put it away.

11. You have a go-to response if you’re in a work meeting and someone calls on you when you’re not paying attention. There have been too many times where you got distracted with observing different coworkers and someone asked you a question. So now, you have something along the lines of “Well, I think it all goes back to strategy” in case you’re asked to comment.

12. When you pass by other people that are sitting on a bench, you feel immediately tense and insecure because you know they’re probably watching you and making up stories in their head about you in the same way that you do when you’re people watching.

13. You occasionally find yourself being drawn to psychology and sociology books while in a bookstore, because you’re starting to acknowledge that you just have an overall obsession with human nature and social science.

14. Parties can be a pretty interesting experience for you, because while you’re standing there having a conversation with someone, you’re actually trying to listen to the conversation that’s going on right next to you. It’s the ultimate form of juggling, and you’re pretty much nailing it.

15. You have a hard time relaxing at the beach in terms of stretching out and taking a nap or opening a good book, because there’s simply too many interesting and funny things going on around you.

16. Although you haven’t completely given up on it, you’re not as interested in Facebook or Instagram stalking anymore, because it’s not nearly as fun or as fascinating as watching people behave in real life.

17. When people talk about wanting to spend time in huge cities like Paris or New York, they’re usually thinking of the fashion, the nightlife, the tourism opportunities, etc. But for you, it’s exciting because it means getting to witness some of the most eccentric everyday people in the world, all in one place.

18. You hate when others think people watching is for people who like being nosy and judgmental, because it’s pretty much the opposite of that. You just love being an unbiased observer who’s interested in understanding more about human nature. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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