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List: Posted: 05/19/11
If you want to learn more about society and the way that people interact with one another on a daily basis, you might want to start people watching. Watching the way one person reacts and treats another can help you to understand more about the way humans communicate in society. You might be surprised at some of the things you are able to learn through each and every person you observe.
To begin, find a good location from which to watch. A coffee shop is a nice choice, but you will see only limited types of interactions among the person or group you are observing. Try other areas as well, such as the mall, the park or at work. You will find many places where you can catch a person acting in ways they wouldn't normally do.
You must make sure that you aren’t too obtrusive when you are watching. A person will usually be able to tell when someone is observing them, and can often "sense" someone staring, even when their back is turned to you. Have a book or writing material with you, or have something to eat and drink to make you less noticeable. Never slip into the role of a voyeur, or get caught staring, especially if you are observing a member of the opposite sex. You are observing the person for fun, not to be creepy!
Whether you are writing a fiction book and need to study human interaction to create new characters, or you are just curious about how people act when they think they're not being watched, people watching is a fun and interesting hobby. Take a friend along when you are observing people and compare your notes later. It might be interesting to see what differences you observed when viewing the same person.
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