Tips From a Stealthy Observer


As I’m sure you can already tell from my previous posts, I often sit and write at various coffee shops. I find the subtle background sounds mixed with the stimulating espresso makes for an inspirational environment. I also enjoy observing those around me. No, it’s not eavesdropping. I like to think of it as observing. I’m pretty much a self-proclaimed amateur Anthropologist. From my observations, I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade that I thought I would share with you.

Blending Is Key

The best way to observe those around you is to blend into your surroundings. It’s important that people don’t think they’re being watched. I like to use the old headphones approach. I try to make it look as though I’m lost in the music I’m listening to. It does help if your headphones are plugged in to something. A dangling cord is often a clear sign that you’re up to something, or you’re crazy. Either way, people will often get up and move further away from you, making it harder to hear what they’re saying. It also helps if the headphones that you’re using aren’t noise reducing. Noise reducing headphones will make it increasingly difficult to hear those around you. You might also start yelling to those around you without realizing it.

Some People Talk About Stupid Things 

Now, not every experience is a winner. You may have to sit through a number of dull conversations before you stumble upon a head-turner (that’s just a figure of speech. Don’t actually turn your head and watch them. Trust me.) Some people just talk about boring things like how expensive gluten-free bread is. I mean, aren’t there more important things we can discuss, like work scandals? You might also get stuck next to girls who can’t stop talking about how much Ryan Gosling sucks as an actor and that if he’s cast as Christian Grey that they’ll refuse to go see it. Ryan Gosling does NOT suck as an actor. I mean, he wasn’t in his prime during Breaker High, but I thought The Notebook was pretty moving… youths… they don’t know what they’re talking about… but I digress.

Listen With Purpose

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to listen with purpose. Purpose is what separates the keen observers from the eavesdroppers. Remember, you’re not a creeper, you’re an observer. Take notes on the human behavior you encounter and think about how society is forming around you. Your computer will also help you blend into the background. Find the deeper meaning in life. I mean, yes, sometimes people will sit near you and they’ll be wildly entertaining and you may get sidetracked, but that’s not the purpose of your observations.

One last note. When you’re sitting in an empty room, it might be time to change locations….


2 thoughts on “Tips From a Stealthy Observer

  1. Pingback: What Are You Wearing? | A Laptop In The Wind

  2. Pingback: See how many are better off than you are, but consider how many are worse. | philosiblog

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