Confessions of a Professional People Watcher

NYC is an ideal destination for my favorite hobby— people watching. Whether you are on a bench at Central Park, or sipping a beer at a rooftop bar, there is no shortage of humans to observe.


After sitting and watching countless man buns, sundresses, fedoras and everything in between, I stopped and wondered what was it about people watching that I loved so much.

So, here it is, the top reasons why people watching is the best hobby in the world…

Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self

It’s often been said that how we judge others is how we really judge ourselves. The things that I criticize the most, are the things that I am most self conscious about. People watching helps me to keep myself in check. When you actually sit there and watch someone take a selfie, it makes you think twice. 


The Superficial Reasons 

Life is a fashion show and the world is your runway. It is so much fun to observe outfits & styles: the good, the bad & the ugly. Watching others sparks ideas for new hairstyles, placement for tattoos, or inspiration in ordering a different drink at the bar. Not to mention the excitement that can come from sparking conversation with the eye candy you were ogling. 


Comedic Relief 

Some of the things you see are just downright amusing. Whether it’s overhearing an absurd conversation, or a ridiculous outfit choice, people watching can provide great entertainment. It can lead to material for a joke, story plot ideas or character development. 


The Deeper Stuff

Curiosity will never kill this cat. I often drift away wondering what brings people to where they are, with who they’re with. It’s a hobby that can ignite a sense of self confidence or extreme insecurity. It can make me lose and gain faith in humanity all at once. The horror I feel when watching a little kid distracted from life on their iPad is instantly turned to joy when I see a gray haired couple sip beers together at the bar. People watching brings out the questions that are sometimes hard to ask, forcing you to think about things that you may not necessarily think about. It is a perfect time to practice skills of listening, observation, and reflection. 


Next time you’re in a crowded public place, sit back and watch what’s going on around you. Take note to the things that stand out, because it can shed light on the things that you prioritize! 

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