To not ‘get’ people watchers?
Desertdweller8 · 02/09/2022 18:08
Everywhere I go there are tons of ‘people watchers’ who sit on benches and have their eyes glued to people/families and have no shame in being caught looking. usually I ignore it and keep to myself but it happens so often that I’m starting to question what these people gain in being nosey. There’s nothing about me that would cause wandering eyes to focus on me, I’m just an average person minding my business!
Went for a nice day at the beach before dc go back to school on Monday, sitting on a wall eating lunch and happen to look up at a lone woman watching our every movement from the sand. Found it very uncomfortable so we moved. She then seemed to have moved on to watch another family as we walked past and looked over.
now don’t get me wrong I know there are people that will think ‘how lovely a family enjoying their day’ to watch children play with fond memories of their own, and watching the busy rush of a town/city without focusing on a specific person, but I’m talking about those who intentionally sit and stare for fun with no realisation it may make some feel uncomfortable as they don’t want to be watched by strangers.
i have a friend who purposely goes to a specific cafe every morning to watch people from the window. She puts on social media things like ‘people watching from x if anyone wants to join’. She can’t explain why she does it when I asked. She’s had people approach her to argue about it and some people telling her to look away, from inside the cafe. sometimes she brings her mum and they make a morning of it. Is it loneliness? Boredom? I couldn’t think of anything more pointless than watching a family sit together/eat/walk/talk.
is there anyone here who does it? If so can I ask why? Genuinely trying to understand why it’s so common and enjoyed by so many!
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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Lesserspotteddogfish · 03/09/2022 01:10
Plantstrees · 02/09/2022 20:00
I also love watching the seagulls. Have you read Jonathan Livingston Seagull - I always think about it when I see them at the beach.
Lesserspotteddogfish · 02/09/2022 19:36
People watching doesn’t appeal. I do however like to watch dogs having a ball on the beach and seagulls doing their thing and try and imagine what it must be like to be them.
I have heard of it but not read it. Might get a copy now, thanks.
katscamel · 03/09/2022 06:09
I'm another one who likes people watching however have to be careful as if I haven't got my glasses on it may look as if I'm staring at you.....I'm not honestly...I may also think I recognise you...or you look like someone I know. Or maybe I just love what you're wearing/how you've styled something.
MintJulia · 03/09/2022 07:44
I'm not interested in what people do but this time of year I 'fashion watch' although it may feel like people watching to the people I'm looking at.
I love to watch what people start to wear as it gets colder, what works, what looks best. It's far better than flicking through web sites or fashion mags because the clothes are on normal people and the pictures haven't been tweaked.
I try not to be too obvious though. Sun glasses help 😊
Kanaloa · 03/09/2022 07:57
Desertdweller8 · 02/09/2022 19:31
Well I knew some people would struggle to understand what I meant…
it doesn’t happen to me all the time it’s an observation, I never said people stare intently at me, I notice people doing it in their surroundings, people I know admit to doing it and made me realise it’s a very common thing. The majority of people stop when they’re ‘caught’ but there’s always some that stare. A general glance at passerby’s would be watching the world go by. Focusing on a certain person or people is specifically people watching.
so ‘thehatels’ you mean if someone was uncomfortable at you staring at them and asked you to stop you would laugh? How do you know they haven’t got learning difficulties or scared of your intentions and you’re causing them mental distress? Doesn’t sound like people watching to me, sounds like borderline harassment/stalking.
People haven’t struggled to understand, you’ve said one thing then changed it - you literally said that ‘everywhere you go’ people are sitting with their eyes glued to others. Which realistically isn’t happening, so either you’re very interesting, causing others to stare, or very paranoid.
SnoozyLucy7 · 03/09/2022 08:17
OP, you say that it happens every where you go, that people are always staring at you. That sounds actually like you are the one who constantly stares at everyone else and it’s the other people who are noticing you do it and stare back, probably thinking “why is that woman (you), staring at me?. Just relax about it.
Plumbear2 · 03/09/2022 08:19
Desertdweller8 · 02/09/2022 19:05
im glad some of you see what I do in that it seems intrusive and odd. I certainly don’t mean the passing glance or a quick smile at an old lady, I mean people who specifically sit and focus on a person or a few then turn their focus to another family and so on. Watching the world go by isn’t the same thing as that often means taking in the weather, sounds etc not intruding on specific peoples’ personal space.
for those that do it what would be your reaction if you were approached and told to stop looking (or similar)?
Considering you have noticed all these things you sound like a people watcher.
thefoggiest · 03/09/2022 08:29
People watching is fascinating but the number one rule of PWing is to not get caught doing it. You are supposed to immediately look away or feign interest in something else if the watchee glances up!
PW is natural, we are social beings. I can understand going out purposefully to a cafe to empty your head, watch the world go by and just subconsciously remind yourself you are one among many... But I dont think it's acceptable at all to be caught looking.
Staring is rude in our culture, in British culture even a direct gaze for a second or two is a bit off. I also think that doing it with someone else, like your friend inviting people to join her at the cafe, almost crosses a line. When you people watch with someone else, it can become just straight up bitching. PWing is a solo sport IMO.
Swedesareneeps · 03/09/2022 08:34
I was recently on a bus and I loved watching the tourists enjoying the sensational scenery. I was discreet, but it just made my heart sing a wee bit.
I like walking through the park and watching the fledgling high school couples walking together, figuring out their space, to hand hold or not etc.
I always sit facing the room in restaurants so I can see the comings and goings - the staff as much as the punters.
I can sit for hours on the top deck of a bus watching the people mill around, observing the queuing etiquette at the bus stops, the shops and just getting a feeling for the regional vibe.
What I don't do is stare at individuals or groups. I like it to be transitory.
KimberleyClark · 03/09/2022 08:49
DancingBudgie · 02/09/2022 18:56
I love a bit of people watching from behind my sunglasses while sat outside a cafe or pub.
I can also rate any tasty blokes who come past too while I'm doing so.
If a man had posted this he’d have his arse handed to him…..
I once went up into the local mountains with my dog to do a bit of photography. I’d brought a picnic lunch and sat down at a picnic table to eat it. There was a couple on another table who didn’t take their eyes off me. I can only imagine they were bored with each other.
Ivalueloyaltyaboveallelse · 03/09/2022 08:53
when I lived in my apartment and I was on maternity leave. It had a pub opposite, a marina and lots of peoples workplaces. I loved sitting In my chair by the French doors holding baby and watching people, especially when it was raining outside. I’d be watching everyone run around trying to get to the pub for lunch or the bus home. I particularly love winter and as baby grew I’d sit with a glass of red wine and watch the lights come on and the hustle and bustle. It was marvellous. People watch all the time. I think it’s natural to be curious. I try not to be to obvious and stare blatantly but I do like watching the way people interact and wonder how must other peoples life’s be.
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