Do you find yourself analyzing social situations around you?

@TheHorse (66034)
Pleasant Hill, California
April 5, 2016 11:17am CST
It was this photo that led me to hang out with my 7-year-old neighbor buddy last weekend. He caught me taking the picture and said, "Hey, are you taking our picture"? What led me to take the picture was that there was a lot going on. The Croation-American mom (not shown) was chatting with the Indian-American mom while my 7-year-old friend made an elaborate train network. But the Indian mom was also trying to keep track of her younger child, who was scurrying about all over the place. The boy playing with the railroad tracks was pretending to be friendly, but I could tell that he was most concerned that the younger child, who may have had challenges of some sort (perhaps some sort of sensory disorder?), would trample his railroad tracks. I was watering my balcony plants and watched all this unfold. I kind of felt like Jeeves, Bertie Wooster's butler (a P.G. Wodehouse creation), quietly taking everything in. Do you ever watch or listen to social situations and try to figure out what's going on from different angles?
40 people like this
37 responses
@Jessicalynnt (47895)
• Centralia, Missouri
5 Apr 16
not tons, hubby does, but I tend to be oblivious
5 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
I tend to. Am I a good social psychologist? A closet Jeeves or Sherlock Holmes? Or just nosy?
5 people like this
• Centralia, Missouri
5 Apr 16
@TheHorse both? lol
3 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
@Jessicalynnt Yep. All of the above.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 16
I love people watching and trying to figure out a story to go with what I'm watching. Seems as if you're pretty much right when looking at this picture. Your neighbor looks intend on building his railroad and doesn't seem to want any problems in his construction
5 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
Yep. The younger child was interested in his railroad, but my young friend had already sized him up as "too young" to really help, and so returned to the task at hand.
2 people like this
@carebear29 (28586)
• Wausau, Wisconsin
5 Apr 16
I have a habit of doing that once in a while.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
To me, it keeps life interesting. I don't carry a smart phone, so I'm always observing my environment. If I have to take notes, I take mental notes.
3 people like this
@amadeo (66054)
• United States
5 Apr 16
Not that I recall.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
If you hear a loud conversation near you, do you listen in a bit? Or ignore it?
3 people like this
@sallypup (27159)
• Moses Lake, Washington
5 Apr 16
@TheHorse Eavesdropping can result in found poetry or a short story. So yes, its a good habit to cultivate- this being nosy. Its not a vice. Its admirable.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
@sallypup One of my favorite poems (actually got published--it's called "Cheeseburger") occurred because I was watching a mother interact with her children at a hamburger stand.
2 people like this
@marguicha (95041)
• Chile
5 Apr 16
What you are telling is quite normal here, if you go to the beach, for example.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
Yesterday, I took my kid client (also 7-years-old) to McDonalds. It was fun to hear the kids he was playing with (they played hide and seek) work out the rules, find each other, and change the rules as necessary.
2 people like this
@Morleyhunt (19750)
• Canada
6 Apr 16
Several years ago my husband had unwilling ringside seats to a marital dispute. We were in the apartment above the store. The couple stood just in front of the store with a stroller with an infant and the, about six year old girl, moved off about 40 feet to play with the gravel. After almost an hour of being silent spectators, we wanted to dump a pail of water off the balcony over their heads. They were still both replaying the same argue,net, over and over and over.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
Great for the kids, I'm sure. How did they appear?
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (19750)
• Canada
6 Apr 16
@TheHorse the six year old seemed to want to separate herself from her parents. She knew we were watching, and I had the feeling this was. It the first time she had been through this kind of situation. I felt so badly for this child. She needed to be home in bed with a loving family.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
7 Apr 16
@Morleyhunt Yep, this is the kind of thing I see over and over in my job.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (24795)
• Aurora, Missouri
6 Apr 16
Yes and no, pony... If we are out in a public place, I may pay more attention to what is going on around us, but if I am home, I KNOW I am oblivious of anything happening around us! Our neighbors simply don't interest me. Once I have figured out the type of person they are, I tend to ignore anything else they do. We used to have sets of neighbors who constantly watched us (and presumably everyone else on the street) but I felt their constant surveillance was intrusive in the extreme! We couldn't even go out onto our front porch to sit quietly and read without them coming out and staring at us as if we were there simply for their amusement. We were quite happy when both sets of people were evicted from the rental houses they infested!
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
Didn't they have jobs and such like?
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (24795)
• Aurora, Missouri
9 Apr 16
Green Stripe Bamboo. Pic is mine.
@TheHorse Apparently not! You know I work odd hours, but anytime I was home, so were they! It didn't matter what day of the week or hour of the day, if we went out onto our front porch, we drew an audience... We had one set of neighbors who lived int the other half of the duplex we rent that would sit at their back window and stare at us if we were out on our front porch. We finally grew a bamboo hedge so they couldn't see us and we had privacy from them... I have a picture of that bamboo hedge. Let me see if I can post it right-side up for you.
@JudyEv (123432)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Apr 16
These situations can be very interesting. It's like being a fly on a wall.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
7 Apr 16
Exactly! I pretend to be involved in what I'm doing (grading papers, etc.). But I'm always watching and listening.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123432)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 Apr 16
@TheHorse It's amazing what you can pick up on just watching and listening.
@Tampa_girl7 (25735)
• United States
6 Apr 16
Yes, I enjoy people watching.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
7 Apr 16
I can't help it. It's a part of my daily routine.
@Corbin5 (106702)
• United States
5 Apr 16
As a middle school teacher and an elementary school teacher, I was often presented with social situations I would watch with great interest. Kid interactions are the most interesting kind of social situation to observe.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
I think so too. I also think that adult interactions parallel kid interactions, but with more at stake.
@sallypup (27159)
• Moses Lake, Washington
5 Apr 16
Long grocery store lines are good for this kind of wondering. The photo is great. At first I couldn't figure out what the snaky thing was then I realized it was your buddy with the railroad set up.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
He was very into it. I helped him that day and the next day too. I still enjoy getting tracks to line up.
@cherriefic (4690)
• Baguio, Philippines
5 Apr 16
Sometimes I do whenever I am out and waiting for someone or something.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
Yes, it can be a way to pass the time.
2 people like this
@josie_ (7361)
• Philippines
6 Apr 16
People watching can be fun. You develop awareness and better observation skills. Good especially for writers.But we should be circumspect about it and avoid outward staring. Cultural difference should also be of concern
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
Which cultural differences come to mind for you?
@josie_ (7361)
• Philippines
6 Apr 16
@TheHorse _My brother who works as a cook on a cargo ship was sightseeing NY. Can't recall the street but I think it was in Manhattan. A couple (Afro-American) were having a heated argument on the street.Most passerby just pass them but my brother couldn't help staring which drew the attention of the man (A huge mountain of a man) "What are you starring at Samo Hung?" he yelled at my brother. My brother who is also a big guy thought it prudent to scamper to the other side of the road. (Samo Hung is a Chinese martial actor whom my brother resembles.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
@josie_ Everyone, even the police, hates getting involved in domestic stuff. I saw a domestic dispute on a corner in Oakland CA in a bad neighborhood near my job. I just moved right along.
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13513)
• Worcester, England
5 Apr 16
Like someone mentioned, I do like to observe people whilst doing my shopping...makes things more interesting. I love Jeeves and Wooster, have you seen the tv adaptation?...really funny
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
I haven't seen the TV adaptation. Did the House actor (one of my favorite TV shows of recent vintage) play Bertie in that one? Or was that a different adaption?
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13513)
• Worcester, England
5 Apr 16
@TheHorse You're right, Hugh Laurie played wooster.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
@Mike197602 I think I would enjoy that. It's on my list.
1 person likes this
@yalul070 (1753)
• Manila, Philippines
6 Apr 16
Always. And I don't like it. I always overthink. I can't take anything at face value. Sometimes I get my mind off of them, sometimes I don't.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
I find it interesting. I try not to let the negative side of it all bother me.
1 person likes this
@yalul070 (1753)
• Manila, Philippines
6 Apr 16
@TheHorse Oh when you already have a lot of things in mind, it would be helpful to learn to set aside things that don't matter, right? And yeah, especially if they are negative.
@jaboUK (54036)
• United Kingdom
5 Apr 16
I do, and the first thing I would have thought about the situation you posted was that the child shouldn't be playing in the road.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (65115)
• India
6 Apr 16
Exactly my thought. Call it paranoia but I would be scolding the boy asking him to play only on pavement whosoever's child he may be.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54036)
• United Kingdom
6 Apr 16
@vandana7 I agree, and the mother is negligent in sitting there too, and letting her other child stand in the road.
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
5 Apr 16
I love to watch people, but I try not to spend too much time on any one group. Sometimes they do something that might make me look a little longer and wonder what they are doing.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
5 Apr 16
I watch people on BART trains too.
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
5 Apr 16
@TheHorse Not sure what BART trains are. Is it your subway?
@Marcyaz (35669)
• United States
5 Apr 16
I have done so in the past but now living in the country with no neighbors close by I don't do it anymore.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
What about when you go to town to get groceries?
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35669)
• United States
6 Apr 16
@TheHorse I generally just go shopping and go on home.
• Eugene, Oregon
7 Apr 16
Yes, it is a great pastime, especially for those who like to write.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
7 Apr 16
Yes, there's food for thought, and writing, virtually everywhere.
1 person likes this
@andriaperry (50802)
• United States
6 Apr 16
I used to when I lived in the old neighborhood. I could watch for a minute and have a short story written in my head in a few minutes.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (66034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Apr 16
Was more going on there than where you live now?