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People Watching

When Shawna and I first met I was working for Delta Airlines at one of the largest airports in the world – Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. And since I had the employee flight benefits I would take Shawna on some really cool trips (such as Disney World, Miami – South Beach, Colorodo – skiing…) Since we spent a lot of time in the airport we made almost a game out of watching people, but not just watching them – we would observe them and make up our own story about them. It was a great way to pass the time because I of course made up funny stuff, but I think we were able to learn a lot too.

Let me explain. I don’t believe you can ALWAYS judge (or make up a story about) a person by their outer appearance, but you might be surprised how often you can get close especially when you also observe a persons behaviors for just a few moments. How do I know this? I’m sure there are books by experts with supported research, but here’s how I do it. Observe your friends and family and relate their physical cues and appearance to their actual life story and circumstances. Also, know a few statistics about the majority of people (poor and middle class) and a few facts about the outliers (wealthy). Experience (of our own and others close to us) and observation is what helps us form more accurate impressions of people.

Call me crazy, but I’ve even guessed some things about people who I just met and found out later that some of what I guessed is true. All of us do this, but not everybody thinks about it like me – I’m a freak. First impressions often ARE accurate impressions. Like it or not it’s the truth, but some people are better at forming their first impressions.

The key word I used before is observed. You can’t just glance at someones clothes and whether or not they’re smiling to know much about them. You have to observe the look in their eye, their posture, how they walk, how they talk, etc. etc. etc. This is so interesting (and often humorous) to me that I want to share some of my observations and thoughts in future posts, so I’m going to make a category just for People Watching and post to it now and then. Check back… I’m often wrong, but it’ll be interesting to talk about what I think I’ve learned by watching people.

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