observing a person

Reviewing web analytics can be fun. One recent visitor to my site arrived there via a search for “observing a person.” I tried replicating this search in a few search engines and did not come upon my site, but perhaps this searcher traveled much deeper into the results than I did. Regardless, it made me think about how we humans observe each other. And whether some of us do at all. I was recently talking to a friend who said her OCD tendencies allow her to immediately notice changes in her environment. This extends to people, too, of course. New haircuts are duly noted, as are unusual clothing items. I, too, closely observe the people around me, although depending on my relationship to them, I may not comment on any changes in their appearance. Awkward situations for me arise when I recognize someone but I can’t tell if they recognize me. Do I comment on this? Do I say I believe we’ve met? Or, I’ve noticed you standing outside my building in the early afternoon every day for the past 5 years? It really depends on the situation. The most awkward situations are when I’m positive that I’ve had interactions with a person and yet the person shows no indication of recognition toward me. Is it possible this person really doesn’t recognize or remember me? It boggles my mind but I suppose it can be true. What also confuses me is when there is no sign of recognition until you bring up a previous encounter. And then the person is like, “Oh, yeah, you’re so-and-so. I remember.” Is the person lying? Or just didn’t want to acknowledge me until I initiated it? I don’t get it. I guess I am just a bit obsessed with what is going on in other people’s brains. Are they observing other people as closely as I am, but just not mentioning it? Are they completely clueless and walking around in a total fog? What do you notice first about a person? Does it depend on whether it’s a man or a woman? What warrants a comment, and in what circumstances? Am I just crazy for thinking about stuff like this? Please advise.

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5 Comments

  1. I am suddenly intimidated by what goes on in your brain.

    Reply
  2. I guess I’m overly reliant on the visual…I recognize people and things and can’t catalog them fast enough sometimes. Also, why don’t people more often get excited to see other people that they recognize?

    Reply
    • Maybe they’re afraid of not being recognized in return. Sometimes I have that fear. I don’t know…it’s a strange phenomenon.

      Reply

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