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Thursday, March 31, 2011

People Watching

As I walk to school I walk past a lot of people and think about what they may be thinking about. What is on their minds? Are they happy are they sad are they anxious or depressed did they just get a new boy/girlfriend. What is going on up in their mind behind the masked face. It is fun to watch how they walk how they look and how they talk on their phones. I think the talking on the phone is very interesting and then watching them when they get off. Their entire demeanor changes when they are finished talking to the other person. The same thing happens when they are walking with someone who then goes in another direction. Start watching people their actions/body language can tell you so much about them.

I recently wanted to do a poll of sorts where I would watch only how the person walked and then ask them on a likert scle of how happy they are. It would be interesting to see if their was a significant correlation between how a person walks and how happy they are.

“There are seven universally recognized emotions shown through facial expressions: fear, anger, surprise, contempt, disgust, happiness, and sadness. Regardless of culture, these expressions are the same.” ( In a class I took a while back we talked about how much of communication takes place in our facial expressions and that a majority of it is in the eyes. We as writers need to be able to show our readers our characters emotions by their facial expressions.

So go out and watch some people!!

What are some things you have noticed about people as you watch them?


  1. This is all very true, even for myself. I do usually try to keep a smile on after I get off the phone, if I had a smile on while on the phone. I have tried an experiment of my sister's. Most people won't look other people in the eye. As you're walking around, especially on campus, try it out!

  2. My husband loves to wave energetically to people when we're walking or driving. One day we pulled into a parking stall and realized someone was sitting in the car in front of us. My husband put on a large grin and waved. The lady looked at him for a moment, smiled broadly, and waved right back. It is amazing to see how people's expressions change if you just offer a smile and a wave.

  3. Have you ever seen the TV show Lie To Me? (this post kind of reminds me of that show)

    I love people watching, mostly I like watching how their body language relates to those they are talking to. I like using body movements during dialogue, thus I often use what I see.


  4. I love to people watch too (that is when I actaully get out of the house :) It is fun to see how people act around other people, and act on the phone. What you mentioned about how people act on the phone, reminds me of my first semester here at BYUI and where I worked I could see lots of people walking by during my shift. I noticed that there was a guy that would walk by around the same time every day, and every time I saw him I could tell he was talking and using his hands, but I never could see anyone, or a phone that he was talking to. I thought the guy was kinda nutty :), but then one day he turned around and I noticed a blue tooth on the opposite ear that I could never see, now those things make for really fun people watching, cuz it looks like they are talking to themselves! :)

  5. Character study (and people watching) are important components to writing character. I've started reading my son's Psych text book--very interesting. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. When I started writing a little over a year ago I was amazed at how much psychology goes into it. Elle I think its great that you are looking at Psych books to better understand your characters.
    I enjoy Lie to me ...most of the time (I haven't liked it as well as I used to) I agree with you though the body movement and people's reaction to it is very interesting. This is actually what I will be posting tomorrow on so thats it for now (:
    Whit maybe he wasn't really on the phone? Write a story about it and share it here (:

  7. The only real place to people watch where I live is in WalMart. I think from reading your posts I will have to just take more time to watch. merika


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