Now, who doesn’t enjoy people-watching?
Having just spent two days at a festival I had plenty of time over the weekend to observe a number of my fellow human beings, albeit mostly away from their natural habitat.
There were some great festival moments, one of my favourites being when the Damned were playing/leaping about on stage and I noticed that a large proportion of the audience were mothers patting their babies to sleep, or toddlers ‘dancing’ on their dads’ shoulders. (Presumably the family festival market would never have got off the ground without decent children’s ear defenders).
That aside, one suggestion for whiling away the time and/or adding a bit of an edge to your people-watching is to go out dressed differently from your usual style, talk to as many people as possible and see if they react any differently to you…
We all like to think we don’t judge people by appearances, but you may be surprised at how people react despite the fact that you’re quite obviously exactly the same person inside as you were yesterday.
I find this particularly interesting as I tend to forget what I’m wearing most of the time.
Festivals are a good place to try this out, as most people won’t have any expectations of you other than those based on their observations.
And people tend to be quite open and friendly, so it’s easy to strike up a conversation.
My festival outfits last weekend were mainly based around a selection of temporary tattoos and my black leather underbust corset. A little more interesting than my usual office wear, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary.
Only one person (female) obviously looked me up and down in a slightly critical fashion before deciding to talk to me…maybe there were a few more I missed with a subtler approach.
Generally people were relaxed & friendly, but that particular incident did remind me of a friend’s party last year where I wore a number of tattoos in the midst of a shirt-waister/Boden crowd who were quite obviously really surprised to find I had a lot in common with them once we got talking.
One self-test along these lines for the office-bound is, while you speak to a new client or prospect on the phone who you haven’t ever met, imagine them in your mind’s eye, as many details as possible. Then google them or look them up on LinkedIn and find out how wrong you were…if anyone does try that, I’d love to hear how you get on 😉
Thank you for reading xxx