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  1. #1
    Senior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Default People Watching--What Crosses Your Mind?

    I'm still trying to get a handle on the instinctual variants thing. I know the concept and the definitions, and I've read about the various stackings, but I still can't be sure of my own stacking. (But of course I'm a Six, so I can't be sure of anything, much as I'd love to.)

    Anyhow, while reading other threads, I got to thinking about "girl watching" (as in the old song). Of course there's also "guy watching," and the generic term would be "people watching."

    My question is, do you do much people watching? And if and when you do, what do you look for or notice? And what kinds of thoughts cross your mind? Explicit sexual thoughts? General "sizing someone up" thoughts? Thoughts of possible friendship or romance? Or what?

    Also, do you think your variant stacking has anything to do with that? Do you suppose people with different stackings see and think about different things?

    I'm imagining this in the same way as the "walking into a room" analogy that Riso & Hudson used. Their angle was, What's the first thing you notice? The temperature and where the food is (sp)? The cliques or groupings of people (so)? Or individuals you'd like to connect with (sx)?

    I notice, for example, that my wife often points to someone in a crowd and says, "She's not well; she needs some nutritional help or physical therapy." Or she'll comment on someone's posture or gait. I'm thinking this might be a sign of leading sp. I myself wouldn't notice those things if she didn't bring them up.

    More on what I do notice will follow, if there's any interest in this thread.
    Last edited by Patrick; 06-22-2015 at 09:21 AM.
    "Some would say that extended meaningful conversation is a thing of the past. But they'd say it more quickly." (Tom Morris)

  2. #2
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    I usually don't people watch. I'm much too self involved, unfortunately.

    I do, however, tend to notice things that belong to the sx instinct when I walk into a room of new people. Straight away I notice my attraction to certain individuals. There's an underlying desire to connect with this person, even if I don't consciously acknowledge it in my thoughts. I think behavior is influenced as well. Other people begin to feel like nuisance vying for attention of the one. I hate the feeling because I see it as pathetic to compete or feel any sort of competitive energy.

  3. #3
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    I'm constantly people watching. If I am outside, and there are people around (assuming I don't have headphones in and event then I still do), I am watching.

    ...well that sure doesn't sound creepy. Usually I am watching for how they behave, what they're current state and vibe is, and what they're talking about. I'm essentially trying to get a feel for what they're like and use it to further understand human behavior and how people interact.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hijynx View Post
    I usually don't people watch. I'm much too self involved, unfortunately.

    I do, however, tend to notice things that belong to the sx instinct when I walk into a room of new people. Straight away I notice my attraction to certain individuals. There's an underlying desire to connect with this person, even if I don't consciously acknowledge it in my thoughts. I think behavior is influenced as well. Other people begin to feel like nuisance vying for attention of the one. I hate the feeling because I see it as pathetic to compete or feel any sort of competitive energy.
    That's interesting to me, because it sounds kinda like what I do. But what makes it seem competitive to you? I'd never have thought of it that way.

    I simply focus, almost automatically, on people of interest. Part of it is checking to see if it's someone I know; if it's not, then I immediately ask myself if it's someone I'd like to know. And if the subject is female (and not too young or old or otherwise out of bounds), I wonder if she's someone I might like to know intimately. Makes no difference that I'm an old married guy and nothing's really going to happen; the attraction itself is a bit of a thrill--and more so if my glance is rewarded with a return glance or even a smile.

    I also have a knack for knowing people (or believing I do) even before we actually meet. (I've read this is generally so for INFPs.) At first glance, I can usually tell whether the person will like or dislike me, or what approach I'd have to take for us to get along.

    At times there's an instant mutual attraction, which I especially like. Most times the other person's thoughts are elsewhere, and I'm just another face in the crowd; and that's OK. Once in a while I get something like a cold glare and "stay away" vibes; and that's mildly shocking and unpleasant at first, but I end up smiling inside and just respecting the person's space, as I would have anyway.

    I'm quiet, aloof, and introverted--and also happily married and not looking for anyone--so I almost never actually approach anyone or try to strike up a conversation. But I can't help but notice people and imagine relationships, as outlined above. Anytime I actually do get into a conversation with someone, I reel all my thoughts and imaginings back in and am simply as respectful, friendly, and balanced as I can be. I get along well with most people, though my shyness shows.

    So, what I'm wondering is whether this has anything to do with the instinctive variants--the sx variant in particular.
    "Some would say that extended meaningful conversation is a thing of the past. But they'd say it more quickly." (Tom Morris)

  5. #5
    Fabula rasa Kas's Avatar
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    It depends. Sometimes I just switch off and get lost in thoughts.

    When I observe people I like to guess who they are, what are they interested in, what they are like. It's sometimes possible to make many observations during 30 minutes in bus
    It's like a game I used to play since childhood.
    “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." A.C. Doyle


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    people watching is a great hobby of mine. I can't not observe people.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kas View Post
    When I observe people I like to guess who they are, what are they interested in, what they are like. It's sometimes possible to make many observations during 30 minutes in bus
    It's like a game I used to play since childhood.
    That sounds like it would be typical of people with a so/sx stacking. In contrast, I find I can't get interested in guessing such things about people (nor would I be any good at it if I tried). My attention is always mainly on how, in a best-case situation, I would get along in a relationship with the person I'm looking at. The moment I decide I wouldn't want to connect with that person, my attention goes elsewhere--starts looking for someone I would want to connect with.

    Things like the person's social status, career, hobbies, interests, etc. never even cross my mind. Even when I'm getting to know someone, I'm apt to forget to ask about those things (or forget to pay attention to the answers if I do ask out of politeness). I'm more interested in where the person's heart is at.
    "Some would say that extended meaningful conversation is a thing of the past. But they'd say it more quickly." (Tom Morris)

  8. #8
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    To preface this: I'm so/sx.

    If I people-watch, it's accidental, and it's because either

    1) the people in question are doing something that catches my eye or ear, or
    2) I'm not terribly immersed in whatever I'm thinking about, or listening to on my headphones.

    If the latter is the case, my eye tends to drift from person to person -- or group to group, if people are clearly together. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if I was stuck with the people around me for a long period, and we had to work together, and our backstories revealed themselves over time -- a la "Twelve Angry Men" or "LOST" or something similar. (This happens to me regularly on public transport en route to work.) Sometimes I wonder what a person's reasoning is for doing whatever it is they're doing, that I find interesting, e.g. wearing unusual clothing. Sometimes I admire good looking guys, wondering how attractive their girlfriends or boyfriends are relative to me, or people I know.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
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  9. #9
    Senior Member senza tema's Avatar
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    I people watch to the extent that I'm sensitive to beauty and interest. If I find someone attractive or something about their appearance is interesting, I'll do a double take and stare unabashedly.

    I blithely ignore nearly everyone else.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    I watch for social dynamics, posture, aesthetic style, mood and expressiveness, and purpose for being wherever they are. The longer it takes to understand, the longer my eyes stick.
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