I like to people watch, but I also like to eavesdrop. I don't really get a thrill from it, but it's suddenly more intriguing when I am not directly involved.
If I'm in public, I may find myself passively listening to conversations around me. If people are speaking in another room, their conversation may catch my attention more than if they were in the same room & especially if including me. If I were IN such conversations, then I would likely find them dull & zone out of them. There's nothing juicy or interesting about them in their topics.
There's this aspect of being separate or detached from a conversation which allows me to see the dynamics of people from a more, er, objective viewpoint. The internet is fantastic for this - I love to lurk on message boards where people VERY different from myself post. It's the ability to look in from the outside & see how people interact & think that fascinates me.
To some degree, I think all people are this way (hence the popularity of reality TV; which I actually can't stand), but I don't think they enjoy the kind of sneaky, invisible side of it.
Would you consider yourself "emotionally voyeuristic"?