So I have been a people-watcher for a long time. Back when free time was something I could actually measure in periods longer than seconds, I would enjoy a good sit and a front row seat to humanity. Disneyland is a prime place to watch, as is the airport. But, mostly anywhere will do.
It is such an easy activity, just pick a seat where people congregate, and have at it. It never fails to amaze me how different we all are. How the same stimuli can create a million plus responses.
No matter where you are in public, there is someone, somewhere, watching you. And most likely, judging you in that (comparative to the span of your life) nanosecond. We just can't help it, that is how we are. If I see a woman explode and scream at her daughter when she asks if she can buy a toy, that woman will be frozen for eternity in my brain patterns as a big crank. Even if that might have been, for all I know, the 20th time the child had asked for that toy. Even if that woman's husband might be in the hospital. Even if she just is having a lousy day. She will always be recalled by me as loud, harsh, and probably someone in serious need of a spa day. We can only extrapolate from what we see in those brief moments, to spin all sorts of scenarios as to why that person reacted the way they did would take much too long. So, we go with what we've got.
I like people, really I do. I see myself as a "people person." I usually get along well with others, I have no problems standing in front of 50 people and giving a presentation, and in a conversation, people seem to be interested in what I have to say. But, who knows how many people will see me in their mind's eye as the woman who cannot wait patiently in line, who cussed when she dropped her keys, who rolls her eyes at outfits she deems inappropriate on other people. It is all me, I can't deny it.
We all have our less than stellar moments. The best we can hope for is that the least amount of people possible are witnesses to them.