10 quirky habits that show someone is a highly intelligent observer of human behavior

The world is full of weird and wonderful people.

We’re all unique and that’s a fact that highly intelligent observers of human behavior find fascinating.

There’s so much to see and learn about others, that they act like a sponge, trying to soak it all up.

This can lead to quite a few quirky habits.

Let’s take a look at what makes them so good at figuring out other people in the world around them…

1) They make a hobby out of people-watching

They’re the ones you see sitting on a park bench just taking it all in.

To those who may not get it, maybe it even seems a bit creepy.

Why do they just sit around doing nothing and staring at passers-by?

On the outside, it may seem that way, but on the inside plenty is going on.

It is an activity in itself to observe the idiosyncrasies in the lives of others.

It provides fascinating tit-bits of information that offers them a deeper understanding, and even empathy for their fellow man.

As self-confessed people watcher Jordon Brown explains:

“I watch because I learn so much about humans this way. And, in the process, I learn about myself. Take someone walking down the street…You can see stories in a walk. If you look hard enough, you can imagine where that person on the street is coming from. I’m not talking just about location. I’m talking about the soul’s journey — from which direction does that emerge? What trials and tribulations has that body been through?”

The reality is, that people watchers are not only observant but imaginative too. They use their observations to create stories that captivate them.

2) They are astute observers of body language

Have you ever heard it said in an argument:

“It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it?”

Well, they may have a point.

That’s because communication goes far beyond the words we use.

It encompasses a whole host of subtleties that include things like the tone of voice someone uses and their body language.

Intelligent observers notice the slightest twitch, the subtlest change in posture, or the minutest shift in facial expression.

Importantly, they don’t just see these things; they interpret them, giving them a deeper understanding of what a person might be thinking or feeling.

This ability to bring all the smallest cues and clues together makes them excellent at picking up things that others may miss.

3) They can intuitively read people as if by magic

Of course, it’s not magic, it’s a skill.

Highly intelligent observers can often read people like a book. This makes them great judges of character.

They may explain it away as “gut feelings” but a deeper observational skill is actually at play.

Their heightened awareness means they are picking up on even the most subtle signals that other people don’t.

It helps them to spot deceit or insincerity, and they can sense discomfort or pretense in others.

It’s like they have a super sensitive antenna as their subconscious scans for information that less aware folks will overlook.

This gift means that they can size up a person quickly and accurately, understanding their motivations, fears, and desires.

But don’t be mistaken, this skill is not simply about making snap judgments; it’s about understanding the complexity of the human psyche.

4) They ask questions non-stop

If you want to spark a really deep conversation ask these questions 1 10 quirky habits that show someone is a highly intelligent observer of human behavior

It’s not asking questions in itself that is a sign of intelligence or of being a keen observer of others.

It’s more what it represents. And that’s a strong sense of curiosity and open-mindedness.

My other half is one of these people, and he asks such a wide range of sometimes seemingly random questions to everyone we meet.

What he is really doing is building up a picture of others.

Naturally observational people are always asking questions, seeking to understand why people behave the way they do and what makes them tick.

Yet this is much more than a talent for making small talk.

In fact, they tend not to take things at face value; instead, they delve deeper, looking for the underlying reasons and motivations.

5) They don’t get their phone out as soon as they’re alone

In many ways, it’s a sad state of affairs that in modern-day societies this makes you stand out from the crowd.

But these days it’s increasingly common for people who are alone to be staring down at a screen.

Whether they are standing waiting for a bus, walking down the street, or sitting at a bar waiting for their friend to return from the restroom.

It’s so commonplace for us to fill the void with tech, that anyone who doesn’t are the ones who could be considered quirky.

But as we’ve already noted, highly observational people find it entertaining enough to sit back and take in their surroundings.

There is always something to watch or observe around them, and that’s stimulating.

So they don’t feel the need to anxiously reach for their phone as soon as they find themselves on their own.

6) They listen on a whole other level

A lot of people don’t realize that listening has layers to it. And plenty of us never get past the bare-bone basics of listening.

What do I mean by that?

Well, we keep quiet and let the other person talk without interjecting (although even that can be a challenge sometimes).

But that’s not real listening. Which is why research has shown that people only retain about half of what others say.

Much of the time we’re busy thinking about what we’re going to say next.

It’s easy to get distracted, so we end up cutting corners and making assumptions about what the other person is saying instead.

Highly intelligent observers of human behavior do things differently.

They are active listeners. They don’t just hear the words you’re saying; they look out for the emotion behind the words.

They are on the lookout for all those verbal and non-verbal cues we’ve already mentioned.

They are responsive in order to show that they’re listening. They provide the appropriate feedback and they refrain from making judgments.

This listening with intent is yet another way that they pick up the unsaid and read between the lines.

7) They notice even the smallest or most random patterns

Having a keen eye means not a lot escapes an observational person’s attention.

They notice patterns and trends in human behavior and piece these things together.

They see the recurring themes, the repeated behaviors, and the predictable reactions.

They can then use these observations to form theories and make predictions about future behavior.

8) They can seem like a totally different person depending on who they are with

Get together with friends 10 quirky habits that show someone is a highly intelligent observer of human behavior

It’s not that they are faking. These are likely genuine sides to themselves that they are revealing.

What this shows is that they’re highly perceptive when it comes to group dynamics.

They can tap into the vibe and energy of others and adapt accordingly.

This helps them to behave appropriately, depending on who they are with and what the occasion calls for.

It also helps them to navigate social settings without treading on toes.

They can discern the leader of a group, the influencer, the follower, and the outsider, just by observing.

That’s because they understand how individuals behave differently in a group, the roles people take on, and the power dynamics at play.

9) They remember seemingly benign or pointless details

So much of what we think of as a memory problem is actually us not paying proper attention.

For example, I used to be terrible at remembering people’s names when I first met them.

Until one day I realized that when I asked their name, I wasn’t actually taking in the answer.

I was too distracted getting lost in other things.

Lo and behold, as soon as I made a conscious effort to really listen, it was no longer an issue.

People who appear to have great memories help their recall by being hyper-aware and present in the moment.

This focus means that information sinks in rather than washes over them, only to be quickly forgotten.

10) They sometimes seem to hold back

Often the most highly observational people are the ones taking a back seat.

Rather than putting themself at the forefront of the action, they appear to be on the sidelines.

But that’s only because they are participating in other ways. Staying silent is often the best way the absorb a situation.

They can get more out of watching others than speaking up.

But this habit can make them misunderstood.

They may even be a bit of an enigma that you struggle to figure out.

Final thoughts…

Perhaps the irony is that the most observational amongst us are the ones who so often go unnoticed themselves.

But only because, as we’ve just seen, they can hide in the shadows whilst they’re busy reading others.

The truth is that we could learn a thing or two from highly observant people, as their seemingly quirky habits are what help them to learn and remember more about the people around them.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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