Observation can protect you

Being observant does not mean being obnoxious or intrusive. It is done with subtlety and purpose. We assess for two things primarily:

  • Danger: How does this situation or individual make me feel? If you are walking to your car at night and see someone walking briskly towards you, your inner voice will make you more alert, and you can act on the feeling and avoid possible danger.
  • Comfort: Does this person make me feel comfortable at all times? Never ignore clues that say something is wrong.
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Observation is about seeing the world around you, having situational awareness, and interpreting what others communicate verbally and nonverbally.

Good observation skills allow us to test and validate what others intend for us. Are they kind, unselfish, empathetic? Or selfish, cruel, indifferent, and apathetic? If we discover it early enough, we can spare ourselves.

We have become observationally lazy

Observation is as important now as it was a thousand years ago. However, we have to do it more quickly and efficiently because we may run into fifty strangers in a day where our ancestors saw only a few.

We often see people distracted while driving (applying makeup, making phone calls, texting) and getting into traffic accidents. When we fail to observe, it leads to avoidable circumstances. It can increase the chances of being victimized. Someone may say, "I had a feeling, in the beginning, that something wasn't right."

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