One of the best ways to improve your game is to hone your powers of observation. After reading First Date DC and listening to hundreds, maybe thousands, of conversations about the opposite sex, I’m starting to believe that one of the biggest obstacles is simple self-absorption. People are simply too wrapped up in themselves to pay attention to what’s going on around them, and they’re missing a glance, a movement, or an interaction that could be key to understanding. They’re too much in their own head to make objective judgements.

Being a good observer is almost like being psychic because you can tell what people are thinking and what they’re going to do before they do it. Let me give you an example. Last week on the metro home from meeting the new intern, I was reading a magazine while waiting for the train. There was a man pacing the platform. I looked up from my mag once and noticed this, and then, even without looking up again, I knew he was checking me out. As soon as I got on the train, he sat in the seat next to me even though there were plenty of empties elsewhere. I kept reading but I could tell he was going to talk to me. I played along and shut the magazine and about 1.5 minutes later he struck up a conversation. Luckily, I was prepared.

What you have to do is learn to take it all in. One blogger who’s really good at this is Virgle Kent – his observation is so minute it actually makes me a little uncomfortable. Watch how people interact and always keep the corner of your eye open for what else is going on in the room. If you’re fixating on talking to your friend, you’re missing the hottie checking you out (and missing the chance to act on it). Too busy thinking about how the person you’re talking to is really ugly and you’ll miss an interesting moment a few feet away. This is where learning to shut up and watch is going to give you an unmistakable edge that allows you to not only anticipate the next few seconds, but actually plan for the minutes, hours, etc. ahead.

21 thoughts on “POWER OF OBSERVATION

  1. The Dude

    Sally, this is by far the absolute best thing you’ve written. Totally agree. Great job.

  2. V

    Great post, I could not agree with this more. I am pretty much obesessed with gathering as much information as possible about what’s going on and that’s usually why I’m the one who has to tell my friends that person is checking you out, into another person, etc. It is strange to me that other people don’t do the same, but you’re right, they don’t and miss a lot.

    PS You’d make a great poker player–observation is the most important part.

    PPS If you’re out in the area tonight give me a holla, got a group getting into some trouble tonight 🙂

  3. Sweet

    Well said. I think I am keenly aware of the things going on around me, but it’s acting on what you see that is important.

  4. Anonymous

    yaah! Sally’s obligated once-a-week-friday-post.

    Gives the DCB a long weekend where he doesn’t have to worry about the imnerweb

  5. T.

    Best illustration of this concept in a movie is in “Roger Dodger.” It shows exactly what you discuss, great flick.

  6. TC the Terrible

    Sweet is right. You can pay attention to every damned detail and it will do you no good unless you act on it. The show Psych is pretty good with this topic, even if it sucks overall.


  7. KassyK

    Good post…in my group of college friends we were split into the “watchers” and the “performers” and the us watchers would just be amazed at how the performers were constantly amazed at the things happening around them just because they were so caught up in being the clowns…the good time girls. Its not a bad thing, I just cannot imagine not WANTING to just sit and watch. Its one of my favorite things to do. People are bizarre creatures.

  8. reader

    I agree with this to some extent, but I think we all have been in a situation where you are having a conversation with somebody and they are more interested in looking around the room than talking to you. Its pretty rude- it basically says, “yeah I’m standing here talking to you, but just until somebody better comes along.” Couldn’t that qualify as self-absorbed as well?

  9. Anonymous

    Jack — the fake senator comments were much funnier than your repeated dump comments.

  10. Virglekent


    I?ve fooled you all! I don?t know what the fuck I?m doing! I just shut up and wait for the roofie to kick in. Once that happens, it doesn?t matter what the fuck I say. Just remember my name is Casper.

    But for real I do try to not say anything and let the girl do most of the talking (which girls like to do) Then I just repeat what they?ve already said, and then I wait for them to ever so slightly touch my penis. I love when they try to make it look like it was an accident. Sure baby I?ll buy that.

    Thanks for the shout out, I mean out of all the other bloggers me? I just feel bad that I?m not big enough to give you an orgasm every time. I?m also sorry about the first time when you told me to give you 9? and make it hurt. Instead I stuck it in three times and punched you in the face.


  11. Anonymous

    I tried this all weekend, and the only thing I noticed is that I failed miserably at it. 🙁

  12. spcwby

    Bravo Sally….Correctomundo (bear with my useage of Spanglish) on your powers of inital observation. Utilize your peripheral to gauge your environment, much like the technique of ‘threat assesment’ is taught in military/law enforcement classes.

    Guys usual don’t have a clue as to how this operates (unless taught), while the girls have been practicing (informally) since begining of time.

    You are aperating at STAR (ie command) level when you establish yourself in this format.

  13. Pagan Marbury

    Good post. I think this is good advice for the bedroom as well. Good lovers don’t rely on tricky moves, they pay attention to their partner and adapt their moves accordingly. If both parties involved are paying attention to the other person, the sex escalates exponentially.

  14. popcultured

    oh so dont gawk w/ mouth wide-open like u have never seen a woman before?…this post would explain a lot now…thanks…

  15. yeders

    after reading this, i thought hey, your right, so much goes on around you. Especially in a busy place like an information common at a university. mine for example. and just so much goes on, so many young people, chatting, laughing, studying, keeping to themselves. I’m normally the one talking loudly to a friend behind the info desk, making composion, drawing attention to myself without the purpose as such, guess i’m just loud. but to sit back and observe, is something i must do more. it helps picking up on girls checking you out with an additional pair of eyes, a friend who was with me today, female, picked up on a girl, she was subtle on a hint to talk to her, which i didn’t pick up on.. now how oblivious could i be!… observe more.

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