I don’t know what you do with your spare time (and money), but I spend much of my time at my local coffee shop. The reason for this is mostly because I am seriously addicted to coffee, but it has also turned into a love of people watching. This may sound a bit creepy, you know, me spending my free time watching people, but it has honestly taught me so much.
1) I know what is annoying for me to watch as a spectator, and have learned not to do such things in public.
For example, I have watched many people trying to have a conversation, and their conversation partner is sitting on their phone. Like how rude. It may seem like a no brainer, but honestly, in our day and age the phones are everywhere. I get it, some things are important, but it is hard to have deep meaningful conversations with a phone glued to your hand.
I’ve also witnessed selfies upon selfies. I mean if you look cute, work it and take that picture, there isn’t anything wrong with that. But you don’t need to take a million. It’s awkward for not only you, but for the people watching. I don’t need to see anyone trying all of those fake smiles/laughs and duck faces for an hour straight (I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it).
2) Conversations are not that hard to start.
I’ve spent some time watching people, and let me tell you something—they love talking. I have never been good at starting up conversations, but after observing people, I’ve gotten better. There are very few people who will shut you down if you go and try to talk to them. I have met some really great people in the past few months by going and asking to sit with them. It’s not that scary, you aren’t making a lifetime commitment to be their best friend, you are simply just spending a bit of your time listening to their story if they wish to share it.
3) It’s good to spend time alone.
I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I get exhausted by other people. I have some friends that just have stressful personalities, and I sometimes need a break (not that I love them any less). My coffee time is my alone time (unless of course I choose to make a friend). I love being able to relax, drink my coffee, and catch up on a good book or homework.
I live a pretty busy life, so being able to set aside some time is what keeps me sane. I don’t know how I went through life before I figured this out. No distractions, no rushing, no interruptions. I am not a person able to work in dead silence, so the soothing conversations of those around me are perfect.
4) It makes a great date spot.
First dates can be absolutely nerve-wreaking and awkward. But having this little coffee shop in which I spend so much time definitely helps me out in that area. Coming to a familiar place calms my nerves and lets me show who I am (mostly because they are able to witness my obsession with coffee). Also, it makes conversation the most important aspect of the time you are together. It’s a coffee shop. There isn’t a TV, movie, or distractions to get in the way. Because of this, you two are really able to get to know each other, because conversation with each other is what is most important to keep you from being bored.
It doesn’t have to be a coffee shop if you are one of those weird specimens who don’t like coffee, it can literally be anywhere you can sit and enjoy yourself. There is so much you can learn from those around you just by watching and listening—don’t miss out on the opportunity.