13 ways hyper-observant people see the world differently

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Hyper-observant people don’t need to have chameleon-like eyes to notice the world around them. They’re just like us — except for a few major differences in perspective.

We can get so caught up in our day-to-day that we forget to notice the fascinating world around us — at least, fascinating to those that pay attention.

The observant ones see the world not only as a place to live in but something to study and learn from.

How people walk, their tone of voice, how cities are planned, why institutions follow certain systems.

To the common person, these are everyday minutiae; there’s nothing special about them.

But hyper-observant people can’t help but stop, stare, and wonder.

Learn these 13 ways to help you see the world through their eyes.

1. They Always Ask “Why?”

Someone can’t be naturally observant if they aren’t naturally curious.

That means that a hyper-observant person spends much of their time simply trying to understand why the world is the way it is.

Why don’t Americans and Europeans drive on the same side of the road?

Why can dogs recognize other dogs even though they look different?

Why is the alphabet arranged that way?

Why is the sky blue?

Though they may sound like silly little questions, these are some of the things that only hyper-observant people notice and spend time wondering about.

No matter how hard they may try, their thirst for understanding will never be quenched.

2. They Actively Listen To What Someone Says (And Isn’t Saying)

A hyper-observant person can read between the lines and hear the unspoken words.

It isn’t anything mystical — they can just notice when something’s being omitted from someone’s speech.

When someone is venting to them about a seemingly small problem that they’re having at work, others might see it as them simply being petty.

But a hyper-observant person would notice that it isn’t actually about the work at all. It’s too small to be such a big deal.

It might actually be about how their relationship is falling apart and that they’re stressed about it.

3. They Notice Patterns

The world is made up of patterns. There’s the water cycle that causes the rain.

There are also patterns in human behavior that form habits and trends.

Noticing these patterns can be powerful because it allows someone to prepare and predict the future.

Being aware of patterns and trends is what allows businesses to get in front of their competitors.

That’s why advertising agencies (who are filled with people trained to be observant of the latest trends) are always on the lookout for “the next big thing”.

If they’re able to get on a trend before anyone else, that’ll mean success for the brand.

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4. They’re Mindful Of Their Environment

Think of a hyper-observant person like a scout: someone that’s able to scan their surroundings with accuracy and detail.

A hyper-observant person is able to remember landmarks and directions better than others, making them aces in navigation.

Having a good sense of direction helps them navigate their way around a city they’ve never been to. It can also be helpful in simpler ways.

Ever forgot where you parked your car at a sold-out event or a large mall?

Being hyper-observant guarantees that you’ll never forget where you parked because you’ll have noticed the area where your car is.

5. They’re Analytical

To analyze something is to notice even the most minute details.

When a hyper-observant person watches a movie, they’re able to notice the subtleties in the director’s artistic choices.

They can spot the plot twist a mile away, all because of a minor detail a character may have said in passing.

They can also break down the meaning and themes of the film to truly understand what the director was going for.

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6. They Can Read Emotions

People don’t often walk around with a sign that says what emotion they’re feeling.

This is what makes it difficult to talk to someone who, on the inside, is actually frustrated and angry with us.

We may not catch on, but a hyper-observant person will.

They’ll notice the stern tone of voice someone has with us, or that they refuse to look us in the eye.

Reading emotions is what allows hyper-observant people to build lasting relationships with other people.

They can determine not only what’s the best thing to say in a given moment, but also when and how to say it.

7. They Are Quiet At First

When we enter someone’s home for the first time for a party, it can be a dazzling experience.

There’s an entire story told about the host within each decoration and furniture choice.

While others might go straight for the drinks and meeting people, a hyper-observant person takes their time.

It’s why hyper-observant people are quiet at first. They give themselves a moment to process their surroundings, and notice the people in attendance.

8. They Don’t Feel Awkward Moments

In a car ride with only the two of you, it’s normal to feel the need to talk. But sometimes, if there’s nothing much to talk about, it can feel awkward — for you.

Hyper-observant people don’t notice when there’s a lull in the conversation. They don’t understand the big deal with “awkward silences”.

It’s awkward for us because we feel somewhat of an obligation to initiate a conversation with them.

In reality, they’re busy thinking about the sights that they’re seeing outside of their window.

They look at the billboards, the people going about their daily lives on the sidewalk, the buildings, the way the roads are designed.

Their heads are filled with so much action that they don’t realize how silent it can be in the car.

9. They’re Constantly Learning From Their Surroundings

Hyper-observant people are mindful of their surroundings, which can also give them wisdom.

There are lessons to be learned from anywhere. Most great artists and philosophers take their inspirations from the way nature works.

They liken experiences of time like a river, personal growth like plants, human nature like mother nature.

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10. They Have Sharp Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking requires attention to detail. Since hyper-observant people can’t help but notice the details, it helps boost their critical thinking skills.

Take a student who’s constantly passing subpar assignments. They can’t seem to get a grade higher than an F or a D.

Some teachers might simply keep failing the student, even threaten to flunk them out of the class if they don’t get their act together.

But an astute teacher could spot the disheveled look of the student every morning.

After deciding to talk to the student in a calm manner, it might turn out that the student was actually having difficulty at home.

In which case, a teacher could instead design extra work for the student rather than give them an ultimatum.

11. They Practice Being Mindful

Hyper-observant people are aware of not only their surroundings but themselves as well.

Since they can notice how people interact with each other, they can also notice how they themselves interact with others and their own work.

They can notice their own tendencies to be lazy or unproductive during the afternoon, which helps them understand the best time for them to do their work.

12. They Can Spend Hours Watching People

Human beings are interesting creatures. They walk around with black electronic rectangles in their hands that they can’t stop staring at and touching.

They open their mouths to make noises at each other. Some litter, some don’t. Some look tired, others look excited.

Hyper-observant people can spend hours at a cafe simply observing how people go about their daily lives. It sparks their curiosity and imagination.

Every person has had their fair share of heartbreak and happiness; success and sadness; good habits and bad habits.

Instead of being like a stalker, they observe more like scientists driven by curiosity.

13. They Can Tell When There’s Something Wrong

A common phrase in the movie series Star Wars is, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

When a hyper-observant person talks to their significant other, they can notice a change in their mood.

Their partner doesn’t seem so upbeat as usual, or that they’re only giving one-word replies.

Like a detective, a hyper-observant person can sense that there’s something wrong.

It might eventually be because their partner has been having a rough day or they’re angry about something.

Others might not have noticed, but a hyper-observant person would’ve.

Although we live in the exact same world as hyper-observant person, they certainly don’t see it the same way.

Indeed, such a level of observation not only requires sight.

It’s about engaging all the senses to soak in the surroundings, from how forceful their significant other close a door, to how hard someone’s grip is while shaking hands.

Being hyper-observant can be a superpower.

We could all benefit from trying to emulate how hyper-observant people interact with the world.

It doesn’t mean that we have to be completely enamored with our surroundings and other people; we can simply start by being more mindful.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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