Close your eyes and remember all the people of all ages jammed inside. From tiny new babies nestled in huge strollers to seniors hugging the wall so they can walk at their own pace and stay out of the way of frantic shoppers. Husbands holding bags outside crowded shops. Teens in their own worlds. Harried clerks. The long line for Santa.
And the noise level. Holiday music, one teen yelling for another ten feet ahead, hundreds of conversations, feet moving along a hard floor, the spike of a baby's cry. We'll talk about sounds another time, but for now they'll serve to keep you in the moment.
Okay . . . got it?
Think about all the emotions you witnessed. Happiness. Excitement. Impatience. Fatigue. Maybe arrogance, anger, fear, sadness. And probably a lot more.
Keep your eyes closed.
How did you know those people felt those emotions? You didn't talk to them.
You knew by how they expressed it physically.
Think about what you saw. A tapping foot. Repeated looks at a watch. Heads rolling around on shoulders. Bouncing up and down. A perfectly manicured fingernail tapping a glass countertop. Haunted eyes. Clenched teeth. Looking over a shoulder. Smiles.
Take what you see and identify the emotion it expresses while you're people watching anywhere.
You might be surprised by what you see.
And by what you learn.