Neat trick from Reddit. If you want to spot who’s paying attention to
you, spend five seconds looking at your watch. (I recommend a self-winding mechanical one.) Then look around and see who’s checking /their/ watch.
(The thread also suggests yawning.)
You all know my interest in surveillance detection, and this dovetails perfectly. Why?
Surveillance operators are by definition watching you. Thing is, they’re trained to minimize the normal cues that would let you pick up on this.
However, there’s only so much even a professional surveillance operator can do to minimize subconscious cues and reactions. The fact that they’re watching you means that they will inevitably react in small ways to things that you do. Those reactions let you separate them from the vast majority of people who don’t care about you and may not even notice you’re there.
In this case, you’re taking advantage of subconscious mirroring: because they’re thinking about following you, they tend to follow what you do in tiny ways as well as big ones.
“When you are in a public place and want to know who is looking at you, try this simple technique.
Obviously study your wristwatch for 5 seconds…. Then look up and obviously scan the room. Anyone checking the time was most likely watching you.
Also works in bars.”