Be invisible in the crowd: eyes and attitudes

The importance of eyes and attitudes

Resuming the discussion on how to be invisible in the crowd (read Be invisible in the crowd: preparation and clothing), we want to talk more in detail about the focal aspects related to the impact of our expressivity in relation to the eventual observers:

  • To be invisible in the crowd is not enough to dress anonymously, it has the same importance the postures and our facial expressions that we assume
  • Especially what we do, with whom we do and the way we do it, can be more or less object of attention
  • Even only the eyes can be a key factor to get noticed or not, they capture so much the interest to impress a visual (or logic) snapshot within the mind of those who see us (that is 10 times worst of being noticed)

How to have anonymous attitudes and get unnoticed

Without going into detail of the various situations, we want now to see some of the most effective attitudes / postures.

Generic attitudes:

  • If the scenario consent it, let’s keep walking, a standing still person automatically focuses attention
  • Let’s never try to hide our face, our mouth or worst our eyes (with neither hands nor with clothing out of place)
  • Let’s never react to the actions of the potential observers, let’s continue doing what we were doing (as if we were absentmindedly)
  • Let’s never invade the “private space” of the other people (generally identifiable in the long distance of a fight range, read Ideal distance from the opponent during a fight)
  • Let’s also remember that the private space of a person is proportional to the dimension of the scenario in which we are, to the hour of the day and to the number of people present
  • Let’s hide our eventual capabilities (athleticism, spatial intelligence, reflexes, etc.), better to appear a little clumsy and slow (but without being caricatures)
  • We must not talk with anyone (talking people are analyzed thoroughly and hardly forgot, unless it is absolutely necessary to demonstrate that we are doing something)
  • We do not have to walk too near other people, we do not have to exit from their viewing area (the opposite of an ambush, no blind spots, do not stay behind shoulders, etc.)

Body language:

  • Let’s do not touch our face, to curl forehead, to clear throat, to touch ears or to start gestures without concluding them
  • Our hands should be still but not paralyzed, natural and relaxed (if we can not relax them let’s put in our pockets)
  • Let’s never make jerky movements, we have to move slowly and uninterruptedly (as if we were really doing something)
  • Let’s avoid gestures of nervousness (snap fingers, biting lip, stomping, stretch, inhale / exhale unnaturally, etc.)

Expressivity, eyes and look:

  • Let’s keep a plain neutral expression (no grim looks, no smiles)
  • Our look must aim (tend to aim) down to the ground (but not in an exaggerated manner) or looking far away (as a tourist looks a beautiful landscape)
  • Let’s look at everything is unusual as a normal person does (strange people, flashing things, etc.)
  • Let’s do not attract the attention or even make eye contact with those who stay on the road we travel (sellers, beggars, etc.)
  • As a general rule, we never have to look anyone in the eyes (to look eyes or faces is a gesture that is always noticed and turn on the observer attention)
  • Let’s also do not unnaturally avoid other people look, and if they are insistently looking at us let’s look at them for about 2 seconds (slightly knitting down the eyebrows, halfway between the curious and the annoyed)
  • Let’s never forget that the eyes should move slowly, with the head and never by their own (this is a signal of great interest)
  • Let’s do not look at a target for more than 2 seconds (after this, let’s rotate slowly our eyes of a very few degrees, 10-15° to the left or to the right, the neck stand still in the same position)

A good exercise / method to learn how to become “invisible”

One of the most effective ways to understand how to become invisible is to learn from reality:

  • Let’s look at short real shots of the public place (more or less crowded) where we want to get unnoticed
  • Let’s mark all the people who have caught our attention on a piece of paper (or better a digital device)
  • Let’s write why these people have not gone unnoticed
  • Let’s review the video by marking instead what all the other people are doing (and how)
  • Let’s make particular attention to their timing, posture, look, expression, direction, speed, actions (etc.)

This is a good way to plan and understand what is appropriate to that specific environment and what is not.

As for recitation, it takes much exercise to get a credible result (it is absolutely not easy to simulate to be natural) but it can help to film us (both to draw inspiration, both to review and correct our errors).

In the next article of this series, we will see more in deep how to divert the attention (read Be invisible in the crowd: divert attention).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • When you walk among people, who attracts your attention?

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