I've often found myself admiring someone's tattoo simply for its intricate patterns and neat colors or observing someone's shirt that might have a logo or emblem of a popular video game that they might like.
Usually I'm at a distance and not able to really talk to them. Normally, if I were in a conversation and noticed this, I'd be like "Hey! Wow! I like your tattoo/shirt!" But in these types of situations, I don't have the opportunity to let them know what's going on verbally.
When I am observing, I don't want them to do anything like...
- Get the impression I'm interested in them physically. I don't want to have them crawl over and start flirting trying to get me to go out with them.
- Become nervous since I might be looking at them for more than a few seconds. Some patterns, words, and designs take time to look at depending on their complexity.
- Negative confrontation. I don't want them to become defensive and scream "stop looking at me!" or anything to that effect.
I have ADHD and my mind especially tends to focus on random details like this when I'm bored or nervous. This is something I frequently do and don't see myself altering anytime soon. The ultimate goal here is to make this behavior as socially acceptable and comfortable for everyone as possible.
Question: How can I compose myself properly when observing such details and non-verbally communicate that I'm just curious in what they're displaying?