Are You a Doer or a Watcher?

Recently while I was at the gym, a very fit young man fell off a treadmill and hit his head on a wall. I didn’t see him fall or hit his head, but I did notice he had fallen and wasn’t getting up. By the time I got my treadmill to pause and went over to check on him, several people were standing over him, asking him if he was okay.

As the sea of people grew, nobody was doing much to help him.  He was lying face down, so I asked him if he was able to sit up.  He crouched instead, so I asked him to sit on the edge of the treadmill, which he did.  One woman took his pulse.  I asked him if he had any water and he said no, so another woman grabbed her bottle of water and gave it to him.  I asked one man to alert the staff to call 911.  A couple of people who saw what was happening went to tell the staff that the man needed help.

When I first asked the man to sit on the treadmill, the woman on the treadmill directly beside him told me he hit his head hard when he fell.  She continued her walk on the treadmill as she told me this, never getting off to help the man, even after he hit his head.  Several other people close by also watched from their gym equipment and continued their workouts, but never stopped to help.

This caused me to wonder what made some people stop what they were doing to help this man while others continued what they were doing.  I know from some of the classes I took for my psychology degree as well as my own personal experience that some people are watchers and some people are doers.  There is nothing wrong with being a watcher instead of a doer.  And there is nothing wrong with being a doer instead of a watcher.  But I started thinking about the pros and cons of both sides.

start doing sign

Pros of being a Doer

*You act quickly.

*You get things done.

*You help others in need.

*You are usually proactive.

*You tend to act in times of crisis.

picture of an owl

Pros of being a Watcher

*You stay out of other people’s way.

*You observe things that doers may not notice.

*You offer helpful information from your observations.

*You don’t immediately jump to conclusions based on what you think you know.

So there are benefits to being both a doer and a watcher.  But where there are positives, there are usually negatives.

Rosie the Riveter poster

Cons of being a Doer

*May act quickly before having all the necessary information.

*Others may think you are being pushy or bossy.

*May not make the best decisions due to your rush to act, even though your intentions are probably wonderful.

*May have a hard time seeing beyond the immediate situation or moment.


Cons of being a Watcher

*May overthink things and never take action

*May feel isolated or lonely due to staying on the sidelines

*May be perceived as aloof or uncaring when you’re actually trying to process what is happening.

Doers tend to be extroverted and watchers tend to be introverted.  This is not always the case, but it is the tendency.  We never know what a person’s life experience has brought them, but I can assure you that everyone has reasons, whether conscious or subconscious, for their doer or watcher behaviors.  Everyone has a history.

Back to the gym: After 2 gym staff members came to help the man, they asked me what happened, and I told them everything I knew.  Most of the onlookers had dispersed by then and resumed their workouts.  Once the man was in the care of the gym staff, I headed back to my treadmill.  A lady told me that I did a nice job of taking care of the situation.  I must admit I was surprised by her comment.  In my mind, it was the right thing to do and my actions were pretty much second nature.  After all, I just wanted to make sure the man was okay.  But as I thought about her comment later, I realized my actions are not second nature to everyone.  Thus, this blog post.  :o)

I am happy to say that the man from the gym seemed to be okay after the EMT’s arrived and checked him out.  He got up at 6 am and had not eaten anything that morning.  This incident happened just before 10 am.  He also didn’t have water with him, as I stated earlier.  As I was leaving the gym, he was sitting in the lobby with a Powerade, so I asked him how he was feeling and how he was getting home.  He said he was feeling better and that the friend he came to the gym with was driving him home.  I wished him well, filled out a witness report of the incident for the gym, and left.

Thinking about times in my life when I’ve jumped in and allowed my doer tendencies to take over, I realize that my well-intentioned efforts to help were not always appreciated or understood.  Sometimes people have perceived my actions as controlling, which was never my intention.  As an emotional, intuitive, feelings-based person, this always hurts.  I have a sister-in-law who is introverted and is definitely a watcher, and she has told me that people think she is withdrawn or uncaring because she tends to stay quiet and assess situations before she is comfortable with interacting.  She says this hurts her as well.  We all hurt when people judge us.

So the next time you interact with someone who is a doer, remember they usually just want to help.  And the next time you interact with someone who is a watcher, remember that they need time to process things and they can offer valuable insights we doers might miss at first.

Are you a doer or a watcher?  Please share below in the comments.  What items would you add to any of the 4 lists above?  Share in the comments!

Your Gentle Nudge: If you are a doer, what can you learn from watchers?  If you’re a watcher, what can you learn from doers?  How can what you learn from the other group help you achieve your goals?  Do you need to observe more or act more?












Please follow and like Your Gentle Nudge at:

Books to Better Your Life-Grace Not Perfection


This post contains at least one affiliate link.  That means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  It’s the company’s way of thanking me for recommending a product they sell.  This commission helps me fund this blog and feed my kids.  Thanks!  


row of colorful books

I recently read the book Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. This book is one you should check out because it contains a lot of helpful tips about keeping your home and life organized as well as snippets of Emily’s personal story.  The book also explores the concept of God’s grace with us and our grace toward ourselves and others.  Thus the title Grace Not Perfection.  For me, the grace part was very powerful and taking the time to read.  

The book itself is a joy to explore. There are a number of beautiful pictures and quotes which I found inspirational.   I love color!  The pages themselves are thick and luscious, and a book made like this is the reason I personally enjoy reading a physical book as opposed to an ebook.  Not that you’re going to read a book due to the way it feels in your hand.  But it was an added bonus since I was interested in the book since I spotted it in a local store.  

Grace Not Perfection is broken down into three sections:

Part 1: Grace With Yourself

Part 2: Grace With Your People

Part 3: Grace in Your Calling

One of the topics Emily Ley talks about is the trap of perfection and comparing yourself to others who seem to have everything together when you feel like you’re falling apart.  I wasn’t a young mom when Pinterest came into being, so I never felt the internal pressure to have a Pinterest-perfect home like she talks about.  However, I did feel like I had to have a clean and uncluttered home if someone stopped by when my kids were little.  We lived on an Air Force base at the time and I still never achieved the clean and uncluttered home I thought I was supposed to have (and the military used to require if you lived in base housing!).

As a forty-something wife and working mother of two tweens, I wasn’t certain I would be able to relate to the content of this book since my babies are no longer babies.  Emily Ley is a young working mom who has struggled with being both mom and entrepreneur simultaneously.  She speaks to certain issues which arise when dealing with the demands of work and toddlers.  Honestly, I think dealing with work can be easier than dealing with the demands of toddlers!

Even with the age gap between the author and I, I was pleasantly surprised by the insights Emily Ley had to offer me! I really liked this book!  I especially liked Parts 2 & 3.

Emily is a person of faith, so be prepared to read about her journey with God and her insights about life from this perspective.  I loved her insights, but I know this turns some readers off.  Please know that she doesn’t beat you over the head with Christianity, so even if you don’t believe in God, there is something of value in this book for you as well.

If you’re ready to be encouraged, if you could use a few practical tips on dealing with organizing your home with small children, if you could stand to read examples of changing your perspective effectively and making it through life’s challenges, no matter what stage of life you’re in, this book is for you.  I highly encourage you to check it out at your local library or grab it on Amazon.  Happy reading!

Please follow and like Your Gentle Nudge at:
Follow by Email