How to Be a Detective Without Looking Obvious

This article is how to be a detective/spy, and how to keep it to yourself. If you are imagining "high-tech spy gear" and a "super controlled spy team", then this is not the article for you. If you want to know how to get information without looking obvious, then this is the article for you.


  1. Image titled Be a Detective Without Looking Obvious Step 1
    Have an objective. Learn what you want and what you're after. Whatever it is make sure you know what you're going for!
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    Figure out how to get it. Most of the time you will be spying on a person. If this person is in your school, memorize what classes you have with them. Find out where they normally sit for lunch and either sit with them or somewhere near them. Find out what routes they take when they go to class to class. If they are not in your school but are in your neighborhood or a club. Find out their routines and try to stay on top of it. (do not stalk them that is just creepy.)
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    Get to know them. If it is a person you are after, get to be their friend. If you hate each others guts, then get to know people who know them. Don't just automatically try to be their best friend, just slowly get to know them and ask a lot of questions.(but don't overdo it!)
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    Watch them. Whenever you can, just watch them, see what they do! Don't stare at them, look at them for a few seconds, then turn away for a few more seconds, then look back. Never let them catch you watching you! Learn how to watch people from the corner of your eye. If they sit underneath a clock, then stare at the clock a lot, (wink wink).
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    Daydream a lot! This may sound super freaky and really dumb, but it works! When you daydream, the problem-solving side of your brain turns on. If you daydream a lot, your job as a detective will be a ton easier! Daydreaming is also were you can think over and analyze all you of the clues you have seen. This may not sound like the daydreaming you're used to, but it does the same thing and is very helpful!


  • Never stalk or stare at people, if they catch you they will think you are creepy.
  • Ask questions. Questions are sometimes the best way to get info if you know them. If you don't know them personally, ask people who know them. Don't overdo it! They will eventually get a clue and get weird opinions of you.
  • Be safe! Use all your smarts to not get in trouble. Make sure you are ready for anything.
  • Learn how to read faces and body language! This is so important! This is really where you will get most of your clues from.
  • Always have an excuse ready. Think of every possible outcome to your situation. Most likely you will fall into a sticky situation, but if you're ready it will be easy to get out of.
  • Pay attention to the little things. Remember, no clue is too small.
  • Don't do disguises, unless you have taken class on the art of disguise, it just looks weird and our of place and your goal is to not be obvious.
  • Put yourself out there! The purpose of a spy is to be all secretive, but the more people know you're out there, the more people will tell you.
  • Many other articles on this say to have a bag of gear together, but all you really need is your eyes, your ears, your imagination, and possibly a notebook and pen to write all the facts down.
  • Go out of your way to get info. Like if you're late for class and you see your target, slow down and watch what they do, then hurry along.
  • Learn to know when you are being watched. This is sort of hard to do but there are a few tricks to it. If you do think someone is starring at you, there is an easy way to find out without just bluntly looking at them. It's called the clock trick, when you feel someone looking at you, start starring at a clock or poster. Then quickly, without warning, glance over to them and then go back to the clock. If they were looking they will be surprised and follow your gaze back to the clock.
  • Learn how to think fast. Getting out of hard situations is always easy if you can do this.
  • Use your common sense. This can be hard for some of us, but it will totally help you on your way.
  • If anyone catches you looking at them, do not look away quickly! That is totally obvious and totally says "I was staring at you!" This may be scary when you're caught, but instead look away slowly as if you were around the room and you just happened to be looking at each other at the same time.
  • Be light on your feet and learn how to breath softer. If people can't hear you walk up, they will continue on their conversations and hopefully spill some good information.
  • Pay attention to what's around you and don't be oblivious! Most things happen right under your nose and if you're not careful you might not catch them.
  • Learn how to read lips. This will help you listen in on conversations that are far away and you can't hear. Turn your TV on mute and see how much you can catch.
  • Whenever you aren't doing something, daydream!
  • Learn to call your bluff. Learning to do this will help you with excuses and getting info out of people.
  • Listen to music! Again, this doesn't sound important, but it really is and it can help you in many ways.


  • Stay away and know how to avoid awkward positions.
  • Don't overdo the questions. This is a very good way to get yourself caught.
  • Keep your information you gather to yourself unless you know they can be trusted! It's best to find only one person to share your findings with so they can help you, but you don't want everything getting out.
  • If you do decide to do your spying with one other person, have a safe word. Having this could help you out of many bad situations. (your safe word should be something casual like 'party'). The safe word is something you can say if you are in a sticky situation and you need help. Make sure your partner is around to hear it though.
  • Don't hide. This will only make any situation worse.
  • Don't stalk or stare! If you need to watch them make it casual and stay at least 10 feet (3.0 m). behind.

Things You'll Need

  • one helper (optional)
  • Music
  • Notebook

Article Info

Categories: Spying