Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Johari Window

The Johari Window is a model of how personality interacts with the world. It has 4 quadrants definied by what parts of yourself are know by yourself, and what by others.

I first came across this diagram way back last millenium, but every time I try analyse it, it intrigues me more and more.

But it has something very interesting to say about WillbeFine's comment the other day:

"Why do we have secrets?"

We all have secrets, every one of us. I reckon we're meant to. And the secret thoughts we have are not always good or honest thoughts. The man (married or un) who has seen a beautiful woman at some point and not imagined how she would look with her legs wide open on his bed , is an outright liar. And versa vice for women.

What's particularly interesting about the J-Window, is that we all actually have 2 kinds of secrets (things unknown to others). Those that we do know (facade), and those that we don't (unknown). Yeah, there are loadsa things about yourself that you don't know (and nor does anybody else.)

To be sure, we do not all have the same amount of secrets, and our 4 Aspects of Self are not as perfectly equal as the first diagram would suggest. Some person, for eggsample, might look more like this one on the left. He/She/It is pretty much a closed book. Hides most of itself from others and has very little apprehension of how others see it. In fact, I would contend that there is no static J-Window "self" at all, we probably have different J-Window ratios for every different relationship we're in.

And they change with time. Most theorists reckon that for a healthy personality we need to expand A, bigger and bigger into all the other partly (or wholly) secret regions. Kind of like this on diagram on the right shows:

What I find really interesting is: Where does this blog fit? BPD I mean.Does it fit in A (Open Arena) - Known by me and YOU?

Does some of it fit in B (Facade) - things I keep from you? Ah, ha...I'm not telling.

And does some of it fit in C (Blindspots) - things you can see from my blog about me that I can't see myself? Blindspots? Stupid tendencies? Bad habits?

Pray tell...

Maybe we should make some type of a trade. You give me a bit of Block C (Show. Me. the. BLINDSPOTS) and I'll give you a bit of Block B (Show you the HOTSPOTS).


  1. Feedback is on the BPG menu today. I would ideally like to journey towards the shared discovery route into the unknown. I need to make an assumption that everything that is placed on this blog is the honest open arena and not a dishonest facade.

    It is my perception that it is rare for your blog to have "upbeat" moments or comments, an extensive amount of serious and insightful observations. Not an extensive amount of humour.
    1. Do you laugh a lot in your day to day life? If not, why not?

    You have identified the importance of your wife and daughter's happiness and security in your life.
    2. Do you fully appreciate the happiness and security of your own life?

  2. since it's a j-window, let us define the edges as e, f, g, h and the center point of z-square as i. or shall i say I? the alphabet soup has nevah been more complete than this theory now.

    if i show you my z, will you show me y?

    don't worry dood, in the final analysis, willbefine!

  3. The beautiful woman thing…is it wrong that I’m on the guys side for this one? LOL
    BiPolar Guy: I feel for you guys, I really do. That poor baby, carrying that guilt for the last 7 years from the fight w/ her Mum. : ( You have done an outstanding job the last year…you know that?

  4. I work as a facilitator for communication labs at my university, and we facilitators usually use the Johari Window to reinforce the "Self Disclosure" lesson to our lab students. It's definitely a useful tool to encourage reflection and discussion about what we share and what we hold back and why.


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