Sunday, June 03, 2012

Idea 3: Johari Window

The Johari Window is simple enough to just read about on wikipedia. It was introduced to me through RYLA and at the time, blew my mind wide open.

I mean it isn't particularly mindblowing, it's a 2x2 matrix. What literally turned my worldview upside down was the suggestion in life was that we should endeavor to increase the size of the 'Arena' quadrant - those things we know about ourselves that others also know about us.

Up until then, the quote from the Mortal Kombat 2 arcades had always informed my approach to sharing information. I used to even wonder why Teacher's spent so much time acumulating knowledge just to give it away.

Yes, that's how fucked up I was. But then some consultant guy when talking about leadership said leaders had the biggest arenas. I think a lot of people pursue their lives trying to grow the Facade, having people know as little about the 'true' them as possible in an attempt to conceal our secret shame or maintain some upper hand.

But it's ridiculous, if you want people to throw in with you, support you, trust you, respect you, you need to be as honest and transparant as possible. That means sharing is caring, and to share as much of yourself as you can stomach.

You reduce the facade by sharing of yourself, through blogs, voicing opinions, and behaving in a way that can be freely observed by others. You reduce the blindspot by solliciting feedback. All real personal growth though reduces the unknown zone. That's all just learning and development.

This idea is really powerful to me. It was what started the blog, but the real key is in the difference between the facade and the arena.

Over the years, I have come to two contrary seeming conclusions. The stuff we try to hide, everybody pretty much knows. It becomes shit we are simply not comfortable talking about. They aren't secrets though. If they are, it's in details only.

We are evolved social animals. People's instincts and intutions about other people are generally quite astute. I have found no evidence that the ability to form a pretty good impression of people even requires a great degree of intelligence. We are basically all naked, and the things we think we only know about ourselves are actually few, the Johari window is not born equal, and due to that overwhelming survival mechanism 'denial' it's far more likely that our facade is dwarfed by our blind spot. We are basically far more naked than we think.

The second and contrary conclusion is that people don't really care. It comes across as negative, but I can't really think of a better way to word it. For example, a few weeks (or months) ago I wrote a post on how I do secretly think I'm 'better' than a lot of people. The negative repurcussions from going public with that post have been zero. There's two likely explanations - people always assumed I did anyway, or people don't really give a shit if I think I'm better than them.

For that specific example, who knows, and who cares? It's in the arena now, and that's the point of it. It doesn't really matter what I think about myself, people judge me by how I act. In most cases though, shit is in the Arena it just goes unacknowledged. You know your boyfriend dumped you, everyone else knows your boyfriend dumped you (known to self + known to others) it's just you tell everyone you 'amicabally seperated'. You know it to be false, and nobody believes you because you don't act like somebody 'amicabally seperated' it's just nobody cares enough to call you out on the lie.

It's this knowledge, or theory at least, that gives me the courage to share of myself and just be honest. I'm honestly starting to doubt if I'm capable of generating a shocking revelation about myself.

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