- what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others - open area, open self, free area, free self, or 'the arena'
- what is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know - blind area, blind self, or 'blindspot'
- what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know - hidden area, hidden self, avoided area, avoided self or 'facade'
- what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others - unknown area or unknown self
And it looks something like this.....It appears to be such a simplistic tool for facilitating a discussion on self awareness, but it carries a depth which can be tapped into quickly and easily. The region which fascinates me the most is the blind area. More succinctly....how the other regions impact it.
Our behaviour is our language. How we act and what we do is our expressed story....and the underlying REASONS why we act and what we do is the key to learning more about our emotional make-up. So often our behaviour is seen by others in a very different light than the one shining on our awareness. This more than likely happens because we repress, deny, suppress and hide behind a facade of shame and guilt and anger.....of fear, of ugliness, of previous actions we are ashamed of, or abuse we have experienced and have been painfully wounded by. Our hidden area.....our own personal knowledge hidden under a facade is often clearly revealed by our behaviour. If there is a disconnect....for example....if we THINK it is hidden from others still and yet our behaviour shows a very different reality, we are in a place of deep emotional pain.
Abuse is a strong factor (and probably the most common ) in the unhealthy disconnect between the hidden self and the blind area. Traumatic abuse, unresolved and festering....HIDDEN from the rest of the world or so the human victim supposes almost always reveals itself in the actions which others can see, which the victim might not be able to. All forms of addictions, substance abuse, sexual, gambling even obsessive compulsions particularly about others, living a double life of secrets.......all deniable, all rationalized and mishandled behaviour and actions by the human being, but sometimes VERY visible to those around them.
The key as a friend or a family member to helping someone shrink their blind area....to letting them SEE how their behaviour is being perceived and how it is manifested is to gently reveal it to them. It's very difficult especially if the self destructive behaviour is a means of coping...of SURVIVING.....of meeting unmet NEEDS....or even of finding a way to escape the harsh realities in their lives because it will be met with brute force dismissal and even anger.
You don't know me!
I'm aware of why I'm doing this. It's none of your business!
How presumptuous of you to assess what I'm doing!
I've dealt with that part of my life! It doesn't impact me anymore.
uh....ok.....if you think so......
Timing is key...and openness on the part of the person acting out blindly is really necessary. There's no point in pointing out to someone that what they are doing is self destructive if they aren't open to hearing it because a power struggle will ensue. If a person wants to live a lie or wallow in their own rationalizations as a means of survival/control, they will stubbornly remain in that frame of mind. Their "JoHari" Window panes will remain rigid. If their need is to be needed.....is to NEVER be forgotten because of unexplored abandonment/rejection issues cause by abuse, the behaviour reverberates blindly and recklessly all over the place. It is quite frightening to observe this happening.
We all have blind spots. Our hidden world sometimes needs to seep out, EVEN when we don't want it to....sometimes as a means to let SOMEONE who is paying attention KNOW that we are hurt and wounded.....we may not even know it when we are screaming for help through our addictions and obsessions. Sometimes learning about how we have misbehaved/misfired racks us with shame and embarrassment. This is often the case. We've been "found out" ..... like being caught with our pants down and it's a terrible terrible feeling. Hunger to be loved and validated....to be VISIBLE often supercedes the need to remain hidden.
But isn't it better to know how we are being seen and perceived...HOW our behaviour is being interpreted than not know? Wouldn't you want to know if you were acting like a complete fool? Or would you rather remain in the dark? I don't know the answer....I'm just wondering....Our hiddens worlds do shine.....right out the window.