Each of us is a complicated and unique combination of experiences and assumptions. The Johari Window is a model for helping us better understand our relationship with ourselves as well as with others, particularly in shifting stale relationships.
Imagine a house with four rooms, each one representing a different aspect of who we are:
The Public Room
This has big clear windows so that what is inside is known to us and others.
The Blind-Spot room
This room has windows that others can see through but they are at such an angle that we need others to hold up a mirror to enable us to see inside.
The Private Room
This has windows that we can see through, but we need to open them in order to allow others to see inside.
The Mystery Room
This has no windows and no doors, this room is full of the unknown, unconscious and subconscious.
The Private Room is the one that represents the hidden things about us, the things that we choose whether or not to disclose to others. This might be as simple as our age – I can think of several people who choose to not reveal how old they are – or it could be more intimate such as our fears.
Making a self-disclosure about the contents of our Private Room to a person sends the clear message that you trust them.
Self-disclosure will grow and enrich your relationship. You will often find that self-disclosure is reciprocated by the other person and a mutual exchange of trust takes place.
ACTION: Commit to going deeper in at least two conversations today.