I have always been fascinated with the various masks we wear in our day to day living and also in the various roles we put on daily. As human beings we have various personalities embedded within us and the one we put on or show depends on relationships, the environment and the purposes or intentions that we have. Johari’s Window explains that human beings have four panes and these panes could be used in understanding the individual and also help individual to disclose themselves to others. The panes are:
the known self
This is the aspect of an individual’s personality that is known to himself as a person and others who interact with him. That is the side of you or me which I know and which you know about too. The known self-aspect is important in interpersonal relationship because it openly reveals you to those involved in communication encounter with you. The known self is willingly disclosed through the individual’s actions, through his passing the information and through his being observed by others. It is the public self according to Johari’s window. The opening of this pane wider leads to better relationships and better interpersonal communication.
the unknown self
The person does not know this aspect but other people interacting with him know his unknown aspect, unlike the hidden aspect. This may be some natural qualities which the person does not realize he/she possesses or other aspects of human personality which an individual may not know exist within him but which are known by others. Circumstance or situation brings such aspects up. The unknown self comes up some times when the individual reacts in a way, he has never thought possible. This may be because of some conditions or some happenings. Others can also manipulate this aspect.
the hidden self
This is the aspect of a man that is known to himself, which he keeps or hides from other people interacting with him. This helps the individuals to be careful. For example, a person may be a drunk but he hides this from other people by not drinking in public and by using some gimmicks like licking sweets, using mouth wash or refresher or any other substance to neutralize the odour of drink or use perfume to douse the smell of alcohol. The hidden aspect of a man may also involve an action which such an individual had taken before, but which he is not proud of. It may also be some weakness in him which he does not want others to know. The hidden information is jealously guided in a manner that it is only through chance or circumstances that other people know this. Sometimes, the hidden self is revealed through accident and the individual may even struggle to deny this hidden aspect. When the hidden aspect of a person is known by another, such information becomes a tool to such person. In some cases those whom he trusts, loves and has faith in can use such information to blackmail the individual. The hidden self can also be used to control and master an individual. A woman who is very passionate and relates to a man who can turn her passion on at will, becomes almost a slave in the hands of the man, because the man can always manipulate this aspect of her hidden self. In these days of social media, a woman who sends a naked picture of hers to an acquaintance or a person she meets online gives such a person a means of controlling or even blackmailing her.
the blind self
It is the aspect of an individual that other people and himself do not know but which is known or comes to the knowledge of others through action or behaviour of the individual. Such actions may be uncontrolled or unconscious on the part of the individual. JOHARI’S WINDOW explains that there is always a conflict in the way people see us and the way we see ourselves. The way people perceive us sometimes is not the way we are or the way we think we are. A person for example may be kind, generous and caring but because he is a loner and very principled, people who come across him may take him to be hard, rigid, uncaring and callous. He however is not this but the face, which those dealing with him see it, is that of a hard and rigid individual. He is however a caring person and one who is kind and fight for the rights of those who take him to be a bad person.
This theory establishes the fact that for interpersonal relationship to develop, the individual needs to disclose himself. This is done through the reduction of the hidden self, making the unknown self become acceptable when pointed out, working on the reconciliation of perceptions of oneself with what others think, thereby increasing the known aspect of oneself. When the above is done, the individual develops lasting interpersonal communication. The individual may develop any of the four areas above more than others.
SO, WHICH OF THE PANES HAVE YOU OPENED OR CLOSED?