There’s this cool diagram called the Johari’s Window:
People have used it for various purposes, but I like to use it as a tool for living more consciously – More authentic, self-actualized, congruent, non-defensive and trusting.
Briefly, quadrant 1., OPENess, is the aspects of self that we easily share with others. Quadrant 3. includes the aspects about self that we keep private (HIDDEN). Quadrant 2., BLIND SPOTS, are the things others’ know about us that we aren’t aware of, and quadrant 4. are the aspects of self that are unconscious, UNKNOWN.
In reality, your internal boxes are not equally divided. They may change proportions depending on the relationship or your moods. If the goal is to become a more congruent, authentic person, then we must expand the OPEN area, which requires disclosing more about ourselves, as well as being willing to accept feedback from others about how they perceive us.
For example, Andy thought he was pretty open towards others. And he was. But when he received feedback from his friend, Janet, that he seemed to get defensive when she shared an opinion different from him, he just couldn’t see it. He became even more defensive.
This would be Andy’s BLIND SPOT. As he thought about what Janet said, he looked into his HIDDEN quadrant for some clues. Had he always been like that, or was it just with her? Through gentle inquiry, he was able to realize that, when people disagreed with him, he felt like he wasn’t “good enough” – something he felt frequently growing up in a household with many older siblings.
Andy was willing to disclose his discoveries with Janet, thus expanding his OPEN area. He was willing to respect her feedback, and as a result, expanded his OPEN area even more.