There’s a difference between how we see and describe ourselves (self-awareness) and how others see and describe us (external perception).
The Johari Window is a tool to reveal to us the difference between the two, and to reveal to us the blind spots we have not seen before.
The “Arena” quadrant represents the part of our personality and behaviour that we are fully aware of. This is the part of ourselves we display openly and without any hesitation, when in the company of others. When we are asked about ourselves, the information we freely give falls under this category.
The “Façade” quadrant covers everything that you may hide from others because you may believe that it should remain private or hidden. The things you keep in this area include your secret desires, or thoughts you do not feel comfortable sharing with others. Even if you have a spouse or a best friend with whom you are confident sharing secrets, everyone always has something left over that is private, or that he/she alone knows about him/herself.
The “Unknown” quadrant covers the things in your subconscious, and is not immediately accessible to you. Nevertheless, this still has a considerable impact on your thoughts and behaviours. These include your unconscious fears, repressed conflicts, traumas, urges, instincts, and so much more. Sigmund Freud tells us that 80-90% of what we do every day is influenced by these factors. Our rational and conscious thinking play a secondary role in our lives.
There are things about ourselves that we are not aware of. That’s why we call them blind spots. When a person is driving, he or she has rear view and side mirrors to guide him or her. However, there will always be blind spots, or parts of the car by which the driver cannot see. We can never know what we look like without a mirror. Our eyes are incapable of it, but other people can see us well. Even though we are unaware, the blind spot section harbours habits, preferences, dislikes, prejudices, and other things that are only obvious from a third-person perspective.
Working to reduce our blind spots will help us work on ourselves. If there is something in your blind spot that you can change, you need to be aware of it first. You need to keep in mind that your blind spots can include both your positive and negative characteristics. There are people (especially ladies) who do not know how they can be arrogant, or judgmental of other women, in certain situations. They are also the ones who are most oblivious to their kindness and generosity.