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Excerpt From this Document
Two men (Joe and Harry) developed the following model to show how we hide information about ourselves from others or even ourselves.
- Open for all to See: Information that you know about yourself and you openly share with others: your name, eye color, sex, and skin color are “open” to most people. Depending on the situation or the people involved, you may also choose to have your political beliefs, taste in music, religion or other matters “open.”
- Having a Blind Spot: The blind self includes information that other people notice, but you don’t realize. You may rum your nose when your nervous or tap a pencil or hum while you study. You don’t notice these things, but we can see them clearly. In some cases, we may have a large blind spot. For example, we may not notice that we are mean to everyone who looks like an exboy/ girl friend, but all our friends notice.
- The Self that is Hidden in Plain Sight: This is the part of ourselves that we hide from everyone. Here, we hide our fantasies, dreams, embarrassments, fears or beliefs, We keep a part of ourselves hidden from everyone, but that part may be different for different people. We may tell a boy/girl friend about our dreams but never tell them about an embarrassing moment. We might tell our best friend about that moment while hiding our dreams for fear they will sound dumb.
- The Great Unknown: This part of ourselves hides all the information that is buried in our subconscious. We may feel fear when riding in elevators without knowing why because the incident that caused us to fear the elevator is in the unknown self.
- Self disclosure can be telling a personal detail about ourselves to another person, or it can be revealing information through body language, slips of the tongue, or displays of emotion. Some individuals are more likely to disclose than others, but we can make a few predictions:
- Americans are more likely to self disclose than many other culturesincluding Germany, Japan, or Puerto Rico (Gudykunst, 1983). Americans also self disclose more than Middle Easter countries (Jourard, 1971) or Chinese (Chen, 1992). We even disclose more than those from Great Britain (Goodwin & Lee, 1994). In fact, Americans tend to talk about themselves far more than most cultures.
- We tend to disclose more to small groups, perhaps because it is easier to see how people are reacting. We also tend to self disclose more to people with whom we are close and that self disclose to us (Berg & Archer, 1983);however,we also self disclose to strangers who we don’t know and who we expect to never see again. This is what makes our neighbor on an airplane tell us their entire life story (McGill, 1985).
- We are far more comfortable disclosing information that is less personal. We will, with fairly little prompting talk about how we like a class or what we think of an assignment. More personal information tends to be held back longer. We are also more willing to self disclose positive information. In a society that favors happiness, those who overdisclose negative information are seen in a negative light.
The Reasons: (Adler, 1989)
- Catharsis a desire to feel better by “getting something off your chest”
- Selfclarification attempting to see a situation more clearly by “talking it out” with someone
- Selfvalidation getting someone to agree with your beliefs or decisions
- Reciprocity you tell something in order to encourage the other person to tell something
- Impression formation selectively revealing information to make a “good impression”
- Relationship maintenance relationships need increasing amounts of selfdisclosure to grow
- Social control you may select certain pieces of information to gain control or respect
- Manipulation some people self disclose in order to force a person to act in a certain way
About this Document
This handout explains the Johari window and how people built an identity and then share (or choose not to share) that identity with others.