The New Johari Window #14. Quadrant One: The New World of Interpersonal Relationships
The third way in which we experience “no time” concerns the complexity of contemporary relationships. Relationships are often not safe. We live in a litigious society. It is not safe to disclose or give feedback. We shouldn’t touch another person who is not a close friend or family members. Even male therapists often do not risk doing therapy with female patients unless they can leave the therapy door open. One of my male colleagues will only do therapy with women when his wife is present in the office.
Similarly, teachers can’t touch children in their classes, even if the touch is intended to encourage or comfort the child. Dating in organizations is dangerous, given that there may be a charge of sexual harassment. What do we say to other people about ourselves or about our feelings regarding them? We simply don’t have time to figure out how to relate to many other people—hence we remain guarded and reduce the size of our Quad One. We distance ourselves from other people and find it safer to communicate by e-mail rather than in person. High tech has made it easier to hide behind the digital screen—high tech leads to no touch, with the assistance of our litigious society.
Finally, there is simply less time for everything. We must constantly be selective and must choose among several different prized activities. Time becomes a scarce commodity—and technological solutions are offered to maximize the use of this scarce commodity. Perhaps we have created the fiction of temporal scarcity precisely to sell the time saving technologies. We are taught how to “manage time” and purchase expensive “time-saving” machines (fast computers, robotic vacuum cleaners, trash compacters). We even expect technologies (such as palm pilots) to help us “find more time.”