The New Johari Window #23: Quadrant Two: Interpersonal Needs
Perhaps we assume that all Scandinavians “want to be alone.” They find little need to share their feelings with other people and feel uncomfortable when other people share their own feelings with them. While there certainly are differences in ways in which men and women are socialized with regard to openness (and with regard to inclusion and control), this socialization doesn’t always “take” and there are many exceptions to the rule in most postmodern societies. Furthermore, there are major cultural differences with regard to openness; these differences, however, usually concerns the ways in which we are open, the people with whom we are open, and the content (thoughts and feelings) about which we are open. Cultural differences typically do not dictate how open we should be as a general principle, or how open we should expect other people to be with us.
Only the first of these three later scenarios offer us the opportunity to receive important information about ourselves if other people share this feedback with us about their perception of our desire for openness (moving material from our second quadrant into our first quadrant). As Joe Luft suggests, not all feedback is beneficial (or accurate or well-intended)—so we must be discerning about who we invite to give us feedback, as well as thoughtful in our interpretation and acceptance of the feedback we do receive.
In elaborating all of the scenarios regarding Quad Two openness, I have hopefully conveyed something about the complexity of Quad Two openness. While Quad Two inclusion and control are highly dynamic and complex, Quad Two openness is particularly dynamic and complex. As a relationship matures (and as a group matures), it not only moves, typically, from primary concern with inclusion and formation issues to primary concern with control and storming issues and, eventually, to primary concern with openness and norming issues, it also moves toward increasingly complexity with regard to the expression and enactment of interpersonal needs—especially when these needs reside in Quad Two and (as we will soon see) Quad Three and Quad Four.