The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control
There is a strong bias toward internal locus of control when it comes to Q3. We want to control what is given out to other people and often ignore the fact that information about our self (especially our feelings and attitudes toward other people) is leaking out all over the place (Q3:E to Q1). Furthermore, while Quad Three is often linked directly to an internal locus of control (Q3:I), there are many dynamics about Quad Three that are directly related to the social context within which the disclosure is being or could be made (external locus of control) (Q3:E).
Q3-I: The Withheld Self
There are several reasons why we choose to control our disclosure to other people. Some of these reasons make perfect sense in a postmodern world that often involves an invasion of our privacy and an overwhelming demand on our time and energy. Some of the other reasons are less justifiable and contribute to the destructive dynamics of misguided human interactions. I will specifically identify five reasons and frame them, as I have in previous essays, as different senses of self: private self, cultural self, false self, reticent self, deferential self, defiant self and prejudicial self.
Participants in a postmodern world—which includes most of us—are often in search of personal boundaries and, even more generally, personal integrity. I have already described the challenges of the saturated and overwhelmed self in a postmodern world. Like Greta Garbo, we sometimes “want to be alone.” The world is intruding on our personal space and we don’t know who we are or who we will become. We don’t want to open ourselves up to other people until we are clearer about our “true” self. We fear that by opening our selves up we will be obligated to take in the stories and needs of those people with whom we have disclosed. In other words, we fear that the movement of our Quad Three material to Quad One will mean that we will have to absorb the Quad Three of other people—and we are already filled to capacity (saturated and overwhelmed).