The New Johari Window #3: Interpersonal Relationships and the Locus of Control
Back to the external locus of control. Even when we are captains of our own ship, we need other people to help us operate the vessel—unless it is very small. Furthermore, if we choose to venture very far from port, we must be mindful of winds, tides, currents, changes in the weather and so forth. Only the very foolish mariner will proclaim his independence from the environment into which he is venturing. Unless we will never leave port or choose to remain very isolated and “small,” we must be mindful of our external world—both human and nonhuman. From this vantage point, an external locus of control seems to be very appropriate.
Taken to the extreme, the external locus of control leaves us eternally vulnerable to the exigencies of the world in which we live. As people with an external locus of control, we hunger for information about the outside world. We are consummate readers of newspapers each day—or we look at our daily horoscope. Our ship often seems to lack a rudder or even a compass. The wind, tide or current carries us to an unknown destination. We have very little influence. We are cast adrift and, like Ishmael, are at best the fortunate survivors of great, often tumultuous events (the Moby Dicks in our lives). We survive not because we are competent, but because we are fortunate. We get where we want to go not because we plan ahead of time, but because we seize on the opportunity to mount our sails when the wind happens to be blowing in the right direction.
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