There is a verse I really like from Lamentations 3:40 which says, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” You might read this and think it is an easy thing to do - to examine yourself - and in some instances, you would be correct. However, it seems to be the case that we know less of ourselves than we may actually believe. Yes, we may learn about ourselves through the Enneagram, but surely there must be a better way.
The Johari Window
Back in 1955, these two psychologists got together and created what is known as the Johari Window. It can be seen above for reference. Basically, it explains how there are four parts to ourselves, or four selfs. The first self is the Open Self. This self is open and exposed, it is known both to yourself and to others. An example may be you are a tall, lanky, bearded man who likes to wear Charles Spurgeon t-shirts. You know it, I know it - it’s public information. The second self is the Hidden Self. This is information about yourself that you know full well, but decide not to share it with others. An example of this may be that you are attracted to the same sex or that you are having second thoughts about your religion. For whatever reason it may be, this is a part of you that you choose not to share with others. The third self is the Blind Self. This part of you is unknown to you, but can be seen and noticed by others. This self can be seen in various examples, such as the person who thinks they’re funny when everyone else cringes at their jokes, or the person who thinks they’re a good listener but, in reality, they interrupt more than they do listen. Lastly, there is the Unknown Self. This is information about yourself that neither you know, nor anybody else knows. This self may include feelings and talents, as well as memories that have been repressed due to traumatic experiences. It is a part of one’s self that is unknown - for now.
When it comes to examining yourself, any part of the self mentioned earlier, therapy is a great resource. Let’s take the Hidden Self for example. You may be struggling with thoughts or feelings that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with anybody else. You may fear being judged or even losing a friend. However, therapy is a safe, confidential, safe place for anyone to go and process unwanted, intrusive, or disturbing thoughts and feelings. Another example may be given with the Blind Self. It is very possible that you are unaware of how you present yourself, how others truly perceive you, or why you find yourself feeling angry out of nowhere. Sitting down and talking with a therapist can be a great way to examine ourselves and learn more about the most important person in your life - YOU.
For more information on speaking with a therapist, please visit Regent University’s Psychological Services Center. We can be reached at 757-352-4362.
“We must admit that everyone else probably understands us better than we do ourselves.” - Carl Jung