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B101101159

When I think of myself, or anyone else for that matter, I think of myself as series of intricate masks. Which sounds fake to many people, but honestly, what person is completely the same in every situation and to every single person? There are always the appropriate adjustments made for the environment, circumstances, and audience. These masks are not entirely who we are, but are also incarnations of ourselves and are therefore not fake at all. The most important thing at the end of it all is that we maintain a certain baseline or constant under each mask. We cannot change who we are, but manipulate the way others perceive us. But how can we gain control of ourselves enough to do this (and we must have control over ourselves for these hefty feats)? Quite simply, we must have a complete understanding of who we are as a person. Therefore, we can select certain traits that we want to brighten or dampen. But! I digress, because this paper is supposed to be about me, not about my personal opinions on social behavior. More specifically, this is supposed to be a paper about me and my Johari window. So, after a bit of research, here is what I believe my Johari window to be. OPEN/FREE BLIND

HIDDEN

UNKNOWN

I have some problems with this particular model, but that will be addressed sometime later.

Who I am to Me, Myself, and I (The Hidden Part) The hidden part, or the third quadrant in the Johari window, varies from person to person for everyone. To people who are closer, the hidden part might be smaller because you feel comfortable with them and are willing to reveal more about yourself. However, to people who are not that familiar, the hidden part will undoubtedly be larger. For any healthy person, this is an absolutely normal thing. Reveal too much to anyone at once and you risk spooking a stranger, but keep too much to yourself in a relationship and the other person will ultimately feel unsatisfied. For me, the latter was a big problem pre-college. Prior to college, it was much more difficult for me to connect with other people on a level deeper than acquaintance. I felt a deep distrust of revealing my true self to other people because not only did I feel like I would not be accepted; I also felt a deep duty to fulfill an image that was imposed on me by my family and friends. So even though I changed inside, I maintained a constant image on the outside. However, this often backfired because my friends eventually felt that I was hiding myself and did not trust them. This led to a distance between us because they began to feel like they could not trust me either. After coming to a new environment, I made up my mind to reform myself and allow myself to become more open with the people who were closer to me. So far, this has worked very well for me. Not only do my friends feel more fulfilled with our relationship, I also feel more free as if a heavy weight has been lifted off of me. Every person should value their privacy. To have your own thoughts and not be forced to share them is a gift because it means that someday, you will have something unique to share with someone special. But this also means that there should be someone to share it with, not everything should be kept bottled inside. Who I am to Everyone (The Open/Free Part) Obviously, the size of the hidden quadrant corresponds with the size of the open/free quadrant. Whatever is not kept to yourself is shown to the world. So, much like the hidden part, the open part also varies from relationship to relationship. However, there is a bit of difference between a complete mask and just parts that you choose to show people.

In an attempt to see what other people truly thought of me, I sent out a questionnaire asking people who I was in their eyes. Although many of the things people said were generally the same, I could tell immediately which ones were written by my closer friends and which ones were written by acquaintances. (I decided not to poll strangers because I wanted to see what the people I interacted with though of me.) I think that although it is not wise to act the same to everyone of any stature and age, it is also important to maintain a constant under the qualities that you choose to show people. These things, for me, are optimism, a happy disposition, genuineness. I was very happy to see that the majority of responses touched upon these traits. The largest discrepancy I could see between acquaintances and close friends was my level of confidence. Towards people I do not know that well, I generally try to emit a more confident person but towards the people who I know well and in turn, know me well too, there is a lot more insecurity apparent. What I Cant See about Myself (The Blind Part) Everything else in the survey that I did not know about is part of the blind quadrant. There was not actually anything said that completely surprised me about myself but there are still things that made me feel pleased. These are things that although I put some effort into, I am never really quite sure I am actually exuding like being nice and pretty. There are also things about myself that I did not realize I was showing, including some insecurities. When I read these in the replies, I felt very moved because it showed that my friends were truly paying attention to who I was, even if it was not something I was intentionally showing them. The Rest (The Unknown Part) Id like to think that the unknown part of me is very small and that I know myself well, but the mystery of the unknown part is that I will never know how much I do not know. A big part of this is maturity. I am still a teenager with less than a fifth of a century of life behind me and therefore there are a lot of situations that I have not experienced yet and may not have even thought about.

Although I think I know myself pretty well, this paper really helped me in seeing how well other people know me. In general, I am proud myself after writing this paper and researching for it because I believe that my interpersonal skills have improved since entering college. I am more open with myself and other people, and in return, I have made deeper relationships and have gained more confidence for myself. In the future, I would like to increase the open/free part of myself and also discover more about the unknown part. There is no doubt in my mind that there is even more room for improvement.