The 4 styles of relationships, according to the Johari window

A difficulty in interpersonal relationships are the different impressions that each has of the other. Never mind, they often lead to conflict because they can treat us differently from how we feel. However, others can be a facility, as we can discover from others, parts of which we were unaware of our personality and character.

Types of relationships according to the Johari window

A simple and straightforward explanatory model of how parts known and unknown to oneself are measured is the Johari’s window, Proposed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. The “I”, the same person, stands out on a horizontal axis; while in the vertical axis “the other” or “the others”.

This is how they are formed 4 quadrants that distinguish four areas of self-knowledge in their relationships:

  • free zone: It is the quadrant of that known to oneself and to others. This quadrant includes everything that is communicated verbally and that becomes mutual knowledge of people. It indicates the degree to which we make ourselves known to the world, we open up and let ourselves be informed about our experiences, thoughts, intentions and emotions.
  • hidden area: el hidden area it becomes what we know about ourselves, but not about others. This includes all the information that the person keeps to himself and does not expose; hide it from the eyes of others. This quadrant includes the traits that a person’s personality is more reluctant to display or that one keeps to oneself.
  • blind zone: In this quadrant, they stand out those traits that we don’t know about ourselves, But others know them. Sometimes we have once again been surprised and discovered parts of who we are because of what others have told us. This is when the blind spot appears; that by not being able to control everything we do, there is always something about us that is hidden in this that we can only discover from the outside.
  • unknown area: In an unknown area this includes everything that we don’t know about ourselves and that doesn’t know the rest either. Well, that can be thought of as the area that both sides give out; but at the same time, it can be the area of ​​growth and potential. Herein lies the ability to learn and grow, to learn new things about oneself and to discover them.

Explain the picture

These four quadrants are dynamic, so they increase and decrease depending on our vital moment, the type of relationship we are in or the environment in which we find ourselves. But at the same time they are dependent, that is to say that a change in one of the fields results in the others being mobilized. This is how by being part of our notoriety, we reduce the hidden area and increase the free area. This fact also implies that there are different paths to achieve the same goal, for example, the free area also expands as the other lets us know how he sees us, reducing the blind area.

The 16 different types of interpersonal relationships

This model also focuses on relationships with other people, in which self-knowledge is not only gained through introspection, but also through information from outside. Likewise, also by relating to us, the other has his own model of his Johari window. This way, a total of 16 different relationship types can be given. In order not to spread, it will only affect some of them.

Free zone relations

In both people, the free zone predominates. In this way, the relationship is characterized by clear and precise communication, because there are no hidden sides and one has the necessary knowledge to be understood and understood. These are relationships in which empathy and acceptance are encouraged, which they allow us to understand the congruence that governs the way the other person does, thinks and feels. They are people between whom communication flows and are sincere with each other. The key word in free zone relationships is understanding.

The other becomes a companion, someone who understands your needs and you understand theirs; someone who knows what looks and gestures mean and who, despite the differences, knowing them makes you tune in. However, on the downside, there are no reservations and one can feel vulnerable. With a large free zone you have upset and anger, which sometimes works on impulse and if the free zone is large you know where to hurt. Likewise, against clarity the mystery is lost; to make it all so clear, there aren’t many questions to ask each other and the interaction can be trivial. Well, with so much understanding it is well known to apologize; or how to give spontaneity, but the question in these cases is it really an intention?

Hidden Zone Relations

In this case, the larger quadrant is that of the hidden area, so the other is hardly known. These are relationships that prioritize safety, security and moving slowly so as not to be damaged.. They might be characterized as relationships of great respect for intimacy, while keeping one’s own space hidden involves paying close attention to the boundaries and limits within which one’s own and others. Therefore, the goal of the relationship is how to receive, and the key word for this type of relationship would be attention.

However, these are relationships with fear as the main emotion, in which the fear of being hurt or during trials may predominate. This can make it difficult to take action and slowly move to the end. There’s also the fear of conflict, so it’s likely that things will tend to be quiet, until one day it explodes, of course. Likewise, if there is a greater tendency to hide than to discover the other, the communication can be tangential, not at all clear, so that people never meet.

Blind Zone Relations

These are relationships in which people have the greatest impact on their blind spot. Unlike the hidden area, every day is a discovery, but how we are as a person. These are gift-based relationships characterized by being very social; you could say extrovert and brash. The main axis is communication, in particular by expressing how the other person is perceived; interpersonal explorers.

Therefore, they are a source of personal learning that promotes greater self-knowledge, in which you see yourself in the eyes of the other. This is how your keyword should grow. But be careful, they sometimes don’t grow well. On the other hand, prejudices are likely to arise and in discussions the other person may be labeled as not being and, even worse, believed. Likewise, impetuosity more easily leads to conflict, as we are not always happy with the way we are told we are; and focusing on giving can also be wrong right now.

Blind-hidden area relationships

These are stimulating relationships, as for the explorer of blind spots, there is a whole huge hidden area to highlight in the other person. It is a challenge to find out and a mystery to know how the other understands the world. In addition, for hidden care there is also another challenge, that of continuing to stay safe, not to be discovered. These are relationships that motivate in a fun way: to discover and hide. Considered a game, they are characterized by many ups and downs and surprisingly not having a steady pace; today the dice play a 1, tomorrow a 6, the next I go back to the first square! For this reason, their key word is intensity.

On the contrary, make sure that the expectations created are not met. and what’s more, if you dig deep into the other, rejection can arise. These are relationships that can tend to toxicity due to dependency and contradiction; one for being obsessed with uncovering secrets and the other for the convenience of having a person constantly on his side. There may then be shifts in the rhythm of each of the relationships; while the blind walks without looking, the hidden watches over each of them. Likewise, their instability could turn them into fragile relationships, which can easily damage and hurt both people.

Some nuances and questions in the air

You might be missing out on relationships with strangers, but in these cases, how can you talk about relationship? In the end, that’s the start of everything, meeting a person and not knowing how they are doing, as well as not knowing what you will look like when you relate to them. Because if the Johari window is dynamic, so are all the typologies that are derived from it. Having been strangers, who knows if that will motivate us to know each other and we will be blind; or we will have cracks from past experiences and prefer to stay hidden.

Who knows if after taking shelter we gain enough trust and continue to discover the other, let the light in and blind ourselves. Who knows if in our exploration of the mysteries we are hurt and hidden, we are protecting ourselves. But if the path is not well known, if the end is known, a free zone that you are simply in, in which it simply is, then, as the name suggests, free.

Bibliographical references:

  • Fritzen, J. (1987). Johari window: group dynamics, human relations and awareness exercises. Editorial SAL TERRAE.

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