The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control
There was a church just for warriors and a church for merchants. Each class and occupational group lived in a specific part of the city, with the upper classes and more prestigious classes living on higher ground in Tallinn and further from the city walls that fortified the city than those in lower socio-economic classes. In many sub-Sahara African societies, newborn children are “dropped” into an existing social structure and given a specific role and set of social responsibilities from birth. All children in these societies are to learn how to adapt to their role in this social structure before venturing out to find their own individual identities.
In some highly regulated and often punitive social structures, we are told who we are, what we are to say and what we are to do. This coerced sense of self is found in prisons, in concentration camps and in other settings that are heavily bounded and filled with potential or actual violence. At the extreme, we find brainwashing, when at some point, the coerced self actually becomes the true self—the external control is internalized and the “prisoner” no longer needs be kept in chains, since they have now placed the chains around their own “soul.”
We need not be coerced in order to seek conformity to the dominant rules and values of a society. We can choose to comply with these rules and values by picking up both obvious and subtle cues from our environment. We become quite sensitive to these cues so that we might “fit in” or “go along.” This conformity, in turn, allows us to feel less anxious, allows us to be more successful in our career or family, and allows us to spend less time figuring out “who we are.” This sense of self parallels the notion of false self with regard to internal locus of control.