The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control
I was “obtuse” (Q3) with regard to this narrative and the impact which its disclosure would have on the listeners and on their relationship to me (as president) and to our interesting, value-based graduate school. At times, we simply don’t know that other people want to hear our story about something that is important to us.
There is a third dynamic operating with the Q3:I that in many ways is the opposite of the deferential self. This is the defiant self that uses internal control to withhold information about self. “I’m not going to tell you!” This dynamic requires two assumptions. First, I have to feel some anger toward the other person—otherwise why be defiant. Often this anger arises from the violation of trust on the other person’s part—or at least a seeming violation of trust. In many instances, even if the mistrust is unwarranted at the time of the defiance, it is soon warranted, because the recipient of the defiance is likely to become mistrustful of the defiant one and take actions that lead to reciprocal mistrust.
The second assumption in this defiant scenario represents the opposite stance from that of the deferential self. We have to believe that other people are actually interested in what we have to say. The defiant self can only “punish” other people if these other people truly want to hear what the defiant person has to say. In many cases, this is not true, and the defiance has very little effect. The recipient of the defiance may actually experience relief in knowing that they won’t have to put up with the disclosure of a person whom they don’t trust and have grown to dislike.
The deferential and defiant selves concern specific relationships and my reticence to share parts of myself with specific people in the world. The prejudicial self is based on much less selective criteria. “I refuse to share information about myself with a specific group of people. I don’t trust them (in terms of intentions, competence and/or perspective). I don’t want to establish a relationship with them and don’t want them to think that I am in any way interested in what they have to say or how they might react to my disclosures.”