It’s been a month since I started consciously choosing to go gently into the world, instead of going out there wearing my armour of aggression and rudeness.
My exhaustion is palpable, or at least I think so. I am relearning different automatic responses; tampering down my initial reaction, so that I can give a reaction that I choose. I am so very tired, however, I think it is worth it. I don’t want people to avoid me because I behave in a way that does not align with my values.
A fortnight ago, I was briefly introduced to the “Johari Window”, a tool for improving self-awareness.
Basically, it covers what you know about yourself and what others know about you in a lovely 2 by 2 grid.
- Open/Arena – where what you know about yourself and what others know about you align.
- Hidden/Façade – the things you know about yourself that others do not know.
- Blind – the things you do not know about yourself that others do know
- Unknown – the things you do not know about yourself and others do not know either
Forgive me for the simplified explanation, as the idea is new to me and I haven’t looked at it in detail, but this little introduction hit me hard. The work I have been doing recently fits into this model in a very helpful way. I am internally struggling with the conflict between my hidden self and my blind self.
My blind self is the “scary” person, the one who meets the world with hostility, the one I didn’t see until people (especially one person who I fully trust) pointed it out. My hidden self is the “scared” person, who feels threatened by the world and doesn’t want to be seen.
The work I am doing to find a middle way between these two selves is hard, but I think it is worth it. Only a few people in my day-to-day life are aware that I am doing it, though I think people are responding to me differently and positively. Even though I am exhausted, when I stop to reflect on how incrementally better my human interactions are I feel much more comfortable in myself.
Here’s to synthesising scary and scared into something new that can come out into the Open.