Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Johari window: A tool to gauge human relations

Human beings are endowed with a fantastic and most developed brain. While animals settle their scores for supremacy by physical fighting, the humans do this by mind games. It is due to this reason, we are constantly trying to know what is going on in the minds of others.

Brain is the most complex organ and marvel of God. We have understood a mere tip of the iceberg. It works on conscious and sub-conscious levels. Our thoughts which shape our personality originate, processed and stored in our brains.

We also want to be better persons adored by large number of people. We have to seek, find, and apply truth in your life. This is the path to becoming a healthy person. Aligning yourself with the truth permits a better person to eventually emerge from within.

Scientists and psychologists are trying to understand the human behavior so that its talents can be utilized better. Different models are designed to understand the interactions between human beings. For example at workplace, if the understanding between employees is good, the productivity will increase which in turn be good for all.

One of such models is called the Johari Window.  The name is derived from the inventors’ names’ Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. The Johari Window helps you to categorize conscious and subconscious areas of your life. The window works much like a matrix with four cells. These 4 cells are the areas of your personality derived from your views of yourself and what others think about you. These results of the four operators namely

1: “what you know about yourself”,

2: “what you don’t know about yourself”,

3: “what others know about you” and finally

4: “what others do not know about you”

are placed in these four cells and the area of each cell decides what kind of personality you have and what are the areas where improvement is desired. These are like the results of logical operators which have “Yes” or “No” outcome.

Interaction of 1 & 3 is called “open area”.  This area indicates how much of your personality traits are known to you and others. Wider this area, better is your ability to be open and share the thoughts with each others.

Interaction of 1 & 4 is your “Private realm”. This is the part of your personality which you know but others are unaware of. If it becomes smaller then it is better because others shall also share their personality traits with you.

Interaction of 2 & 3 is called “blind Area” meaning you have traits which may be good or bad which you yourself are unaware of but others know about. This area can be reduced by the feed backs which you receive from others and try to adjust your personality accordingly.

Interaction of 2 and 4 is area of your personality which neither you nor others know about. This is in other words your undiscovered self.  This area is largest when a person joins a new organization. Slowly this area will be reduced with the passage of time. It goes from the obvious and more conscious areas of your life to the less obvious areas that your may not be aware of.

Their are 56 words which psychologists use to judge the personality. These are given below:

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • smart
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

The Johari Window is a very helpful internal and external communication grid (intra-psychic and interpersonal). You may find it quite useful as you journey forward into the discovery of who you are. Desired Johari’s Window


Devaki Nandan Khatri

The children in urban India, especially belonging to the affluent families, are mesmerized by the mystery stories written by the British author J.K.Rowling under the name Harry Potter series. I bet most of them or even there parents who are wedded to English language and culture have heard about this gentleman who the first Indian writer of mystery novels in Hindi.

And when did he wrote all these books? He lived from 1861 to 1913, about roughly a century ago when India was under British rule and there were kings and princes in India. There were dense jungles which kindled the fires of mysterious creatures and spirits living in the jungles. Khatri wrote many thrillers like Chandrakanta Santati, Kajar ki Kothari, Narendra-Mohini, Kusum Kumari, Virendra Veer, Gupt Godna, Katora Bhar Khoon and Bhootnath, some of which became the rage among the readers. People were so much addicted with the serialized version of Chandrakanta that many began learning Hindi language and eagerly waited for the issues.

He gave Hindi literature new words like Aiyyar and Aiyyara, male and female spies for the king who specialized in the art of becoming invisible and magic. Another word he gave to Hindi was Tilism which means the maze containing secret places, passages and prisons like those in the Prince of Persia game.  The book Chanderkanta was televised on Doordarshan and became a rage among the viewers. It depicts the romance between prince and princess of two rival states and the travails they face in this endeavor. Khatri who was a also a forest contractor and thus familiar with forests and jungles based his story on his experiences.

India has a very rich treasure of literature which somehow lies in oblivion. Let our children also explore these treasures and compare these with the Harry Potters which comes at a high price.

It is lonely at the top

Becoming very successful and rising to top is human quest. Every manager, strives to rise above others. But as he progresses, he begins to become lonely in his social life. He becomes wedded to the enterprise he is involved with. A time comes when despite his wanting to he is not able to detach himself from his work. He brings home the office with him. His topics of discussions revolve around his work. Wife and children sulk but he is unaware as he is lost in some other world.

His work occupies his schedule. His family will try to find other avenues for diversion. Even then he does not stop them because he is physically with them yet thousands of miles apart from them. There is no separation from the work. He dreams about his progress and is frustrated by his competitors getting closer to him.

He puts a lot of trust in himself. He takes the things so seriously that after sometime even the trivial things become very serious in his scheme of things. He begins to take responsibilities solely upon himself spreading him too thinly. After some years he becomes tired and burnt out. He smokes and sits alone in the smoke clouds. No friends with whom to share his mind and relieve his tension. The faculty of speech and converse with each other had been developed by the human beings during evolution to survive and evolve as social creatures.

Surely, it is good to be at top but at the same time don’t let oneself to be prey to loneliness.

Loneliness is like an unseen demon which always hovers about in his office waiting for the right moment to seize him from behind. At the first opportunity it catches the victim.


Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar has said “O, dream, you are a Sultan“, not for nothing. Dreams are safety vents which help us humans to fulfill and therefore  release the suppressed desires. To achieve and get what we cannot get in real material world.

Dreams recreate the world around us according to the individuals experiences and inputs obtained by the interaction with the world. There in the dream, our suppressed feelings like unrequited love for someone who is in reality out of reach, shall be realized. The dream will bring two people thousands of miles apart together within no time. No journey, no tickets, no visas, no permissions are required.

We all dream strange dreams although strange is not the appropriate word because dreams are always strange because they run counter to the social norms prevailing in our real world. We can do things which are totally a taboo in the real world. And we can get away with them. Most of the times, our dreams are like muddled water in a pond. We cannot totally reproduce or recall them when we awake. But there might be times when dreams are very lucid.

So many times, a dear person, who has departed long ago, will be there in your dreams as if he is alive. He may be discussing some problems with us. Some women, who has attracted you by her bodily charm but is not so close to you, can become very close to you in your dream.

Subconscious mind is a repository of the experiences good or bad which had happened to us. It contains our emotions. Over the time, the library becomes loaded with this data. It them needs to clean it and releases some of these stored materials to lighten the burden on subconscious mind. If we cannot keep our thoughts to us for long, we can very well imagine what happens to our subconscious mind which has the dreams as the only conduit for the release of emotions.

Dreams happen mostly during the segment of sleep called “Paradoxical Sleep” , also called Rapid Eye Movement(REM). In this stage, brain becomes active, frequency of brain waves become high and magnitude low. This is akin to twilight stage of the beginning of normal sleep in its brain activity. But there are subtle differences. The body organs become limp or numb like a dead person. Eyes move side to side during this stage. It is in this stage that dreams occur. If a person is awakened at this stage, he or she can recall the dream.

Subconscious mind is like an ocean, which acts as a dumping ground of thoughts, feelings and events happened to a person. As we age, the seams of these bits form and those which are buried at the bottom are difficult to recall immediately unless a great effort is done to recall. This effort may be in the form of a shock,  through reminisces.

But some feelings refuse to bury down. They are incapable of drowning. However hard we try to forget, they float back and resurface. Sometimes they are so strong that dominate the our thoughts day in day out.


Life seems to an illusion. In fact, whole world seems to be a figment of falsehood. People seem to be too trivial, becoming too happy and too distraught with small achievements and losses.

There is opaque gossamer which Maya has spread over this world to keep us away from the real truth. Maya schemes day and night to keep us mired in trivial attachments and actions. It dangles morsels of earthly sensual pleasures from time to time to maintain its sway over us. It makes every effort to keep us away from our creator, the real contentment and peace. By the time, us mortals realize our folly, it is too late to make any amends. We are slaves to sensory pleasures. It requires a mountainous effort to break the shackles. There is always the danger of relapse similar to the alcoholics and addicts. Its hold is so strong on the individuals that most of them make no effort to break the shackles and see the truth. The truth which is real beauty and the Creator.

I am disillusioned with this world. Nothing is permanent here. All of the entities are transitory and have fleeting existence. Still we cannot think clearly and lucidly. In fact, we surrender to small and immediate pleasures. Today the thinking is to live the current moments to the full because no body has seen the tomorrow. We never contemplate our deeds. Most of us are bereft of hindsight, because at the time of passing through a crisis, we many a times think that we will not let this repeat again. We promise ourselves to examine our deeds but we become complacent and are totally ill prepared for the next events.