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When Harry Met Joe – a Windows Fairy Tale. Monday September 4, 2017

When Harry (Harrington Ingham) met Joe (Joseph Left), the two psychologists came up with a model of four windows that can really help people grow. Since I've been using this a lot recently in mentoring and coaching, I thought I'd share how this can help us all mature because I think the Moodscope Community is good at this.

The four windows are frames for what we know, and don't know about ourselves. The most often used window is the self we show the World and the window through which the World can see us. We even say, "What you see is what you get!" and, "Take me as I am." Frame 1 is 'known to self, shown to others'. The quick reference word for this is 'The Arena'.

The next frame is far more mysterious. This one is the self that is known to us but not shown to others - what the psychologists call 'The Façade'. Imagine a window with the curtains closed. Only you and I know why we hide certain aspects of ourselves from others. Growth comes from opening up more and more... pulling back those curtains. We do, however, need to choose our moment and our audience carefully. Remember, they've invested in seeing you and I a certain way, and they are certain of that! New revelations bring uncertainty into the picture... for a while.

The most immediate area for growth is our Blind Spot. In this window, other people can clearly see what we're like, but we don't see it. It's as if we've turned our back on the window.

Let me tell you about Bridget.

Bridget is what all of us need: a good friend. She told me years ago that I was a 'Sullen Tiger'. Initially flattered, thinking it was a rather cool Kung Fu name, I asked her what she meant. She said, "I'm never sure whether you are going to rug nicely around my legs... or turn and claw me one!" I was offended and stomped off... just like a Sullen Tiger would. Within 20 paces, I realised she was absolutely correct, and, in that moment of insight, my Sullen Tiger moved from the Blind Spot into the Arena.

Another friend, Jacqui, told me yesterday that a lot of people loved me. I genuinely confessed surprise at this - another Blind Spot.

So who would you be Bridget and Jacqui to? And what would you say to move them forward? Care, tact, and perfect timing help!

Molly has said some challenging things in the past and I've found them helpful as part of my own journey of self-discovery.

An adaptation of Robert Burns' poem, 'To a Louse' explains the poet's own understanding of this window.

Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

Even stranger is the last window. This is the self that is unknown both to us and to those outside looking in. It can be discovered often through the behaviours we don't tolerate in others. This is because we often project dissatisfaction with issues we can't face in ourselves. This, I feel, is a subject for its own blog!

OK, that's more than enough for today - go and be Bridget, Molly, or Jacqui like a good friend!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 6:20am

Hello Lex, this appeals to my 'through the round window' memories! I'm really alerted to the line towards the end...'dissatisfaction with issues we can't face in ourselves' oh yes. There is material in there to keep a psychologist busy for some years with me I fear! Good to see you, love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:31am

I immediately though of Playschool. The arched window was always my favourite!

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:07pm

Hi RATG et Mary Wednesday... isn't it great to have such positive memories of such a simple storytelling frame from Playschool. It made that moment instantly engaging and interactive. For those Moodscopers who didn't grow up with British TV (or are too young to have experienced Playschool, here's a link: You can see the windows in the background - 4 mins in - not the normal punchline but you'll get the idea!

Molly Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:27pm

I remember Playschool ! Things were so much more simple back then !

Carol Anne Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 6:55am

Thank you for today's post....I know I can find more than one person to give a positive lift to with feedback. Sending love to y'all. Have a good Monday

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:08pm

I look forward to you making their day, Carol Anne! I call today, "Mindset Monday" - and I think you'll shift their mindset into the plus, plus, plus!

Sally Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 7:38am

Fascinating, the Joe/ Harry thing, Lex. Thanks for explaining. I must say I had vaguely heard about it, but was not sure what each frame represented. So it's very good to know more. And useful for self-development. Always seeking that one!

You are inspirational and very well loved on here I feel. I certainly value your input, and am very grateful for your blogs as I like discovering new things about the psyche ..and thus, myself and others!

In a good place at the moment and off on holiday tomorrow. Last holiday I did not enjoy ( the time was wrong , a dear friend had just taken her own life...) but I am determined to use positive mental attitude on this one all the way!! Lucky me, too!
And thank you, Lex. Big virtual hugs winging their way to you now.

Jul Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:16am

Have a great holiday Sally. I am just back from mine. This one was a good one so if I can enjoy my hols anyone can lol! I agree so much with what you say about Lex being well loved. Jul xx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:33am

Oh Sally - so sad to hear of your friend; a loss indeed. I am sending best wishes for a restful yet revitalizing holiday.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:10pm

Dear Sally, I hope you can make new associations with 'holiday' - given the context of the last one. We all wish you a happy and rejuvenating time. And thank you for your kind words, alongside Jules' echo of that kindness - I am taking this to heart (for once!)

Sally Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 7:17pm

Thank you all for your kind and helpful comments. I really appreciate them.

Hopeful One Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:12am

Hi Lex - a great blog. I have no wish to steal your thunder but my understanding is that the Windows your are blog refers to is also known as the Johari Window( Jo from Joseph and hari short for harrington) after Joseph Luft( not Left- this could be a typo)and Harry ( short for Harrington?) Ingham in 1955.

The Facade window is for me the most difficult one and it will for the time being remain firmly shut!

But the laugh is from the Arena Window.

A lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says,
'I'm on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it's today!'
The bartender says, 'Well, since it's your birthday, I'll buy you a drink. In fact, this one is on me.'
As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, 'I would like to buy you a drink, too.'
The old lady says, 'Thank you Bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water.'
'Coming up,' says the bartender
As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, 'I would like to buy you one, too.'
The old lady says, 'Thank you. Bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water.'
'Coming right up,' the bartender says.
As he gives her the drink, he says, 'Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?'
The old woman replies, 'Sonny, when you're my age, you've learned how to hold your liquor. Holding your water, however, is another issue altogether.'

Ach UK Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:21am

Ha ha ha Hopeful One you've made my day. X.

Orangeblossom Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:27am

Thanks Hoeful One and especially for the joke which I have just read to my other half who also enjoyed it. I have missed your presence on Moodscope.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:34am

Laughed so hard I nearly snorted my second cup of coffee for the day all over the screen! Thank you indeed!

Dolphin Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:55am

Oh dear - too true!!

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 11:39am


Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:14pm

Hi Hopeful One... no thunder stolen (a couple of typos in the blog I sent to Caroline - one is Joseph Luft instead of the printed Joseph Left - just as you surmised. I also noticed that I was to 'rug' around Bridget's legs... a little too intimate, methinks. I was hoping simply to 'rub' her up the right way!) As for your joke... well THAT totally stole the day!!! Brilliant!

Hopeful One Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 5:08pm

Hi Guys ( and that includes Gardner) - thanks for your appreciation. What I would dearly like to know - did it in any way help you deal with your day in an upbeat way?

Orangeblossom Tue, Sep 5th 2017 @ 7:41am

Yes, it certainly was an excellent start of the day.

Orangeblossom Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:14am

Thanks Lex. You helped me to understand more clearly the Johari Windows Model. I appreciate it a great deal.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:15pm

You're welcome, as always, dear Orangeblossom. Believe it or not, this is actually the shortened version of the blog. What I didn't realise is that the full Johari exercise uses 56 adjectives. This was new to me but very exciting:

Ach UK Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:17am

Good morning Lex,
I thank you very much what a lovely blog. I think I would like to add a mirror tint to your fourth window.

Today I am rather overwhelmed with emotion and I'm trying to take the day slowly and not get embroiled in loud or annoying events so you might imagine my relief when I rebooted my tablet to find the mosquito had been removed from the room.

I am going to try and work on some kind words to say here later today. I do feel Moodscope provides many wise words and is a great help meet.
I am under no illusion that this place is entirely full of kind and gentle people but even when some words are not comfortable they can be illuminating.
There are not many places where one can feel comfortable to discuss mental health issues but this is surely one of the best.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:34pm

Ah Act UK, you've touched me today in so many ways. Interestingly, the phrase 'help meet' is very dear to me. I have taken the liberty of adding your mirror tint suggestion to my own fourth window - thank you of that. Had a major breakthrough at the weekend (much nicer than a breakdown!) I was listening to a recording I'd made of Matthew's record of the Sermon on the Mount. Hearing my own voice read, "Don't judge your you'll be judged..." really helped me get even more value out of the fourth window. I'm now willing to believe that just about every time I judge someone else, it's masking something I'm not happy about in myself. This (bizarrely, I think) has made me feel more free than I have felt in years... perhaps 'ever'. I love this community and the opportunity to 'chat'. Much love

Ach UK Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:32pm

Lex looking at your blog and replies tonight it has been very successful and has developed threads in so many directions thank you Lex My brain won't compute very well today so I can only say there are many many very talented and special people here on moodscope and they all give brilliantly. And that is why it is so successful, they hold out a hand to every stranger who comes and offer thoughts help love criticism. And it's all given gently and with thoughtfulness. thank you everyone.

Jul Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:50am

Hello Lex. So pleased to see your name on the blog this Monday morning. I have genuinely missed you and your uplifting words. It's grey and dull outside so just what's needed. What struck me in your blog was when you write about revealing a different side and to be careful when and to whom you do this. I have come a cropper many times with those close to me who normally see only the indecisive unselfconfident me. On the occasional days when I'm feeling great and exude self confidence, wit and laid back vibes, one member of my family can't cope and I find myself having to rein in my joie de vie. I totally understand where she is coming from; it must be confusing for her. I am going to re read your blog Lex as it contains some useful pointers but wanted to write asap to let you know what I think on first reading. Good luck to you my lovely. Jul xx

Leah Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 11:20am

Jul, I am interested in your interesting comment. Do you think your family member has a set image of you and if you change that image even in a positive way she finds that hard to reconcile with the you she knows.? I may have that wrong but I can relate that is why I ask. I find that people in my family get embarassed and uncomfortable if they see confident Leah as they prefer the more compliant one. Xx

Jul Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 12:08pm

Exactly right Leah. I think it says more about the family member than me actually. She and others can control me when I'm low, i.e normally, but find it unsettling when I'm not my normal self. I do sympathise however with her feeling like that. I guess I should explain my health issues to her but she would probably say don't exaggerate or similar. A difficult one! I am sorry I didn't respond to your blog recently. I may go back to it. I was so stressed with visitors on that day. I do find your blogs interesting as you know and rarely miss an opportunity to comment. Jul xx

Leah Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 12:26pm

Jul, I think it is hard for family members to understand what we go through. You are kind to sympathise and see her point of view, I knew you were away and had been busy so that's fine you didn't answer, I hope you had relaxing time away. , If you have time it would be good to get your reaction as you maybe able to relate to it. It was personal and emotional! Thanks for your kind comments. Leah xx

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:45pm

Hi Jules and Leah... well, isn't this interesting? My experience mirrors yours but in the opposite direction. My public (Inverted Façade? - what I prefer to call my Veneerial Disease!) is one of Mr Jolly. When people have the sad side of me revealed, they equally can't cope. Let us be careful, eh? Hugs to you both xx

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 2:29pm

I understand that feeling Jul. Someone more comfortable when we're low. I try to see it as their weakness not mine but it's very uncomfortable! I've never felt free in their company, indeed almost disapproved of. But I'm getting better at it.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:44am

Fascinating blog! The blind window is possibly "We don't know what we don't know" window. As you say - those faults we detest in others. I am trying to think of some of these - and yes, I hate being kept waiting, but am frequently late myself (less so these days - I've worked on it). Another, more positive, way of discovering what lies behind this window is to imagine you are inviting some friends to dinner. You may invite anyone you like, living or dead, real or mythical - but you have to say/write down, which qualities they possess which makes you want to have them around your dinner table, partaking of a meal you (or a caterer, I suppose, if you don't like cooking) have prepared. Think about this for a moment and make the list. Don't read on for a moment because, if you know why then it spoils it. In fact, I'll put the "answer in another comment. If you would like to do the exercise now, then do it.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:48pm

Bloomin' Brilliant, Mary, bloomin' brilliant. I'd go for diligence - stickability, tolerance, wisdom... these three I desire, and I love them in my guests... and now I can't wait to read on!!!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:46am

If you look at the qualities you admire in others, then you are holding up a mirror. You may not be aware you have these qualities, but many people will agree that you do. (And with apologies to Lex for hi-jacking his thread - although I hope I have only contributed further).

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:49pm

You know I've always wanted to co-write blogs with other Moodscopers - together we are so much richer. Hijack away, and that's an invitation to all of you!

Eva Tue, Sep 5th 2017 @ 7:58am

I did this, a nice surprise, thanks guys, I needed a boost!

Dolphin Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 10:20am

Dear Lex - thanks so much for this. It's an area where I really struggle. I think, for example, that I am too accommodating, yet one of my closest friends told me I could be really fierce. Thanks for your input too Mary Wednesday - very revealing results ... It reminds me of that other game where you have to name an animal that you think represents you, how others see you and I can't remember the rest. Mine were quite accurate. Sometimes you have to approach the issue from the side.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 1:53pm

Hopefully you're a dolphin, dear Dolphin! Just glad I'm not a tasty fish!!! I'm loving Leah's use of words: confident vs compliant. I know that 'civilisation' loves a compliant member of society, but confidence terrifies those who secretly desire it. I've just dropped my good lady off to join and enjoy a 10 day holiday in Israel with her former Mother in Law. I now have 10 days of not needing to accommodate anyone, and I'm as high as a kite! I wish you that freedom too!

Dolphin Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 2:30pm

Enjoy the freedom! As to me, I also have that freedom. I am on holiday - at the sea of course - alone. Read late, get up when I want, do exactly what I feel like. Bliss x

The Gardener Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 2:14pm

HO - super. Lex, flummoxed. Mary dinner table guest would be Alan Coren - although his wit would have left me overawed. People seem to like my company - although I still see myself as a large, friendly labrador dog who cannot understand why he is kicked from time to time. I think impatience and lack of tact might be behind it. Jumping in feet first is normal - even here, where, impatient to answer a post which has caught my fancy I have to MAKE myself, excellent discipline, read and understand the blog (if possible, with Lex, brain a bit short of marbles today). What I don't like is hearing what people are now saying about Mr G. Some (not many now) blame ALL his bad behaviour on the Alzheimers. But the chief nurse of the unit told me today that they have organised a psychiatric assessment - but she also said that he can be perfectly well behaved - polite, thank people etc but ONLY if they behave as he expects. To the others (including me) he is 'infernal, tyrannical, despotic, hyper-critical, demanding (this is of everybody). This really questions the common thought that it's time he was hospitalised permanently - but he is NOT in the same state as the others in the unit, yet one cannot hope for better behaviour because the illness has robbed him of sentiment or feelings for others. So now I see myself also as a 'changeling', someone who WAS extrovert, although mercurial, love humanity in general, warts and all- now I am a moaner. Even with the most famous curmudgeons (was Dr Johnson one?) at least you had your 'own space' and could bury your nose in a book - and, you could walk away when things get rough - that I can no longer do. Second son always says 'avoid confrontation' but Mr G seems to thrive on it. Can anybody give advice on putting up a strong front, other that sedatives or alcohol?

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 2:30pm

My main suggestion is to learn to dissociate like nurses and doctors have to. Somehow, they have a one-way barrier up that allows them to deal with terrible things without being emotionally hooked. How anyone as close as you are to Mr G could do this, I'm not sure - you ARE in the thick of it, but could you, can you, dissociate yourself? By this I mean, as if you were watching and responding from the safe side of a see through barrier? Not sure if this helps but I do realise he's hitting your hot buttons and hooking your emotions most of the time. We need a strategy to break the unhelpful patterns.

Molly Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:52pm

Gardener, I have no advice in such a difficult situation, but I do feel for you. My situation is much less harder than yours, but I do experience the possessiveness type behaviour. I crave for space but my husband moans if I am not with him. He is bored and wants me there all of the time. I have always been used to having my own space but he makes me feel guilty if I am not with him and the result of that is my own suffering and resentment, breeding my depression - and neither of us happy !! xx

The Gardener Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 5:53pm

Thanks Lex, I am really at my wits' end. One of the major symptoms of Alzheimers is acute anxiety - we moved house because the old one had such thick walls and huge rooms Mr G felt alone if I was in the next room. Here, I have designed a huge kitchen/dining room, with a sitting area, with huge windows on to a road, leads to church, people always going by, and neighbours very near. Sliding glass doors, for easy use, go into my office - Mr G is 4 metres from me. But he will ask me where I am every two minutes, I try to ignore it and get on, but the requests get louder and more frequent. He will then lose his temper - 'b****y woman never listens'. He's started since I began typing this. It is pure mental battering, and other than ear-plugs (this would be counter-productive, he would go into the road and scream for help). I try and 'close my mind', and, as you say, dissociate myself - I know he is perfectly safe - good interesting radio on - can't think of anything else. I do try deep breathing to stop myself from yelling back, which only upsets me. Facing my computers are calming pictures (of water, by local artists) decor is calm, elegant, under-stated - so 'every prospect pleases'. I don't know whether these measures count as Zen, or Ying and Yang. Far from your blog.

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 6:23pm

OK, let's have a chat with Caroline as to whether this is acceptable, but, if she agrees, I'd like to recommend a French NLP expert who could shift this anxiety and tension. I'm asking Caroline for permission because this is explicit promotion of a paid for service - not something I want to see on Moodscope, but we love you and would love to see you breakthrough xx

Lexi Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 7:50pm

Afternoon Lex! Your blogs are always so thought provoking. I used to bristle when someone tried to tell me about a negative trait that I exhibit to him or her. Now (in my older, wiser years :) ) I really try to listen and understand and change. But I also consider the person who is doing the commenting. Like you say, consider the source! If it’s indeed a good friend and I know they are coming from a place of love, I will listen. If instead, it is coming from someone who I know has an ulterior motive then I try to ignore, not get mad, just ignore. I have never heard of the four windows before but it’s a very interesting idea. Thank you for sharing and for giving me thought on this rainy Labor day in the States! Xo Lexi

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:38pm

You're so welcome, Lexi. Happy Labor Day... whatever the weather! Xo

Molly Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 8:10pm

Lex, I read this several times and saw a different perspective everytime. I have many thoughts. Generally, I think that we can all possibly 'forget' to compliment people when deserved. Quick to tell them when they do something wrong (justified or not) but not so much when they do something right, maybe !

We may also criticise the way someone is dressed for instance, often not done to their face (rightly or wrongly) but I try and make sure I make a point if I like something about someone (actions or appearance). However, it has to be genuine on both parts. For me, if I were to compliment someone today after reading your blog, just for the sake of it, it is not a genuine act. But certainly a good reminder to tell people their good points.

So, I see my name mentioned....... shock, horror! Could not decide if it was a compliment, a underlying dig, or just an observation. Maybe all three ! Lesson here though for everyone, 'don't judge, think before you speak, if you have to say it, be careful about how to say it and when to say it'.

I am not one to keep my mouth shut easily as you know and there will, of course, be times that I deal with this badly because of my own issues! For instance, I struggle to understand some blogs, because I am not intellectual enough. Therefore that does not require a pop at the person who wrote it.

I liked Mary's dinner party scenario.

I concluded, 'see the good in people, rather than the bad' and then... 'let it reflect right back at us and we might see the worthiness and good in ourselves".

Thanks Lex xx

Lex Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:37pm

It was a compliment, Molly, because what you said made me think and change - that's awesome! xx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:50pm

Definitely a compliment, Molly!

Molly Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 11:54pm

Well that's great, I am glad to be part of your blog and to have been helpful to you in some way. I thought that was the case but wasn't sure ! Overall, the blog certainly got me thinking today. Molly xx

Eva Tue, Sep 5th 2017 @ 8:08am

I had a confrontation today, surprised by an associates reaction and upset to some assistance I was providing, it wasn't set in stone, it was more of a this is possible but happy to go either way kind of thing, she called me presumptuous and asked me how I had dared...

I had initial anger, and we tussled verbally until I remembered my brand new dissatisfaction window and stepped back, I have just completed my paintings for my course (on Sunday) I'm exhausted and I thought maybe we are both just tired and ratty. The lady in question irked me some more during the day, but I stayed away (in my head) I didn't respond.

I went over it with my husband in the evening, he felt that her reaction was overdone and nippy, but we both agreed that having the window was a great help, because it let me step out of the situation, so thanks Lex, I'll try to use it again. It's handy being able to set aside the upset and withdraw.

Lex Tue, Sep 5th 2017 @ 9:15am

Oh that's BRILLIANT, Eva... I hadn't thought about the Windows as a way of dissociating emotionally to get some perspective. Wonderful!

Eva Tue, Sep 5th 2017 @ 10:13pm


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