What is a blind spot?
The human eye is pretty good at accurately detecting and enormous array of information about the world around us, but it does have its limitations. One example of this is a blind spot or a small portion of the visual field that corresponds to the location of the optic disk located at the back of the eye. The blind spot is the location on the retina known as the optic disk where the optic nerve fiber exit the back of the eye. KENRA CHERRY
Blind spots can be shrunken or even eliminated. Kendra Cherry expatiated on how researchers have found that the blind spot can be shrunken by using certain eye training exercises. You can read the full article [here].
An example of a visual blind spot is the inability to see the back when driving a car despite looking through both side mirrors. Only the rear-view mirror can eliminate blind spots on both sides of the car. Now we have an idea of the concept of the physical blind spot, let’s move on to the crux of this post; psychological blind spots.
What is a Psychological Blind Spot?
It is an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality. Juliana Breines calls them aspects of our personalities that are hidden from our view.
These might be annoying habits like interrupting or bragging, or they might be deeper fears or desires that are too threatening to acknowledge. Although it’s generally not pleasant to confront these aspects of ourselves, doing so can be very useful when it comes to personal growth, and when it comes to improving our relationships with others – there is undoubtedly something we do that, unbeknownst to us, drives our significant others, roommates, or coworkers a little crazy. JULIANA BRENIES
How do you identify your blind spots?
Unusually Strong Negative Reactions
Reaction Formation is defined by Psychoanalytic Theorists as a defensive process in which emotions that produce anxiety or which are unacceptable are handled by exhibiting an exaggerated directly opposing tendency. For example, a man who is desperately afraid of poverty will most likely have a financial blind spot. He might be a business mogul and may be comfortable financially yet constantly neglecting his financial responsibilities as the head of the family, preferring to spend all of his earnings on growing his business. Whenever his wife brings up money related issues or requests, he would either ignore or pick a fight to avoid having to spend money he perceived would be better saved or multiplied by investment. Another example is a woman with high sexual tendency and high sexual guilt. She would most likely have a sexual blind spot and might be most judgmental, most unforgiving and harsh towards their friends or anyone who indulges in anything sexual. Her response would be a cover for the fact that she herself is very turned on by the same but finds it shameful or unacceptable.
Unusually Strong Positive Reactions
This is the reverse of the concept described above. In a case where there is a deep fear of the lack of a desired trait, emotion or attitude, one can exhibit very positively behaviors in order to hide the lack. For example a man could exhibit very high level of altruism and selfless concern for the well-being of others in order to hide an innate selfishness or a woman could exhibit very high notions of chastity and purity to hide very unacceptable sexual desires. Another typical example is people who exhibit very high qualities of being devoted, pious and religious in order to conceal very high tendencies towards sinfulness.
Ask Close Family & Friends
One of the best ways to identify your blind spots is to ask those close to you to tell you your observed strengths and weaknesses as honestly as possible. This might be a pretty difficult method in the sense that many people may not be completely truthful to avoid hurting you. However it’s a very effective method of discovering your blind spots. Research has proven that when it comes to behavioral analysis, we tend to see ourselves through a filter of the ideal whereas other people tend to see us more clearly and more honestly.
Discovering blind spots can be a very painful and sometimes almost unacceptable process, but once discovered and accepted, they become easy to deal with, conquer and eliminate.