All of us have a blind spot where our optic nerve exits the eye. So why do we not have a floating black spot in front of our eye? Because our eye covers over and fills that area, so that we can’t see the gap. We are blind to our own blind spots. (If you’ve never experienced this effect you should try it out here: Find Your Blind spot).
Our mind is constantly creating closure – even when there are gaps in the world, we still fill in all the pieces that we need to have things make sense. We all have blind spots related to our own introspection as well for this very reason.
Along time ago, I confronted a friend on whether he was really able to put himself in another’s shoes and understand how his statements would be interpreted by them. There was a class of people where he would say things that drove them away. Rather than recognize this, he instead responded that he considered this ability one of his strengths. It was eye-opening to me about the challenge of our blind spots. We are blind to them.
We all have a desire to prove our perception of the world as valid. We look for confirming evidence. We think about ourselves and how we want to act with others, and create closure. We want it to all make sense. Yet in this process we can become blind to our own errors to the detriment of ourselves and others.
We are blind to our blind spots. If we are confronted by the perception of others, even if it seems entirely at odds with our own perception, we need to be careful not to simply gloss over our own blind spots.
[Seriously though, if you haven’t tried finding our own blind spot you should check out the website above. Once you learn more about it, if you’re ever in a meeting and you’re bored you can make people’s heads disappear. 🙂 ]