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Do you really understand your personality and why you embrace some situations and run from others?

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Have you ever met a friend for coffee and listen to her explain about a situation that she is struggling with and offer her solutions that you feel are simple and would resolve the situation? And a while later find yourself in a similar situation expressing stagnant areas of your life that need change, but you feel you can't, or you just feel stuck and the person listening offers practical solutions that you know sound logical yet you feel resistant to?

As humans we react to similar situations based on our individual 'situational personality'. Edward Hall in his book "The Hidden Dimension" describes the situational personality as being adopted from our experiences from intimate, personal, social and public experiences. Individually we may respond to these settings quite differently. Some may experience difficulties being in public spaces and therefore may find it difficult to engage in public speaking while others may find intimate and personal spaces difficult, rendering closeness to people difficult for example in a crowded room or in a small space.

When asked to describe our personality we may opt to use the terms introvert or extrovert unaware of another aspect of personality - the 'situational personality'. Gaining a greater understanding about our human behavior may provide insights as to why we experience what we experience and why we struggle to engage in the advice of our friend, as described above. There may be a 'situational personality' dominating our experience. Because some situational experience may leave us feeling less than joyful, or we simply cringe and run from engaging in certain events, gaining a better understanding of the space we inhabit and the impact it may have on us can unlock some significant personal insights about ourselves and what we can actively do to begin to change our experience.

Over the coming months I will share some personal experiences and suggest tools and techniques that may be adopted into everyday practice that can enhance our performance experience, whether for stage, a wedding speech or a conference presentation.

I have over six years research in the area of philosophy, specifically looking at our creative expression, what habits, beliefs and patterns hold us back and what can assist us in moving forward. I have devised specific tools for engagement that may bring about positive changes when adopted and practiced over time. I work with students, artists, musicians and individuals who wish to change their experience and need assistance to kick start it. Something that we all need from time to time.

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". Anais Nin

© Cli Donnellan, Creative Facilitator


Donnellan C, (2018) The Phenomenology of Evaluative, Live, Performance Experiences for Irish Traditional Musicians in a Third Level Context, unpublished thesis (Ph.D), University of Limerick.

Hall, Edward T., (1969) The Hidden Dimension, Anchor Books, United States.


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