June 4, 2020 The Personalities of Protest
Dear Readers: Over the past week, as peaceful and not-so-peaceful protests filled the streets of America, I’ve received several calls and emails asking which of Five Elemental personality types would be most inclined to protest, peacefully or not. Is it the Wood personality? The Fire personality? Maybe the Earth personality? And let’s put the Metal and Water personalities in there, too, because I believe that any of the elemental personalities can and will actively protest for the right reason. Looting and destroying property is a different matter, but it might surprise you that each of the elemental personalities might participate in those activities as well, depending on how balanced they are and their secondary elemental personality. So, what might make each of the elemental personalities engage in protest, or worse, property destruction and looting? Let’s take a look.
Water Personalities: Water people are the quiet dreamers and imaginative thinkers. If there is a new or better way to do something, the Water personality might take part in a peaceful event to show their support for the new way. Water people are also idealists who need to be part of something bigger than themselves, so those with a lot of yang energy (the energy of outward expression) will definitely gravitate toward protesting as a way to help make the world a better place for everyone. The balanced Water personality also easily trusts, so would feel fine engaging in peaceful protest.
However, when the Water personality is really out of balance, it can become narcissistic, inflexible, and intolerant of other people’s views. Fixated on what they want and aggravated by any who challenges them, they can blame others for what isn’t working for them personally and manifest out-of-character displays of belligerence and aggression. Unbalanced, Water people can easily justify to themselves the “rightness” of taking what they need but would be less likely to destroy property just for the sake of destruction.
Wood Personalities: Wood people are passionate about fairness and quick to step in with their considerable power to help the underdog, be it a person, an organization, or a cause. The Wood personality is ready to act to right a perceived wrong. Wood people are frequently the ones who plan protest marches because the ability to organize and manifest sits in the Wood element. They are planners who see into the future. Because of this, people often look to them to help lead. And a protest is perfect for them, because when something is wrong, Wood people need to help make it right. This need can also extend to people who have Wood as their secondary elemental personality.
That said, if the Wood personality is unbalanced, the action and accomplishment that are their greatest strength can become their greatest weakness. Wood people can be prone to explosive responses to lack of movement or change, or if things aren’t happening to their liking. Unbalanced, Wood people are capable of going on a rampage. They could justify destruction as necessary to accomplish their goals and any theft as simply something they deserve.
Fire Personalities: Fire people crave excitement, so the initial stages of a protest will attract them. They also like making short-term connections with people, and the common cause of a protest march generally facilitates this because there is plenty of time to connect while marching for miles. The Fire personality focuses on the “now” so will likely give an immediate “Yes!” if asked to participate. That said, if the march goes on and on and on, the Fire personality might begin to find it tedious and leave to do other things.
However, if the Fire personality is unbalanced, the energy of the group they are with might take hold and facilitate their participation in destruction. A weakness of unbalanced Fire people can be an inability to manage their energy. They thrive on drama and excitement, but can lack the structure to avoid taking things too far. Their entanglement in group energy can mask what is happening until they are wildly participating in activities they would never have thought possible.
Earth Personalities: Earth people care about others. To the core of their being, they want to make a positive difference for people. They are compassionate individuals who are quick to help out in any way they can and will work hard to foster inclusion. Connections also matter to the Earth personality, and if they commit to something, they are in it for the long haul. And if things stay peaceful with everyone getting along, they will be front and center at a protest march. But if there is confrontation or discord, it may be more than they can take.
The Earth personality is the least likely to become involved in looting or property destruction because they care about other people and, by extension, their property. The only way a primary Earth personality might become destructive is if they have Wood or Metal as a strong secondary personality. Otherwise, you will recognize the Earth people as the ones helping to clean up the mess after the looting.
Metal Personalities: Metal people care about the right and wrong of things. If something “bad” or “wrong” happens (like murder or breaking the law), they will definitely have an opinion and usually make that opinion known. Protesting can be a definite way that Metal personalities express indignation at a wrong. And as long as things stay well organized and under control, they will be fine. But if things get messy or undisciplined, it can move a Metal person out of their comfort zone, and they might choose to leave.
However, if the Metal personality is unbalanced, they can lose some of their natural structure and adopt the values of the group in which they find themselves. Even when values like looting or property destruction are not something they would normally embrace, if in the mind of the group they are “right” or “appropriate” for the moment, the unbalanced Metal person could be swept along and find themselves participating because of the importance of the cause.
So, the short answer is that under the right set of circumstances, each of the elemental personalities could be involved in peaceful protest. And while it would take a lot, if exceedingly stressed and unbalanced, most of the elemental personalities might also be swept along in the chaos that is looting or destruction.
Blessings to all! Stay balanced, safe, and well!