Ask Vicki: Relationship Advice Using the Five Elements

Who Do You Think You Are?

Dear Readers: Several years ago, I ran a series of posts designed to help us all obtain a better handle on our elemental personalities: primary, secondary, etc. Enough people have asked lately how to determine their primary elemental personality that it seems like this might be a good time to re-visit the issue. After all, you can’t understand how your elemental personality impacts your relationships if you don’t know what your elemental personality is! And of course, I think the best way to do that is to understand each of the elemental personalities and see where you fit in.

To begin with, it’s important to remember that we each have all of the Five Elements in our personality make-up, but we have a special affinity for one of them. You can think of this elemental affinity as a lens through which we view the world. It’s as though at birth we’re assigned to a secret club – so secret that no one tells us we belong – and we spend our life thinking, acting, and seeing the world as a member of this club.

Our priorities and tendencies in life are based on our club membership. When we enter into a relationship with someone from a different club, which is very common, the relationship becomes a predictable dance between the two clubs. But to understand this dance with another person, you need to know your club membership and the club membership of the person you are relating to.

To help determine your personality place in the Five Elements model, from time to time we will re-visit up-close comparisons of the five elemental personalities based on specific issues like What Matters, Personal Expressions, Structure and Boundaries, Strengths and Weaknesses, Socialization Tendencies, Relationship Focus, Stress Tendencies, Likely Professions, Primary Focus, Favorite Question, and something I like to call Elemental Truths. I’m sure you will begin to recognize yourself – and the people you relate to – in these comparisons. So, let’s get started with two of my favorites!

  1. What Really Matters to Each Elemental Personality

What Matters to Water Personalities: Deep Issues

People who hang out in the Water Club view life through the filter of depth. Profound issues matter to Waters, who often seem obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and meaning. Waters are interested in art, philosophy, and religion, but won’t care about the surface aspects of these pursuits. Instead, they’ll focus on the underlying meaning of it all.

What Matters to Wood Personalities: Accomplishment

People who hang out in the Wood Club value accomplishment and success. Good at decision-making and planning, Woods can see what needs to be done and rally the troops to do it (or go it alone through hard work). We all need Wood energy if we’re going to accomplish anything, but members of the Wood club need accomplishment to feel successful.

What Matters to Fire Personalities: Connections

We all need Fire energy at times because we all need relationships. The push to connect begins in Fire, and while these connections usually aren’t long-term for Fires, they need the charge they get from spontaneous connections to feel alive. Without connections, life becomes pale and gray for a Fire.

What Matters to Earth Personalities: Relationships

People who hang out in the Earth Club value long-term relationships. The spontaneous connections forged in Fire slowly find emotional depth and reinforcement in Earth. It has been said that Earth makes order out of the Fire relationships that last. Earths excel at making people feel safe and loved.

What Matters to Metal Personalities: Knowledge

People who hang out in the Metal Club value knowledge. They sit at the end of the Five Elements cycle so are better equipped than other elements to harvest what has been learned from this cycle, whether it lasted the span of a week, a year, or a lifetime. We all use Metal energy to learn and discern, but Metals thrive on synthesizing knowledge and wisdom into understanding.

  1. Favorite Question of Each Elemental Personality (short and sweet, but deep to ponder)

Water: Why?

Wood: When?

Fire: Where?

Earth: Who?

Metal: How?

I hope these comparisons begin to provide a bit more clarity regarding your primary elemental personality and also the primary personalities of the people in your life. And remember, we have all five elements in our personalities, so even if your favorite question is “When?” making you a member of the Wood Club, it doesn’t mean you won’t visit the Water Club now and then to ask “Why?” That’s the fun of life!

More intriguing comparisons to come.

Blessings to you all!

Vicki

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