The Clubs in Relationships
The reason our relationship highs and lows can be predicted using the Five Elements model is that, at its core, the model is associated with relationships. The Chinese used it to describe interactions between five phases found in the natural world: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. The relationships are represented by the big circle and the big star in the model to the left. Instead of phases, we’ll be using the model to describe relationship dynamics between our clubs.
In the model, the two basic interactions between the clubs are the big circle, called the Nurturing Cycle, or and the big star, called the Controlling Cycle. This means that all relationships will be either slightly nurturing or controlling. For example, Water and Wood relate to each other via the Nurturing Cycle (the big circle). That means if Laura belongs to the Wood Club and her friend Debbie belongs to the Water Club, they should have a tendency to relate in ways that feel nurturing. Conversely, Wood and Metal relate to each other via the Controlling Cycle. If Laura’s husband belongs to the Metal Club, the two of them will relate in ways that involve control, which can be a good thing.
Once we know our club membership and the club memberships of the people in our lives, we begin to understand why people act the way they do around us and why it affects us as it does. And more importantly, we can start changing the undesirable aspects of our relationships so we can all get along better.