Dear Five Faces: I hate being told what to do! I want to go at my own pace—which is fast and efficient – and don’t want anyone to stop me. I think that makes me a Wood, right? However, my boyfriend loves rules and regulations and thinks everyone should follow them. He even pushes his shopping cart slow! I’m pretty sure he’s a Metal, which controls my Wood. Is our relationship doomed? A Fellow Wood
Dear Fellow Wood: I know this one well; I’m a Wood and my husband, Mark, is a Metal. When things are strained, it’s easy to feel like his Metal is chopping your Wood. There’s no doubt that Metal is the element that controls Wood, but we need to be careful regarding how we define control. The goal of the Five Element model is to make sure there’s a balanced amount of energy in every element. Within the model, it’s Metal’s job to make sure Wood doesn’t have too much energy, just like it is Water’s job to make sure Wood has enough energy. Remember, too much Wood energy can make anyone angry, frustrated, or reckless.
The truth is that I love Metals. My Wood often finds it can go further out on a limb (so to speak) because a Metal is there to counterbalance me. Like the time I wanted to remodel our whole house to create more desperately needed closet space and Mark prudently suggested we take it one slow room at a time. Admittedly, he was right; my Wood would have created much more chaos than either of us needed because I hadn’t really thought through the whole project. Woods are great planners, but they need to take the time to think things through. Metals will do that automatically.
So, you are not doomed. But it will help if you honor what matters to each of you and understand that sometimes what feels a bit like control might actually be a good thing if you step back and look at the whole picture. And remember, he’s wired to be a Metal; he’s probably not trying to upset you.