Dear Five Faces: Dory, a really good friend of mine, is a Fire with a secondary Earth. We have fun doing all kinds of things together because my Wood feeds her Fire, and my secondary Earth connects with her secondary Earth. However, Dory has a sister named Kate who is also a Fire (must have been some household), and sometimes Dory just spontaneously announces that she’s asked Kate to join us when we go shopping, out to a movie, or whatever. I hate this because when Dory and Kate are together, there’s usually too much Fire and things go straight downhill into complete craziness. How can I tell Dory that I really don’t like it when Kate joins us? Signed, Burned in Birmingham
Dear Burned: You’ve done a great job of summarizing exactly what’s going on with you and Dory. Bravo! And since you seem to know the elements well, you probably know that as a Fire, Dory is always going to act spontaneously, which will probably include asking her sister to tag along at times. But because she has a secondary Earth, she will want to keep you happy. So, here’s what I suggest.
The next time you go out alone with Dory, comment on how being with her is the perfect amount of Fiery fun (if she doesn’t know the elements, she will probably enjoy you sharing the information with her). Remind her that while Wood is meant to feed Fire, too much Fire will quickly burn out a Wood. Share this information with Dory from your Earth (rather than your Wood, which will seem harsh and controlling to her “want to include everyone” Earth). Your Earth will connect with her Earth and she will absolutely hear you. Ideally, this will cause her to think (briefly) before she spontaneously includes her sister again.
If this gentle hint doesn’t work, and it may not, you may need to speak more directly with Dory regarding the effect that prolonged exposure to dual Fires has on your Wood. The goal would be for Dory to include her sister less often, or at least give you a choice in the matter. The problem is that Fires often don’t see a problem with including extra people. They really do believe in the old adage, “The more, the merrier.”
And regardless of whether Dory is able to stop including Kate, there are ways you can make time spent with Dory and Kate easier to manage. These include:
- Shorter exposures. Don’t think you have to stay with them longer than is comfortable for you. At the point it isn’t fun or you’re feeling spent, excuse yourself and go home.
- Ramp up your Water. In nature, when there’s too much Fire we add Water. Find your inner Water and bring it to the table. That means slowing down the pace of the interactions, being thoughtful, and even shifting some of the energy from “doing” to “discussing.”
- Find your inner Fire. If you can’t beat them, join them! You probably already act a bit like a Fire around Dory (Fires usually bring out the Fire in others), which is why time with her is so fun. It’s highly possible that your Wood views you behaving this way as being a bit out of control, which Wood never likes. Tell your Wood to take a chill pill and enjoy some Fiery fun (within reason, of course)!
- Declining a few of the events. If you have warning ahead of time that Kate will be joining you, tell Dory that you’re not feeling up to it and are going to take a pass. If she asks why (which would mean she’s coming from her Earth), it will be another great opportunity to explain the effect of too much Fire on Wood.
The bottom line is that in some way at some time, you will need to share with Dory that out of control Fire takes you down. And make sure you do this coming from a loving and Earthy place. As your good friend, and a secondary Earth, I know she will step up and help work things out. Good luck!