Dear Vicki: I really appreciated your response to Problem Fire, but it brought up a question for me. She asked if having trouble with an elemental expression in someone else means that we need to work on our own expression of that element. Her example was Fire in her brother-in-law, but I’m having trouble with a Metal co-worker (Grant). I’m a Metal, too, so I should understand him, right? Yet everything he does seems to rub me the wrong way. I find him controlling, haughty, and arrogant, but I don’t think I’m any of those things. At least I didn’t used to be. Lately, my family has suggested that Grant might be rubbing off on me. He was hired a year ago to help me with the books in a small construction firm, so we are around each other all day every week. We’re both Metals, so shouldn’t we get along? Or does the fact that I’m having trouble with Grant’s Metal energy mean I need to work on my own? Signed: Problem with Metal
Dear Problem with Metal: The short answer is yes, if your Metal energy is out of balance, you need to work on it. But the longer answer is to address why a fellow Metal can throw off your energies. We have spent a lot of time in this blog discussing how the elements affect each other via the Nurturing and Controlling Cycles. If you are a regular reader, you probably have a good understanding that, as a Metal, your relationships with Water and Earth people will carry a nurturing or building tone (Earth feeds Metal, Metal feeds Water). Conversely, your relationships with Wood and Fire people will carry a controlling or balancing tone (Fire controls Metal, Metal controls Wood). These are the basic patterns that sit at the core of the Five Elements model.
However, we also have relationships with people who have the same primary element as we do. These relationships are usually less dynamic than Nurturing or Controlling Cycle relationships because there isn’t the movement of energy through the cycles to keep things fresh. But, as we have said, no one will understand you better than someone with the same primary element as you. What we haven’t discussed as much is how people with the same element can affect us. And just like with the other elemental relationships, it comes down to whether the people we’re interacting with, in your case another Metal, have balanced or out of balance energies themselves. Metals with balanced energies will help you stay balanced. Metals with out of balanced energies will bring you down. Let’s look at why.
Someone with an unbalanced version of our own primary element can pull us off balance because there’s a resonance between the two elements: We are functioning at the same energy vibration. Basically, our primary elements are just like tuning forks. Ting a tuning fork and other tuning forks calibrated to the same frequency will resonate back. The fact that like forces attract and resonate with each other is a classic rule of physics and it works with our primary elements, too. So if Grant has too much Metal energy and is around another primary Metal person, that Metal’s energy can respond by increasing and they can soon appear controlling and dismissive themselves. Likewise, if Grant ever had too little Metal energy and was around another primary Metal, because of resonance that Metal could respond to him by decreasing their expression of Metal energy and would soon appear critical and confused themselves.
This principle applies to all of the elements. A balanced Water around an unbalanced Water can become hopeless and fearful (deficient energy) or narcissistic and intolerant (excess energy). A balanced Wood around an unbalanced Wood can become indecisive and frustrated (deficient energy) or impatient and angry (excess energy). A balanced Fire around an unbalanced Fire can become scattered and overwhelmed (deficient energy) or anxious and panicked (excess energy). And a balanced Earth around an unbalanced Earth can become needy and clingy (deficient energy) or meddling and worried (excess energy). It certainly gives new meaning to the idea of being “in tune” with someone, doesn’t it?
In your case, it appears that Grant has too much Metal energy and your Metal has started to resonate with his. What you (and Grant) need is some Fire energy to help balance out the excess Metal state. You can start by wearing red for both of you. Seriously. Seeing the red you wear will help decrease Grant’s Metal as well as your own. If your office allows wearing fragrances, you can use lemon or eucalyptus essential oils on your skin. Both are known to balance Metal energy. You might also brew the two of you a lovely pot of either red clover or elecampane tea. And finally, take Grant to lunch at a restaurant that serves spicy food (think curry or peppers). These also help tone down Metal. And most importantly, you might give some thought to why Grant has excess Metal to begin with. Perhaps he is trying to prove himself as the new person in the office and is coming on too strong. Perhaps he still lives with his mother and is being fed too much Earth energy. Or maybe he is living with a primary Wood who constantly needs pruning. His personal life will be off limits, of course, but if there is something going on at work that is increasing his Metal, it might be wise to address it for both of your sakes.
Whatever ends up happening with Grant, bravo to you for taking the necessary steps to keep your own energies in balance. There is nothing more magnificent than perfectly balanced Metal. Blessings to you!