Dear Vicki: We have friends who visit us once a year. She is an out of balance Earth whose conversations center around her grown children that we do not know well. Any attempt to move the conversation to something interesting always fails. And did I mention that she is a talker? I am an introverted primary Water, secondary Metal. Our husbands are happy Woods. While they were here I recognized the Elemental dynamics that were occurring but I could not figure out any survival techniques for myself. The men could easily shut her out, but my attempts were countered by her need to stay near me so that I “wouldn’t be alone.” Fortunately, I was able to escape on a couple of extended errands and one visit to my friend, a male Fire element, whose laughter always balances my energy. But for the most part, I felt suffocated all weekend. Help! I need to learn how to cope without blowing up. Where do I start? Signed: Frustrated in Florida
Dear Frustrated: This does sound like a very unpleasant weekend. I’m so sorry. You have done an excellent job of summarizing what the likely dynamics were between the weekend cast of players, and it’s understandable that events unfold as they do. Two Wood guys can easily shut out an unbalanced Earth, but it’s less easy for you as a Water/Metal to do so. Let’s look at why that might be the case and from there we can develop survival techniques for you to use next year.
First, it’s not surprising that your friend is happy to hang with you instead of two Wood guys. Woods control her Earth, so she probably doesn’t like how she feels around two of them. At home, her Wood husband probably balances her, but when he’s not around to do so, she probably does go into full-blown Earth mode. Family is of utmost important to Earths, so her tendency to talk about her children – grown or not – is also not surprising. Your reaction to her abundance of Earth is predictable, too. An abundance of Earth will likely feel suffocating to your Metal (Earth feeds Metal) and restrictive to your Water (Earth controls Water). But for her, because you are what she feeds and controls, being with you will feel almost compelling. Your energies are the focus of her every outward energetic expression.
Interestingly, if you were in a place of either deficient Metal or excess Water, her energy would probably feel good to you. Extra Earth would feed your low Metal and bring it back to balance. Extra Earth would also provide controlling guidance to any extra Water you have and help it stay focused. However, given your negative reaction to her, we can assume that your energies are relatively balanced, which is good news. So sadly, in spite of the fact that your Water and Metal both crave aloneness, this Earth isn’t going to want to be alone when around you, or let you be alone.
It’s telling that, from your state of balanced energies, your reaction to her is feeling like you might blow up. That’s a Wood response and as we’ve already said, Wood is the natural control for her Earth. So even thought you are not a primary or secondary Wood, you intuitively know what is needed. Good for you! That should make things very easy, right? Not really. Given the mix of your energies with hers, it isn’t going to be as easy as it sounds for you to bring up Wood. Since her Earth feeds your Metal, you will have more Metal that usual when you are around her. This abundance of Metal will work to keep your Wood in check. Plus, her Earth is controlling your Water, so there will be no extra Water to feed your Wood and help it grow. But no worries. Even when our more natural energetic balancing inclinations are blocked, there is hope. To help bring balance, we can work with our outer environment instead of the inner one.
The next time you are with her, since your Metal will take down any Wood you build in yourself, you need to build your friend’s Wood for her. Over the years in this blog, we’ve discussed many ways to build Wood. You don’t need to go to the extreme of painting your house green (unless you want to), but you can find other easy ways to surround her with green. Gift her with a green scarf or perhaps a green aventurine pendant and encourage her to wear either right away. The kindness of your Metal will probably want to compliment her on how good they look on her, too. You can have an essential oil diffuser running in your house with either peppermint or lavender oil in it. You can also suggest that while the guys are off by themselves you and she spend some time outside (weather permitting) and walk through a wooded area. Nothing balances Woods like trees.
And finally, good for you to find time for your Fire friend. His energy does balance you by drawing out your Water when her Earth has decreased it (Water reaches across to control Fire) and decreasing your Metal when her Earth has built it (Fire reaches across to control Metal). The bottom line is that you don’t need to feel defenseless against her out of control Earth. Use Wood to stabilize her. She may never be a best friend, but she can be assisted to be a better friend than she has been to date. And that’s really all any Earth truly wants; to coexist in harmony. Blessings to you!