Dear Vicki: In your blog posts you’ve discussed control and what it means relative to the Five Elements model. I understand the theory that control is important to maintain balance and that each element has an element that is meant to control it. But in reality, this control stuff can be a problem. I’m a Fire person and whenever I’m around a Metal person, (someone who seems uptight and rigid to me), I can’t help getting super fiery with them. Sometimes that means I panic, but usually it means I flirt or go overboard with sharing way too much, too soon. I know Fire is meant to control Metal, but can we sense that we’re “meant to control” someone and react without thinking? This has become a real problem lately because my new boss is a Metal guy and I’m having a hard time not coming off as inappropriate. Help! Signed: Fire in Frisco
Dear Fire: The quick answer to your great question is yes, we can sense when we are around someone on our Controlling Cycle. But we can also sense when we are around someone on our Nurturing Cycle. And we can oftentimes sense if either are manifesting a balanced version of their primary element, or are out of balance. This is usually very unconscious and is part of the apparent mystery behind instantly liking or disliking someone when we meet them. The state of their primary element, and how it relates to our primary element, are very subtle aspects of the like/dislike dynamic we have all experienced.
Our elemental wiring is a core part of our personalities. As we discussed in a post last February, our primary elements are just like tuning forks. Ting a tuning fork and other tuning forks will always respond. At an elemental level, we will resonate in harmony with an element on our Nurturing Cycle and can sense a slight disharmony around an element on our Controlling Cycle. And honestly, sometimes what we sense around someone on our Controlling Cycle can be more than a slight sense of discomfort, depending on whether they control us or we control them.
In your case, you probably do sense the Metal vibration when you are around someone who is a primary Metal. And if they are rigid and out of balance with too much Metal energy, your Fire will want to help them regain balance by pouring on the Fire energy to melt the Meal back to pliancy. This is especially easy for Fires to do because they lack structure so often don’t have the best boundaries. But you are right, this is not a great way to act with your new boss, so let’s look at how you can manage this situation.
To keep your Fire from flaring at work, you need to look to the element that is meant to manage Fire, which is Water. Building your own Water energy while at work should help you keep the flare-ups to a minimum. Easy ways to build Water (other than drinking lots of water, which is always good) include placing a small fountain near where you work, wearing blue (Water’s color), wearing sapphire, aquamarine, or lapis lazuli jewelry with the stones touching your skin, and drinking ginseng tea at work. Also, if your workplace allows employees to wear fragrances, you can wear small amounts of frankincense or myrrh essential oils while there. You don’t mention if you have problems with too much Fire energy other than around your new boss, but if not, be sure to limit this increase of Water energy to just your work environment. Too much Water energy will deplete your Fire and leave you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. You don’t want this to happen.
Finally, while it’s not your job to manage your boss, it’s the rare Metal who doesn’t enjoy some Fire energy in their life. Fires have the amazing ability to make people happy just by being themselves. Your new boss might be more Metal than usual right now because he is new. He might be trying to do everything “by the book,” a typical approach for a Metal, so that the people above him feel they were wise to hire him. He might also be keeping everything “buttoned down” until he has a better lay of the land and can determine when and where he wants to be more flexible. This is all very likely for Metals. They usually don’t come in to a new situation with grand plans for change like Woods do. Instead, they let things be for a while, see how they run, and then use their amazing ability to review the past to determine what works and what doesn’t. Only then will they make whatever changes they deem to be necessary.
I encourage you to regulate your Fire, but don’t totally withdraw it when around your new boss. Even though he is the boss, he is also the new kid on the block and can probably use a few friends right about now. No one makes friends easier than Fires, so let that part of you shine. Instead of being an out of control Fire responding to an over-controlled Metal, you might actually find that the flower of friendship blooms based on the warmth of your Fire personality. Blessings to you!