Which 5 Element Personality Type Are You?
Discover Your Unique Strengths & Challenges!
A little-known branch of Chinese medicine teaches the science of human psychology and emotional wellness. Discover your unique 5 Element personality type and what that means for your success and happiness in life!
This ancient branch of Chinese medicine is a technique that doesn’t diagnose your health – It diagnoses your personality. Tested and proven literally over thousands of years, it’s a fascinating way of helping you understand yourself and how you can create a life that works for your unique personality.
In fact, thousands of years ago in China, practitioners of this system were the original therapists and personal coaches, guiding people in decisions about career, love, and self-understanding.
There are five personality types, and interestingly, we have some measure of all five in our personalities. Human beings are gloriously complex, after all – No one is a one-note song!
But even though we carry some aspects of each, there is one personality type that is our primary one, like the default setting in your computer. It can be so valuable to learn who you really are, and what types of jobs, and relationships, and lifestyle, for example, are a better fit than others.
Part One: Take the Survey: Who Are You?
Take the survey below to find out about your personal combination of patterns. Take your time with these questions; really give them some thought rather than dashing off your first impression. With some, you may need to read the question more than once to make sure you’re not making a too-quick assumption about what it’s really describing. Then, we’ll explore how to use your results to navigate life and always be true to your nature.
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- You love to stay up late at night and feel it’s your most creative time.
- You feel things more deeply than others do but you rarely talk about your inner feelings.
- You don’t like brightly-lit environments; you prefer table lamps or mood lighting.
- You have an interest in developing your natural healing abilities.
- You sometimes feel alone in the world, or very different from other people.
- You can feel constrained if you have to watch the clock or have regimented work hours.
- You’ve had lower back pain or a problem with one of your joints.
- Sometimes you fear that if you fully opened to your psychic ability, you’d find out things you didn’t want to know, or you might not be able to turn it off.
- You love to soak in the bath or a hot tub.
- You believe your brain just works differently than most people’s, and there have been times you’ve felt misunderstood.
- When you compare yourself to other people, you feel you have a deeper sense of the infinite, or a greater interest in the unseen world.
- You tend to base your decisions on an inner knowing that you can’t always explain rationally.
- Sometimes when you’re around people, you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, not really part of the group.
- You’re curious about communicating with people who have passed over, or spirit guides on the other side.
- When it comes to deciding whether to say something or not, you often conclude it’s better to stay silent, or else not say everything you’re thinking.
If you answered “yes” up to 5 of the questions, you have Water in your nature but it’s not your primary element.
If you answered “yes” to 6-10 of the questions, a substantial part of who you are is Water.
If you answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions, Water is a major aspect of your nature! But remember that you also have the other four Elements present in your personality as well, though possibly not as strong an influence as Water. Let’s continue to discover more!
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- As soon as you finish one thing, you immediately think, “What’s next?”
- You have little patience for the types of people who tend to wallow in their emotions.
- You always feel best when you stay physically active, and you especially love exercising out in nature.
- You’ve had the experience of someone trying to block your progress, or prevent you from reaching a goal.
- You enjoy short-term projects more than anything that’s unnecessarily complicated or drawn-out.
- In the past or present, you’ve tended to get headaches, or had a problem with your jaw.
- You base your decisions on analysis and common sense, not the emotions of the moment.
- You have a strong desire to make an impact in life, to make the world a better place.
- You’ve noticed you’re better than most people at seeing the cause of a problem and how to fix it.
- Anxious people who nitpick and fuss about every tiny detail make you feel frustrated.
- You’re a lifelong student, always looking for ways to learn and to develop yourself.
- If someone can’t prove their point to you with logic, you’ll probably reject their argument.
- You’ve noticed you often dislike, or lack respect for authority figures.
- You’ve had experiences where another person tried to cut you down.
- You feel it’s important to challenge yourself in life, to always be moving forward.
- You’re too hard on yourself, and you tend to be too affected by other people’s judgment of you.
- You believe no one can get ahead in life without an action plan. It’s important to set goals and achieve them.
If you answered “yes” up to 5 of the questions, you have Wood active in your nature but it’s not your primary element.
If you answered “yes” to 6-10 of the questions, a substantial part of who you are is Wood.
If you answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions, Wood is a major aspect of your nature! But remember that you also have the other four Elements present in your personality as well, though possibly not as strong an influence as Wood. Let’s see what else we can learn about you!
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- It’s not unusual for you to think of someone right before they call, text or email you.
- If someone in the room becomes emotional, you can’t help it – your feelings start to overflow too.
- You’re interested in so many things it’s impossible to pick just one!
- You often base a decision on a flash of inspiration rather than logical analysis.
- You feel Life is full of miracles and wonder why others can’t see that.
- You’ve been told you’re too emotional.
- You sometimes feel like you have trouble paying attention to one thing for very long.
- At times you feel overwhelmed by your love for the world.
- You use a lot of exclamation points when you write people!!!
- You can multi-task to the point that you get scattered or have trouble finishing projects.
- You easily cry at movies or even television commercials.
- You’re actually quite shy, though most people don’t know that.
- You’re fascinated by the thought that we may actually be guided by angels.
- You have a tendency to be nervous, or have even had an anxiety or panic attack.
- You talk with your hands, waving them around when you speak, no matter what the subject.
If you answered “yes” up to 5 of the questions, you have Fire active in your nature but it’s not your primary element.
If you answered “yes” to 6-10 of the questions, a substantial part of who you are is Fire.
If you answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions, Fire is a major aspect of your nature! But remember that you also have the other four Elements present in your personality as well, though possibly not as strong an influence as Fire. Now, let’s find out how much you’re influenced by the energy of Earth!
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- Relationships are the most important things in life.
- You love to decorate for the holidays and enjoy all the foods associated with each special celebration.
- You sometimes feel like you’re always there when anyone else needs you, but when you need help or support, you don’t get much.
- The best things about travel are the new friends you make and the different foods you can try.
- You wish you had more time just to sit and relax and read a good book.
- You want to be of service to others in life, and you enjoy helping people.
- You tend to worry a lot and your worries can sometimes keep you from sleeping.
- You’ve had problems with digestive health.
- You want to find your tribe, to have a real sense of community.
- You sometimes go out of your way to help someone and then check on them later to see how they’re doing.
- You love to cook or share meals with friends. Eating by yourself can feel lonely.
- You sometimes get loaded with so many responsibilities that you wear yourself out trying to get everything done.
- If people argue, it can be very distressing for you. You just want everyone to get along in harmony.
- You can too easily be driven by guilt, or have a hard time saying, “No” when someone needs you, even if you’re tired or too busy.
- Exercise is not your favorite thing, but if you can do it with a friend, it’s more enjoyable.
If you answered “yes” up to 5 of the questions, you have Earth active in your nature but it’s not your primary element.
If you answered “yes” to 6-10 of the questions, a big part of who you are is Earth.
If you answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions, Earth is a major aspect of your nature! But remember that you also have the other four Elements present in your personality as well, though possibly not as strong an influence as Earth. Now we can discover the rest of your personal recipe by seeing how much Metal Element is in your nature.
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- You crave alone time at the end of each day.
- You’re sensitive to the feel of fabrics on your skin or are bothered by scratchy labels on clothes.
- You tend to notice details most other people completely miss, for instance, spotting a little typo, or noticing a picture hanging crooked on the wall.
- Crowded stores or noisy parties can feel overwhelming for you.
- You don’t have a wide circle of friends but those you do have are truly authentic relationships.
- You have allergies, or food or environmental sensitivities.
- You care a lot about the quality of your work and often double or triple check it for mistakes.
- You don’t like having to make small talk with people.
- You’ve experienced entering a room and then wanting to turn around and leave because it just didn’t feel right – but you couldn’t explain why.
- You’ve been criticized by others as being too sensitive, or too picky.
- You tend to breathe too shallowly.
- You notice you can feel uncomfortable if someone stands too close to you.
- You plan things farther in advance than other people do.
- It can be physically painful for you to see or even hear about a person or animal suffering.
- You believe you’re probably more self-critical or perfectionistic than other people.
If you answered “yes” up to 5 of the questions, you have Metal active in your nature but it’s not your primary element.
If you answered “yes” to 6-10 of the questions, a big part of who you are is Metal.
If you answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions, Metal is a major aspect of your nature! But remember that you also have the other four Elements present in your personality as well, though possibly not as strong an influence as Metal.
Now tally your totals for each of the Elements so we can discover which are most prominent in your nature, and, in the next chapter, what your results reveal!
Part Two: The 5 Elements of Your Personality: What Your Results Reveal
So, how did it go? Did you find that certain descriptions were right on target for you, while others you couldn’t really relate to? Or instead are you thinking, I’m all of them! If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong. Many people find aspects of each of these qualities are a match for them, and that makes sense because, remember, we do have some of all five in our nature.
However, even if you feel you related to all of them, there’s always one that’s your primary Element, as your “default setting.” For many people that one is obviously identifiable, while the rest are relatively minor influences. For other people, there will be two or three that seem to be active in almost equal measure, and the others are less a part of who they are.
However these patterns weave together for you, this is not a problem. It’s your personal “blueprint,” how you were meant to be designed, and your job in life is to learn how to always be true to your unique inner nature.
Every Elemental type has many messages about who you are and how you can navigate life with confidence, compassion and joy. But there are some major themes running through each that can help you understand yourself and see how to create a life that works best for you. So let’s have a look at what your results have to say:
Water Element Personality
If you got a high score in the Water category, it’s likely that you prefer to “flow” through life rather than be confined to tightly-scheduled, highly-structured days. Water people crave freedom, to come and go as they please, and to do what feels right, as the mood presents itself. Water doesn’t move in straight lines, and neither do Water people!
If you’re Water, you think and feel more deeply than other people do. You process life emotionally and intuitively rather than with a purely logical, left-brained approach. And due to this trait, you need time to think about things, to just “be” with your thoughts until you come to a conclusion that feels right. Because of their inner depth, Water people don’t make snap decisions – the thoughts need time to trickle down.
Just like there’s a magnitude of life and activity in the ocean that’s not visible to our eyes, there’s a lot going on under the surface with Water people. But they tend not to talk about what’s going on deep inside. It will seem to them that the right decision in any situation is to stay silent, not say anything, or at most to say the fewest words possible. If you tend to write four-word replies to emails, you’re probably a Water person!
The ocean waves endlessly pound the shore, which shows in Water types as a powerful tenacity to keep on going, to be able to endure difficult times by tapping into their deep reserves of inner strength. If you’re Water, you have a healthy sense of determination, and at times even stubbornness, which can be incredibly useful in terms of finding your way, or preventing others from trying to control you.
You’re a creative thinker, with an unusual approach to anything you do, and a non-conformist, who doesn’t care so much what other people think, because you want to live life your way. Water people are innovators, and often the ones in the fields of science, medicine, business or the arts who bring brilliant new advances because their minds work so differently from others – They think outside of the box.
But one downside of this way of being is that Water people can feel very different from most other people. Many have repeated experiences of feeling misunderstood by others, or left out, even ostracized from a group. In relationships, they can carry a fear of being abandoned, or they may have had actual experiences of being abandoned in their past.
If you’re Water, you will crave time for quiet solitude, to just “be,” and getting it is like vitamins for you. But it’s possible that when you’re with other people, even friends and family, to some degree you will still feel all alone. Water people in subtle ways often feel “other than,” and not part of things. All this can conspire to create insecurity, fear, or trust issues for the Water person because they feel so alone and so different from everyone else.
Since it’s human nature to believe everyone else thinks like we do (or should!), a Water person can be suspicious that someone is withholding information or keeping secrets. This is because they tend to not say much or even to hide things, so they assume other people will do the same.
There can be difficulties in relationships due to this way of being. First, their partner can be confused and frustrated that the Water person isn’t telling them things they feel they need to know. Because Water types naturally tend towards silence anyhow, it often doesn’t even occur to them to say something. Sometimes, the Water partner withholds information because they’ve got such a deep belief that they’re going to be misunderstood anyhow, they feel it’d be useless to even try to communicate much. And then, because of these same issues around fear and trust, the Water person can be suspicious that their partner isn’t telling them things, and a vicious cycle develops!
Water is about “being” and not “doing,” and these types can be dreamers, floating along with their ideas but not taking action on them. It’ll always be important for Water people to eventually do something with their dreams, to bring them into existence. Part of that process for them is learning to overcome any assumptions they’ll be misunderstood or ostracized for what they’re trying to do.
However Water people have a lot to teach the rest of us! Our culture doesn’t value the being power of Water, and that’s a real problem. Instead we’re taught to value doing: constantly busy working, chasing more money, or racing toward the next goal. When you ask someone what they do during their downtime, they’ll probably laugh and say, “Downtime? What’s that?!”
But it shouldn’t be a mark of pride to always be busy. The spiritual principles of Chinese medicine teach us that we need to balance time spent doing with time devoted to being: regular downtime for periods of deep replenishment. Most people in our culture don’t even get enough sleep, whether due to tight schedules or insomnia (which is often caused or contributed to by our frantic pace and splintered attention). So the benefit of being a Water person is that you’ll naturally feel drawn to taking downtime, creating a nice ebb and flow to your day.
We all have at least a little Water energy in our personalities and this is what allows us to think and feel deeply, and to not be rushed or pressured by others, but to align with our own inner flow. It gifts us with infinite willpower so we’re able to endure difficult times and emerge still strong. It provides the desire for the freedom to live life our way, and not be restricted by social norms. And it imbues us with an intuitive wisdom that we can tap into for guidance at any time if we’re willing to be quiet and listen.
Wood Element Personality
If you found you related to the Wood personality type, you likely value logic, practicality, and common sense in your approach to life. You want to stay organized so you can get a project done and go on to the next thing without frustration or delays. Wood people are enthusiastic, driven, and goal-oriented, their eyes on the prize, always moving forward in life.
This Element produces a constant inner tension that creates a “push,” like what plants do to sprout through the ground in the spring. This can be experienced with Wood personalities in various ways. For example, they tend to be very direct in conversation, but some other types of people can perceive that as being pushy or confrontational. Wood people also like having a good debate, but others can think they’re just being argumentative! This can frustrate the Wood person because in their mind, they were just trying to get their point across to the other person, and enjoy a back and forth discussion.
This is also why Wood people enjoy staying active, physically and mentally, as an outlet for that inner tension. There’s such a strong drive in their system that most don’t like to sit still for very long. They love to exercise, especially if it’s outdoors; and they’re always working on something – making household repairs, or playing computer games, or brainstorming ideas about a new business they want to start!
Wood people have creative minds, but unlike Water types who tend to be dreamers and may not easily act on their dreams, as a Wood person, you’ll want to do something with your ideas, to make them real in the world. However, sometimes a Wood type’s desire to get going results in impulsive decisions, where in their enthusiasm, they take action before they’ve thought things through well enough. Then they’re not successful because some steps in their plan are missing. They can see where they want to go, and get partway down the road, but haven’t figured out how to get to the desired destination from there.
If you’re a Wood type, you’ll be a lifelong student, always challenging yourself to learn and grow as a person, especially if you can learn a new skill that you can do something with, rather than just studying to accumulate knowledge. Wood people have the confidence to take on new ventures, knowing they can learn what they need to along the way in order to succeed.
Just like plants break through the soil as they grow, Wood people are the ones who create breakthroughs in old, outdated ways of being. You’ll be more likely to challenge the status quo or question unnecessary rules, and you have an innate ability to see what’s wrong with a system and figure out how to fix it.
Wood people thrive on analyzing ways to make things run more efficiently, and they’re the ones who will speak up if they see a problem, to make sure it gets solved. They’re always driven to make the world a better place, to create positive change that will benefit us all.
Wood people do best if they feel in charge of their own destiny and have a sense of forward momentum in life. Most have a great desire to feel like a winner: to reach their goals, and be successful, and a Wood person will easily become frustrated if they feel they’re not making progress. Then they can become angry with themselves, getting lost in self-blame and being far too hard on themselves.
But they’ll be even more upset if they think someone else is putting obstacles in their way. If they’re not selected for a promotion, for example, their reaction can be to feel like a loser, one of the worst experiences for a Wood type, but they can also assume that their boss intentionally blocked their progress, whether that was actually true or not. No one likes to go for a goal and not achieve it, but for a Wood person, these patterns can really trigger them to react in anger, or feel shame, or even fall into depression.
Wood people often carry an unconscious belief that they need to prove themselves to others, and can have a deep fear of being negatively judged by them. Sometimes they compare their progress to other people’s, as if life is a competition. Their fear of judgment can even be so great that they lose their inherent sense of confidence and then don’t even try to aim for a goal, because if they try and still fail, everyone will see what a “loser” they are.
And this pattern may also play out in their personal lives in other, very subtle ways. If their spouse reminds them to do a household chore, the Wood person’s perception can be that implicit in that reminder is a belittling judgment: “You’re such a loser, you can’t even remember to take out the garbage.” And then the Wood type can respond with anger that the situation doesn’t warrant. When this pattern develops in a relationship, it can become a negative dynamic that can erode their bond.
But the gifts Wood Element offers are so important for all of us! This is the energy that challenges us to always learn and grow, to continue to improve ourselves throughout our lives. It gives us clarity of mind, so we can make logical decisions and move forward to successfully achieve our goals. It provides the confidence to stand up for what’s right, to fight injustice, and act as an agent of positive change; to make the world a better place.
Fire Element Personality
If you scored high with Fire qualities, you’re someone who’s easily in touch with your feelings. You’ll be naturally warm and affectionate with others, and you feel joy at any heart connection with another person, whether that’s in a lifelong romance, or just exchanging compliments with the check-out clerk at the grocery store. And unlike a Water person, whose emotions run deep below the surface and usually aren’t spoken aloud, yours are close to the surface and it’s important to you to be able to communicate them. Fire people are wonderfully expressive and responsive, openly sharing their thoughts and feelings.
But some Fire types’ feelings can flare up too easily – They can react emotionally when stressed, or take things too personally, their feelings too easily hurt. When there’s a problem, some Fire people get panicked and do what I call “catastrophizing” – getting more anxious and frantic than the situation requires, and that can cause them to make poor decisions. At the very least, it can be difficult or take longer for them to calm down even after the problem is resolved.
If you’re Fire, you’re a free spirit, with a great need for fun in life. You have a light-hearted energy, and because of this, people feel better the minute you walk in the room. However, it can be a real downer for Fire people to have to work with others who are too serious or have no sense of humor. They wish people would just lighten up, because as long as the work has to be done, it may as well be fun for everyone! Sometimes Fire types are misperceived as being unrealistically cheerful, but it’s just their nature to always look on the positive side. Even when they’re sad, they’re never that way for long.
Like a flickering flame, Fire people think fast, learn fast and usually talk quickly too. But their attention can “flicker” as well! This means they don’t focus on any one thing for very long. After they’ve worked on a project for a while, suddenly something else will catch their attention – Oh, that looks like fun! and off they go. They actually do best if they can work in short spurts, or even have multiple work spaces they can switch among as they go through their day. Fire people tend to have a lot of balls in the air, which gives them the stimulation they need, but also guarantees they can have trouble completing those projects.
If you’re Fire, your energy always comes from your heart, giving you a warm radiance, and an innate ability to make people feel loved in any interaction you have with them. But there’s a corresponding need for you to feel loved as well, and Fire people often struggle with a fear of rejection. Even though they have so much love to share, they’re often quite shy, and this can prevent them from experiencing love and finding real heart connections. It can even hold them back professionally; for instance, not taking a chance in their career for fear they’ll be rejected, an experience that’s far more painful for a Fire type than other kinds of people.
As a Fire person, you are very open-hearted, which is a wonderful quality, but there’s always a downside to each of our characteristics. Here, we can see that an open heart is also a vulnerable heart. In their desire to express love, Fire people can let people into their hearts too soon, before they know whether that person can be trusted in that way. This increases the possibility that they can have their heart broken or experience a betrayal of their trust.
When that happens, it can take much longer for a Fire person to recover than it would another type, and in trying to heal, they can isolate themselves, afraid to let anyone into their hearts again. For Fire people, the first step in healing actually is to withdraw, but only for a short time. Healing is completed only when they re-join the world and start to love again, if only in little ways at first.
Chinese medicine teaches that our consciousness does not reside in our brain, but in our heart. Since Fire people have such open hearts, they have a more open consciousness as well, so are naturally more aware of others’ thoughts and feelings. If you’re Fire, you probably have experienced knowing when someone was thinking of you, or you may have felt their text coming before it arrived.
Because of this open consciousness, a Fire person can also be an “emotional empath,” who feels the emotions of others. This can cause them to be buffeted by a variety of feelings, and not always be able to discern which are their own and which don’t belong to them at all. Often just the awareness this can happen helps the Fire person learn to recognize when a feeling “isn’t mine!”
A healthy emotional heart needs to know how move easily from one end of its range to the other. First, it needs to feel the thrill and excitement of expressing love to another living being. For example, you may see a Fire person breathlessly exclaiming to a blossoming tree how gorgeous it is, or exuberantly throwing their arms around a new friend.
But the second ability the heart needs to have is to settle from its excited state into a peaceful calm. Fire people can have trouble with this second step, because their systems are wired to constantly seek stimulation. As a result they can experience over-stimulation, for example, feeling scattered, nervous, having anxiety attacks, attention disorders, and/or insomnia.
We all have some Fire Element in our make-up, and the gifts it offers are so important! It gives us the ability to live with joy, and notice the little miracles around us every day. It helps us keep our hearts open, to express love to others and to be able to receive love in return. We can look at fire in all its forms in nature to know how to successfully integrate this Element into our lives, from the thrill of feeling love like a flame flaring up, to a peaceful heart, like the gently glowing embers in the fireplace.
Earth Element Personality
If you related strongly to the Earth personality, your relationships are probably high on your priority list, if not the most important parts of your life. This is because Earth people need a sense of connection, and so tend to focus their attention on others far more than themselves. And if you’re Earth, you’re also a natural “giver:” exceptionally kind, caring and responsible, for whom family, friends, and community come first.
An archetypal image for Earth Element is the “Mother” and it’s one of the easiest ways to understand this personality type. Just as a proverbial mother puts the needs of her family ahead of her own, an Earth person’s first thought will be, “How can I help you?” We can understand why a mother would feel this way toward her children, but a problem for Earth people is that unconsciously, they can feel that sense of responsibility toward everyone in their lives, not just their children!
If you’re Earth, you have an inherently nurturing personality; you’re a true-blue friend, and it will feel unnatural for you to not step up if someone needs support. Earth people can have a hard time saying “no” or may be driven by guilt, so if someone asks for help, they’ll feel compelled to do so even if they’re exhausted after a long day and still have more of their own work to do. And just like a mother, they can worry too much, their thoughts constantly flooding out to the people they care about, or all the responsibilities they feel obligated to handle.
Of course, just as it makes a mother happy to care for her child, Earth people find enormous satisfaction in helping others! Earth wants to nurture, just as Water needs to dream, Wood is driven to act, and Fire has to spread love!
The point for each Element is to manage those energies because they can too easily over-do them. Water shouldn’t float endlessly without eventually going somewhere; Wood’s desire to take action shouldn’t go to into overdrive with no time to rejuvenate; Fire shouldn’t keep their hearts open without discernment about who can be trusted with their love. And here, Earth needs to be able to set boundaries, to limit just how much they give, as well as to allow themselves to be receptive to support from others in return.
Often, these types don’t ask for help because they don’t want to bother people. It’s the unconscious “mother” belief that their role is to help others; and it wouldn’t feel natural if they were the ones to get help. Other times, they feel that even if they did ask, the help wouldn’t be done properly so they may as well just do it themselves.
It’s like a typical scenario where a mother asks her child to do a household chore and it’s done carelessly. The mother has to do it all over again, and mutters to herself, “I should have done it myself in the first place.” So this can turn into an expectation that can prevent them from making the effort to get help. Earth people often have subtle emotional tendencies to feel disappointed, unsatisfied, or unsupported in life, but the more they learn to balance their choices in giving and receiving, the less that will happen.
Mother naturally sacrifices her needs for those of the family, and it wouldn’t occur to her to do it any other way. For instance, she doesn’t cook a meal and simply sit down to eat. She brings the food to the table, calls everyone to come, and probably dashes back and forth to the kitchen several times even as they start to eat, so she ends up being the last one to sit down and feed herself. Again, this is normal behavior for a mother with her family, but for an Earth person this can be standard operating behavior in all aspects of their lives, creating the potential for problems.
If you’re Earth, you may make subtle little sacrifices each day that you don’t even notice you’re doing. For example, you didn’t have time to stop for groceries or cook a decent dinner because you worked late, so you just pick up fast food or haphazardly snack on leftovers in the fridge. You’d never treat someone else that way! In order to stay in balance, Earth people need to work on mothering themselves as wonderfully as they mother everyone else in their lives.
The concept of “mother” goes hand in hand with “home,” and “family,” and these are things that Earth people value highly. For instance, more than any other type, an Earth person often has a wonderful knack for creating a comfortable, welcoming home, a place they can invite people to gather.
They also have a strong need to find their tribe, to feel a sense of community with others, and it can be quite a lonely search until they find friends who feel like family to them. And because mother is the one who nourishes us, Earth people tend to pay more attention to food than the other Elemental personalities. For instance, Earth types are more likely than other people to finish one meal and immediately start thinking about what they’ll eat at the next, or when they’re stressed, they have more potential to reach for food, to be emotional eaters, and to crave feeling full. And if you have an Earth person in your life, when you visit them, they’ll need to feed you!
Earth Element is the energy that imbues in our spirit a kind, generous, and compassionate attitude toward others, as well as for ourselves. It gives us a sense of belonging with people who feel like family to us, and to enjoy helping others, as well as be receptive to support in return. Earth empowers us to stay grounded and centered, devoted to our work, so that our dreams are nurtured to fruition, and we can end up being truly content with the abundance we’ve created in our lives.
Metal Element Personality
If you’re a Metal Element person, you’re highly conscientious, with a natural ability to focus on what’s most important in any situation. This is because, while the archetypal image for Earth is “Mother,” for Metal, it’s “Father.” If we imagine the proverbial father, we know he has a big job – It’s up to him to keep a roof over the family’s head and to prevent anything from interfering with their welfare.
This is an enormous obligation, and therefore he can’t get bogged down in useless details or wallow in his emotions; he has to stay in control and on top of things. So as a Metal person, you’re constantly vigilant, as if you were the father, feeling accountable for getting everything right.
A nature image for Metal is the sky, or “Heaven,” and in terms of personality, this means people of this type have “high” principles, and always want to do the right thing. This influence of the “sky” also makes them take an expansive view of things, as if they were looking down from above.
If you’re Metal, you’ll always tend to look back, recalling little mistakes made even in the distant past, so they don’t happen again. You’ll look forward too, often farther into the future that most people, to anticipate everything that must be done, as well as what could go wrong and how to prevent it. This approach means that all your work will be beautifully done, every detail attended to, but it also gives you a huge territory to scan, which can create a constant anxiety or frequent sense of overwhelm.
Chinese medicine describes Metal as a “connection with Heaven,” and far more than other types, Metal people strive for a sense of the sacred in their life, and they tend to be the most humanitarian of all the types. They put great emphasis on finding their true purpose and doing meaningful work in the world. Yet they often set the bar too high for themselves, anguished that they still haven’t found their calling, or they’re not doing enough to fulfill it, when to anyone else, it’s obvious they’re well on their path.
They’re often quite particular in relationships as well, searching for people with whom they can have quality friendships, not just superficial connections. This can be seen even in everyday interactions. For instance, Metal people hate small talk and consider it a waste of their valuable time; they want meaningful conversations with others. People of this type usually have only a very small circle of authentic relationships at any one time in their lives, rather than a lot of casual connections, but that’s really all they need.
And the father energy factors in here in other ways as well. Even Western psychology says one thing all children wish of their father is that he’ll be proud of them. Metal people yearn to feel genuinely proud of themselves, and to feel respect from others, but here again, their expectations for themselves can be too high.
One downside of these characteristics is that their need for high quality, to “get it right,” can make them perfectionistic and self-critical, as well as overly sensitive to criticism from others. This can be such a strong influence that they can over-analyze, get too caught up in every tiny detail, or anxiously procrastinate because they believe there is only one correct way to do things and it’s all up to them to figure it out. One motion for Metal is contracting, which can sometimes show in their personality as being too uptight, not able to relax into a place of trusting things will work out, or that their work will be good enough.
If you’re Metal, you have an intuitive instinct that comes through physical sensations. For example, the feelings in your body will inform you when the person you’re with is stressed, and then you’ll just naturally adjust your behavior to make them more comfortable. This is why the Metal person is often described as the “perfect host,” very gracious and charming, always putting others at ease.
But this sensitivity to how your body feels means you’re also more physically affected by the energy around you; in other words, you’re a physical empath. For example, if you’re in
a crowded store, you may feel overwhelmed and exhausted by the energy of all the people there. Or if you’re conversing with someone who’s depressed, you may start to experience a heaviness, feeling weighed down or tired, because you’re sensing their depressed energy. If you see a person, animal or any living being suffering, it may actually be physically painful for you, and for that reason, some Metal people even avoid watching the news because it can just be too much for their systems. The fact that their physical bodies are so open to and affected by the external world is also why Metal people more often struggle with allergies or have food or environmental sensitivities.
And because Metal types can get stressed by having to cope with the cacophony of energy all around them, they often need alone time at the end of each day, so they can recover. They also feel better if they have enough space of their own in the places they live and work, so they won’t be in close quarters with other people’s energy. Often they think something’s wrong with them to have to control their environments in this way, but in fact it’s because they’re so highly aware of and affected by the subtle vibrations around them than any other type of person. Having time and space to yourself is essential if you’re Metal!
The gift of Metal is to help us always live in accordance with our ideals, and to inspire others to achieve their best lives. It directs us toward living our personal truth, and helps us create authentic relationships with others. It imbues us with a sense of purpose, a focus on doing meaningful work that enriches our spirit. Metal calls us to always search for ways to refine our work and ourselves, so we can feel a genuine sense of pride in who we are becoming.
If you’d like to learn more about how identify and understand your Five Element personality, check out my books, online Shift Network courses and private sessions at www.jeanhaner.com. And watch for my new book in 2020: The Five Element Solution!