Life can get pretty interesting when we mix personalities.
I’ve talked before about how important it is to understand your dog’s personality type. Why? Well, it teaches you why your dog behaves the way they do. Knowing more about how your dog expresses their personality gives you an insight into what they’re trying to communicate. This better communication and understanding ultimately leads to a strong partnership bond!
When personality types come together, they react in different ways.
Some combinations are naturally geared towards a peaceful union. However, others require a consciously mindful approach to understanding each other.
So, what happens when we combine personality types? In this post, I dig into the challenges and advantages that different personality-type combinations can experience.
What’s your dog’s personality profile type?
You can think about these personality types as an archetype. They’re how we and our dogs innately express ourselves as we walk through life. Here’s a quick review of the five different personality types and the avatars I’ve assigned to them:
- Fire-types are magnetic, exciting, with a quick stimulus-response. Their avatar is “The Magician.”
- Earth-types are stable, grounded, and have a slow stimulus-response. Their avatar is “The Nurturer.”
- Metal-types are thinkers, analyzers, they like structure, thinking and figuring things out. The avatar for metal-type dogs is “The Organizer.”
- Water-types are curious, introverted, good listeners, easy-going attentive, observant, self-sufficient, and you need to earn their trust. Their avatar is “The Sage.”
- Wood-types are bold, adventurous, competitive by nature, and like to be in charge. The avatar for wood-types is “The Explorer.”
To find out more about each personality type and their traits, check out this post.
How the five-element theory helps us understand balance
As you can see, each type is linked to one of the five elements. The five-element theory is based on everything being in balance, as each element helps to balance another. Within this theory is a cycle of support and control.
With the creation cycle, you can think about this as a circle. Fire burned, creating the soil or earth. Earth gave rise to the mountains and the metal ores. The metal separated, making room for water. Water flowed and nourished the wood of the trees. And the trees kindled the fire.
This theory shows that fire supports earth, earth supports metal, metal supports water, water supports wood, and wood supports fire.
But there’s the control side too, which can be visualized as a star. Here, fire melts metal, metal chops wood, wood tree falls and blocks the earth, earth’s soil builds up and dams water, and water floods and douses the fire.
You can see how the five-element theory is designed from the perspective that everything is meant to be balanced.
Now, if we look at our personality types from this perspective, things get interesting! When we have different personalities combined in a partnership or a family, it can generate different results.
Now, hopefully, only one side of the partnership is out of balance at a time…and we can get there by taking care of ourselves and doing all that we can to keep ourselves in balance. That way, we are available to support our dog when they get imbalanced. Of course, we will too … but we can do a lot to come back into balance more easily and smoothly.
Now, the cool thing about this is, as designed by nature, we can restore balance by understanding what is happening, and know what to look out for. That way, we can be proactive instead of reactive and allowing the misunderstanding spiral to take hold.
So, let’s take a look at how each personality-type works when combined with another…
“The five-element theory is designed with the big picture perspective that everything is meant to be in balance.”
Fire personality-type combinations
Fire + earth
When fire and earth personality types come together, there’s support and synergy. Earth’s grounded nature helps balance fire’s joyfulness. This combination can work really well when both personalities are in balance. However, if either of these personalities are imbalanced, they can experience anxiety and worry.
In this case, the earth-type grounds the fire-type when they start to spiral, and fire brings joy to earth when they feel stressed.
Fire + metal
Pairing a social and outgoing fire personality with a confident metal personality creates a synergistic combination that supports one another, when they’re in balance. But if they’re imbalanced, we have a tense fire personality and a controlling metal personality. So, if the metal-type is over-controlling, it may lead to a hot, anxious mess!
Fire + water
With a fire and water combination, we have a talker plus a listener. It’s obvious to see how this works when both are in balance. However, if both parties are imbalanced, what we could end up with is a hyper and a fearful combination that feeds off of one another…that can be dreadful!
Fire + wood
Both fire and wood types have a quick stimulus-response. But wood can be almost too quick – some may say rash. Another of wood’s key traits is that they’re adaptable. When these two personalities come together in balance, the joyous and spontaneous fire and the quick-to-adjust wood, creates a fun combination. On the flip side, when these personalities are out of balance it results in impatience and feeling overwhelmed.
Fire + fire
When we get two of the same personality types, it can be intense! For example, two fire types are a highly energetic combination. In balance, this can be fun and joyful. But when this burns out and leads to imbalance, it generates hyperactive anxiety that’s hard to break free from.
Earth personality-type combinations
Earth + metal
Centered, grounded earth-types plus competent metal-types support each other well when they’re in balance. However, when we move into imbalance, the combination can cause an over-protective earth-type and a withdrawn metal-type. These two can exacerbate each other, making it tricky to restore balance.
Earth + water
A balanced combination of earth and water leads to a calm, easy-going partnership. The imbalanced combination on the other hand is often worried and unfocused.
Earth + wood
This is an honest and competitive pairing. In balance, we have a harmonic experience that supports and furthers one another. When imbalanced, it leads to slow and impatient. Earth’s delayed stimulus response leads to them almost shutting down, and wood certainly doesn’t have time for that. Talk about a tough combo!
Earth + fire
There will be some challenges with this combination because they’re not closely aligned with how they move through life. This grounded yet eager pairing has great potential but if it moves into an imbalanced partnership, earth may smother the hyperactive fire – causing a rocky relationship.
Earth + earth
In balanced harmony, two earth types are calm and grounded. But two of the same personality types are more likely to trigger each other. In this case, this can result in worry and smothering, which is difficult to deal with.
Metal personality-type combinations
Metal + water
When this combination is balanced, supported and synergistic, we have a sense of routine and easy going. You can see how this would work well. The alternative imbalance to this is when the organizer comes up against the dreamer. This creates a disconnect that makes it very difficult to relate to one another.
Metal + wood
This combination is analytical and adaptable – a great pairing when they’re supporting one another. So, what happens when they’re imbalanced? The slow stimulus of the metal plus the quick wood stimulus can lead to frustration for both parties.
Metal + fire
We’ve got intelligent, that’s the metal, and curious, that’s the fire. This is a strong combination when balanced. However, imbalance creates opposing personalities that are self-righteous and apathetic. One thinks they’re special, and the other doesn’t care. Wow!
Metal + earth
Another amazing combination, here we have a quick learner and patient personality. On the flip side to this, we have rigid and worried. That’s a challenging imbalance to break out of for sure.
Metal + metal
Here are two intelligent and analytical personalities. They could figure anything out! This creates a nice flow of energy, but when they clash, we end up with inflexible and stuck. Perhaps they can’t make a decision, or don’t want to, and it blocks both from moving forward.
Water personality-type combinations
Water + wood
These two are consistent and competitive. There’s good potential between these two types, but when that gets disrupted, it leads to an observer combined with an action taker. This is going to lead to some pretty significant misunderstandings and communication breakdowns.
Water + fire
Here we’ve got sensitive plus joyful. Each balances the other out nicely, like a yin and yang. But when these two are imbalanced, we get a loop of distrust and anxiety.
Water + earth
These create a pretty cool combination of resilient and good natured. How’s that for a strong pairing! When faced with imbalance, these two react with fear and worry. This means there’s very little support, making it difficult to break free from this cycle.
Water + metal
When the dreamer and the analyzer come together, anything is possible! The water-type dreams up an idea and the metal-type makes it happen. However, when there’s an imbalance or disconnect it creates distrust and anxiousness.
Water + water
This attentive and responsive combination is one of my favorites. This combination has a great connection when they’re balanced. When it strays into imbalanced, this pair can get fearful and timid.
Wood personality-type combinations
Wood + fire
This balanced combination gives us two confident and charismatic personalities. The world is their stage! But what happens in an imbalanced scenario is intolerant and overwhelmed.
Wood + earth
A competitive and supportive pairing, these two can help each other move towards what they want when they’re balanced. However, imbalance brings impatience and stress. Can you imagine what that’s like? It’s easy to see how things can get tense!
Wood + metal
Here we have a competitive and competent duo. These can certainly balance each other and get things done. But it’s dicey when imbalance strikes. Then we get discouraged and withdrawn, which can suck each other down.
Wood + water
This pairing is bold and resilient. I like this combination because you can feel how much they support one another when they’re balanced. Then on the imbalanced side we get over-assertive and timid, where the wood overpowers the water. This imbalance can get greater and greater and lead to a spiral that puts strain on the relationship.
Wood + wood
Two wood-types are confident and bold. These two have a deep understanding of one another and can accomplish anything when they work together in harmony. However, imbalance brings impatience and intolerance … now that’s tough to deal with…
“Expand your mind into new perspectives about what might be happening with you and your dog and with other personalities in your life.”
What combination is your partnership?
Think about how yours and your dog’s personalities work together. Do you bring balance to each other? Are there triggers you need to look out for? What can you do to establish a more harmonious and supportive partnership?
The first step you can take (if you haven’t already) is to take the personality quiz. Then you’ll get a report with all of your results. You can find out what personality-type your dog is, and then apply it to yourself too.
If you’re not a BPA member then head to dancinghearts.link/personalityquiz to take the free 90-second quiz now. Your report will be sent directly to you. Plus, you’ll be invited to a free training class, where I’ll teach you the framework for your Brilliant Partnership lifestyle plan.
I would love to coach you inside the Brilliant Partners Academy, so I hope you join us!
If you’re already a BPA member, you have your own special link to take the quiz! Check your inbox, head to the HUB, or go to the ‘Guides’ section in our private Facebook group to get your link and special report. Plus, access the 3-masterclass series where we dive deep into everything personality. Learn about your own personality type, the relationship and communication struggles between different personality combinations, the foods and specific holistic tools that best support your dog’s balance, and much, much more.
Get started with your quiz and let me know the insights about your dog – and what personality combinations you have! I love to hear from you. I may not be able to respond to every email, message, comment or post, but I love reading as many as I can!
If you’d like to work with me and learn how to create a partnership lifestyle for you and your dog, you can request an invitation to join us in the Brilliant Partners Academy when the doors open for the next enrollment!
You can listen to everything I talked about in this blog post over on my podcast – Enlightened By Dogs. It’s episode 148, which you can listen to here.