In the initial blog about polarities, I explained what polarities are and how it affects us in different ways. If you have not read that blog yet I urge you to read it prior to engaging with this blog.


To start off with lets understand the definitions of both active and passive. The oxford dictionary defines them as:


Passive – “Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.”


Active – “Pursuing an occupation or activity at a particular place or in a particular way.”


Being either active or passive has both their advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of being active include; being focussed and goal oriented. Whilst being passive can be useful in situations where one needs to assess a new situation in order to then apply new insights. Being passive for example can also help the individual learn how to unwind. Taking a look at the disadvantages; being too active can lead to disorganization, stress, and burnout. Whilst being too passive can inhibit the individual from obtaining what they want, whilst ending up in situations which they do not wish to be in.


Individual’s can tend to fixate with one of the polarities. By fixate I mean that they have learned implicitly or explicitly to give their exclusive attention to one pole and disregard experiences related to the other pole. For example people who fixate with being active in their life can never be passive or individual’s who fixate with being passive cannot for the life of them act actively.


Allowing oneself to experience situations on both sides of the polarity helps the individual make calculated decisions based on what one wants. For example when an individual allows oneself to relax in moments which are appropriate one understands that being passive and watching the world pass by. This helps the individual to regain one’s strength and mental energy to deal with situations where one thinks they need to be active. Whilst in a situation, in which one has clear goals to achieve. Being active and calculated helps the individual understand that in specific situations being active is necessary in order for one to continue developing one’s career, finances, quality of living. So experiencing different situations in relation to being active and passive helps an individual understand both feeling states and states of being in order form them to then form an opinion of which polarity is appropriate during different situations.


At times we perceive a situation one way prior to experiencing it and change our thoughts about it after experiencing it. So the learning which one would have adopted about a specific polarity can be misleading and thus inhibits the individual from allowing oneself to experience situations of the opposite polarity. A classic example of this is a self-employed individual who believes taking time off is wasting time. Therefore the individual is fixated on an active way of being whilst not allowing oneself to experience situations in which one would experience being passive.


The gist of all of this is to allow oneself to experience both sides of the polarity in order to allow oneself to experience both sides of the polarity. This would help the individual in finding the appropriate balance in one’s life.


Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.