Loyal people are above all honest people. They live their lives by a code that always aligns with their values and their commitment to be respectful of other people. There is no room for them for betrayal, lies or selfish actions. Loyalty is a fascinating, profound concept that goes far beyond trust.
If you’re wondering about the origins of the concept of loyalty, anthropology has an interesting answer. According to this science , loyalty was a survival mechanism in our past. When our ancestors’ lives were full of dangers and hardships, receiving help and support from other people was the key to survival.
But the world isn’t like that anymore. And yet we still need the sense of intimacy and security of the meaningful people in our lives to feel good.
In short, this means giving someone else your attention, respect, and dedication, as well as knowing that you will not betray them and have no hidden motivations.
Some people say that loyalty is a necessary value, but one that is in danger of extinction. However, there are more loyal people than you might think. That said, it’s still important to know what it means to be loyal.
It can be easy to fall into behaviors where that idea of loyalty begins to become erratic. So let’s take a closer look.
How are loyal people?
Seneca said loyalty starts with trust. But as we mentioned above, loyalty goes much deeper than that. It is much more complex and specific. First, loyal people are loyal to their own principles above all else. That is the basis of loyal behavior: they always stick to their principles and to what they consider to be good.
Loyalty, an obligation to do the right thing
Loyalty comes from the old Latin word ‘legalis’, or ‘legally’. Therefore, there is a sense of integrity and commitment, an obligation to always do the right thing. But what does this mean for your relationships?
Well, it means, for example, that even if you break your relationship with a partner or friend, you should still treat each other with respect. You should never reveal, criticize or otherwise do anything that could harm them in any way.
After trust comes loyalty. Even if the former disappears and you no longer bond with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to lose the deep sense of respect for this person. Ultimately, this is a virtue that is both noble and desirable.
You can’t force someone to be loyal to you
Let’s face it, if there’s one thing that’s demanded of us these days, it’s our loyalty. This applies, for example, to our work, where you have to be loyal to a company or a set of rules. It also applies to your family. Many families demand that you follow the exact same values, customs and rituals as they do.
That’s definitely the dark side of loyalty, the side where people forcefully try to get you to make commitments, demanding similar behavior and hurting self-esteem.
We want to be completely clear: Loyal people are not this because of an obligation. They are not loyal to their partner, family or friends because other people tell them to be. They choose to be loyal of themselves, in accordance with their own principles. Their feelings and actions are in harmony.
It is not an act of submission or alienation. True loyalty is an exercise of moral courage, choosing to always be consistent with your principles.
That means, for example, not being loyal to everyone. In particular, we are talking about people who demand that they behave or think in a way that goes against their own principles.
Loyal people are sincere, not condescending and will help you grow
Loyal people will never be condescending to you. They are not the kind of people who say yes to everything, never object, or support you in everything you do and in every decision you make, no matter how questionable it may be. No, loyalty is sincerity and an active concern for the welfare of other people.
That means if they feel like they need to slow you down, warn you about something, or open your eyes to something you don’t see, they always will. They act according to fixed values, not according to a sense of service or passivity.
They want what’s best for you and will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts. They also show you your mistakes, and places where you can still grow.
You can see that loyalty is not as simple as you may have thought. It’s also not something anyone can force you to be. Loyalty is an internal, not an external force. It should always align with a set of core values based on respect and integrity.
Finally, loyal people don’t just talk. They go beyond words and put their loyalty into action in whatever circumstance or situation.