My best friend and I have recently talked a lot about loyalty.
To many, loyalty is a value that seems to be slowly perishing. If we had to go by the meaning of the term as it appears in the dictionary, we can see that “loyal” appears as follows:
“Giving or showing firm support or allegiance to a person or institution.”
What I’ve seemed to notice a lot lately is the sudden splitting of once-indestructible relationships because of trust issues and loyalty problems. Trust me, the post-separation state is even worse. The other day, I saw this tweet which pretty much sums up everything in a very matter-of-fact way:
Before I talk about my own point of view on the subject, I thought of looking at psychology’s side which states the following:
“Most of us choose friends and romantic partners based on vague or unidentified feelings alone. […] If someone betrays you for a very big reason, you’re lost without a set of conscious convictions to guide you; so you might hang around longer than you should, because your feelings tell you, “This person has been in my life, and I shouldn’t change that now.”
If you live your life consciously, by a set of conscious convictions and principles, then you deliberately select your friends and loved ones accordingly. If you value integrity and honesty, for example, then you not only seek to practice it, but to find people who do the same. […]
If you value your ideals consciously, and you seek to uphold them in daily life, then your friends and spouse will be very important to you. They’re important to you because they embody and actualize — in your eyes, and hopefully in reality — your most cherished values. Loyalty in that context is “easy,” in that betraying people who embody what’s important to you would go against everything you think and most deeply feel.” (Dr. Hurd, July 7th, 2014)
If I had to talk about this from a personal point of view, one of the feelings I hate the most is that feeling you get when you realize that the other person involved in the relationship is not putting as much effort in the affiliation as you are. You know when you’re the one always asking the other person about his/her worries? When you’re the one actually doing whatever it takes to keep the other person happy? Yes, that sucks. And yeah I will come out and say that I am loyal, because I am always there when a friend needs me, and when I fail at being there, I sincerely apologize because it matters to me. I don’t know if that says that I’m overly attached to certain people (and somehow that it’s terribly hard to let go of people who hurt me), but if that’s what’s pushing me to be loyal, then should I try to change things? Maybe. It hurts sometimes (a lot) but the people’s happiness I get in return makes up for it, partially.
My friend has his own opinion on the subject. He actually wanted me to call this post “The Fear of Loyalty” based on a bad incident that had once taken place in my life, and when I asked him to elaborate, he explained it by saying that I appreciate loyalty after the incident, which is awfully true. I also fear people talking badly about me regardless of all my loyalty to them, so in a way, as my friend mentioned, I fear trusting people not to talk behind my back (which is also true), and all of that means that I feel that the loyalty people have to offer me might hurt me (or them) too often.
See the problem with loyalty is that it’s too fragile. It takes one mistake to ruin the fidelity you have towards someone, and that is just a real killer for all types of relationships. Imagine breaking a promise…a promise that said that you will always stay by your friend’s side no matter how hard times get, and one day you just turn your back, and pretend like you’ve never promised anything. I guess you can visualize the devastation that would take place as soon as the promise is broken.
One last thing. If you’re anything like me, stick to other people’s sides, be there for them, and all I can say is try as much as possible not to get too attached, just to avoid a broken heart later on. Easier said that done, perhaps, but somehow better for you. Just be there for others as much as you can, stay positive, love and respect others and never let anyone bring you down.