Don’t mistake being willing to compromise the essence of who you are and even your willingness to endanger your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, for loyalty and devotion.
Loyalty isn’t the same as not having boundaries and tuning out of shady behaviour and situations.Loyalty, that sense of where we consistently communicate and demonstrate our strong feelings of support, needs a foundation of reality and at the very least, acknowledgement, care, trust, and respect. On both sides.
Loyalty is something that happens over time and with experience. Like trust, it needs to be increased on the basis of supporting evidence, not increased to make up for the decrease in your sense of self or the decrease in their contribution to what should be a mutual relationship, romantic and otherwise. Just as meeting breaches of trust with more trust, is a recipe for pain, so is giving away loyalty without due diligence.
It’s the whole giving out what we want to get back. The trouble is, we confuse what we’re doing with what it actually is. If we’re not being loyal and we’re actually engaging unhealthily, it’s unrealistic to expect that what will be sent back is going to be healthy – that would be to ignore the reality of the situation.
It hurts when we’ve been loyal to someone and they betray us.It hurts when our loyalty is taken for us being a sucker.It hurts when, OK, yes we clearly have some things that we need to address within ourselves but our desire to love and be loved is met with cruelty.It also hurts when we take another person’s betrayal and then we judge ourselves for them having done so.
Loyalty is a decision and the choice and actions to continue need to be conscious ones. As always with anything to do with people-pleasing, it’s not about what we do but why we do it. Being loyal is a great quality – it just needs to be channelled appropriately.
We continue to put forward our brand of loyalty and devotion even when that person is disloyal or just not even there, because we believe that what we’re doing can, will, and should be able to influence that person’s feelings and behaviour. It’s the whole being and doing certain things with an awareness of what we feel that we deserve and then in recognising that it’s not happening, blaming us for not being “good enough” when we really should be asking ourselves, who and what we’re being loyal to. And of course it’s going to provoke our sense of entitlement because realistically speaking, who doesn’t expect a little respect and acknowledgement for their support?
People who need integrity, love, care, trust, respect and the intrinsic value and authenticity of a mutual relationship, don’t reward your loyalty with disrespect, derision, or betrayal. They don’t. If anything, they defend their values and identity with consistent and authentic actions and words because they value what it was that communicated to you and others that support was and is a good investment. They’re also highly unlikely to want be in a situation where you’re doggedly loyal due to lack self-love, because it’s not love.
Being loyal is a quality that you should value, both within you and others, but don’t mix it up with servitude (being completely subject to someone more powerful) and investing you in dodgy activities as a means of avoiding dealing with yourself.If you’re getting hurt by your loyalty and devotion to someone, it’s time to acknowledge that you do rightly expect to be respected and acknowledged, but this is not the situation or the person where that is happening.
Was it one-sided? Sometimes you can be so busy being loyal and essentially overcompensating for the other party, that you don’t realise how little they actually do in your relationship until you actually have a need and you’re left hanging.
Embrace and channel your ability to be loyal in a positive way. Giving your loyalty to people who don’t know their arse from their elbow, is a misappropriation of this quality and the beauty you have within to feel connected with people. Ultimately, loyalty starts at home. Don’t go giving it away until you know that you unquestionably have your own back.