We’ve all heard the word loyal, and we probably all associate it with one of two things:
- Shopping schemes
Most of the time, if someone is talking about loyalty, they’re either discussing a potentially adulterous partner, or a loyalty scheme at a shop they have visited recently. But loyalty is much more than a trait to look for in a partner and a supermarket – loyalty can really benefit your life!
The dictionary defines loyalty as: the act of showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. Many people think that this means blind submission or acceptance, but actually, being loyal just means being truthful, supportive, and present. It is a trait that we should seek out in employers, employees, friends, and even families. The more loyalty in your life, the better, and here’s why.
Loyal people are more trustworthy
Loyalty, by nature, involves being aligned with somebody or something. So if you are loyal to your friends, and vice versa, you align yourself with them. This means that you aren’t just supportive of their goals, dreams and lives, but that you are upfront with them and honest, you keep to your word when you promise them things.
Being loyal to a friend, family member, lover or employer means being unfalteringly there for them. So if you have promised to do a certain thing, help at a certain event or keep a certain secret, you do exactly that. The more you demonstrate this loyalty to those in your life, or the more people demonstrate this loyalty to you, the more trustworthy you or they become.
Loyalty in life builds consistency and routine
If you’re always flipping from hobby to hobby, person to person or job to job, your life will quickly become a little bit tangled and messy. Constantly uprooting yourself and replanting somewhere else is bound to not only disorganize your life, but it can also have an effect on your mental health! Change, no matter whether planned or not, can increase feelings of anxiety and depression, which can cause further damage to your routine.
Alternatively, if you’re loyal to your friends, your partner, your hobby, and even your job, things are much more consistent, and thus are much easier to organize. If you know where you are from day to day, you can plan your life and your future around it! This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t ever leave your job, but if you do decide to leave, do it sensibly and respectfully, supplying sufficient notice and not leaving anybody struggling.
Loyalty in interpersonal relationships can build deeper connections
When you are loyal to your friends, family, lovers and even work colleagues, you are not only demonstrating that you’re trustworthy, but you’re helping to make them feel secure in their status in your life. This allows them to feel safe around you, and is much more likely to form a lifelong bond or friendship! If people feel safe, they are more likely to open up and to be themselves, as opposed to holding you at arm’s length.
Forming deeper, sincere connections will benefit your life in all avenues. It will help you to be yourself, as not only will they feel more open and themselves, but you will too. Forming deeper connections will also offer new opportunities, and allow you to learn about yourself. It is also good for our physical and mental health to have really deep, strong relationships with others.
You will get loyalty back
It is often said that you get back what you give out, and that we should treat people how we’d like to be treated – and it is often true. If you demonstrate to the people in your life that you are honest, kind, respectful and loyal, they are significantly more likely to act the same way to you. People are unlikely to be trustworthy or honest with someone whom they deem untrustworthy or dishonest, so by showing yourself to be a nice, loyal friend, colleague or lover, you are opening yourself up to receive the same kind of respect and loyalty in return.
When you learn to be loyal to others, you learn to be loyal to yourself
Loyalty can be taught, and if you’re not already practicing it, when you do begin to, you’ll notice that you won’t only be more kind, respectful and supportive of those in your life; you’ll act that way about yourself, too. Loyalty isn’t just something you are to a few select people, it is a way of thinking and behaving, and so it is inevitable that you will end up treating yourself with loyalty too.
This means that you might find yourself standing up for yourself more, being honest with yourself when something is too much or when someone has upset you, and you’ll likely find that you slowly become more and more in tune with yourself – which is never a bad thing!
How to start being loyal and making your life better
The first thing you need to do on your journey to loyalty is to open yourself up to being vulnerable. Sometimes, with loyalty, we trust the wrong people and support people who do us wrong. This takes extreme vulnerability, and that isn’t easy to find. From there, all you have to do is be continuously kind, supportive, honest and respectful to those in your life – soon enough, you’ll reap the benefits of loyalty.