Loyalty – Is It A Choice?

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Loyalty is it a choice by Dani Alpert 167621584

Is it true that you can only count on yourself in this life? And that people will always disappoint you?

This is such hardline thinking. I don’t want to believe this any more than I want to believe that The Captain and Tenille couldn’t work it out after 39 years of marriage and Muskrat Love. However, lately I’ve been hearing more and more about disloyalty, unfaithfulness and mistrust. Ew, ew and double ew. I’m getting this from friends, acquaintances, lovers and television shows. It feels like an epidemic. Or maybe Mercury is stuck in retrograde.

How many people do you have in your life that you can count on? Truly count on. Can you count them on one hand? I can. I say hold these people close to you, for they are the exception, and should be treasured.

In my opinion, you’re loyal if:

You would do just about anything for a friend or partner, even if it inconvenienced you, annoyed you, or prevented you from watching the season premier of THE VOICE.

You don’t run in the other direction just because something became too difficult and you’re uncomfortable.

You accept, love and embrace your friend or lover even though their ass is falling, and menopause is looming.

You’re willing to give the shirt off your back, even during a Polar Vortex.

You’re still supportive, in spite of the ugly, unpleasant, stubborn or prideful.

If you can say yes to one or more of the above, then you are a superhero.

Being loyal is a choice. Either we hold it in high regard, or we don’t. Perhaps this sounds like an oversimplification but when you think about it, it seems pretty black and white to me. It may be difficult for some, but in the end, it’s entirely within your power and control.

I wonder if those that struggle with the concept of loyalty have ever been on the receiving end of disloyalty, mistrust or unfaithfulness. I wonder if they had been let down by someone close to them, and they had suffered what can often be profound repercussions, if they’d be so inclined to commit the same offenses. Having another person betray your trust most often rocks the very foundation that the relationship is built upon. One’s life can all at once feel chaotic and out of order.

How many times has someone close to you broken their word, or failed to keep a promise? I like to think that everyone gets one free pass. After all, we’re all fallible and to err is human but if it happens over and over? I believe that would take some serious reevaluating.

And where does mutual respect come into play when talking about loyalty? Do you not deem another person worthy enough not to shit on them and lie? Why were you in a relationship with them in the first place, if you didn’t respect them.

Who among us wants to go through life wondering if their friend, lover, or family member is telling them the truth and not playing you like some cheap violin. It’s confusing trying to have a relationship with people who can’t keep their promises. After awhile it becomes an exercise in futility and a huge ass waste of time.

How many families and relationships disintegrate because of disloyalty and unfaithfulness. A moment’s temptation can result in the heartbreak of a lifetime. So it comes down to choice. Isn’t this what separates us from the animals? We have free will and thus the ability to choose what we do and don’t do.

I know that for myself, loyalty, honesty and trust are the necessary building blocks for a secure and safe relationship. There is no greater gift than to be in a relationship where doubts and uncertainty don’t exist, and you can feel free to let go and give yourself completely. This is true peace and light. I believe that when these elements are present, it makes us stronger, more confident and brave.

Perhaps it’s easy to say that we shouldn’t have expectations in our interpersonal relationships because then we won’t be disappointed if someone is disloyal. “I never expected them to be loyal in the first place.” This is flawed reasoning. Of course we have expectations. Doesn’t this hold us accountable? If not, then it’s a friggin’ free for all. Perhaps a better question is, how high or unrealistic are my expectations? I say loyalty is one expectation that is neither too high nor unrealistic.

Is it asking too much of a person to be loyal? To be trustworthy? It is, in fact, too much for some people. I consider myself to be fiercely loyal and trustworthy. This has also led to feelings of disappointment and disillusionment. Disloyalty can be felt as a punch to the solar plexus. It can be felt on a physical and visceral level. People don’t realize that when one is disloyal in a relationship, it ruins it for the next person because now the loyal among us might be less trusting, thereby going against our true nature.

There is much to be gained from loyalty. A warm and fuzzy feeling of security and safety exists. To know that the relationship shares something that no one else can penetrate, soaring above temptation, is hot. Knowing that what a friend tells you is the absolute truth, without a shadow of a doubt, is golden pony girl.

Either a person wants to be loyal or they don’t. One can only change that which one wants to change. And I do believe that people can change. Choice.

  • Kellie Kamryn

    Great article! I’m a fiercely loyal person as well and when someone breaks that trust, I try my best to remember that it’s where they’re at in their lives, not a reflection on me.

    • Dani Alpert

      I love this sentiment.

  • tiger1962

    I believe over the years people have changed their way of thinking. Twenty years ago, I think people were more considerate of others feelings. Nowadays, I am finding people are more selfish and less caring about hurting others. Seems that people want instant gratification in all areas of life and not wiling to work to earn someone’s trust, or friendship for that matter. I’m noticing this in friendships and relationships of others I see. People are less tolerant and don’t want to work things out – they just want to give up at the slightest incidence of disagreement and either end the friendship or divorce. Mostly I am seeing this in the younger generation (20′s to 30s). I guess one is considered lucky if you have friends or a relationship with someone who is “old school” about wanting to work on a friendship or relationship. I am very loyal and have high expectations and get easily disappointed when it’s not there. Better to have very few loyal friends than many ones who aren’t.

    • Kellie Kamryn

      You can be loyal to people even if they’re less than loyal to you if you accept that that’s who they are and they will never be the way you’d like them to be. Then you’re less likely to be disappointed if you lower your expectations of them and perhaps don’t do everything they might expect of you.
      I agree – I think loyalty used to mean a lot more to people than it does now. The whole instant gratification thing as well as instant communication where people get texts and msg’s right away, then if they don’t answer right away, people get upset… We no longer have patience for our fellow human beings.

    • Dani Alpert

      Couldn’t agree with you more. It’s become so easy to walk away. It makes me sad because I feel that anything with worth requires some work. Thanks for commenting.

  • tiger1962

    And in regard to marriage…in the old days people worked on their marriages if there were problems. that is not to say you should stay in a relationship that has abuse, etc. But it seems today, people split up over the small things. Just my two cents…

  • Dani Alpert

    Lisa, thank you so much for this. I’m always glad to hear that what I’ve written has resonated with someone else and that I’m not alone with my ideas and principles. Thanks!