Loyalty to self and others.

It is said that humans are social animals.

There are people who are comfortable while being only among a few others. There are as well people who prefer to be among large numbers of people or at big events. It is not a place to discuss the reasons for such preferences.

It is more important to realise that one of the primary needs of all living creatures, including humans, is a need for safety.

– a need for safety –

Because of that, treason (which comes from ultimate lack of loyalty), is punishable in all cultures of the world usually by the highest accessible kind of penalty.

Since the need for safety, the virtue of loyalty is highly valued in human societies.

At times, however, it is as well a source of many difficulties and sufferings.

If the prospect of disloyalty is unacceptable for us, it may happen that sometimes in order to avoid a feeling of becoming “a traitor”, we may choose to stay in situations that it would be better if we otherwise avoided.

It may happen that we will choose to stay loyal to someone and at the same time, remain disloyal to ourselves.

How many times we’ve heard a statement: „but he/she is my partner, father/mother of my child/ren – I have to stay”? How many children and adult children of abusive parents or partners are clients of therapists?

Loyalty itself is nor good or bad as long as we maintain freedom of choice towards whom/what we direct it. We are only humans and sometimes we make mistakes. It may happen that we become disloyal to someone or that somebody becomes disloyal toward us. However, if it happens repeatedly, it could be a sign, that we should check if by being loyal to that person we are not betraying ourselves. We have the right to decide how we spend precious time of our life.

Remaining in toxic relationships for noble reasons not always ennobles us.

At times it is worth to check what would bring more benefit – allowing others for disloyalty and disrespectful behaviour or being loyal to ourselves?

The truth is, that only if we function well; when we are strong and healthy, we can be a good example, support and help to others. It is important to take care of ourselves first, even if it may feel selfish at the moment. It may prove to be altruistic in the long run. 

Tom Jagiello

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