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Can You Identify These 5 Different Types of Loyalty in Your Life Or Our World?

Loyalty is one of those complicated subjects that can touch a nerve. It is like a two-edged sword; it can help us and make life worthwhile and also hurt us.   Loyalty is an important subject that is worth thinking about because issues around different types of loyalty are part of our basic social fabric and always have been.

Loyalty comes in many flavors and means different things to different people. Ideas about loyalty have changed as we humans have changed. Here are five different types of loyalty used in human culture:

  1. for some, loyalty is an absolute whether it is loyalty to a tribe or religion. Loyalty under these circumstances means loyalty not only overtly to the group, but also the beliefs, practices and expected behaviors. Since groups that seek absolute loyalty create dependency in their members, escape can be difficult.
  2. loyalty demands can manifest in rules and role requirements that have nothing to do with the individual’s abilities. These kinds of demands can feel like a kind of rejection of the individual, a yoke of slavery to group norms.
  3. for others, loyalty is extremely conditional. This is the type of person who operates on the “what have you done for me lately?” premise. The point of view of this kind of loyalty is economic rather than institutional.
  4. others think everyone deserves at least some loyalty since we are all “in this” together. The point of view of this person is universal.
  5. another type of loyalty is loyalty based on the inherent dignity of all living creatures, a kind of transcendent and transpersonal loyalty. This is the most spiritual kind of loyalty.

Getting A Handle On Different Types Of Loyalty

Loyalty on a one-on-one basis isn’t too difficult and is sometimes straightforward and based on the quality of the relationship. However, when you add the complex expectations of societal structures it can become messy. In all kinds of loyalty expectations, there are values underlying them that are often tied to the identities of people. This is why changing the values in an individual or a society can be difficult.  People create lives around our values and identities.

Highly sensitive people have a challenge with loyalty that others may not have. Since HSPs love very deeply, it causes them to act on values that others may not have. If I were to characterize HSP loyalty, it would be of the universal and spiritual kind. Unfortunately, this brand of loyalty may not be valued or reciprocated by others causing an HSP serious emotional pain.

It is very important for highly sensitive people to recognize the type of loyalty in those around them so that they form realistic expectations about their relationships with others. Errors in expectations can create a lot of hurt for HSPs, which they do not recover from easily.  As part of your self-care program, you need to take care of your relationship expectations.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.

2 Comments

  1. Margo Nielson on July 13, 2016 at 10:52 am

    So true. Thanks for sharing your ideas. They are thoughtful and helpful.



    • Maria Hill on July 13, 2016 at 11:11 am

      I am glad you enjoyed the article.

      Maria



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