Loyalty is one of the most weaponized words I came across. Companies, business partners even friends, families and significant others sometimes demand this from you. It is a dirty word and has a very sad psychology behind it.
Here are the sad truths about it.
It creates hierarchy
Very often the person who demands loyalty has something you need; this could be a job, knowledge, money, love. They demand that you are loyal to them and they will reward you for it. They will put themselves in a dominant position and will create a dependency. Very often you give more than you actually will receive back, or you might never really get what they promised you.
It can damage your self-worth
When loyalty is demanded by a company, partner, family member or friend. It means very often, that no matter what they do you stay with them and support them. In good and also in bad times. You might even class this as a noble act, you are there also in bad times, however, the bad times might be there more often than the good times. It tries to question your morals and integrity to yourself. In companies, it might be that you have to hit your targets no matter how you do it. You might even get a task presented you cannot fulfill and wonder why you are not good enough. People who demand loyalty will feed into your belief that you need them and cannot reach any goals by yourself without their help. They will create a dependency on them, which very often is an illusion.
It stops healthy criticism
The person or company that demands loyalty stop you from asking questions or criticising what they are doing. You automatically assume that what they say, do or demand is the correct way. They put themselves and their decision making above yours. Often they might hide facts or knowledge from you; you might not be able to see the whole picture. They might ask you to trust without telling you the entire story. As we want to be a good and kind human being we might obey and see the good in it.
It stops you from growing
You might develop a tunnel vision, believe that you will see results soon or will be rewarded for your loyalty. In doing this, you might not explore other options. I have seen companies that have demanded loyalty through hard times and did not reward their people after all, not even with words. Especially job based demanded loyalty can end up with working overtime, exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
When demanded, it should be two-sided
When someone demands loyalty from you always ask them what they exactly mean and how they show their commitment to you. I had seen people who have been professionally and privately abused and used, and when they were not of any use anymore, they have been just dropped without any warning. Loyalty should be two-sided but very often isn’t.
It prevents you from setting boundaries
Loyalty is mostly related to being “loyal to the crown” being “loyal to your country.” Some people relate it also to fidelity and obedience. Loyalty should be broken if the person has harmed you, used you, abused you or did not keep what they have promised. I know a lot of people they stay loyal to their friends, partners or employers even though they very obviously getting abused and used. Very often people drop their boundaries for showing loyalty, so might neglect their own needs. It very often demands that you obey to something where you usually would have set a boundary.
If someone demands loyalty makes sure, you are mindful of your boundaries. I am not saying that loyalty is always wrong. However the majority of times it comes with a price. I am not talking about loyalty cards from your favorite coffee shop. Companies though who sell you products will want to keep you there and not wander off and maybe visit a competitor. Keep your eyes open. You are allowed to break loyalty when you feel that your morals or boundaries have been broken. Be a rebel and always question anything that demands from you to give up your freedom. The only loyalty I believe is healthy is staying loyal to yourself in a very loving and healthy way.