being loyal

An ultimate guide to being loyal to those around you

Sometimes staying loyal to those around you isn’t easy, as it takes a lot of patience and generosity. Loyalty is the ability to stand by someone through good times and bad and to be fully committed to them. Show loyalty to your friends, family, or partner by being honest, generous, and standing by their side through hard times. However, make sure that your personal boundaries are not violated so that your loyalty cannot be exploited.

Be honest and trustworthy

Be honest about how you feel.

You don’t have to mince your words when talking to people close to you, like friends, family or partners. Loyalty doesn’t mean you should be afraid of honesty or directness. If you don’t tell the truth, you’re more likely to lose their trust and certainly not be perceived as loyal. For example, you might say, “I need to be honest with you about how I’m doing,” or “Honestly, I don’t know if that’s such a great idea…” You can (and even should) be honest about what you think without being judgmental. So instead of saying “that’s a stupid idea” or “I’d rather not do that” try “well, of course, it’s your choice, but if I were you I would…”.

Do not engage in gossip.

You just don’t talk about another person behind their back, that’s the opposite of “loyal”. Don’t believe everything you hear and stay away from gossip. If there is anything that needs to be clarified, clarify it with the person yourself. If you hear gossip going on in your environment, feel free to intervene. For example, you could say, “I’d rather work this out with my friend or partner in person, I don’t believe in gossip.”

Carry out things that you have promised.

Be there for friends when you promise them. Go home to your family this weekend as planned, and be there for your partner like you told them to be. Keep your promises so others know they can count on you and trust you. Don’t cancel appointments at the last minute and don’t allow yourself any other unreliability if possible, otherwise you lose trust. It’s easy to get a bad reputation for being unreliable, so be careful how your behavior comes across to the outside world. Be punctual and reliable when you have promised something. Your actions say a lot more than your words, with them you can prove that you stand by your word.

Stand up for others when they need you.

Be a personal cheerleader for friends, family and partners. Have their backs and stand up for them when necessary. Show them that you’re loyal to them when they need you most. For example, imagine a friend being teased or gossiped about. Have your partner’s back when they need support in an argument.

Be unconditional support to others

Support others in their goals, ambitions and dreams.

Show genuine interest in what drives people around you and what they would like to achieve. Ask questions and let them tell you the stories behind those goals. If someone asks you for help to achieve one of their goals, help them as much as you can. Maybe one of your friends dreams of becoming a musician – then go to their concerts and share their music on social media. Or support a family member’s career plans by offering to help them study for a test.

Be a good listener.

Another way to prove your loyalty is to simply take the time to listen carefully to someone. Maintain eye contact and nod in the right places when talking to a friend or family member. Do not interrupt others or interrupt them, but focus entirely on the person who is confiding in you. Let your friends and family know that you are always there for them. For example, you could say, “I want you to know that I’ll always be there if you need someone to talk to.” Or, “You can come to me anytime, I’m always ready to listen to you!”

Help with positive ideas and solutions.

Another way to show support and helpfulness to others is to focus on the good things in a difficult situation. Develop solutions and ideas on how the other person can emerge from this situation more optimistically and productively. For example, help a friend get through a painful breakup by reminding them of all the good things in their life, or give strength to an ailing family member by showing extra kindness, confidence, and good energy around them.

Don’t judge others for the decisions they make.

Show empathy for the people around you so you can help them instead of judging them. Replace those negative, judgmental feelings with understanding and support. So instead of judging a friend for having an addiction problem, encourage them to seek help. And when a family member is living a life that is completely different from yours, don’t see it as a problem, but reflect on the many reasons you love them. Do not be afraid of ideas or life concepts that are different from your own, but stay curious and open. It is often difficult to be there for people in whom we do not recognize ourselves, but it is often very rewarding.

Everything has its limits

Be conscious of your loyalty to others.

Loyalty should be something you give of your own free will, not because you feel obligated to do so. Never think that you have to be loyal to friends and family because they expect it from you. Only people you trust and believe in truly deserve your loyalty. Don’t forget that loyalty doesn’t mean running like a sheep after everything and everyone. On the contrary, you should feel the need to be loyal to someone because you believe in their character and behavior.

Don’t let your loyalty be taken advantage of.

Beware of friends, family members, or partners who want to use your loyalty to their advantage. All relationships in your life should be in a fair balance of give and take. This is the best way to protect yourself from exploitation. If you find yourself being taken advantage of, sit down with them and explain how you’re feeling. Don’t ignore the problem, address it openly. Be honest and direct about your feelings. After that, it’s up to the other person to change their behavior and respond appropriately to what you say.

Keep your independence.

Give yourself space to do your own thing. Spend as much time with friends and family as is good for you, but also make time for yourself. Don’t make yourself dependent on others, otherwise, you can quickly feel burned out and lose self-confidence. For example, pick one day a week when you do something without your partner. Divide up your week so that you have enough time to meet up with friends and also to be by yourself.

Take time for yourself.

Maintain your healthy boundaries and sometimes leave everyone else out to attend only to your own needs. You should set aside at least an hour each week to do something that is good for your soul. This can be painting, literature, yoga or sports, but you can also treat yourself to a massage or a hot bath. If you lose sight of yourself and try to always be loyal and there for others, it will rob you of the strength you need to do exactly that in the long run. It is important that you take care of yourself. Your emotional needs are at least as important as those of others. Never willingly give them up for someone else.


About the Author


Elizabeth Matthews

Elizabeth Matthews is a New York City-based freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including business, personal finance, SEO, and life hacks. Her work has appeared in Money, SavingGuru, Forbes, ABCNews, and