Being Loyal. You have already failed at it. And if you haven’t already, trust me, you will. A man that does not know loyalty does not truly know himself. No, being loyal isn’t a skill, it is a developed character trait, so read carefully and find out how to be loyal.
LOYALTY TO YOUR LOVED ONES
The older you get the busier you become. And the busier you become, the more you take for granted those that are closer to you, this my friend is a fact of life. Whether it is your partner, your family, or even your wife, the busier people become, the more they take those who are and should be closest to them for granted. Dinners become a chore, weekends become routine, and the nights pass without you realizing it. How then, can we show loyalty and love to the ones that we confess to love the most? There are a few simple ways:
- Book a dinner in a quiet corner of a uncrowded restaurant, the food doesn’t have to be good, but the company will be. Then, order a bottle of wine, smile at the server, and say that you haven’t decided on what to eat yet as you intend on being here for a while.
- Turn off your phone. It is easier said than done trust me, but once you detach yourself from the superficiality that is social media, you’ll find yourself blessed with the truth of authenticity.
- Don’t make plans afterwards. Let the conversation take you where it may. Enjoy the moment with the person you care for, be loyal to the person, the event, and dedicate your time.
LOYALTY TO YOUR MATES
Loyalty isn’t a matter of give and take, loyalty isn’t a social-emotional ledger of small sacrifices and even smaller victories. No, loyalty is the acknowledgment and honoring of a shared history, of the unsaid understandings two people make in precarious times. For males, sometimes this intimacy of loyalty is difficult to achieve as ego often times gets in the way. But loyalty can be developed, and this is how:
- Make an effort to talk about things that matter. Yes, what you did over the weekend is important, yes which girl you’re interested is important, but no, that doesn’t really build depth of relationship. Try talking about the struggles you have in life, work, and family, as everyone is struggling in some way even if it doesn’t show. The point is to lower your ego and make yourself vulnerable. Try it!
- Do your mate a favor. Extend your help with anything. Moving apartments? You can help. Picking up something for him? No problem. Showing his friends a good time? You bet!
- Be intentional with your time. Hanging out it is well and good. But being intentional with your time and how you spend it with your mate is how you develop loyalty in friendships. Find out what your mates like and verse yourself on their interests, this will help develop similar hobbies and conversation.
LOYALTY TO YOURSELF
If you’re not loyal to yourself, you can never be truly loyal to anyone. I’m not telling you to be selfish, I am saying that you need to respect yourself, your interests, your body, your whole person, before you can finally be loyal to yourself. Here’s what you can do to show loyalty to yourself:
- Know what makes you tick. What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning besides the job you have or the paycheck you need to pay the bills? What do you like? What are your hobbies?
- Pick your fights. Some things are worth arguing over, others are simply not worth your time. Once you figure this out, your temperament and general mental health will improve, focus on yourself.
- Take alone time. Loving yourself is probably the best advice I can give. Go watch a movie alone, sit at a coffee shop alone, go for a walk alone. Doing things like this gives you time to decompress and refocus your priorities to what is really important.