I don’t know who needs to hear this, but extreme loyalty is a trauma response.

Loyalty is thrown around as a positive thing without nuance. It’s used to manipulate people to stay in dysfunctional relationships.
I’ll say this louder for the people at the back – EXTREME LOYALTY IS A TRAUMA RESPONSE!

What do I mean? Those relationships you don’t walk away from when you know, in your heart of hearts it’s hurting you. You know damn well it’s not good for you (no shame in staying, leaving is hard, it’s never straightforward forward and your fighting a trauma response – we’ll get to that) so you don’t leave.

It’s not your fault. Staying in relationships where you’re putting in way more than your share of the emotional labor is what you were conditioned to do. You were sold loyalty as a good thing.

But, unconditional loyalty is harmful.

It means we stick around even when we are doing all the emotional labor or at least WAY more of the emotional labor in the relationship than is fair AKA your working on your shit, they aren’t. Extreme loyalty means we stay in relationships and in families when our nervous system is screaming at us to leave. When we are hurting/unhappy and other’s behavior (or lack of it in some cases) repeatedly negatively impacts us/hurts us.

Loyalty is about trust. Loyalty is I’ve got your back. Loyalty is I’m here for you. Extreme loyalty is toxic. It says, I’ll stay no matter what even when I can’t trust you. It says I‘ll stay even when you haven’t got my best interests in mind and your actions or inactions hurt.

The only people that demand that kind of loyalty aren’t people who have your best interests at heart. It’s not personal. It’s not about you. It’s not coz your not enough. It’s they can’t love like that as to do so they have to address their demons. They have sh*t they need to deal with and if you stick around hoping they’ll change, you enable the dysfunction.

Healing is learning the skill to walk away when you know deep down you need too.

See, the reason it’s so hard is staying is a trauma response. It’s the fawn and freeze response. You’re fighting your whole nervous system. When you’re having that trauma response it’s primal to stay.

Unconditional Loyalty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *