Loyalty

I’ve been discussing “Love Talk” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. They talk about four areas of our personalities that influence the way we communicate, represented by the acronym, TALQ.

The “L” in TALQ stands for loyalty. Loyalty, according to the World English Dictionary, means “a feeling of devotion, duty, or attachment to somebody or something.” People who are loyal find great security in that noble characteristic. Often driven by the fear of sudden change, loyal people don’t like any threat to their fundamental loyalty. They need commitment and stability of what is known to fulfill that underlying need.

Loyal people value devotion and like when life is predictable. Change is challenging to them unless presented at a slow pace. Loyal people are usually patient listeners and value strong connections, dependability, and reliability. They have the same close friends for most of their lives. You can count on their support when you need it.

Loyal people often stay in an undesirable situation much longer than necessary because of their loyalty. I’ve worked at numerous jobs longer than I probably should have because of my sense of loyalty. I stay with a hairdresser until I move from the area, no matter how badly they may have butchered my hair at one time. I’ve had friends say and do terrible things to me when I was younger, yet I still remained their friend. I often look at this quality with disdain because it can prevent me from moving ahead.

Those people who are not quite so loyal have a hard time understanding this sense of commitment, or even more, the reluctance to change. Not wanting to change can sometimes be devastating to a marriage relationship if one of the spouses refuses to move forward. Sometimes we have to push through the resistance in order to improve a marriage that might be headed towards failure.

It is necessary to make changes in a marriage in order to purify it. When one spouse resists, it only delays the process, sometimes causing the other spouse to lose their patience and leave.

“Some people prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty.”- Virginia Satir

I look at the strong loyalties of my husband and I feel grateful. Had it not been for that intense sense of loyalty he carries, he would have left me before we had the opportunity to make the necessary changes in our marriage. Unfortunately, it took a major crisis for him to realize that change needed to be made for the success of our marriage. With loyal people, it often takes a two-by-four to the head to get their attention that they will want to make some changes.

If your sense of loyalty keeps you from necessary change, maybe it’s time to face it and seek the Lord for help. Don’t wait for that two-by-four to the head. Trust me, it hurts!

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