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Loyalty & Friendship

I guess there is an unspoken rule that you should be loyal to your friends. But actually, what is loyalty, and what is friendship, but more importantly, how do they coincide.

loy·al·ty /ˈloiəltē/

  • noun a strong feeling of support or allegiance.

friend·ship /ˈfren(d)SHip/

  • noun a state of mutual trust and support between allied nations.

Now that we have the legal definitions out of the way, let's really talk about it. To what extent do you owe your loyalty to your friends? I honestly cannot advise you on that, because everyone's friendship and the relationship between the said friends are different.

You may have some friends that are your ride or dies, down for whatever, and can call them when you need someone that is down for the count with no questions asked.

Then you have friends that you may have been friends with for a long time, but the friendship dwindled down over the years to where you two don't even call one another for birthdays, nor be there for one another throughout major events in their life.

It happens... and it doesn't mean that you aren't friends, it is just not to the point to where you constantly talk (which I'm so introverted to where I don't care to talk to people all of the time anyway).

Life happens and our friendships come and go, but what you need to pay attention to and stop doing is being loyal to friends that you owe no loyalty to. Just because you once had a relationship with that person doesn't mean it has to be ongoing, forever and ever, and you have to pledge your allegiance to them for the rest of your life.

Stop giving people this type of mind control over you.

When we grow up and shift our focus, so much comes into perspective. For me, a turning point was when I had kids. It was then that I realized who were really my "friends" and who weren't. I had people that I considered friends to not attend baby showers, reach out throughout my pregnancy, or even make an attempt to meet my kids and see how they are doing.... just small things that we expect friends to do.

There were never any hard feelings and I never even addressed them about their loyalty, or the lack thereof, I just moved along with my life accordingly.

True enough if you do not have kids, you may not realize how important certain things are to your friends that do, but it all goes back to perspective. Something I perceive as important, may not hold the same value to someone I consider a friend... and I have to understand that.

Not everyone will think like me, and I can't think like everyone else.

I have to figure out what is important and beneficial to my life, and go with it. I've seen so many instances where people will try to make their friends feel bad for not being loyal or whatever the case may be, but they fail to look in the mirror and acknowledge how they haven't been the perfect friend themselves.

You just have to charge it to the game, and pick and choose who is worth being loyal to. Do you only hear from this person when they want something or they have some gossip to tell you? Do they only contact you around holidays or birthdays or events that they want you to attend? Do they take the time to contact you for your birthday outside of social media? If you have kids, do they know your kids and vice versa?

It is the little things that you have to pay attention to in order to determine what you really owe someone in terms of loyalty. Honestly, you really don't "owe" anyone anything. We just sometimes find it in our hearts to devote a certain level of allegiance to them.

If you feel you are more loyal to a friend than they are to you, then step back and withdraw your loyalty from that person.

Trust me when I say, life will go on.

When you are an adult, not every friendship will phase you. Someone deleting you off social media definitely won't phase you, and people feeling like you owe them something when you really don't, won't even matter to you.

It is a part of growing up and stepping into your own. I think for me, parenthood has a lot to do with it. If it does not affect my kids, I don't let it affect me. It's called picking and choosing your battles wisely. I am a 28 year old, single mom of a 1 and 5 year old, so me being bothered by another grown woman or man just isn't on my list of things to do.

Be loyal and stay true to yourself. The friends God want in your life will remain, so don't sweat the small stuff. Life happens, and you have to happen with it. You have to happen to be happy. Happen to be great. Happen to move on. Happen to knock out your goals. Happen to make a difference in someone's life.

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