Monday, December 28, 2009

Personality and loyalty...

Dave and I were discussing our boys last night - as we often do. Somehow the conversation turned to personality difference and more specifically their individual approaches to loyality.

Loyality is a personality trait that is much esteemed in our society, and also often used to manipulate people into tolerating behaviours in others that really should not be tolerated. Loyalty is a bit of an enigma. My understanding of it is that it is earned and once developed bridges the gap between self-preservation and standing by one's who have earned your loyalty.

Some people seem to interpret it as being a stop gap for standing by someone despite their inexcusable behaviour...

So, back to the boys.

Erik and Luey are both very loyal people, but they employ loyalty in different ways.

Erik is very readily loyal to anyone who is nice to him. His loyalty seems to be about needing to be liked. Erik is quite pre-occupied with being liked. To him being liked is synonymous with being safe. I believe this speaks mostly to Erik's innocence and ready optimism about people in general. I love that he is like this, but sometimes fear for him because of his inclination to be loyal to just about anyone who smiles at him.

Luey is loyal to people he has extensively vetted. He opens himself slowly to people, but those people he deems trustworthy I'm sure he'd just about sacrefice all for (though he does have a strong sense of self-preservation, so perhaps not quite lay down his life for). It's not easy to earn, but once earned it's a strong loyalty.

So far, we don't sense that Bryn shares the same approach to loyalty as Erik and Luey. Bryn is only four, so still a few years until his base personality is fully developed but by this age Erik and Luey were both in possession of the loyalty traits they bear now. Maybe his loyalty is even harder earned than Luey's and so we haven't seen anyone bestowed with his loyalty yet. Maybe loyalty is something that doesn't weigh as heavily on him as it does with his brothers, so he hasn't seen cause to exhibit it yet. Perhaps those he is loyal to haven't been challenged yet, so his loyalty hasn't been required. Whatever the case, he hasn't exhibited this trait to anywhere near the degree his brothers have, and yet, he is a completely likeable person for lack of any strong exhibition of loyalty.

Ari is, of course, far to young to assess.

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