Types of Loyalty and Types of People

Sometimes people will ask: Which personality type is the most loyal? The difficulty with that question is that loyalty comes in a lot of different flavors and can mean a lot of different things.

If you Google “loyalty”, you’ll find the first pages dominated by the subject of customer loyalty. This is loyalty reduced to a marketing scheme. But there’s much more to it than that. While probably too complex of a subject for a short article, let’s try to sort it out as much as we can anyway.

The Loyal Sentinels

In our model, Sentinel personality types are the most traditionally loyal among all the groups. They are fiercely loyal to their families, communities and employers. On top of that, they are faithful to the traditions and values that those who went before them passed along. We know them for their hard-work which relates to their sense of duty which is synonymous with loyalty.

The Feeling, especially Turbulent, Sentinels’ loyalty is likely a combination of a sense of duty with a heavy dose of emotionality mixed in. They’ll see their loyalty as being faithful to others and supporting them. Thinking Sentinels’ loyalty is more likely to come from a sense of duty and a need to see things through to a successful end. These personality types, especially Assertive ones, are less likely to involve emotions when they consider their loyalties. They are loyal to the “tried and true”.

Diplomats: The Romantic Loyalists

Diplomats will see loyalty in a more romanticized way. This is less about the standards revered by the Sentinels and more about passion and subjective belief. Loyalty to a life partner might involve being “soul mates” – there may be concern for traditional values or external standards or rules or not. (“Star-crossed lovers” in art and history who went against family and culture may serve as symbols here: King Edward VIII and Mrs. Wallis or Romeo and Juliet, for example.) If Diplomat personality types become ignited with a passion for a cause, they will be loyal to that cause and work hard for it. The same with a job if they feel it is purposeful and significant.

This loyalty can be a bit shakier than the type enjoyed by the Sentinels. Should these visionaries become disillusioned, all bets are off and loyalty may quickly become a thing of the past. Since they bind their loyalty more to emotions, they may even stand strongly against that to which they were once loyal if disappointed by it. This loyalty leans more toward subjectivity than the Sentinels’ variety.

Analysts: The Conceptual Loyalists

This analytical group will be loyal to known systems or schools of thought. For example, architects who are also this style of visionary may hold firmly to the theories of a particular school of architecture. They will be “loyal” to those theories. (Not blindly. They tend to be open-minded. But once they’ve reached a solid conclusion, they stick until there is enough evidence to the contrary.) They don’t accept others academically or professionally until they have proven themselves. But when these others show they are adept enough, Analyst personalities will embrace them heartily and loyally.

So, how does this translate into an Analyst’s personal life? It would be inaccurate to say Analysts are without emotions – they can feel deeply. However, they use rationality much more than any of the Feeling types. This use includes how they assess the people in their private lives.

When looking for a life partner, Analyst personality types may have a checklist, either consciously or subconsciously, of the person they are looking for. When they find their match, they are likely to be loyal to the other person. If this is the most logical partner, according to the features set in advance and sought, then loyalty is a reasonable response. That doesn’t mean there aren’t feelings involved. But rationality remains the core of any of their alliances. Being loyal is something that “makes sense” to this style of visionary.

Explorers: The Reluctant Loyalists?

This is the most difficult of the personality types when it comes to discussing loyalty. This role group is notorious for their novelty-seeking focus. If they are always looking for something “new”, that person, place or thing that is “old” will naturally have heavy competition. This dynamic does not bode well when it comes to a discussion of loyalty.

While they may not want to stick around on many levels, that doesn’t mean there aren’t rational or emotional things pulling them to stay. (This, in fact, is true of any of the personality types discussed above.) Many Explorers have had long, happy relationships or have remained with causes or institutions for long periods of time. The desire to move on doesn’t necessarily govern the many other factors that can convince one to behave loyally.

Many consider Paul McCartney, musician and animal rights activist, to be among this group. His exploration of different styles of music over his long career supports that assessment. However, in the 29 years he was married to his wife, Linda, he reportedly did not spend as much as seven days apart from her. They would probably still be together today had she not passed away. That’s dedication. Other things do come into play.

Now that we’ve generalized here, what is your experience? Is it consistent with this article or do you have something more to add? Join the conversation in the comment section below.

1 year ago
I would say Analysts are the most loyal to their own goals. Why? Because if something makes sense to Analysts, they will use whole power of their mind to achieve or support that. And as it is commonly known and even included in Analysts' description - they are extremerly strong-willed, even those with strong Percieving trait. And that's because they can visualise how to achieve what they want thanks to their imagination. Since this strongly rational group shares thinking trait, they do not abandon things just because of failure or negative emotions if they truly believe in something.
1 year ago
As a diplomat (INFJ-T), I feel this article describes me precisely! To me there is nothing better than fighting for a cause! I have experienced the part about shifting loyalty when disillusioned. My loyalty can change on a dime if I feel remaining loyal compromises my values.
3 years ago
Nailed it. I'm an INTP and I'm loyal first to my personal beliefs. I have a strong code of ethics and my integrity is the core of who I am. I don't compromise my integrity. For me it's all linked to how I act as a human being,how I treat others and how I deal conduct business. Lying, cheating, stealing in any form go against my ethics. I hate gossip as well. I've had a husband, friends and family all lie, cheat or steal. I do not retaliate by doing the same in kind. Some have mistakenly thought that was a sign I had remained loyal, regardless. Incredibly assumptive, given that the sole reason is my refusal to compromise my integrity. I never verbalize it, but when loyalty is no longer a thing, that person is no longer a part of my inner world. The deepest conversation we'll have is about the weather. It takes me a long time to trust and be loyal to others. Once I do, I'm all in. I'm there thru thick and thin. But give just cause and I'm completely out. Some have attempted to guilt me into resuming the old relationship. (If I had REALLY cared...blah, blah,blah) Care to guess how that's worked out? :) Loyalty, to me, must come from a place deep inside. It must be genuine and sincere. One cannot withhold it and yet expect it from others. It's impossible to know its value until it's gone. I disagree with this article in that for analysts, loyalty is there because it just happens to make sense. Every time friends, family or my husband lied or cheated, it was a very painful experience. Loyalty is that factor that enrichens or enhances any personal relationship. It's a must for long term relationships and is built on respect and trust. When it comes to theories, however, this article is spot on. My theories are a result of days and weeks of research, reading and learning without bias. I don't come by them easily and rarely change them. But the debates are always fun and I'm open!
3 years ago
I agree with you, Rae - my loyalty is also to my core values. For those who define loyalty as "sticking with me whether I'm honest or not", a nasty shock eventually awaits when I can no longer respect them. However, even if "outrageous fortune" causes reversals, if we share the same values, I will stick things out even if it does not make "sense" to do so.. Self-respect holds a higher value than money or status.
3 years ago
You like debates? Me too! =) So here goes - I both agree and disagree with you. I'm an INTP too and I would definitely say that you're right about loyalty being closely related to personal integrity, but for me what the article said about being loyal because it "makes sense" also rings true. I don't give my loyalty easily, but when I do it's always to people who share my moral code. I feel that it "makes sense" to trust them to treat me with respect as I would them, because by their character I can tell that they would never betray me or knowingly hurt me. What do you think?
3 years ago
The Romantic Loyalist. Yet again, perfectly describes me, though I would prefer to turn up my nose and claim otherwise, I know how true it is. Still proud to be INFP!
3 years ago
I'm an intj, my current partner is an infp, and my ex is an estp. I completely agree with the article. My infp is very romantic and tells me I am his soulmate and that we were made for each other (and although I'm not a feeler, I enjoy the mushy stuff now and then lol). The ex estp always had a wandering eye, and I see now his pattern of getting "bored with the old" after about 2-3 years into a relationship. Lesson learned!
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