Types of Loyalty and Types of People

Darrell’s avatar

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.