Why people pleasing and loyalty should not be confused - Amanda Foy

Why people pleasing and loyalty should not be confused

Loyalty must be my new “take a look Foy” human trait – it’s shown up three times in this last week. Anyone that knows me knows that I act when the third ‘thing’ arrives. To put you in the picture, my loyalty hits have come from:

  • Realising I’ve been loyal to a wine label since 1996 because I was lost in rural South Australia and the cellar door looked nice and so was the wine.
  • Realising I’ve been loyal to a person who has a steady stream of haters trying to derail them and what my energy did when the haters decided to knock on my electronic door.
  • Realising that PPD – people pleasing disorder – wears the veil of loyalty and that veil is just like the invisibility cloak that Harry Potter owns or maybe it’s more of the Marauder’s Map.

Part of my people pleasing disorder that I cured myself from in 2013 involved issues around loyalty. Make no mistake, I’m still a loyal person, I have just rejigged my understanding of it and unequivocally, my loyalty in me is the strongest it’s ever been.

Understanding loyalty and people pleasing disorder (PPD) the best way to hit home that message is by adding the best three word adjective I know “to a fault”.

You know like some people are labelled “generous to a fault”, because they have their electricity cut off before they will charge for their time.

Yeah that kind of “to a fault”.

Anyway, today I want to talk about healthy loyalty. Not PPD loyalty. Healthy loyalty.

Many years ago, before I was completely awake to the fact my parents were humans, not the Demi-Gods they had built up in their dialogue about themselves in my life, I, as the eldest child, was updated on the poor behaviour of two extended family members, and my loyalty kicked in and I completely ripped into these other family members – via letter – because that’s how you roll when you want a one way conversation to ensure you are being heard.

As it turned out, I am responsible for ruining this relationship in my family.  I have also been reminded a number of times in the last 20 years of this fact about that one incident.

There was and has never been any ownership of the fact that I was told lies, and because of my myopic loyalty way back when, I jumped in thinking it was the right thing to do. Those extended family members have never spoken to me about what I’d said or filled me in with the truth from their side. As a matter of fact, they have never spoken to me again, even after I discovered the lies I had been told and went to apologise. You see they operate out of “One chance Charlie”, and it could be said that I took one for the team, because all the other family members have never looked sideways at them since, so everyone is happy to talk about the weather or money and know that family lore or ‘you know what happened with Amanda.’

What gift did I receive from that situation? I made it a personal choice that unless I hear it physically with my ears as it’s happening or see it physically happening with my own eyes, I have to assume I do not know the whole story and therefore stay out of it.  [THAT’S A TIP THERE IF YOU JUST MISSED IT]

It’s the gift that has just kept on giving since I was in my early 20’s.

One thing that never entered my mind back then was that the extended family members had never done anything to me. I had no right taking on my parents stuff and making it my own and blowing up a perfectly normal relationship that would have petered out on it’s own anyway. I was reminded though, just this weekend past they still hate me, even though this incident was some 20 years ago.

Sigh… not for me … for them.
Back to loyalty.

So, roll on a couple of years and another long story that I won’t go into, ‘the grown ups’ had a falling out with one of my grandparents. The one who had never EVER shown me a nano-second of anger in his life, who had been a quiet gentle man, who taught me how to laugh about stuff and ensure I had a healthy dose of humour to get me through my day. You can read about him in my ANZAC day post from last year.

There was an expectation that I was to be loyal to the grown ups who no longer loved him.

I said no.

I had to explain that the man they were talking about had never presented in my life the way that they were saying and therefore, they could have their feelings towards him and I would not begrudge them for it, but I would not be taking them on as well.

Anyway, point that I am going to repeat which is part of PPD and loyalty, there’s an element of fear associated with people cutting you lose if you aren’t loyal to them. The way to rectify this is to make sure that you are making an informed decision about who you are being loyal to and why and as Tom Cruise said in that famous movie you DEMAND the truth…because unlike the US Military at that time, you can handle it.

In 2006 I read a book The Secret and James Arthur Ray was the biggest stand out from that book for me. I was one of those people who read it, their world got brighter and shinier and bought 15 copies of it and handed it out to all my friends. The Law of Attraction changed so much in my life when the concept landed.

James’ life and a number of those around him had their lives turn into a “tough day” back in 2009 and while I was just a friend on facebook together with another 4999 LOA enthusiasts, I did follow what happened and personally wondered if all that he taught with the LOA was going to kick in and help him through. I reached out to offer him Reiki during the process, and he gratefully accepted. There was no discussion or friendship building or anything, just being one of the many that offered support.

You see, since that time, James has had an inordinate amount of hate thrown his way.


Since late November he has been back into building his life and is very active on social media and I’ve been tweeting and facebooking and google plusing with him and his community. I have seen the haters pop up. I have been contacted by a couple of his haters as well. In their pain, they, I can only assume, are trying to warn me of the dangers of following James.

Where am I going with this?

I’ve had a major AHA about loyalty and what that looks like when you take on someone else’s beliefs, stories and feelings.

My experience with James Arthur Ray is absolutely not what these haters have had or are buying into.

Am I going to be loyal to my experiences with him or loyal to the pain and suffering the haters are in? Loyal to him : compassion for the haters and their pain : Loyal to myself because I know energy doesn’t lie AND I don’t do hate.

Am I going to be loyal to my parents pain and hurt because of what happened between them and my grandfather or loyal to my relationship with my Grandad? Loyal to my Grandad : compassion for my parents because what happened bought into their bigger stories : Loyal to myself because my memories of my Grandad are mine and mine alone.

I’m giving you these examples to have you question your very existence about who is in your life, who you are loyal to and what you are loyal to.

Some check list things, because who doesn’t love a list?!

  1. Loyalty to self is the most important.
  2. Are you being loyal to a person or situation out of personal conviction or fear?
  3. What part of the equation is your story and what part of the equation is their story?
  4. Is your loyalty a projection of your own story but from a different situation?
  5. Is your loyalty a projection of someone else’s fear and pain even though it’s not your truth and you don’t want to hurt their feelings so you jump on their bandwagon?
  6. Loyalty to self is the most important.

I am a Goddess of the Imperative.

We are all about staying in dispassionate compassion for those who show up in our lives with their stories fully in tact. Once you take away all the build up of what other people have piled on, what you’ve read, what stories you’ve been told, what expectations for loyalty are in place, what you want to blame instead of own about yourself; once you get to the person level and understand their story, you can do that.

This technique can be used with racism, sexism, homophobia, all sorts of life’s hideousness.

At the end of the day it’s loyalty to yourself and who you are that you need to grab onto with both hands and growl a primitive growl if anyone dares try to take that awake from you.


  1. Awesome post – so much food for thought. And your first tip I would also relate to the media. Unless you heard it, saw it, experienced it, DO NOT believe everything you read, hear & see. Hence why I avoid media a fair bit these days…

    Mwah xxx

    • Urgh honestly Sharon, when the GI is in a position to, we are starting a new media empire based on the generosity model, not greed. I am with you 100% on that one.

    • Cool!! Ahhhhh, the day that GI achieves global domination…are you Pinky or the Brain?? Love your work xxx

  2. Amanda, I[m honored to be in your post and more importantly in your life. You’re courageous and awake; and those are few. I don’t say this only because you’ve been a supporter and friend, but also because of who I KNOW and have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of you to be. I love this topic and actually had a conversation with a good friend and colleague about this after reading your post this morning. I think it’s a topic that can be explored deeply.

    One more aspect, in my opinion and experience, of “people pleasing” is the deep desire to be liked/loved that allows one to let other people’s issues and agenda’s take precedence to our own. So many of us want to pray to God (or our friends) to “save us” from the mess we’ve created for ourselves. We’ve all heard the saying, “Lack of preparation on your part doesn’t create crisis on mine.” And yet the people pleasers often find themselves at the end of life and they’ve fulfilled everyone else’s purpose for their life except their own. It’s more noble to imperfectly follow your own purpose than to perfectly follow the purpose of another.

    I’ll continue to turn this topic comparison/contrast over in my mind as I think it’s an important one. Thanks for the gift of deep thinking and friendship. Love and appreciate you ~ JAR

    • SL

      Hi James, I have experienced the same thing as Amanda following you on Twitter with some of the haters. I have learned a lot through the whole experience before 2009 to now. Somehow it is all interrelated but I let go how it all works out..what is the bigger plan of all this. I just let go and let go, and just focus on myself. Not sure how but I will. 🙂 all the best

    • Thanks so much James. Thank you.

  3. SL

    Great inquiry. I resonate to it and I follow my heart to read it. You see, as I read it with my thoughts that it was contradicting to what I felt. I am utilizing my newfound relationship with the divine to help me through, because I now recognize that my thoughts are not me. I’m not sure if any of it is mine. Maybe I think with my heart…not sure, still working through that. I am the girl who had over 20 yrs of self help seeking ways, and yet only now maybe I can understand this article. It was that deep I had to dig to get to the root. I even let go what that means too, let go and let God now. (I always had to figure it out, fyi) Silvia NY

    • Thanks so much Silvia. James pointed out to me that the people who have reached out are in a great deal of pain. As soon as I heard those words, I released my fear behind it and sent them compassion and love and light and my fear AND anger disappeared in a nano-second. You are on the right track.

  4. I think there is a huge portion of readers who will be thinking ‘is this post about me?’ Great read thanks Amanda

    • Thanks Tash. It’s why I write my stuff in the hope that it resonates with others and they get their aha’s too. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  5. Cas

    I’ve ben exploring this idea of loyalty to self a lot lately and I completely get what you’re saying… my hounds are at my side. Just try and cross them. Sadly, it’s hard to get this idea across to others… that it’s okay to be protective of your life and decisions. Thanks Ms Foy for another cracker post.

  6. SL

    You know what else comes to my mind in regard people pleasing and loyalty? Think of all the leaders in the past who have gone against the grain. Many great things happened from that. But a lot of people went against them first then later applaude them, sometime after death. The idea of risk is real and a big deal in some cases. Some people have died for being themselves and following their heartt. (I feel a deep past lives or something coming up as well) Perhaps with what has happened w a lot of leaders even in the last few decades, that didn’t end well, created some interesting resistant to be *authentic* per se? #divingdeep

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