The Friend Loyalty Principle

by on Jun 17, 2017 - 4 min read
In category


Recently I experienced a distasteful social phenomenon usually present among friends called the Friend Loyalty Principle.

This principle states that when your friend introduces you to his/her (mostly her) friend (3rd party), you are only a friend to the other friend (3rd party) provided your friend (mostly her) is still his/her friend.

The rationale behind this principle is that it is your friend who introduced you therefore you would never have made a new friend were it not for your friend. So you owe it to your friend to vest your loyalty on them. Secondly, your friend was there first so it therefore follows that the first one is your actual friend and not the second. So, you owe it to your friend to vest your loyalty on them.

The implications of this principle are:
  1. First is best. The person you befriended first is your friend the rest are bonuses.
  2. Your real friends should be only the ones that you made directly and not through a mutual friend.




I think loyalty to those you love and hold dear to you is very important and should not be taken for granted.


For the purposes of this story, the first friend shall be friend 1 and the second friend 2.

I shall not bore you with a narrative of how this story came about. One can guess. I have a friend who introduced me to her friend and they fell out and now my friend expects me to fall out with her friend as well as a sign of my loyalty to her. This has put me in an intermediary position, which is not the best to be in and it sucks!

In this situation, my next steps are guided by 3 factors to consider:
  1. The nature of my relationship with the 3rd party.
  2. The cause of the fall out (Who was wrong).
  3. The demeanour of the parties following the fall out

On to the first. If friend 1 introduces me to friend 2 and I did not establish a relationship with friend 2 and we only interacted in the presence of friend 1, if they fall out, that’s that. I will be indifferent to friend 2 and remain with friend 1 as before. Simple. However, the problem comes in if I establish a relationship with the friend 2 that is self-sufficient and independent of friend 1, friend 2 has become a friend of mine irrespective of preceding relationships. Therefore, if friend 1 falls out with friend 2, that is unfortunate but it has nothing to do with me. I will therefore not take it upon myself to fall out with friend 2 as a sign of loyalty to friend 2.

In the second instance, there is an unspoken expectation of you to pick a side. This brings me to the second factor. What happened? If friend 1 was wrong and was the one being a crappy friend to friend 2, I will tell friend 1 just that. If friend 2 was being a crappy friend to friend 1, I will tell friend 2 just that. I would not want to have crappy friends. No one does. It is important to say that I will not pick sides. I will just slide away. Keep off the crappy friend, regardless of who came first.

To the 3rd factor, if the crappy friend made a genuine mistake and is sorry, I think she deserves a second chance. I won’t swerve them so I get to keep both friends .


I am not an extrovert and most times I like to be alone or would much rather be with animals but I recognise the importance of friends and allies in this life. I need them! I am not an island. That being said, I will not go burning bridges I have built with people because of trivial issues among them.

People do shit today not thinking of tomorrow. Today your friend wronged you and you felt the need to burn that bridge. Sometime later I might meet them, have to work with them or even, heavens forbid, need their help but then, I helped you burn that bridge, remember? Then I shall have to have an awkward or embarrasing moment because of my ‘loyalty’ to you.

Fuck Dat! You and your loyalty can stay with your friendship!


0 Responses

Please sign in to comment.




When you heart a story it encourages the writer and helps more people discover the story.