“Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer give a damn” is an inane quote


(Image from Woody’s Place)

It sounds nice, doesn’t it? And we share it, because we think it’s a wise quote and it will benefit the collective consciousness of the human race if more people know about this quote.

Wrong. It won’t.

Have you stopped to think about whether this quote will actually help? Who you’re really targeting it at? What it does to you? Why it sounds so pleasant?

Let’s take a look at it one by one.

Why does this quote appeal to us so much?

Because it appeals to our ego, both directly and indirectly. The presupposition is that only loyal people will share this quote, so if you share this quote, you’re indirectly saying “I’m a loyal person.” And who in their right mind would go around proclaiming themselves as disloyal?

It’s also the equivalent of “up yours” to all the people whom we think are testing our loyalties. Friends, lovers, schoolmates, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, clients, suppliers, neighbours – they’ve all irritated us at one point. And this irritation makes us like them less – which translates into “testing our loyalties.”

The problem is that this is hugely passive aggressive. By sharing this quote, we are at once saying “I’m so loyal” and “I’m not going to friend you if you are too annoying.” And therein lies the next question.

Will this quote actually help anyone or anything?

Loyalty is not judged by yourself. It’s judged by other people.

Sharing a quote is not going to make an annoying person less annoying.

So what exactly are you doing when you share this quote? You’re feeding the hostility within each person who sees it. You share this quote because you feel your loyalties are being tested (ie, being annoyed) and this is your equivalent of a rude gesture behind the annoyance’s back.

Not only is that cowardice, but it causes other people to want to give a behind-the-back middle finger to the annoying people in their lives as well. Because that’s your intention as well, isn’t it?

The target of your quote is the person or people you have an issue with, isn’t it?

And this passive aggressive way of cursing them isn’t going to help them change, nor help you adapt or negate their behaviour.

We share this quote because we’re secretly trying to tell someone “stop being annoying and testing my loyalties, or else I will stop friending you and not give a damn.”

In our minds we think the other person will go “oh I have been infuriating people with my actions that test their loyalty! I will stop now because this quote has taught my lesson.”

Eh. Wrong.

How the target will see this quote is exactly the same way you see it – that it feeds their loyal ego and it will send a message to other irritating people to stop annoying them. And remember, this is feeding their hostility to other people in their life, which isn’t going to stop them from irritating you in the long run – or even the short run.

The quote doesn’t make sense

On the surface, it does because it appeals to our sense of entitlement and self worth. But when you look at the corollaries to this, the logic falls flat on its face.

Does this mean you can push disloyal person infinitely? After all, they no longer give a damn anyway. Of course not.

Because you’re not supposed to push anyone to the point where they no longer give a damn – loyal, disloyal or otherwise.

Stop sharing it

It’s usually accompanied by a nice picture, true. But please, please stop sharing this quote. It’s not helping anyone. Least of all, you.

marcus goh


  1. I too have had similar thoughts to the above thinking that the people that re-post the pretty pictures with the quote are full of piss and wind. Tonight I wrote the words on my timeline myself. I did this as a statement of what will follow. Not some idle threat. I really am very loyal and I have been pushed too far. Not only in my work. I will not tell you who has pissed me off so much because I am loyal to them, but they will know.

  2. You’re an idiot. You have truly over-analyzed this quote and the context by which someone may or may not forward it on. You seem to have a lot of hostility toward the quote, otherwise you wouldn’t have INSISTED that people NOT forward this on. We like quotes because we can relate to them. It somehow pertains to our current situation or a past one. Sometimes we forward this on because we want people to understand what moves us and hence who we are as a person. Nothing more, nothing less. Unless you are a Liberal Democrat who believes that only your opinion and “taste” in quotes/wise sayings is the only one that matters.

    • Brian is right and I’ve only just read this. Take a huge look at your own, somewhat spectacularly obvious insecurities before slamming down on what the majority of have no issue with!

    • Agree, Brian. One could analyze every quote to a negative extent like this author has done. Ridiculous!

    • Agree mostly… but the Liberal Democrat thing is a non-sequitur that doesn’t belong. You get that sort of “i’m right, you’re wrong” point of view from all stripes.

  3. Are we really so out of political forums that one actually has to look to commentary on a freakin’ quote that has absolutely nothing to do with politics to get their party jabs in?!?!…really??….you had me til you threw the elephant punch….

  4. I use this quote, because it is accurate to the way I feel about someone. You come to a point that you don’t want to be taken for granted and waiting for the right opportunity to cut the cord! ( I don’t give a dam) It’s also another approach, that maybe someone will change their ways if they understand they will lose you.

    • I like the Quote and have also used it. It’s direct to the point, and very few wouldn’t grasp it’s meaning, situation & intention. :-)

  5. Read it as “never put someone’s loyalty to the test”, which makes sense. Like “never give a honest person the chance to steal with impunity”.

  6. It does make sense. A disloyal person may only “not give damn” for a little while and then start giving a damn again. A loyal person may hold on to that state of mind forever. =P

  7. At an individual level I can appreciate the perspectives shared by the author (e.g. narcissism, passive/aggressive, etc.). But when viewed from a Corporate perspective it’s an important reminder that in general employees WANT to be loyal, but they want that to be a two-way street (at least I believe that), and I believe it’s important for business owners, CEO’s, management to acknowledge that we will be more successful with loyal employees.

  8. Or, a more adult reading would be that this quote is meant to comfort those whose loyalty has been taken advantage of and who have had to cut off a toxic person – a family member or close friend, perhaps.

    It is a shared sympathy for those who know that the emotionally needy can sometimes exhaust the charity of even their closest friends, and that saying no and setting limits – including removing one’s self from the picture (no longer giving a damn) – is sometimes necessary for self-preservation.

    It would be inconsiderate indeed to send this to the person “pushing” the loyal person; it is not meant for them. The appropriate use is to either edify one’s self when being the “loyal person”, or to comfort a “loyal person” who has reached their limit.

  9. The quote can also apply to a parent and adult child. After unconditionally loving and caring for and helping the “child”, a parent, who is repeatedly taken advantage of or bad-mouthed to others, can come to the end of his/her rope and use some “tough love” by withdrawing that loving support (while still loving the offspring).

  10. Better to say if your planning to use my loyalty and abuse my loyalty …… You better plan to suffer the consequences when the deceit is discoverd as all lies eventually come out

  11. Talk about over analyse!! Sometimes you do want to just put it out there because someone has or is pushing you too far!! I don’t see anything wrong with it!

  12. It is one thing to be loyal and constantly have people take advantage of that loyalty. It is another thing to be loyal and let people know that you won’t be their ‘Welcome’ mat just because you are loyal. Let’s face it, in this ‘What have you done for me lately’ society, finding people that are loyal outside of their own selfish reasoning is becoming more uncommon. Long story short, everything comes with a disclaimer and/or warning, why should loyal people be any different?

  13. This could be referring to when a person (let’s use a friend in middle school) gets their loyalty pushed, for example, “Can I see your answers? You’ll do it if you’re really my friend.” kind of thing, or pushing them with the whole “you are connected to me in some way so help me out” to the point that they just stop giving a damn for their own sake.

  14. The person that wrote the analysis of the quote is a doormat. The quote basically says ” I will remain loyal as long as you are loyal to me, treat me like crap and I am no longer loyal and don’t give a damn” nothing more nothing less

  15. This could be referring to when a person (let’s use a friend in middle school) gets their loyalty pushed, for example, “Can I see your answers? You’ll do it if you’re really my friend.” kind of thing, or pushing them with the whole “you are connected to me in some way so help me out” to the point that they just stop giving a damn for their own sake.

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