Black Women: Please Yourself First

Note: This is a random rant.

I’m a selfish person. I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s probably because I’m the last child, the only girl, and spoiled rotten. I’m generous, friendly or kind – when it suits me.

Guilt Gets One Nowhere.

I’ve racked my brain to find instances of when I’ve pitched in, because I got “guilt tripped” into something I really didn’t want to do. Outside of my immediate family, and a best friend or two, it doesn’t happen. I will help people, but I don’t make a big deal out of any time, resources, and money given to causes I believe in.

However, anyone who comes at me with a “I gotta do such and such for groups X, Y, and Z”, since I am a woman who happens to be black will get that person nowhere. I’ll just smile at you sweetly, and say softly, “No, thank you.” I will take off. I wont hover around waiting for someone! anyone! to try and persuade me that I need to do something out of obligation to folks or “causes” I don’t care about, and probably never will.

I only worry about things that are of concern and interest to me, or within my control. I don’t apologize for that mindset. People who use guilt tripping are the biggest users you will ever encounter. Their awareness of this particular problem means that they should be organizing and managing it themselves, or if they want your help – they need to suggest a financial – yeah, I’m talking money – benefit you will reap from it.

Ever notice that whenever a celebrity supports a cause – they always go looking for time and money from their fans? Think about that for a second….

Your Time Isn’t Free.

I’m suggesting you be (a nice) mercenary. It wont make you a mean girl. You are simply teaching others how to RESPECT you. It can be done in the sweetest, most polite manner ever witnessed in a black woman. ‘Cause you know how everyone thinks we’re all crazy angry bitches. Right? :)

All that giving you’ve done, which will supposedly enrich you “spiritually” is nonsense. You are being used. If you are being volunteered for something people are usually compensated for – get PAID or get OUT of it. You have other and better things to do.

Another subtle con folks love to run on black women is the implication that helping others for FREE will help others LIKE you, because otherwise no one will. That’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail and sabotage. Folks like people for all sorts of reason, how much they can use you should never be one of them.

Demanding Busybodies Need to Sit Down.

People who spend their free time monitoring the activities of others, followed by demanding that they must fulfull obligations that no one has AGREED to are parasitic.

If you want people to do something that you can do, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

If you want people to DONATE to a cause that you can reach into your own pockets, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

The worse thing(s) I’ve seen online are the number of people who always has a job for black woman to spend HER time, resources and money on.

Yo! Slavery ended over 145 years ago. Let’s not backslide.

Black Women: It Is Okay to Get Paid.

I also want to say this: black women have the RIGHT to be paid, compensated, reimbursed, acknowledged, and thanked for any endeavors they participate in.

If she asks for funds, no one should recoil in horror and claim that this black woman is a hustler, pimp, gold digger, prostitute, or looking to dupe everybody. Let’s cut that nonsense out right now.

If one likes how she performs, PAY her. If one doesn’t, then leave her alone.

Folks love to get up in arms the minute a black woman puts a price on her labor – like she doesn’t have the right to be compensated. They’re stingy paying her – crying poverty – and will take advantage of enjoying her services / products for free, but will doggone find enough money to buy a pair of Christian Louboutins in a heartbeat.

Oy, I exaggerate.

Are people out of their minds? Why should she labor for free? Why is this demand always laid at the door(s) of black women? Economic deprivation is not a sign of spiritual purity anymore than wealth is indicative of a devious nature. If you believe that: you’ve been had.

I say, even if she’s not asking for dough, lucre, bucks, or money – send her some, buy her stuff, and tell her thank you. Otherwise, leave her the hell alone.

  • Let’s start picturing black women with wealth, health, and good spirits as normal and usual.
  • Let’s picture that as a progressive, or conservative if you prefer, trend that needs to be promoted, supported, and endorsed.
  • Let her be selfish for her own sake.
  • Let’s respect her time.
  • Let her earn her monies, and not begrudge her what she wants out of life.

Have a good one. :)

Note: This is a random rant.


13 thoughts on “Black Women: Please Yourself First”

  1. Wow I just saw this, how come more women have not responded on this this is a great article, Bravo Betty!!

    GoldenAh: Thank you, Queen. I see that the posts are read, but there are a ton of blogs where I lurk (thoroughly enjoy) and never comment, so I don’t mind. 🙂

  2. I see now. Thanks for the links, Betty…I know that there has been a movement/consciousness for a couple of years now among some Black women, but I didn’t know there was a term for it.

    I like What About Our Daughters. That’s a particularly good website.

    I’m familiar with the term DBR, though…I should be after my experiences with certain individuals. 😉

  3. Bellydancer…what does BWE mean? I’ve never heard that term.

    I guess being selfish can be positive in some ways. Some of the “selfish” women I’ve known are also mean, spiteful, condescending and self-centered. Those are qualities that I find unattractive.

    You ladies are none of the above. You’re just confident…it’s totally badass. I want some of that! Maybe when I’m a bit older I’ll figure it out. I’m still trying to find my way in life.

    But yes, I agree with all these comments. It is definitely something to think about. 😉

    GoldenAh: BWE – black women’s empowerment. A plethora of blogs can be found here and these are my general links here.

  4. That is why I think some black women are afraid of BWE women is because they are tired of their trifling sons and other male relatives living and mooching off them and are looking at us like why don’t you want to take them off our hands. I have read where BWE are selfish and self serving because we put ourselves first. We are not trying to serve a dying community that does not benefit us.
    If you go to school and succeed you are looked at like you are crazy cuz black men can’t keep up. Not my problem try harder. Just because I did not help you with your homework while you partied that does not make me selfish. I do not understand the woman/jock thing at these colleges. Why the hell are you doing this man’s school work just so he can play sports.
    Some women better wake up!

    GoldenAh: I’m stealing your comment for my next post…. 🙂

  5. Great post! Being selfish merely means that I take care of myself. I matter -if you do not care for yourself you have nothing to give to anyone else should you choose to no matter how much you love them. If you love someone love them enough to love yourself more. If their issue is not important enough for them to do for themselves – then it is not your job to make it important to you. Do you because there is only one you – you are one of a kind!

    As far as I am concerned there is only one Savior of souls lost or otherwise and He was crucified, died and rose again so that job is not mine to assume. God wants us to give in a spirit of love i.e. a cheerful giver. I can’t be cheerful if I am being exploited or abused and used. I can be kind and generous and give freely because I take care of me and do not allow myself to become angry used and abuse or participate in my own misuse and abuse by others


    GoldenAh: That’s right. You cannot swim with an achor around your neck! 😀

    You’ve made me think of another item: we must forgive ourselves for our perceived failures and imperfections. That is critically important. In this society, there’s all this crap about perfectionism. I say, do what you can, but don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t flawless. That’s just the way it is. And I can tell you – for me that’s a tough feeling to manage.

    Great to hear from you, Cassandra. 🙂

  6. Long post alert!

    Ah, yes. I like this post. Know why? Because I’m selfish as well.

    GoldenAh: That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. 😀

    I learned this lesson in my early 20s after a string of personal misfortunes, the majority of which was due to being taken advantage of by certain individuals. Angry? Yep, that was me. One day, I decided to stop being angry and start looking out for numero uno. See, selfishness obviously has a stigma, so you’re not supposed to be this way. Also, if one is selfish, it’s usually taken to also mean self-absorbed. After all, you can’t genuinely have concern for others AND look out for yourself! That’s blasphemy.

    And yes, black women are constantly being drained by others, including other black women. I hope more and more black women will begin to open their eyes and understand they are no one’s mule. Unfortunately, I know many black women who wouldn’t recognize peace of mind if it came up and introduced itself as such.

    What’s so twisted is that it’s often the black women who are already bogged down with their own children that people leech off of the most. I have a friend from childhood who had 3 children out of wedlock by age 30. She’s struggling to make it, and she was constantly allowing her sisters, who were adults, to live with her, borrow money, look after THEIR children, etc. This is on top of her trifling mother who expected her, and her alone, to take care of her. I just….

    It’s funny…..I noticed a while ago how uncomfortable I make some people, because I don’t fulfill the mule role. Granted, some of that is my introvert personality, but I suspect a good deal of it is because I’m an overweight black woman who still manages to be well-spoken, cordial, laugh easily, yet quiet. I don’t go rushing to comfort random people, make them feel better, and/or make it my personal mission to validate or “save” them. I will listen with sympathy, nod my head in understanding, and wish them well. But, it rarely goes further than that.

    I will never begrudge someone for their kindness and generosity. At the same time, nothing wrong with being strategic about it, either. Which is what I choose to be.

    GoldenAh: Your story is identical to a cousin of mine and some friends. I could not say anything to them. I used to ask them to think about a situation, “What are you getting out of this?” But I wouldn’t push it.

    There is a cruel validation trick being played on black women. We are being told by folks who look like us that we wont be liked, loved, or appreciated until we give ALL, and give ALL the TIME. It’s emotional vampirism at work. And like you said, it’s making a lot of us angry….

    Daphne, thank you for saying we can be compassionate, caring, and show kindness while looking out for number one. Yay to Numero Uno!!! 😉

    I once told a friend, you can hug and cry with your roommate right before you kick her out for freeloading. It’ll be good for the both of you. She found her ex-roommate a place to say, and that took a massive load off of her back. 🙂

  7. Hey Miss Betty,

    How the hell are ya? I have been waiting for a new post.

    What I always tell my sistahs is “Remember, on airplanes, the stewards tell you put your oxygen mask on BEFORE you put on your children’s for a reason – you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself”

    GoldenAh: Hello, Sherry! {{waving}} I get distracted, and sometinmes I wonder if my blog posts will come across as a brain fart, so I hold off on writing. 😀

    Thank you for your support and feedback. It lets me know if I’m covering a topic people want to read.

    And your advice is on point! 🙂

  8. My mother is in her seventies, always taking care of someone defective offsprings, She became very ill for two months, out of the entire family my sister and I took care of her. My other family member were not around, this taught me good lesson, I was already a no person but I tell my mother no also. She does not like it but I maintain the household and let people know there is no hand out at this residence. My motto is ” You are with me or against me”. I have seem to many black women who allow family member and others to determined there future. I need to read your article today this help me to stay balance. I hope other will give your message some thought. Thank you

    GoldenAh: You are welcome! Glad to hear from you. You are prioritizing, setting rules, and that makes things better for you and your Mother. This way you teach the freeloaders and riff raff how to show respect. They may gripe, but they know where they stand and where the line has been drawn. Excellent. 🙂

  9. I really wish I could pass this on to my mother.

    She is in her 50’s. She has always been the “superwoman” type. She puts everybody else’s needs first. People constantly take advantage of her.

    I grew up believing that I had to be the same way. A white female therapist told me that I needed to be more selfish.

    I found the advice a bit off-putting, but then I thought about it…most of the selfish women I’ve known have been the most satisfied with life because they aren’t afraid to speak up about what they want and need.

    It is a very fine line to walk. I was trained, like my mother was, to believe that any woman who cares about her own needs is a selfish bitch. It was always instilled in me that other people should come first and that my needs/wants didn’t really matter.

    I guess it’s also because the selfish women I’ve known were also cruel and didn’t care about anyone but themselves. I need to find a balance somehow.

    I’m trying really hard to unlearn that mentality. 🙁

    GoldenAh: You can prioritize who gets your “all hands on board” generosity. It should be a very tiny list: no more than 2-3 absolutely deserving souls. For everyone else, draw a line. Make it quid pro quo: every favor has to count. Whatever you decide to do for others must benefit you at some point. 🙂

    I believe one of the reasons why black women are sometimes so angry is due to this feeling of getting ripped off by users and feel helpless to stop it. Sure being a selfish bitch can seem bad, but being content with life is much more fulfilling….

    This newer mindset will take adjusting to. Think of it as a bank account. You need to save your money, time, energy and emotions for yourself. For some folks, assertiveness is being confused with belligerent. That’s not it at all. You can be very quiet, sweet, even bashful as you say, “No” and “Gee, I wish I could, but I can’t do that,” with a big lovely smile on your face. 😀

    You have so much power to refuse, among many other things, and be pleasant about it.

    Your therapist is correct. You have to see yourself as a good person – point blank without exception – even when you feel evil and have a desire to stomp someone into the ground (like when it’s a rare blue moon). 😀


  10. Betty, you are too right. I had the same thing. I have to look after my father, who is disabled. One Saturday, all 7 of my relatives came and they were not invited, because I did not serve them anything and I make no apologizes for that, my aunt proceeded to tell me about my cousins. I told her that I made plans before my cousins arrived and I was not going to change them. She was furious, but I could not care less.

    GoldenAh: Good for you! What kills is when they show up empty handed! Food costs money. Cooking is time consuming.

    If you told everybody to pay $35.00 per plate, they’d look at you like you’re crazy, but based on the amount of work involved on your part – wouldn’t that be the right thing to ask? I’m sure no one would have that problem dropping that much, if not more, at a restaurant. 😀

    Great to hear from you, Valerie. 🙂

Comments are closed.