This is the fourth and final part of our series “Wake Up & Be Awesome” which comes from our year long “One Shining Moment” campaign. Those who are self confident are more likely to help others and be more uplifting. This is our effort to make those in the black LGBT community more uplifting and empowering towards each other.

If you’re a “people pleaser,” then people are always taking advantage of you. You’re also probably not getting what you want out of life. Stop thinking about what would make others happy and focus on what you need. It’s time to shift the focus from others to yourself. After all, it can be difficult to improve your own life when you’re too busy accommodating others.

I had to learn the hard way that trying to please everyone actually pleases no one. I actually discovered that I was burning out my young people, board members and staff trying to run around and attend every event or activity I was invited to. Most of those events served the host – and not our organization. I was wasting valuable human capital to help build up others and neglecting home. Trying to please everyone was virtually killing everything I was trying to build. In 2013, we participated in about 45 events/activities/meetings somewhere in the country. This year we are sticking to just 5.


Oftentimes, you are saying yes to please someone while in your head you really want to say no. You volunteer to stay longer at the blood drive, instead of going home, where you know you need to prepare for a big day tomorrow, because you don’t want to look bad. Even though you already did your required 5 hours. You have convinced yourself that it is better to sacrifice yourself than to say no. This makes you a people pleaser. Fact: it is better to say NO, than to take on a project or assignment that you will not enjoy doing. The product will suffer and no one will win.

Before I go any further let me stress one thing: keep your commitments. Your word is your bond. Don’t read this post and then decide to stop working on something you already agreed to. That WILL make you look bad. The purpose of this post is to have you evaluate future requests people may have of you.

Have you ever been at the mall and saw an article of clothing you wanted but did not buy it because you felt those you come in contact with would not like it as much as you? You are a people pleaser. It’s your money – buy it! Wear what you want. Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.

Are you always loaning out money – that you need – because the requester made you feel guilty? That’s people pleasing.

If the person does not understand that you need YOUR money for YOU, then they are not a person you should consider a friend. People tend to know who people pleasers are and they keep them around for a reason. Flip the script on them one day and see what happens. Not only will you feel better – you won’t be in debt.

Here is the hard one. Are you out with a friend who constantly displays behavior that always gets you kicked out, in fights, talked about – or makes it look like you have no home training? You take the hit because you are guilty by association and instead of speaking up, you just go with the flow? People pleaser. We stated in the last post that your friends are a reflection of you. You spent all that time and money getting ready for the party, only to be kicked out 5 minutes in.

What about charity, Selflessness and dong things for others? All those things are needed in society. But do them on your own terms. You are no good to anyone stressed out, upset and sitting at home with low self-esteem because people take your kindness for weakness.

In order to wake up and be awesome, it is important to get a grip on people pleasing. If you are not doing the things you want, you will always be living the life of someone you are not.

For very good tips on how to stop being a people pleaser, click here

Here is a great video I found on people pleasing from an African-American perspective.




National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051