On being disappointed & the importance of supporting other women.

Stick with me, this is not a grizzle. Well, I guess in part, but do me a favour and stick with me anyway.

I’m lying in a hotel bed – I should be sleeping as I don’t get the chance at home, but I’m not, I’m writing this between reading a murder mystery and feeling mildly sorry for myself. Last night was the Blogosphere Blog awards and I was nominated as Parent Blogger of the Year. Now that in itself is pretty fucking epic, isn’t it? So there were 6500 ish nominations and then the team whittled that down to 30, 5 for each category and put it out to another vote which counts for 40% while the judges make up the remaining 60%. I was a finalist.

And I didn’t win.

Now, this isn’t a woe is me post rather that when I rang my husband when I finally left the event and I was walking home, little bit more gin than I should have had and I little bit limpy because of the ginormous heels I was wearing that had mashed my feet, and I could finally say “I’m so gutted” he said something that really stuck with me: everyone is nominated or up for something that they don’t get at some point. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s ok to say you’re upset or disappointed and it doesn’t make you a bad loser…

He’s a clever one that bloke isn’t he?

So yes, I’m disappointed. I didn’t for a second think I was going to win, but I hoped. I think as a society, and this is true through all walks of life, we don’t really like it when people are upset or disappointed, we’d much rather they pretended they didn’t care. We would say that acknowledging disappointment is being a bad loser or not being gracious – but it’s not. For me, this is a bit like a promotion that you’re up for at work, it’s a high five for the work you do in the form of a trophy. I can guarantee that most people who are up for promotions or awards etc will spend 90% of their time walking around saying, “Oh it doesn’t matter anyway, who cares right?” Or “Ohhhh he/she totally deserved it more than me, I mean their so *insert whatever you want here*” or my personal favourite “we’re all winners really, just being nominated”… but that isn’t true. None of that is true. It’s a massive thing to be nominated, but there is only one winner. By virtue of that fact that you were nominated it means you were all worthy is some form, and yes, you do care. Oh course you do.

Every one of us that was up for an award last night will have felt a twinge of disappointment if they didn’t win – and that’s ok. It should be perfectly acceptable to say “I’m really disappointed, but congratulations to XYZ”. That’s what works you know, acknowledging your disappointment but being gracious enough to congratulate the person that did win, did get the promotion, didgeridoo or something that you wanted.

Life is full of disappointments, for all of us. This one is one of mine, and I’m not afraid to admit that, I’m also not going to let it make me feel like less of an achiever or like I should do things differently. In fact, I think it’s an opportunity to grow because I feel spurred on having been given the honour of a nomination, and now another for the BiBs (oh come on, I had to get it in somewhere), I feel like I have something to prove, not to anyone but to myself.

On another note, I’m not going to feel any less delighted for another woman’s massive achievement. A fellow blogger and woman who is carving her own path, has just had an amazing achievement and I am so pleased for her – I can’t wait to see what she does with it. As women especially, we often feel like when one of us achieves the other has to be sad or feel bitter and resentful, whilst we’re prone to celebrating the downfall of our fellow women, there is a certain ugly smugness that creeps in, like her failure makes your own slightly less upsetting. It’s social conditioning at it’s finest and I’m not alone in saying that I’ve fallen into the trap.

Well fuck that.

10 Comments

  1. October 2, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    I’ve been to three award finals and not won. For the first two I knew I never stood a chance and was a bit baffled on how I got there in the first place. So I wasn’t really surprised or disappointed not to have won. However, the third time I really thought I must be doing something right to get this far three times and had a lot of hope. When I didn’t win I did really feel disappointed but not disgruntled. I was kind of glad that the next years was cancelled. I don’t think I could go through all of that again.
    I think your feelings were normal, anyone would feel the same.
    Good luck for the BiBs

  2. February 22, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Being disappointed doesn’t make you a bad loser, it makes you passionate about what you do. Giving the finger, saying I didn’t care any way, flipping a table or slagging off the winner would make you a bad loser (or at least that’s what I’ve learnt from ‘Stenders). As I see it you drowned your sorrows in mothers ruin like any well respected Brit, and hobbled out (after celebrating the winners) wounded but not defeated to fight another day! X

  3. June 27, 2017 / 7:01 am

    When the life kick you to your xx, than there can be two kind of energies flowing your direction. People can try to comfort you (and it doesn’t help unless the closests mates even this is arguable), or people can try to share with you their losses and you tend to compare your pain with theirs. It doesn’t help either, it is even more dangerous, this flow of energy is a spiral to a black hole. My own experience comes from one fighting technique – any energy coming my way can be used for my profit. There is no negative or positive energy unless I give it a name by myself. Well, writing this I just try to wipe the name from energy which now crossed my own life path:-). Hey, I would never expect, that a mum blog will help me to point my own problems :-D. Thanks a lot Harriet. Rostia

  4. June 26, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Congratulations on your success!! As you say its still a fantastic achievement to be short listed to the final five out of all those people. Give yourself a pat on the back 🙂

    • Harriet June 28, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you so much – what a lovely comment 🙂 x

  5. June 26, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    I really agree with this and I’m not ashamed to say I felt disappointed when I didn’t win the UK Blog Award for Parenting. But you are totally right, another woman’s success carves a path for us all and we must support each other.

    • Harriet June 28, 2017 / 6:31 pm

      100% – it’s so “normal” for women to feel bitter towards other women when they don’t have a success and that woman does. It can be anything from an award to the woman who lost her baby weight faster than you, it’s just the way we are conditioned and I find that frustrating – but it’s not an issue to say you’re disappointed. It’s an issue to say “I’m cross, I should have won! That woman won because XYZ” – but to acknowledge “Hey, I’m disappointed, it’s a real shame but GO HER!” isn’t fake or bitter… it’s just true.

  6. June 26, 2017 / 10:01 am

    I’m so glad someone else has said this.
    I was up for an award in march and I was truly gutted not to have won, especially as I already had some niggles about being treated differently to the other nominees.
    I really was gutted and, as we found out before the awards ceremony, I told the organiser I was disappointed.
    If anything they were a little annoyed at my negative response.
    I remember thinking, great, they’re gonna think I’m a right knob now, being a baby and a sore loser.
    But I shouldn’t have been made to feel like being disappointed was a bad thing!
    It’s normal to be gutted and you’re normalising it in this post. Xx

    • Harriet June 28, 2017 / 6:28 pm

      SO frustrating you were treated like that. Honestly, disappointment is one of the best emotions to help us grow stronger and learn. We can’t be expected to win everything, gain every promotion etc, but that doesn’t mean you are a bad loser if you don’t feel like running around in circles gushing about how you don’t give a shit and you’re a happy little ferret. Hell no. You’re disappointed it’s not you with all the congrats, disappointed it’s not you skipping off with the award and that is 100% NORMAL. Gosh, if you don’t care, what the devil are you doing it for?! I’m delighted for Danielle but I’m not ashamed to say I’m sad for me and that is ok. I will maybe get an award in the future, I maybe won’t but I can say to myself that I’m working hard and trying my best.

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