What would you do X2

Two interesting questions in my life recently.

I mentioned in another post, yesterday was my wife’s birthday. However, she passed 3 years ago this Tuesday. FB likes to give me a bunch of reminders on that day, which I can deal with. But also, some people post HB on her timeline. Most of them make it clear they know she’s gone, but some don’t, or it’s not clear if they do. Just one this year, someone I don’t know, lives in another state. Would you contact them? Or just leave it?

At work, I recently found out I’m getting this award. Very cool, kinda prestigious, and I have to make a speech in September. But, the rumor mill suggests that it’s possible I was nominated for the award to keep another nominee from getting it. It’s not entirely clear, but I hate politics like that and it almost makes me want to decline the whole thing. (The other nominee is a good person who does good things, but apparently has enemies). At the moment, I’m leaning toward not declining it, but trying to give the other guy a bit of a nod in my speech.

I would send a short message that your wife passed, obviously they don’t know. I wouldn’t want to see messages to my dead wife for the next 30 years.

Congratulations. Accept the award and ignore the rumors and haters.

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Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill based on a rumor.

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Rumors fly around all the time. Unremarkable people thrive on gossip and are always happy to spread it.

Life is not always fair. Maybe the other person would have won under different circumstances, or with different judges. Maybe not.

Accept your award. I’m sure you deserve it. Don’t put it (or yourself) on a pedestal either. Enjoy it, give your speech, and smile. Then move on.

Yeah, the rumor is not coming from malicious people. I suspect there could be some truth to it, but not the full story.

My draft speech is pretty much all about not putting myself on a pedestal.

I doubt you have enough information to know that.

Why would those people start something like that? Even if it was true, what would be the point of spreading it around, other than to sow doubt and create drama?

Just seems to me like you are overthinking this.

Maybe you could give nods to everyone who deserves a nod, not just the other nominee.

That’s what I do.

People are happier when they are confident, resolute, and unapologetic.

My guess is you are a people pleaser as well. Always concerned if others aren’t happy and finding a way to blame yourself if they’re not.

My thought exactly. And to add to it, the people who sent the message would probably like to know that MCarley’s wife passed away. That is news that does not make one happy but which one would still like to know of.

My thought exactly.

To @mcarley: We don’t have all of the information either, but based on what you said you have absolutely no reason to decline this award. If I was in your position and knew that the other person was much more qualified than me and that they were just giving it to me to screw the other person over, I would decline it. However, you have said nothing of the sort. You have not said that you are any less deserving than that other person or that that other person stands head and shoulders above you.

I agree with the others. Accept the award and mention that you are honored to have been selected, as you know that there are many other (key word - other) deserving candidates. And, for what it is worth, if this other person believes that he didn’t get the award because he pissed the wrong people off, I would bet he will be able to live with that at the end of the day too.

Didn’t have time to elaborate earlier:

I assume the above is accurate, because it fits the profile. Bear with me here. I promise I am not insulting you. :kissing_heart:

I am a recovering people pleaser myself. You might have a hard time believing that, but my abrasive online persona is compensating for a lot of years of confrontation avoidance in person (plus being impatient). I know, that’s ridiculous and pathetic. I’m not afraid to admit it.

There’s a difference between respecting others and being overly preoccupied with others’ feelings. Other people are responsible for their feelings, not you.

That is, of course, excepting very obvious infractions of legal, moral, or ethical boundaries. Rape victims can blame their perpetrator for their feelings, for instance.

But to echo @wmj above, that is not the case here.

I’ll close by saying people pleasing is just avoidance of conflict & confrontation, couched in empathetic concern. In fact empathy and avoidance get all tangled up and conflated in people pleasers.

Don’t be afraid to disappoint people, bro. Life is full of disappointment. You don’t need to carry the burden of other people’s insecurities. They’ll figure it out.

I’ve not really thought of myself as a people pleaser. I don’t love conflict and probably do some avoidance, but in this case, I’d have a lot more conflict declining the award than accepting it. And, part of my speech is about why I’m a pain in the ass in meetings, telling people they need to take chances, etc.

I’m likely accepting the award. It would be a harder decision if it were clear exactly what happened, but it isn’t entirely. And the person who might have otherwise gotten it isn’t particularly upset, at least about not getting it. Mildly upset about some part of the process.

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