Perceptions

.

 

shutterstock_197705528

Perceptions are a funny thing.   You see something in your own way and that is how you then think that thing is.   But what if that thing isn’t really like that?

Now what if that thing is a person?  And you perceive that person to be something.   Something that actually they might not be in reality.  Your perception is how you see them and that dictates how you continue to view them and possibly how you treat them.

I am waffling, and making no sense.   So I will try and explain.

I won’t lie.  Right now I am really struggling with the blogosphere’s perception of me.   Of how I am.  Who I am.  What I am.   And it is making me really unhappy if I am brutally honest.

Over the weekend, at BritmumsLive, I heard lots of people exclaim “oh my God, you’re MummyBarrow”.     Well sort of,  I am T but in people’s minds I am MummyBarrow and I don’t have a problem with that.   I do struggle with the “Oh my God” bit.   The exclamation of it.    I am just me.   Just another blogger.   Just another woman.   I am nothing special.

The “I just had to come and say hello because you are MummyBarrow” is lovely but it is quite hard to deal with when it keeps happening.

Yesterday I started to get messages of “I saw you but was too scared to say hello”  / “you are so popular that I didnt think you would want to talk to me”.

This breaks my heart.   And this is the bit I am struggling to deal with.

I spent my childhood at school bullied.   Teachers.   Pupils.   I got bullied by them all.   I hated school.   Have blocked it out and don’t have one friend from back then.   I was never in the “popular group”.    Those were the girls that bullied me.   Not a perception of mine, but actual memories of being beaten up, pushed, teased, whispered about, picked on by the girls that everybody wanted to be friends with.

I don’t want to be that person.    I don’t want to be perceived as being in a popular group and that I am in anyway bullying or looking down on other bloggers.   On other women.   That isn’t me.   That is not how I want to be.    The idea that people feel they can’t talk to me because they think I am something destroys me.

I really don’t want to be seen as being in a popular crowd that can’t be approached.    Yes, I have friends, and I like spending time with them at BritmumsLive but that was by no means any kind of “organised crowd”.  I sat where I did for most of the weekend because I wanted to be near a plug socket!

The same memories of bullying from school mean I can’t go up to people and say “Hi I am T” because when I did that at school there were whispers of “who does she think she is” so I don’t do / can’t do it to other people now.   Which is ironic because it is exactly that sort of thing that I am now accusing other people of.   But the idea that people think I might be the one saying “who do they think they are” is more than I can take.

Public speaking destroys me.  I am not a natural public speaker.  I agreed but it was an honour to be asked and I wanted to do something to thank Britmums for their support of Team Honk.    And to share what we had learned but that by no means came easily.

I was in pieces on Friday morning before we left.   I was making myself ill.   To the point that Mr B said he didn’t think I was well enough to go.    Nerves do that to me.    I can’t park in a car park I haven’t been to before.  I can’t sit in a coffee shop alone having a drink.   I can’t walk into a party by myself.    Or into offices for meetings.   The idea of speaking to a group of people the following day was really making me ill.

I work from home, on my own and am almost at the point where I don’t want to go out anymore.

People don’t see that.   They see me and think I am bubbly, outgoing, confident.   It is easy to be those things in 140 characters on Twitter.  It is easy to tweet a celeb.    To organise things from behind a computer.    But in public, in front of people?  For me that is not so easy.

People know me because of Twitter and from Team Honk.  Not really from this blog.   It isn’t this blog that gets nominated for awards, and that is fine, I don’t have a problem with that.  My blog is not about that.    Team Honk was nominated and won this year and that makes me massively proud because it is a true recognition of the massive effort put in by hundreds of people.      It has raised my profile hugely and whilst I am grateful for that there is a point of me now that is struggling with who people think I am.

I can assure you I am not.   I am just me.

This post makes me sound like an arrogant tw*t and i am sorry about that but I had to get these thoughts out of my head because as I sit here at 7.45am at my kitchen table I am finding all this social media stuff hard right now.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Oh T.

    Do you know what? When I went to Britmums last year, I struggled too for similar reasons. I had people tweeting me saying they were desperate to meet me, exclaiming in the same way and my profile is no where near as high as yours. I was sat by myself on my phone at one point, in the same room as Spencer who was preparing his keynote (who was also sat alone) and he tweeted me several times to tell me to come up to him. It took about 5 tweets before I did.

    The first conference I went to I was sick nerves with nerves in much the same the way; my own husband wasn’t sure I was well enough to go and yet at the same time we both knew it was my anxiety. The ONLY reason I made it was because Sarah (Mum of Three World) and Emma (Crazy with Twins) were giving me a lift and I didn’t have their phone numbers to cancel.

    I think partly it is because it is just SO busy at Britmums anyway; last year I was sat on the table next to you for the BiBs and I kept telling myself that when you were alone I would then go up to you but with hindsight, I know that’s simply impossible at such a huge gathering.

    Am waffling. I am sorry you are struggling so much. I get it. xx

  • Fantastic honest post. You aren’t alone. People only see the surface which is only a part of you. There is also a lot more of everyone and people forget that. I think it was actually a compliment. They think you are so good that they think it’s difficult to come over and speal because they are in aw of you.

  • It’s a tricky one isn’t it, but one I am sure many bloggers relate too – the strong voice on the page is our ‘at home’ voice, that doesn’t mean we are necessarily that confident sounding woman when you meet us. I too was bullied at school, and it leaves it’s mark, for a long time I mostly hung out with men because my experience of school put me off big groups of women, I now love women, but something like BritMums is still a test – I am still waiting for someone to point out my flaws, or boot me out for not being very good at applying make up or curling my hair – but of course everyone I met was lovely and I was fine.

    I sort of understand the ‘recognition’ thing too, when I was in a vaguely successful band people would recognise us at festivals, or just in the bar after gigs, yet in reality I am very shy, so found it hard to continue to ‘perform’ when people I didn’t know came up to chat, thinking my boring self would disappoint them somehow – daft huh! I always worry I will come off as stand offish, but actually I am just shy.

    Whenever I glimpsed you across a crowded room you looked smiley and welcoming and totally approachable, I wish had found you for a hug, but it was just so busy I mostly missed people, unless they were in the naughty smokers gang with me…. 😉

    Oh and you are something special, we all are! Xx

    • I couldn’t say it any better than Sonya, so ditto!!
      The post doesn’t make you sound arrogant at all. The fact that you showed your vulnerability in it, takes the possible perceptions of arrogance out of it.
      I think you rock! Just like Sonya says above me… we all do!!
      x

  • You do not sound like an arrogant twat at all! You sound brave, brave to talk about your school experience, brave to talk about your insecurities. I was scared to talk to anyone, I literally spoke to people who I’d met previously or was introduced to by people I’d met previously, a lot of that stems from being bullied at school too.

  • This post, a thousand times. You’re still awesome, Lady Barrow, and there’s a bottle of rum and two (pint) glasses on a sunny balcony, with our name on it. But I sure as hell understood every word of your post.

    Muchos snogs, innit. x

  • T, I adore you and I love you and we haven’t even met but we have spoken on the phone and I like to think we are friends and will always be friends. Very honest post which made me admire you even more and I can’t wait for my hug!

    xx

  • I was following you through the crowd at one point and could hear whispers of ‘look, it’s Mummy Barrow’ and at first I thought isn’t that lovely! Then it kept happening. Everywhere you went, and I thought actually maybe that’s not so lovely. The pressure to live up to all those online perceptions in person must be enormous. Especially for someone who is really quite shy deep down.
    I guess the attention comes with the ‘fame’ and it’s the fame that helps raise thousands of pounds every year for charity, gets hashtags trending on twitter and raises so much awareness for brilliant causes. You/Team Honk are an inspiration to many, and I know you are all incredibly proud of how much you have achieved. The flip side of this is that people always expect you to be happy, offering virtual tea and cracking jokes… even when that is the last thing you are in the mood for. I have got to know you a lot more over this past year and know you to be one of the most inclusive, approachable, open, warm, honest people I have ever met. I’m not sure what the answer to changing people’s perceptions of you is lovely, maybe just tackle them one by one, one day at a time, just by continuing to be you xxxxx

  • I was quite surprised at this post because what I see is somebody who always does her best. I see somebody that constantly helps others, especially her family. I see no pretence. You’re OK, Ms. T. You’re a good’un.

  • You are Mummy Barrow. And you are T. I think if anyone is frightened to approach you, that says more about them than you.
    They obviously think anyone who is popular/high profile is going to be intimidating.
    Like you say, it’s perceptions – which aren’t always reality.
    After all the bullying you’ve endured, and all the hard work you’ve put in, I think you deserve the popularity you’ve got. It’s come out of you being yourself – supportive, outspoken when necessary, honest, loyal…. and I could go on and on.
    I haven’t met you – yet. But I hope to sometime.
    I don’t think you can stop being yourself, or reverse the popularity you have. People will always like/admire you. And if they bother getting to know you, they will realise you are a mum with the same worries/insecurities/issues as the rest of us.
    You can only carry on being you. But please don’t worry how others see you. Not everyone is going to get the right impression. Not unless they really know you.

  • I’m also struggling after BML, but for different reasons. I just didn’t come away inspired this year, I came away tired. I didn’t feel ‘part of it’ anymore and I can’t really put my finger on why.

    To me you always come across as bubbly, confident, very approachable and a genuinely lovely person. Try not to let this bother you too much, I get where you’re coming from, but I’ve found BML has a bit of a hangover effect, and it gets easier once the mist clears. xxxx

  • This post really resonated with me because for years and years my life has been crippled with serious anxiety. I dropped out of three degrees because I could not go to seminars; I could not stand outside lecture theatres and make small talk. I got into thousands of pounds of debt and almost had nothing to show for it (I only managed to complete the course through the Open University).

    When I was about 28, on the advice of a colleague (and to save my relationship going down the pan) I approached my GP and I was referred for some CBT which I must admit was very very insightful and helpful. But then I took a year off work when Gwenn was born. Being on maternity leave is like living in some kind of fantasy world. Hard work obviously, but it’s like a bubble. And then it bursts and real life starts up and I have found myself back at square one.

    However, every person I confide in about my anxiety and counselling is AMAZED. The perception of me, especially at work, is that I am uber-confident, totally at ease around strangers and in front of groups. This in turn amazes me as I can’t believe I’ve put on such a front for so many years. It actually concerns me; who even knows the real Beth?

    Anyway, I always feel the need to ramble when I connect very deeply with what somebody has written, so please forgive me!

    (And one of my friends was one of those people at BritMums who nearly didn’t speak to you but then limped over like a serf …)

    x

  • I love this post and that you are so honest. I see you in quite a different way T I see you as someone i can talk to privately and mull things over with when they dont seem quite right, not shy / not popular but someone pretty wise and thoughtful … think that’s you. But in order to raise a lot of money you do need a high profile and so i think the poularity bit is inevitable. But you make it clear you aren’t snooty and that’s great. Don’t you fret lovely.

  • T, in my somewhat erm, over emotional state, this post is making my eyes leak. Nerves cripple me and as you well know, I switch myself to public/professional mode as necessary. You have done amazing things in the last 2 years and you got a mention from Emma Freud and Katy Hill which in many eyes puts you ‘up there’ (wherever ‘up there’ is) and you deserve some, ok, buckets of love and recognition for that.

    My first experience of Britmums was in 2012 and nominated for an award I came for the ceremony. Not one person on my table spoke to me, not one, and that really cemented in me the fact that as an unknown I wasn’t deemed worthy. If others have had that experience I suspect that is why they become scared to approach those who they see as successful. The rudeness (or insecurities) of others affecting those on the receiving end…

    Please, keep being you, please x

  • You don’t sound like an arrogant tw*t at all. In fact I very much understand where you are coming from with this. My blog gives me a voice and a confidence that I just don’t have in the real world sadly. Sending lots of love x

  • Oh such a difficult one, I for one hate being ignored, being the one who sits in the corner because I feel not good enough for some, being ignored makes me feel like I have done or something but on the other hand it must be so hard being a ‘celeb’ in the blogging world when all you want is the corner chair I have, people need to find the balance of the way we are with others x

  • You ARE awesome and I hope that those girls from school look on now in awe of everything you have achieved. Everyone always tells me how confident I am but I am not. Its all a charade. Perception is a powerful thing, whichever way you look at it.

    I don’t know what the answer to this is …. I am not sure there is one.

    I kind of agree with Emma that BML leaves you with a bit of a hangover, a come down, the post wedding blues. “Mummy Barrow” is the place we come for advice, for honesty, a place to rant, to share, to laugh, to cry. T, I would say that that will always make you popular. Its not a bad thing xxx

  • I think it’s also that events like that are totally overwhelming! To the point that, when I walked in on Friday, I promptly walked straight out again and went and found a quiet cafe to have a sandwich and coffee and prepare myself! Sorry you feel like this beauty – but just stay your gorgeous approachable you and people will get the message! xx

  • This post does not make you sound arrogant at all T, it makes you sound like the rest of us – nervous, intimidated and socially awkward at times! I think because your name is mentioned so often from the front, people feel that you’re unapproachable. I know that not to be true and spent the weekend telling people that you’re normally – you even spent a morning eating bacon butties in my kitchen! I am so pleased that you’ve set up the ‘local blogging group’ – that just shows that you’re not ‘above all this’ or too arrogant to speak to us ‘minions! It was important to write this, people will remember that from now on. x x

  • My first Britmums experience passed in a blur or feeling overwhelmed, out of place and terrified. You don’t sound like an arrogant twat at all – you sound brave and honest.
    I find it easy to be a bubbly, confident person behind the Twitter or blog screen, but in reality that’s not me at all.

  • Brilliant post. And I’ve been thinking of writing a similar post. I am so glad (in a way – but sad in another way as I may have contributed to you feeling down about this whole thing) that I told you how I felt and that you helped me see that I was completely wrong!!!! I’ve made a vow to leave my judgements behind from now on!!! I’ll try anyway. And every now and then give myself a kick!

  • I love how honest your being I this post. I have to admit I sat the table behind you during one session on Saturday morning. I really wish I had been able to come and say hi but wasn’t able to bring myself too. Not because I didn’t want to because I so did but by this time my confidence was slipping and my shyness reappearing. Like you I struggled with school due to bullying and although worked hard to come out the other side this last year has seen me retreat back into my shyness thanks to some bullying.
    Last years BML I had E with me and rightly or wrongly I his behind her, I knew I had to attend this year without her and struggled with that somewhat but am proud I managed it to a point. Yes I said hi to lots of people but was happy doing my thing and trying to concentrate on learning from sessions. I’m really sorry I didn’t come and say hi to you and others now.

  • This post really resonated with me too, as I was an outsider at school, and I find meeting people difficult too (even being a Britmums Butterfly made me feel very nervous this year). And I love what Sonya said about the ‘strong blogging voice’ but in reality, we all have our insecurities, just people with our own stuff , but unfortunately it’s easy to forget that. I always love what you have to say, you always come across as very wise and intelligent, and I’m very glad I got to say hi, if only briefly, at Britmums Live. X

  • You do not come across as arrogant only honest. I love talking to you in person [and online], even if it was only briefly this time. I would never have guessed you were nervous as you seem very sure of yourself. I admire you for the work you do with team honk and I love to read your blog. I will always come up and say hello.

  • To be honest, newbies like me who are not used to blogging conferences find the whole thing intimidating. And we just assume that it’s easy and comfortable for you more established bloggers. I did see you and Mamasaurus at Britmums, but I didn’t go up to you as I felt like you might think it strange that some random American was talking to you. But that is obviously more my hang-up. I don’t think we see you as part of the popular mean girl clique, but rather the women who have taken their blogging to another level with their charity work. You are inspirational and aspirational, like it or not, even if you are just T. Next conference, I’m coming over and we’re having a cuddle and a gin!

  • I was one of those people who tweeted you after saying I hadn’t said hi for that very reason. If I’d read this before I’d have totally gone over and introduced myself.
    You’re always mentioned when people talk about their favourite bloggers, you’ve worked so hard for charity and you always seem (from afar) to be uber confident. It’s easy to forget that just because someone comes across this way, it’s not necessarily the truth.
    I’m sorry I didn’t come and say hello, next time we’re in the same place prepare yourself, because I will definitely come and bother you 😉 xx

  • Oh goodness how this rings true! Conferences are such hard work and I’m not at all sure I will be attending one again for many of the reasons you have written here. I took myself off for a very long walk in the sunshine after my session on Saturday and then left on a much earlier train than I had intended, desperate to get home to my family. I love that blogging gives us such an incredible platform but I too am not keen on some of the stuff which comes with it.

  • I didn’t get to go this year even though I had my ticket, my pregnancy consultant banned me, and so I have no idea what it was like for you. My blog is tiny and just a family record and so I can’t imagine how you feel being so easily identifiable. I was a lawyer and now a teacher as I have children, and despite having to stand up and talk all day every day, I still am socially awkward, shy and just smile a lot as my front. I have to say that because of this, I don’t approach other bloggers, even on social media, especially when I recognise their name as what I perceive as a high ranking blog (particularly the TOTS100 ranking), but that’s ME, and my issues, and my lack of self confidence, my feelings of inadequacy (from school like you). I can only imagine how it feels to hear your name whispered amongst grown women since it’s peculiar enough when it happens in supermarkets as I’m stalked by children I’ve taught. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy your time there and you certainly don’t sound arrogant.

  • Massive hugs to you. This post hit home in so many ways. The bullying at school. The difficulty in public speaking. But also how much of a struggle it is to leave the house and do new things, in public, alone. For me it’s because I’m scared what people will think. What they’ll whisper about me behind my back. In reality they will probably be oblivious to me but this paranoia was brought on by bullying at school. It’s so hard. You are a strong lady. Not a twat. Kind, caring and considerate of others and for that I think you are amazing xx

  • Oh Lovely, I want to come and give you a big hug again! This is how I perceive you – I see you as confident, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. You have a massive heart and will do anything to help out a friend in need. You also say it as it is – a trait I really admire in people. From the first time we met you have never made me feel inferior, or as if I am not good enough. I feel bad for the people who didn’t come and say hello to you, but maybe this post will encourage them to next time – you are certainly approachable! Much love xx

  • A really honest post, thank you for sharing…all I know is that you came up to me at Marco PW last year, and I remember saying to you about the BiB on social media you’d won at BML earlier in the year, and you said something along the lines of “I’m just me” and then bought me a coffee and had a chat – I still owe you a coffee woman!

    The blogosphere is a weird one – it can seem cliquey to some, or to some that everyone knows everyone, but we’re all just people…women, men, mums, dads…fat, thin, tall, short…blogging for 1 month, 1 year, 5 years, a thousand followers or just 5… we’re all just people.

    I don’t know what I’m trying to say here really, but in the brief moments I’ve met you, and seen you on stage talking about Team Honk or something else, I have admiration for what you do.

    Chin up and have a gin hun, because they’re the tweets that make you real xx

  • Oh darling you don’t sound at all arrogant. Not a bit of it.

    I think events like Britmums can be overwhelming no matter who you are and how long you’ve blogged. I have to admit to being in awe of the work Team Honk has done, and am thankful that through it I discovered yours and Annie’s blogs.
    I can understand the feeling though of people saying they were too scared to approach you, as I had that a few years back- in the sense that people who did come over would close with “it was lovely to meet you and you’re not at all like I thought, you’re actually really nice/lovely/not hot headed/a nutjob. It made me feel awful! But it is what it is, people who blog I feel perhaps have something within them that makes them shy and we’re all OK with our PCs or laptops in front of us, but get us all together in a room and its a recipe for all the insecurities we’ve ever had to bubble over. I am still shit scared when I go (hence the pre-meet ups that I do), and its something we all need to address.
    I will always come say hi to you as T, in the way I used to beg people to call me Claire and not by my blog name. I am gutted you feel how you do.

  • It is a funny old thing, isn’t it. And you don’t sound arrogant. You know what, I am used to going to conferences in my paid full time job. I go to loads of them. Full of lawyers. Mostly men. And I found Britmums way more intimidating than any other conference I’ve ever been to.

    I found it really hard to talk to anyone I didn’t know before – I did see you and I didn’t say hello because (a) you probably don’t know who I am and (b) I didn’t think you, or anyone, would want to keep being bothered by people. It wasn’t just you, it was lots of people. Also, I wasn’t quite sure who people were – especially as I had to miss the BIBs and go back to the office – and there’s nothing more awkward than having to try and introduce yourself whilst frantically trying to place someone else’s face/Twitter handle.

    Perhaps it is because we know people online that it’s hard to connect offline unless you really know them. Perhaps much easier at a conference full of people where you just connect in the room – you don’t necessarily know anything about them prior to the occasion?

    I found a lot of great things at Britmums, but I did find the social aspect the most tricky. I wanted to meet people but also found the mix of people of who all knew each other intimidating. We each have our own insecurities and I guess mine is that I felt like an outsider – a blog, which is good but not amazing. Not up for any awards. Not really known by many people. Hard that everyone was tweeting the whole time; it seemed to up the pressure so much. As I walked down the road on the Saturday morning I actually thought how much it reminded me of school – that self imposed pressure.

    Anyway, next time I will be sure to say hello.

  • Oh dear, this exactly how I reacted and I’m so sorry. You are an icon to me, what you’ve done is inspiraring and, well, bloody AWESOME. I just needed to say hello and give you a hug, I cried and you cried and I’m sorry. But I do love you, I’m sorry if I made you embarrassed. Xx

  • That’s such a shame people missed out an having a good chinwag with you. I’ve always found you super lovely and would have definitely had a drink with you. I always think people work the conferences up more than needed. We all talk to each other everyday… why should it be different in person? We are all individuals, yes we blog but we are people who have feelings. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it to it’s fullest 🙁 xx

  • I totally get where you’re coming from.I had people throw themselves at me in awe and some tweeted later saying they weren’t brave enough to come over to talk to me, people I’ve been wanting to meet for years.If only they knew they anxiety I went through over the last few months, they would probably thought I was more approachable.Love you lots Lady T, for who you are and not who people think you are.

  • What an honest, thought provoking post, thank you. I think that every single person in the room had their own doubts and worries and that so many of us have taken to blogging because they have something to say, feel or prove that we just don’t have the ability to do in the ‘real world’. I think that you have been so brave to say this, bare your soul and show that you are a mum, wife, friend and blogger like the rest of us. Thank you x

  • Oh T.

    I’ve met you, hugged you and said thanks for kind things you did last year, you’re an awesome woman and above all approachable. It’s sad to hear that people think that you’re not because Of the things you and others have done.
    You’ve not done done this to big yourself up you’ve done it because you could and many have and will continue to love you and cherish the amazing actions you and all the Honkers have done.

    T. We at Imwellconfused love you for who you are. (Mr B. I’ve not met you but hear you’re lovely too)

    Much love,

    Paul and the madhouse.

  • Sorry you feel/have felt like this T. I hate to think of anyone being uncomfortable to the point of it all being unbearable. I often get the ‘You’re so intimidating, I didn’t dare say hello’ thing – it’s heartbreaking. I like to think I’m a sweet, nice, approachable person so to hear that from strangers makes me feel I’m projecting some awful persona of a woman I’m not. So I get how that might make you feel too. Any consolation, I ‘just’ see you as T – a warm, intelligent, and very funny woman. That’s ‘all.’ x

  • You are brave and honest. And I admire you immensely. Never, ever thought you were arrogant and I’m desperately sad to read you were treated so badly. If we could eradicate bullying, how much better the world would be. Sending you virtual hugs and love. xx

  • Hi
    I read your post the day before Britmums where you had said come and say hello as you were naturally shy (from getting bullied at school – the bastards). So when we fell naturally side by side on the stairs on the way up to the awards I did just that and you were lovely and friendly. I can see how you must have been a bit overwhelmed though. Congrats on the awards xxx

    • thank you for the congrats. And thank you for talking to me on the stairs. That is exactly how Katy Hill became of my best friends. I did the same thing to her two years ago. Good place to meet, those stairs, but damn my legs ached on Sunday!

  • Oh T, I can imagine how much pressure you feel going into a room of people and everyone’s looking at you because you’ve been part of this massive thing that is Team Honk. It would make me sick with nerves too.

    Luckily, I know what a warm-hearted, caring and wonderful person you are. Okay, you might have this big presence in the blogging world, but I know you are just T. The woman who gives the best hugs in the world and the one who sometimes struggles just like the rest of us!

  • The trouble is that in other areas of media celebs are just that, and largely have set out to become famous. So people feel they are unable/not worthy/to shy to talk to them. It saddens and interests me that so many bloggers have a background of being bullied and unpopular. I was the geeky kid with rabbit teeth and the wrong shoes and school skirt. My bubbly talkativeness which people take as confidence is in fact nerves.
    I am guilty of joining the hype – I was delighted when you “talked” to me on twitter. You made me feel important. It doesn’t matter to me that you don’t consider yourself any different – the point is you DID do Team Honk, and you do have a large and loyal following, and I’m guessing that’s mainly because you are a nice person despite your fears. So maybe take that from this. By being the “famous” blogger who really does just want to be one of “us” (whatever “us” is in the wildly individual world of blogging) you are giving people confidence, validating them, making them happy. OK so maybe wrongly but you are – and I hope one day to be able to get to know you properly and be able to describe you not as top blogger mummy barrow but as “my friend T.”

    • oh please call me that now! I cheered as you took to the stage for your Keynote. And admired how you were sane whilst being a great mum to seven children. And how polished. I can barely cope with three independent teens (one of home now has her own home!).

  • I loved my squishy hug from you T!

    I do feel for you, but mostly I just think that those people are total twats. I mean, you’re awesome and all that, but you ain’t Brad Pit. ;0)

    Haha!!

  • I think you came across as very approachable, but I think an awful lot of bloggers spend a lot of time on their own with their computers, which means they are also sick with nerves at events like these. And it often means they won’t go up to anyone and say hi, and often just stick with one or two others who they know well. Your session was excellent, you are an incredible person on and offline and this is a fab, honest post. I’m just sorry you felt this way xx

  • I’ve had this too, and whilst I’m ok in myself with it, it makes me feel sad for the people who felt they couldn’t approach me, who fall over themselves in shock when I comment on their blogs or tweet them. Because I used to be that blogger, we all did, and it sucks. But the reason people feel that way is because someone, somewhere along the line, has been rude to them, and dismissive. And they then haven’t felt like standing up for themselves. I inadvertently ignored Pinkoddy once, and she called me on it. I was so glad she did, because usually it’s just about someone being distracted. I was dismayed to hear on a couple of posts that some new bloggers were studiously ignored after they introduced themselves this weekend, because it’s this kind of behaviour that perpetuates the culture of fear of perceived ‘royalty.’ And it’s disrespectful. And as I’ve said on my own blog this week, women especially will get nowhere if we don’t call people on this type of behaviour and stop it.

    I am not nothing, I am something, and so are you. And so is everyone else, including the blogger who has only just begun. Ladies who feel nervous, remember that, and be brave – I’ve said this before: if you’re met with a rude reaction then that person is not worth knowing.

    Rant over – can you tell I’m a little hot under the collar about it all at the moment? 😉

    Oh, love you btw T x

  • I think a lot of people feel like this. I would have been to frightened to say hi, but mainly because I would fear that you had not heard of me and I would be interrupting you from speaking to someone you did know. Infact I said hi to a few people from last year who clearly couldn’t remember meeting me and that is kind of awkward for someone who is essentially very shy. And as for parking somewhere I don’t know – fills me with absolute dread and makes me ill too xx

  • Better now?

    Hoppers prescribes a v large G&T,ice and slice, jump into the hot tub and shout at the top of your voice – “I don’t give two hoots*” about you all!!!!

    ** This expletive can be personalised should you so desire.

    Don’t take this too much to heart. I remember a day when you spoke to a large audience here in Cheshire and made me feel very humble and at the same time very proud of you. You’ll do for me. xx

  • You are, it seems, stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I sympathise.

    I had a similar situation at uni where I was in all the plays and well-known but also very shy. I got voted the most arrogant person in college at the end of year ‘awards’ which crushed me. Basically, people mistook my shyness for arrogance; they didn’t bother to get to know me or speak to me, just judged me. Wrongly. Equally, has I not been shy and gone about lauding it, I would be seen badly too. No win situation.

    So, not quite the same, but I understand how you feel and all I can say is know that people admire you and all the attention is positive. Yes, you are famous in the blogging world, but that’s just one of those things. I find it difficult to speak to strangers anyway and at. Britmums I think it is PERCEIVED that everyone knows each other and are in ‘groups’ but really that is not true and comes from our own, understandable, insecurities.

    I’m waffling and quoting random anecdotes so I’ll shut up now. But next time I see you I shall come say hi (we’ve only ever met very briefly last year).

    Blogfest?

    Sarah x

  • I’m sorry I didn’t come and say hello but it was not because I think you are unapproachable – far from it. Britmums passed for me in a blur of morning sickness this time I’m afraid, and although I generally had a good time I came away feeling that there were so many people I would have liked to chat to and I really didn’t try hard enough. I know you are friendly and easy to talk to and it was a pleasure to meet you at the skydive last year. So next time our paths cross I’ll get off my bum and make more of an effort! And this post does not make you sound arrogant, but lovely and down-to-earth. I get the anxiety thing too and I think you are very brave for speaking in front of so many people. You made me laugh when you said, after speaking out against scheduled tweets (I hate them too!) that maybe you should schedule your 6.30am kettle on tweet and have a lie in. Bit of a had to be there moment perhaps and hard to explain why it was quite so funny but I thought it was perfect comic timing. I can’t remember what anyone else said but I remember that!

  • You’ll always be my sweet potato . . . *cackles at own lame joke*
    This blogging lark eh? We all go through phases and the longer you stay around the more phases you have to battle your way through.
    I remember Cosmicgirlie and I hiding in the ladies loos at the first ever conference back when it was Brit Mums. Maybe you should try that out next time *wink*

  • I remember the first time I met you last year and rather than feeling nervous or scared of you or OMFG IT’S BARROW, I suddenly felt my shoulders drop with relief because there was someone with me who “gets it”. You’re an amazing woman, put all the awards, Team Honk and the butternut squash aside, because you are simply you.

    I got the tweets too. The pressure to seek people out who you’ve never met so they don’t think you’re full of your own self-importance is so hard to live up to.

    Love you T, never ever change a thing x

  • T, I completely identify with that nervousness and fear. I think this is the first year I haven’t had the feeling of “I hope it’s over soon” from Friday morning because I feel so overwhelmed, nervous and worried. I think it’s probably surprising to people to hear that you are nervous and not as bubbly and confident as you appear. Thanks for such an honest post.

  • Totally feel where you’re coming from. There were people who I’ve met before, whom I gravitated to, knowing they ‘knew ME’ and there were others who I should have said hello to but nerves got the better of me, which says a lot as I’m very confident in my own skin, yet I thought they’d probably be like ‘who are you?” and not want to talk. Which is silly, surely if I talk to these people on Twitter / their blogs/ Facebook, they can’t be dicks in real life?

    I think having such a large group of people around us is more intimidating than we think and transports the majority of us back to bad days in the school playground. Really sorry you felt this way. If it’s any comfort I can count on my fingers AND toes, the amount of women who’ve expressed the same feelings to me since Saturday!
    We are all people, not our blog names and not a Twitter avatar!
    sending you hugs. Apologies for the mahooosive comment! x

  • I said hello. I will admit to being slightly intimidated last year. Not by you but by the whole wow it’s Britmums live and wow look it’s my favourite blogger over there.. Etc etc. I didn’t really talk to that many people and still came away with a fabulous friend in Franglaise Mummy so I’m thankful I went. This year I was more nervous ( how is that possible?) but I had the baby as a comfort blanket and luckily people stopped to talk to her and I found it a more natural way to introduce myself. I’m glad I said hello as I think what you have done for
    Team Honk amazing and to me you just seemed nice. I noticed you sat in same area and knew it was for the plug socket ( I’m the same) and thank you again for keeping me a seat. You are lovely and a sweetheart and although I didn’t get a hug ( poor me) I’m very happy we met. I think the problem with us bloggers is that so much of our life is out there and public yet a lot of us are shy or anxious or both. Many parts of this weekend were not for me but for the people I met I’m glad I went. Mwah x

  • T I totally get where you are coming from, I was bullied also at school to the point of being beaten up. It was the worst period of my life which I have blocked out and like you I have no friends from school now. I have had people who have tried to add me on FB etc, but they were the bullies and god only knows why on earth they would think I would want to be their “friends” now.

    But thankfully for me, it made me stronger. I don’t take any s**t now from anyone. I upsets me to think that your bullies have still affected you so strongly after so many years. I look up to you and your friends, you all inspire me to be a better blogger and I’m pretty sure those people you talk about feel just the same. You should feel very proud of your blog and also WHO YOU ARE!

    I came up to you to say hi because I loved your dress and you suggested I “come say hi” if I saw you. So I did and you were lovely and gave me a warm hug. Maybe the people you talk about are just shy, because no one can ever think your a t**t, you’re too lovely for that!

    Stand proud of what you have achieved and show those bullies that you are strong. You don’t deserve to cower in the shadow of your past, you are an amazing woman who inspires many! Don’t ever forget that!

  • Goodness such an honest post and sorry to hear that you feel like this. It resonates a lot with me and am often completely overwhelmed at conferences like this and tend to keep to myself a lot. I didn’t make it to Britmums this year but hope that I may feel more confident next year and go. If I do I will definitely try and say hi. In a way I think this posts will make folks love you even more for just being human…and you don’t sound arrogant. x

  • Hey T,

    Having had an evening with you by myself (post Honkopoly) does this mean I’ve been touched by your magic ?

    Seriously though, it’s difficult being around people you don’t really know. I still don’t feel like part of the ‘gang’ and I’ve met some bloggers many times.

    For a few of us childhood experience has left us wary of groups of women for fear of judgement or exclusion. It’s a work in progress for me too.

    I got a few T hugs – that means I’m in the (not really a gang at all) gang doesn’t it ?

    S xxxx

  • I’ll admit it – I walked past on the way to the loo and you gave me a huge friendly smile and shouted ‘hiya’ and I smiled and said ‘hiya’ back – then thought ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe she recognised me, little old me, wow’. Then I thought to myself, ‘don’t be stupid, she’s just a person’ – so I stopped and chatted on the way back and it was clear from what you said that you were struggling a bit. I think it must be very hard to be a figurehead for something so huge as Team Honk, to be recognised by everyone, but they’re all too scared to talk to you. After what you said to me I came home and told my 5 year old that we’d all won an award because Daddy had cycled and we’d passed the baton, and he was proud. I hope in future you won’t be scared to talk to people, and I promise I won’t ever be scared to talk to you 🙂 x

  • You know what? This post makes me sad!!

    Not because I do not understand what you are saying – I truly do – but because of how little credit you give yourself. When I read this post I am reminded of a beautiful book I once read (and cannot wait to read to O) called The Brothers Lionheart. I won’t go into too many details, but basically both brothers die in the first chapter and the rest of the book is about their adventures in the “next world”. The youngest brother had been terribly ill in life and his brother had always looked after him to the point where even though he now had full health he didn’t see himself in the same way he saw his brother. They fight a battle in this “next world” and the youngest brother thinks he is letting his brother down by being scared… when what he is actually doing is being so incredibly brave to stand by his brother DESPITE that fear. Courage is not an absence of fear, but it is overcoming that fear in whatever way you can to do something you do not find easy. That is what you did at the weekend… you fought your way through the fear and whilst it came with you, you were brave enough to keep going. And that needs recognising!!

    Like you, I get sick when I am stressed. You wouldn’t believe how ill I have been this past year between getting the book finished and my charity work and I struggled to eat out with friends Saturday night and found myself up until midnight with my stomach churning. And that’s from someone who loves socialising and didn’t have to speak publicly!! So to do what you do and to speak so amazingly on Saturday (your session was hugely inspiring for the HG group sat at the back of the room discussing how we could collaborate together!) was an incredible feat – please do not overlook that.

    All this being said, I can completely understand why you found it all so hard and how much courage it must have taken to write this post. We all have our doubts (I spoke to one of my favourite bloggers I have followed for years and spent a long time afterwards wondering if she was just being polite!) and a lot of it does go back to our formative years. I was never really bullied thankfully, but I was painfully shy and even hid behind my dad at registration to university. Socialising didn’t come easy to me, but over the years it became much more natural to me, however it took me a long time to match up my online voice to who I am in public (or rather for who I am in public to catch up with the confidence in my voice I had online).

    Sorry, this is a mega long comment, but I just felt like I wanted to leave you a message to say I am really sorry this is how you have felt after this past weekend and that I hope that something in here (and all the comments left above) will help in some way. I am sorry I only managed to have one very short “hi” in the courtyard when I first got there to show you my garland, I’d have loved to chat more – but for me it really was a case of the weekend flying by too fast than not feeling you were approachable. And I didn’t even want to talk to you just because you were Mummy Barrow… I wanted to talk to EVERYONE 🙂 xx

  • Great post and a very honest post. I was scared at going to Britmums this year because it was the first time I was in a wheel-chair and I wasn’t sure how people would take me.
    I did get the normal I can’t see you reaction from some but most took the time to talk me. I have never laughed so much than this weekend I enjoyed it .

  • Wow – taken me a while to get through the comments! I think this is testament to how brilliant you are! You sound like a lovely person and I really wish I had come over to say hello – and I am with Californianmum. I too am a newbie and it’s more that this events are overwhelming to say the least! Everyone you have been reading/tweeting/chatting to in one room – it scary for us first timers. This is nothing to do with you being clique/unapproachable more our nerves. I saw mamasaurus and she walked past me and I just spoke without thinking to much and she was lovely! I was a little in awe as I would of been had I walked past you and had the opportunity to say hello. This is because we think your an inspiration to us newbies.

    I almost left on Friday afternoon due to feeling a little left out – bit I hung in there and continued to try and be myself it was hard but it made me stop and think we are all here for the same reasons. To learn to make friends. I left on Saturday feeling I had achieved that – but no matter what blogging stage your at I think it takes courage to walk into a more of mostly strangers and not feel scared.

    I love your honesty and this post. It has given me the courage to say hello to any blogger – new or old hand. Because at the end of the day being supportive of one another is what being part of this mummy blogging group is all about!

  • Last year I didn’t approach you because I found the WHOLE thing overwhelming. But when I met you at the sky dive I knew straight away that you were a lovely, kind and generous person. I still think that! But there are some people (bloggers included) who are not and sometimes the written word online does not do us all justice. Its so hard to know what a person is like when all you see is a two dimensional perception of them. That said, I do not find large crowds much fun and being at Brit Mums is so huge that I tend to not speak to many people at all. I really wouldn’t worry though. Those who know you know you.
    x x

  • Huge hug T… I don’t think you come across as arrogant, unapproachable or too big for your boots or whatever, you seem to be really down to earth and popular, and that’s not a bad thing. I am just sorry I didn’t get time to have a proper chat, I spent half my time preparing for my session (which was especially funny when Trish knocked a big glass of water over, and the v. gentlemanly Simon cleared it up for her!)… xx

  • I don’t think it makes you sound like a twat, I think this post makes you sound normal. Human. I was never particularly popular at school, with the girls anyway (not meaning I was with the boys but they didn’t mind as much) because I always had the confidence to speak my mind – and still do and they didn’t like that). (the only comment that hurt on the post of mine you commented on was that I might be ‘against women’ – i’m just irritated by people that irritate me and will say so regardless of if they have a willy or not). We don’t, as a sex, we like to blend into crowds and only do what our friends do even if we’re (metaphorically speaking here) confident and bolshy. I never bought into that and I’d speak to anyone. I didn’t speak to you because I don’t know you so had nothing to say really. I obviously admire what you’ve done with your blog and would like to be as successful but I didn’t have a massive reason to speak so I didn’t. I admire what you have all done with Team Honk massively so perhaps I should have done and said that? I think there are three ways to come out of bullying, 1) to crumble (not great) 2) to rise above it and do brilliantly whether it ‘shows’ them or not and 3) to think fuck Em and get on with it (my way). I came out of school having a smattering of bullying in an intense schooling that few would understand (drama school full time from age 12) and just think sod you all, I am me and I will be no matter who thinks what of me. You spoke wonderfully and actually something you said was the only decent thing J got for my ticket with regards to blogging help. Be proud of who you are. You are a mother. Who has made something of herself in a field she is talented in. I think that is definitely one in the eye for the bullies and take from that a sense of pride. I would say don’t be quick to accuse someone of bullying because they don’t like something just because that is what you’re used to but other than that loving your work lady! X

    • Thanks for taking the time to come over and comment. I guess yesterday I was feeling a bit raw and very defensive, and well, I apologise. I didnt meant to imply that you were against women. I didnt mean you personally, I hvae no reason to suggest that. I meant women in general at times.

      But thank you for your measured and insightful comment. I really do appreciate it.

  • Hi T,

    Perception is a funny thing and it works both ways. By that I mean you have a perception about yourself of how others view you. Whilst I understand your feelings and how they have come about it is worth reflecting on how others feel too.

    I think on the whole people admire what you have done/ said, because you have taken the time to stand up and have your say from where you feel comfortable despite it being from behind a laptop. This in my belief encourages others to have a voice too and those that came up to you at britmums just wanted to connect and feel that they too could be heard.

    The way people develop is by connecting to people they believe they can learn something from and on the whole better themselves, we all do that in all walks of life. So please do not think that those that came to or not talk to you think in the way you perceive. They are merely looking to grow themselves.

    If you feel happiest from behind a laptop, then keep up the good work from there.

    Much love
    xx

  • I’m sorry that I didn’t get the chance to talk to you at the weekend, I only saw you properly near the end and I had to rush for my train! I generally find Britmums quite terrifying (although I did really enjoy it) and find it very difficult to go up to anyone that I’ve not met before because I don’t expect them to know who I am and I don’t want them to be embarrassed. You are such a lovely person, and thanks for sharing such an honest post

  • T, when I met you at Blogfest in the Blogging clinic (or whatever it was called), you couldn’t have been more down-to-earth. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the chat I had with you was one of the things that made the conference so special for me. And it wasn’t because of any magical superstar status that you have. It was because what you said was helpful, made sense, and you came across as a genuinely nice person.

    Perhaps that’s why people came over to say hello, and told you they felt they needed to do that? I hope so, at least!

    Now that I’ve had that one-to-one with you, I’d always come over and say hi. But I have to admit that, before I met you properly, I’d have been one of the people who’d have wanted to say hello, but would have been too scared to do so. Not because you’re scary or too famous or anything, but because (like a lot of bloggers) I’m shy. And it’s not just you – there are tons of other people I’d be nervous of approaching.

    I don’t think you should give up on these conferences, though. I’ll bet tons of people will come to say hello after reading this! I hope you’re feeling a bit better after having posted it. xxx

  • T, I love you – you are an amazing person who gives such wonderful advice and equally impressive hugs. Last year at BritMums you made me feel so welcome when I thought I was walking into an abyss of the unknown. Everyone needs a bit of Mummy Barrow in their life xx

  • i am so sorry you took away this from BML – i hope that with a bit of time things will calm down for you and you will not dwell on it as much.
    i have met you twice now and you are so approachable and lovely – i guess these bloggers being in awe of you is meant in a complimentary way but i can see how it must freak you out too
    Sending you (hugs) and hoping i will get to meet you again real soon x x

  • I don’t think you’re arrogant at all in fact the absolute opposite. This took guts to write. I only approached a handful of people at Britmums as I’m a pretty shy person and it was all a bit daunting. I hope our paths cross in the future so I can say hi. xx

  • I loved how easy it felt to come and give you a hug, one I had been looking forward to – it felt so warm and right and lucky that Team Honk had connected us. And also I found it hard in some ways this year. I met lots of lovely people, but I only had a few longer deeper conversations (partly because I was really saving my energy for my Saturday session after a hectic week, but your post also makes me wonder if maybe partly I was avoiding these because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by not being as they hoped…?) As someone who thrives on those longer conversations, not delving into them felt a little strange.

    I was also REALLY nervous about hosting my session, and worried that it wouldn’t live up to others’ perceptions of me. I was actually still worried about it after I’d done it, feeling that it hadn’t been what people wanted – and it took a good few conversations with others to give me a sense that it had probably been OK. It might even have been good. Oh confidence, it is a fickle thing. And bullies, yes, I hear you on that. All I know is that those horrible experiences make us the kind and warm people that we are, people who bring others together (which you DO) – and I absolutely understand how important being that – and not the other type of person – is to you. Love love love x

  • I remember meeting you two years ago at Choccywoccydoodah and I was completely new to blogging and hadn’t even read your blog. You were lovely to a complete novice blogger like me and even now I’d happily come over and say hi to you. I am the most anxious person I know and am terrified of making conversation. I didn’t make it to Britmums this year but I worry that if I went I’d just sit in the corner too scared to speak to anyone. It’s important to remember that everyone is probably feeling the same way.

  • Oh sorry I never thought – you will have to apologise to Bruce for me because I was so excited to meet him that I never even gave you chance to introduce who he was!

    You definitely do not think you are someone superior and if anyone is frightened to speak to you then the problem lies with them and not you. x

  • So sorry to read this and that you feel like this. I think the problem for many bloggers is that they are nervous people generally, so they often feel nervous about approaching anyone, let alone someone they perceive to be a ‘big’ blogger. The first time at Britmums can be overwhelming for a relatively new blogger, so they’re feeling nervous and you’re feeling sad that people will talk about you and won’t approach you. It’s a difficult situation.
    I’m sorry I didn’t get to say hello this time btw, our paths literally never crossed. I always seemed to be last into the room and sat at a table at the back miles away from the action.

  • Hi,
    I didn’t go to BML. I haven’t been blogging long. I have no idea about you or Team Honk, and I will go and do some research. BUT your post above resonates with me on a variety of levels. I too used to work from home and in the end it did for me. I had to stop. I couldn’t not meet or be around people. Not that I had stuff to say, I just needed company.
    I hate busy, crowded places. Always have. I will go to those sort of places and will generally tuck myself out of the way and people watch. BML sounds like my idea of hell, but in a heavenly sort of way. Lots of people to watch, although I am rubbish at names and faces so wouldn’t recognise anyone probably anyway! I would probably work out what I wanted to attend and just go and do that and not network at all!
    In my younger years I was a Scout Leader. I used to go to events that sound similar to this, and although Scouters are generally a fairly friendly bunch, it is hard when you don’t know anyone to go up and start a conversation with them, or perhaps you may have met online in a forum or something. How do you start it? I used to wear a badge with my Scout name on and the tag line – say hello to me, I am shy! Funnily enough it seemed to work reasonably well.
    As children we are taught to mind our manners, speak when spoken too, don’t interrupt a conversation, don’t speak to strangers etc. and a lot of this carries through into our adult selves.
    We are all guilty of being reticent at times.
    I hope that if I were to sit next to you or near to you at a function I would say hello, but if you were talking or looked engrossed in something else, I wouldn’t dream of it for fear of appearing rude.
    I hope you feel better in yourself soon. You have a fab blog, and I am looking forward to reading more.
    By the way, I can’t parallel park a car to save my life and every time I try, I feel sick!

  • I feel really sad reading this. I wish I’d have come over and spoken to you. I knew who you were from Twitter and Team Honk, but rather than coming over and saying hello and introducing myself, I chose not to and I’m sorry for that. I was bullied too at school- throughout school and it makes me very reluctant to put myself out there and go up to people I don’t know. Especially someone like you who I have admired from a distance for a while.

    When you meet someone in real life who you’ve admired online for some time, when you see them in real life, it does throw you and you forget that they are a normal person! I think its really difficult to sound genuine when you only have say 10 seconds to say something to someone you don’t know but admire. I saw you a couple of times when it looked like you were on your way somewhere and I was wracking my brain trying to think of something to say, something engaging, interesting or funny maybe, but I drew a blank. I went up to a couple of people I didn’t know, but found it really cringy and was worried I sounded like a gushing groupie or some sort of stalker even, when I said I liked their blog. You see I knew who they were but they wouldn’t have know who I was as we’d never spoken- it would have been the same with you. (You’re also friends with Davina McCall who is my absolute idol, so you’re like the coolest of the cool too 😉 )

    I wish there had been more time and less people. If I see you again at a smaller event (or at any event) I will make sure I speak to you or at least say hello and smile.

    Please don’t take it personally that people didn’t talk to you. I think that it says more about them than it does you and you don’t need to change a thing about who you are.

  • I’ve not spoken to you before but you definitely come across as a confident person when I see you; maybe that’s because you’re quite often with others who are so that can cover it up. I know that I’m quite shy underneath, but people don’t often know that because I talk alot (once I get going).

    I think the blogging world’s so hard because everyone’s behind a screen, and as new bloggers you see the people at the top of the rankings and think that’s the be all and end all. Yes they’re all real people, but are something to aspire to and I think that’s potentially why some people get scared and put people on their own pedestal. In my first year I probably thought ‘ooh they’re like celebs of blogging world’, but had never seen up close what the people were actually like, and never probably talked on social media with them,just because those weren’t necessarily the bloggers I was interacting with on a day to day basis. Now, I’m more confident in where I am, and how approachable everyone is, because I’ve asked questions, bloggers who’re seen at the top of their game respond.

    For me, it’s about talking to people who’re there at the time I am whoever that may be. Yes it’s hard to butt into other groups when you want to talk to one person who’s engaged with said group, but like in anything, it doesn’t matter who that person is, if you want to talk to them make the effort. I can’t say I’ve found any blogger be rude back or ignore an approach even if it is a fleeting hello only.

    I always relate it back to my dancing days. I would go out to freestyle or dance weekenders, and it was my aim to dance in the ‘good corner’ full of the teachers. Many would sit together, and to outsiders it would feel like you were intruding on their space with a whole lot of groupies on the edge watching and waiting to pounce. But actually, if you did approach them, most were happy to dance with you if asked…so many times it was worth the wait and the effort to approach them. They weren’t really dancing gods, they were just normal people who happened to be with their friends. Which actually was what most people do when they go somewhere new or to an event – find friends and stick with them. Works at every level whether you’re a newbie or have been blogging (or dancing) for 10 years.

    If more bloggers shrugged away concerns and just thought ‘I can hold my own with anyone’, then a lot of people would be a lot happier, and there’d potentially be a lot more amazing conversations happening. For me luckily, that’s what BML held, but I can totally see where you’re coming from.

  • Thank you everybody for all of your lovely comments. They really did make a massive difference to how I felt that week. I wanted to reply to you all but then I never expected to get almost 100!

    So rather than repeat myself, thank you. At this point I am not sure if I will ever go to another blog conference but if I do I will be armed with hugs for you all, please make sure you collect one before you leave.