Wednesday, September 23, 2009

...a walk across the room for a sticky situation...

What's in a name? I think we all like to hear our name. Who would want to be referred to as "hey you" or even worse. Someone I used to know always called his father by his first name and it was done in a demeaning tone of voice accompanied by a snicker. There wasn't much love between them and yet I saw the hurt in the Dad's eyes. I feel for people who have names for which the meaning seems to have changed over the years. In some case, rather derogatory meanings for names that used to be just simply normal.
So this is the problem. I have a friend who has one of those names she feels ashamed of and so to avoid embarrassment, snickers, snide remarks she has changed her name and asked her family and friends to call her by her new name. Mostly I'm not in favour of people constantly changing their names but I really do see her point and understand her reasoning. The issue is that a few of her friends just simply refuse to call her by her new name. I don't understand why a person you love would not call you by the name they know you prefer. So I thought I would do a little survey to see what my fellow bloggers think about this. You could email privately or respond on this blog. How do you think she should handle this situation? I think she is slowly losing respect for these few people she once loved to be around and I can't say I blame her.


Michele said...

I think I would remind them a few times of which name I prefer and if they refuse to call me that, I would stop answering to my old name altogether. If she's changed her name, then the old name is no longer her anyway.

Jobina said...

I remember when Mark's sister changed her name and for a while we all just kept calling her Vanessa. It took a while to accept that she wasn't Vanessa anymore and we needed to change what we were calling her whether we liked it or not.
I think your friend needs to set up boundaries for herself. Let these people know how this makes her feel in a clear and concise way and that she will no longer answer to that name. Then stop answering to that name (even as far as saying on the phone, "I'm sorry, no one by that name lives here" teehee!) I guess eventually it may come to the point that she'll have to tell them, "if you want to have a relationship with me, I need you to accept this" and be prepared to suspend the relationship until (or if) the person comes around.
Such a tricky situation. People feel threatened when others change their names because it feels in a way like they're changing who they are.
I hope things work out for her!

Elayne said...

Thanks for your input. According to my responses here and emails it seems we all agree. If someone insists on calling you something other than what you've asked them to call you then you have to make a choice about how important that relationship is in your life. Rather tricky if the person happens to be related!