Social Question

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When a person you've known for awhile requests to be called by another name, how willing and able are you to adapt?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (27101points) May 26th, 2015

I interviewed a woman named Cheryl who, once hired, requested to be called by another name. A co-worker, whose name was Jim, went by the name of ‘Spike’. A cousin requested that he be called by Ed instead of Ward (what we grew up calling him) once he reached adulthood.

When a person asks to be called something that you aren’t used to, how quickly are you to adapt or do you just brush it off?

Bonus question: If we Jellies were to meet in real life, would you prefer to be called by your first name or your on-screen name?

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28 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

As long as there’s no risk to me, my organisation or anyone else, I call them the name they prefer. It doesn’t hurt me or anyone else and if it makes them happy, I can’t see why I wouldn’t. I would ask why the different name, but beyond that, it falls into the ‘not my business’ realm.

I’d prefer to be called by my real name. I think it might be a little odd for people to call me either ‘earthbound’ or ‘misfit’ in a public, face-to-face setting.

linguaphile's avatar

I don’t mind following what people prefer to be called, as long as they’re forgiving while I adapt and make mistakes calling them by the name I’m used to using. I adapted pretty quickly when my daughter told me she wanted to drop one of the Bs from her double B name, but when she told me she wanted to be called Boxie for some random reason, I couldn’t play along. Fortunately, that was short lived.

If we had a Jelly party, I think I’d prefer to stick with Lingua. It’s who I am here and can’t imagine being called my real name around Jellies.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Depending on how easy the name was to remember or how easy it is for me to associate their name to something I can remember, not too long.

chewhorse's avatar

Four months is the definitive period where you’ve totally adapted to the new name so long as you have a continual relationship with them (friends, family, co-workers). When you reach that four month point you will no longer have to think about calling them the new name first and they won’t have to remind you any longer. (footnote: to never forget a persons name have them personally introduce themselves, when someone introduces them to you, you will not be able to identify the face with the name).

Mimishu1995's avatar

That’s nothing, as long as they feel better being called what they want. But expect some time for me to adapt as I don’t remember it that soon.

If we jellies are to meet in real life, I prefer to be called by my username. It is easier to remember than my real name anyway.

JLeslie's avatar

It depends. Usually, I can adapt pretty easily and I can feel comfortable using the other name, but there are quite a few exceptions. It’s especially easy if I frequently hear other people using the other name. For instance, my exboyfriend’s mother called my ex by a different name than he used at school (we met in high school). Once I was around her enough, I used both names equally. He is both names to me.

Also, if the person tells me early on the name he prefers, say within days or weeks of netting them, it’s fairly easy to adjust. Also, nicknames seem pretty easy for me to adjust to. Like if it is a short for their name. Meg for Meghan, Liz for Elizabeth. Even if it’s totally different like Skip and the person’s name is George. For whatever reason if it’s an obvious nickname I adjust fast.

Here are the times the transition is more difficult for me:

A person much more senior to me who I have addressed formally by their last name for many years now requests I call them by their first name.

A complete name change and it’s night a I test nickname. If I knew someone as Joseph for years and he changed to Michael, that would feel a little odd to me.

My BIL changed one letter in his name to sound less Mexican and more European. That sort of bothers me, because I think it shows his insecurity, and I think no one really thinks anything about his given first name. I still call him by his given name, his whole family does, except his husband who has always known him by his business name. He has never asked me to use the other name. I thought about asking what he prefers, but I just leave it be. Calling him by the other name would feel a little weird.

If I met jellies in person I would expect to call them by their real names and it wouldn’t be weird at all. I don’t mean expect like I’m insulted if they don’t want to give their real name, I just mean I wouldn’t have a problem adjusting.

I call me husband four different names and I don’t think twice about. His full name, his shortened name, and two other nicknames.

Stinley's avatar

When I was young, I was called a shortened version of my name, which is also a name in its own right. A bit like being called Sandra if my full name is Alexandra. I hated the short name and thought my full name was much nicer. So I started calling myself by my full name. My family are not too bad at calling me the full name, but friends I seen infrequently still moan that it’s hard to remember.

Pachy's avatar

A woman and her young daughter once insisted on calling me by my legal name. I thought they were a bit silly to call me a name that no one else in my life ever called me, but it was what they wanted, it did me no harm, and eventually I got used to it. Sorta.

A Pachy by any other name…

rojo's avatar

I have only had this occur once. The child of a good friend decided in her late teens that she wanted to be called by her middle name instead of the one she had been called her entire life to date.
It was a little tough to do for the first year, just remembering, but now it is second nature.

marinelife's avatar

I legally changed my first name when I was in my 40s. People who were around me all the time all adjusted fairly quickly—even my mom never slipped after a while.

Those who used to know me by another name, but were no longer around me day to day had the hardest time, but most of them have adjusted too.

As to your last question, I don’t care. Just call me.

ibstubro's avatar

Generally, I find that these people are used to the dual personality and accept whatever you name you use. It’s a pain in the ass. Recently we were trying to reach Clayton (the only name I knew, having been introduced by his sister), not realizing that his phone-book listing is Jon. I try to respect the wishes of the person I’m addressing, but however they were introduced (without correction) tends to stick.

When I sign people in at my auction and they have a name that cries for a nick-name, I often ask, “What do you go by?” The guy with the first name Laverne goes by Alex. Chances are, if anyone ever calls them, it will be me, and I don’t want to sound like a dolt (phone solicitor) when I call.

If we jellies met in real life, I would expect to go around greeting people using ibstubro, then introducing myself using the name I prefer, my given name. I would respect the choice of others and address them by the name they introduced themselves by.

gailcalled's avatar

My youngest step-son, as an adult, decided to give up his name of Peter and change it to Max. For the immediate family, we simply call him Peter/Max now (never Max/Peter). His mother also now calls herself something different, and everyone is able to honor that except again the immediate family.

I do try but the old information is really ingrained.

filmfann's avatar

While I was growing up, my nickname was always Archie.
When I began working, I was always called Jack, which is my real name. This is the name I used on my paycheck, banking, etc. However, my signature, which is illegible, is Archie.
Once I retired, I became Archie again. It was annoying to me to have people who I grew up with, refer to me on Facebook as Jack.
When I was working, it wasn’t unusual to call someone by a nickname. One guy named Mike (a very, very common name on my crew) came in, and referred to himself as Wonderdog. That became his name to this day.
Another came on the crew, and said his name was Mike. The crew senior asked him what is middle name was, which was Robert. “We have too many Mikes on this crew. Your name is now Bob.” Sometimes we called him Mike Bob, but almost never just Mike.

dxs's avatar

I’d be totally willing but can’t speak for my ability. I’d like to think I can adapt. Even after I’ve been here for over 19 years, my parents and grandparents most times still call me by my brother’s name (he came fist, about 6–7 years before me), or at least start to before correcting themself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Glad this is in social. When my grand daughter was about 9 I picked her up from school. As we were walking along the sidewalk after school she said something about her other grandmother, but she used a different name.
I said, “Why don’t you just call her grandma?”
She said, “Because she doesn’t want to be called grandma.”
I thought for second, then said, “Well, I don’t want to be called ‘grandma” either.”
My beautiful granddaughter has the ability to laugh and talk at the same time, which she did as she said, “Well, what else am I supposed to call you?!”
I said, “Well, “Your Royal Highness” will work!” Sometimes she calls me that now.
:D :D :D :D

wsxwh111's avatar

For the first question, my only cousin (younger brother) changed his name when he was in final year in high school. Now we are both in final year in college, but I still call him by his old name.
I haven’t thought about the second question before, but I think maybe I’d prefer my online name, especially with a bunch of jellies hanging out together.

ucme's avatar

Bonus question: Just call me cocky cunt & i’ll come running like a drunk puppy.

kritiper's avatar

I’m very willing. The name I come up with may not be the same one that they want though.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve never had this happen, so it would be odd, but I could adapt if that’s what they really want to be called. Might take me a few tries to adjust though.

If (when?) we all meet in person, you can just call me by my real name… Mr. Cookie Man.

dappled_leaves's avatar

<shrug> It should be their choice what they want to be called. Why should I respect my personal preference of their name more than I respect theirs?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@wsxwh111 how can I pronoun your online name? :D

ibstubro's avatar

The couple that work for us present a naming problem.
He is J.R., Junior, Clayton Smith.
She is Sandra, Sandy Smith.
I was introduced to Junior and Sandra, and that they are.

Great point, @Mimishu1995!!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

My daughter (aged about 6) demanded we call her Aladdin for a short while (a weekend). We complied. I was wondering how to deal with this situation when Monday arrived and she went to school. She was over it by Monday thankfully.

RadioFlyer's avatar

We have a young family friend named Kiara. At around 8 years old, she decided that she’d rather be called by her middle name, which is Neve. For maybe two years, everyone called her that, no problem. Then, she wanted to be Kiara again. Everybody complied, including her grade-school classmates. Again, no problem.

I think most people can (and are wiling to) easily adapt.

( I’ve always loved The Beatles…..can I be John Lennon from now on…?? )

rojo's avatar

10th grade, the first year in high school. Since it was a physical move from Jr. High to High School it was a chance to start over with all kinds of new faces. On a whim I decided to alternate using my first name and second name in my classes. So in 1st, 3rd, 5th & 7th I went by “Billy” and 2nd, 4th & 6th I went by “Bob”. I did it just to confuse the teachers and those I did not know.

Hardest part was trying to remember where I was and who I was at that time.

I was such an asshole when I was younger.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you to all for the answers posted so far. It’s been an interesting read, whether it is about someone you know or yourself.

nannie64's avatar

I would 100% try to call them by preferred name, as long as they are patient as it wd take a little time to do that.

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