For reasons I have never cared to analyze, I really don’t like it when a person addresses me out loud by my first name. I’m not saying that I like being called by my surname, like feeling like being in gym class makes me at ease. I’m not saying that at all. But there is something about someone getting my attention by casually using my first name, like they’ve earned that right to talk to me like we are close friends… I regard them unfavorably. I’m not going to cause a scene about it — I’ll just count the number of times you say it. And I may harbor resentment and eventually write an article for public consumption some day. Hey!
Perhaps people are used to speaking over the internet, in group chats, where it is handy to address a specific person you are saying a thing to. Trying to @ someone irl must just be “use their name to begin your sentence.” It certainly gets my (negative) attention! Or maybe too many people read books and/or articles about making friends, influencing people, or schmoozing. I have noticed in such things that they suggest that everyone likes it if you demonstrate that you know their name. Well, they should have asked me, because I sure don’t! Or maybe it is just a normal thing that normal people do! Maybe it shouldn’t be!
To be fair, I very seldom use anyone else’s name unless we are good, close friends. It takes a long time for me to be comfortable being so intimate with anyone. Also, most of my good, close friends are the same way, I think. At least I never notice them over-using my name.
Anyway, I have an abundance of ways to avoid using a person’s name and I’d thank you to do the same for me.
You Absolutely Are Allowed To Call Me “Hey” or “Hey You”
I don’t mind if you actually forgot my name. That’s fine — you never need to use it anyway, so don’t feel embarrassed! I will never feel offended if you describe me by shirt or appearance. Nickname me, even, I don’t care!
First and Last Name, As One Word
Growing up, I had a best friend who was also an Amanda. Our friends would refer to us by First and Last Name, as one. The syllables joined into one word and I think it sounds better than just Amanda, alone. Also, it is ever so slightly more formal, which I appreciate.
Catch My Eye
If we are in a group setting, or even if we are alone together in a space, you can pause and look at me. I’ll notice. I’ll look back. Then, you can speak to me and I won’t miss a thing. I certainly won’t miss hearing my name spoken aloud!
Just Speak Directly At Me
Through sheer power of your own attention, you can simply begin speaking To Me. Unless this is a power I alone hold, I believe you can do it. You can just direct your column of spoken words towards me, and my ears will pick it up. A few of the beginning words may be lost, but my appreciation will be gained. It is a good, natural way to talk.
- Use my name more than twice. Once is too many.
- Begin and end your statement with my name. What are you doing, did you forget you already said it?
- Address me by name when we are the only two people present. I’m not going to think you’re talking to the air.
- Elongate the pronunciation of my name. I hate you. We are enemies.
As usual, I have had an occurrence with cchris where this topic has been the topic. It’s a good way to fill out an article, anyway. B)