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Respect WDYT?.


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#1 Chocolate Cherub

Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:35 PM

I feel disrespected to the point I am wanting to use words like control.
The woman who was my BFF at 15 who I’ve shared every birth, death, marriage and bad haircut with in the past 40 years, refuses to stop using the name I changed from when I was 24.
Our friendship is important to me. I think it’s otherwise a healthy relationship. We have lived in different cities since we both married. So we don’t live in each other’s pockets, have many other friends and normally contact monthly or
fortnightly.
The past year I’ve had two significant life events during which she supported me with numerous calls and texts.  
I have wondered if I reciprocate this support meaningfully. The topics and emotions she shares from time to time would indicate I am someone who she feels she can really ‘talk to.’
One year I confronted her about how disrespected I felt. She said she can’t change.
The 2 or 3 other people who initially did not respect my decision and were quite derisive, I chose to leave behind. They were not that important to me.
It reminds me of being at a memorial service for a dear friend who had used the name ‘Billie’ since she was at school because she detested her given name. Billie’s friend who was M.C. at her service said proudly that she was one person who could get away with calling Billie by her much hated birth name. I thought why would you want to? Do you think that you were so special to Billie she wanted you calling her ‘G…..’ and not merely tolerated it just as I have been.
I’ve given up asking myself why my friend won’t change and started thinking of suggesting ‘how’ she can change.
So sorry for the long post. I tell myself it’s little to worry about in view of her great friendship, but it’s really getting me down now.  Thank you  


#2 nup

Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:44 PM

People are weird. Have you asked her why she can't change? That just doesn't seem like a respectful response, you're right. You have sought the change and asked for respect around this but she's insisting on doing it her way. Time for another chat. Do you think it's time to ask that she demonstrate her respect?

Even great friends let us down so you have to know what you want from this, why it's so important to you and what's on the table if you push it as she has continued to.

I never love using nicknames until I'm really close to people and even then I tread lightly. Every one of our friends used to call a close friend by an affectionate moniker that was started by one of the friends. I never used the nickname but the moment I did hell's fury was unleashed on me and it just. Made. No. Sense.

Power is always just beneath the surface with issues like this. I'd say your name your rules if you were my friend but not all agree with this. Too many people are ego centric fools who do what they want with the no ****s given attitude as if it's to be revered. Empathy first here. When I can.

#3 Kallie88

Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:20 PM

Very strange. I suppose it's it just that she thinks it's too hard to gett used to using a new name? (Not that it's a good reason) but I know I have a friend who has a common name with many associated nicknames of which I use one, and most of the friends she made later use another. I find it difficult to connect them using their nickname for her with mine. But if she wanted one in particular I'd make all effort to change. I guess I'm just wondering if she feels too set in the name she uses. Still disrespectful though
Maybe every time she uses your old name you could just correct her. Seems like a burden to you that you shouldn't need to do though.

#4 kimasa

Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:28 PM

If my math is correct, she's had around 30 years to adapt?

That's straight up power-play

#5 CallMeFeral

Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:45 PM

So I'll try and chip in here as someone who has a LOT of trouble adjusting when people change their names. For me names become really tightly linked to a person and I struggle to think of them as anything other than what I knew them as.

I've known two people who changed their names. One was a fairly young and flightly girl who I didn't know well, who changed her name to something that you might take on if you were maybe becoming a popstar. I struggled to 'rewrite' her name in my head, plus I thought it was stupid so I just avoided using her name at all, but I probably slipped up now and then and called her the name I had in my head (her old name). I felt silly using her new weird popstar name. I didn't know her well.

Another is a girl who was a good friend of mine at one point and although we're out of touch I care a lot about. I don't know the reasons for her name change but she has been through a lot of sh*t and come out the other side so it's probably something to do with that. Then again she's also deeply religious and it could be to do with that. She's chosen a name that is an actual name so doesn't feel weird or made up. I initially had a lot of trouble with the new name as it feels weird to call someone you know well something different. Like if you had to start calling your mum "dad" or something. It feels weird and wrong and you'd rather not have to do it, and feel weird when you do do it. And in your head they are still mum, so there's a bit of you that goes "do I really have to call you dad? I mean you're still mum to me, can't you just make everyone else call you dad and I can still call you mum?". So I think sometimes there's a bit of wishful thinking that maybe your old friends still get to use your old name and the new name is for the new friends.
The good thing is I keep seeing her new name on facebook, so it's starting to soak into my subconscious as being her name. I think next time I see her I'll be about 50/50 on my urges to address her between old and new, and so it will only take me a bit of extra effort to use new. And maybe I'll find out the story behind the change and that will make it stick better too.


Anyway all that was mainly saying - it may not be about disrespect (although it also may), it may be a great many factors coming together that's just weighting it too far into the too hard basket for her to put in the effort required. She may be rationalising it to herself in some way. If you are someone she values - and it sounds like you are - she's probably not doing it out of disrespect.

I think all you can do is have the talk about it. Make sure it's serious, say "I need to talk to you about something" so she can't brush it off. And then ask "you know I changed my name at 24, I was wondering why you still use my old name?". Then you'll understand her perspective better and feel less insulted by it. Then, you can tell her why it's important to you - maybe the reasons you changed, how it makes you feel when people use your old name, how it makes you feel when SHE specifically uses your old name. She probably doesn't know that stuff, and wouldn't do it if she did. Then let her know that you'd really appreciate it if she'd make the effort to use your new name, that you understand it takes some time to get used to and don't mind slip ups, but you'll correct her when it happens and hopefully it'll become the new norm.

If it all goes pearshaped you can put it down to disrespect or power play. But if she's been a good friend in every other way, it's probably that she doesn't know why or how much it matters to you, or else that she has some reason herself that you don't know about. You're good friends, you'll work through it.

#6 Chocolate Cherub

Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:47 PM

View PostKallie88, on 11 February 2019 - 05:20 PM, said:

Very strange. I suppose it's it just that she thinks it's too hard to gett used to using a new name? (Not that it's a good reason) but I know I have a friend who has a common name with many associated nicknames of which I use one, and most of the friends she made later use another. I find it difficult to connect them using their nickname for her with mine. But if she wanted one in particular I'd make all effort to change. I guess I'm just wondering if she feels too set in the name she uses. Still disrespectful though
Maybe every time she uses your old name you could just correct her. Seems like a burden to you that you shouldn't need to do though.
Thanks Kallie88. I know her well and yes she is very set in her ways.
I have made various suggestions to her but she is not gonna budge. I tried not contacting her for a while which seemed utterly childish. She just out-lasted me. I was missing our conversations/news a lot. I broke the 'silence'. I told her I had missed talking to her and I was disappointed/surprised that she had not made a move to contact me in that time. She said words to the effect 'I knew you'd ring when you we re ready' which did then and now seem like some stupid power game.
When I really get on my soap box about this, I recall that the name she is known by is a variation of her legal name.
She has never legally changed her name so all business, doctors etc is done in another initial/name.
Another friend of mine asked why does S's business have the Licensee of her premises as 'E.Surname.?'
I know she reverted to using her birth name for a while after she was married but went back to the one she likes which has an entirely different first syllable. Sort os Annabel not Isabel. It makes me think she might be a little more receptive. I'm wrong.

Edited by Chocolate Cherub, 11 February 2019 - 06:23 PM.


#7 Chocolate Cherub

Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:59 PM

View Postkimasa, on 11 February 2019 - 05:28 PM, said:

If my math is correct, she's had around 30 years to adapt?

That's straight up power-play
kimasa, I am glad you noted the math. Yes its 30 years since I changed my name. Yes she has had that time to change.
She refers to me by my now rather old name when she speaks to my husband. I note what sounds like deference when she talks to him.
Power-play is what I feel.I just don't get it. I guess I always ask why.
I know I value her friendship and all she does to help where she can. I would like to think thats a good straight forward friend. That this is happening screams something at me. i am not sure what nor how to handle i

#8 Coffeegirl

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:04 PM

My MIL was called by her middle name (lets say Jane)for all of her childhood and a good chunk of her adult life.    She had always hated it and switched to her first name (let’s say Emily) when she was around 40.

Almost 30 years on and I still call her Jane on occasion.  Not on purpose, and I do make a very concerted effort to use her preferred name.  But to me she will always be ‘Jane’.  It’s how we were introduced and it’s hard to remove that correlation.    In my head, she is Jane.

However I would never purposefully use her old name, even though we don’t get along and I would love to do it just to annoy her.



#9 Chocolate Cherub

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:19 PM

View PostCallMeFeral, on 11 February 2019 - 05:45 PM, said:

So I'll try and chip in here as someone who has a LOT of trouble adjusting when people change their names. For me names become really tightly linked to a person and I struggle to think of them as anything other than what I knew them as.

I've known two people who changed their names. One was a fairly young and flightly girl who I didn't know well, who changed her name to something that you might take on if you were maybe becoming a popstar. I struggled to 'rewrite' her name in my head, plus I thought it was stupid so I just avoided using her name at all, but I probably slipped up now and then and called her the name I had in my head (her old name). I felt silly using her new weird popstar name. I didn't know her well.

Another is a girl who was a good friend of mine at one point and although we're out of touch I care a lot about. I don't know the reasons for her name change but she has been through a lot of sh*t and come out the other side so it's probably something to do with that. Then again she's also deeply religious and it could be to do with that. She's chosen a name that is an actual name so doesn't feel weird or made up. I initially had a lot of trouble with the new name as it feels weird to call someone you know well something different. Like if you had to start calling your mum "dad" or something. It feels weird and wrong and you'd rather not have to do it, and feel weird when you do do it. And in your head they are still mum, so there's a bit of you that goes "do I really have to call you dad? I mean you're still mum to me, can't you just make everyone else call you dad and I can still call you mum?". So I think sometimes there's a bit of wishful thinking that maybe your old friends still get to use your old name and the new name is for the new friends.
The good thing is I keep seeing her new name on facebook, so it's starting to soak into my subconscious as being her name. I think next time I see her I'll be about 50/50 on my urges to address her between old and new, and so it will only take me a bit of extra effort to use new. And maybe I'll find out the story behind the change and that will make it stick better too.


Anyway all that was mainly saying - it may not be about disrespect (although it also may), it may be a great many factors coming together that's just weighting it too far into the too hard basket for her to put in the effort required. She may be rationalising it to herself in some way. If you are someone she values - and it sounds like you are - she's probably not doing it out of disrespect.

I think all you can do is have the talk about it. Make sure it's serious, say "I need to talk to you about something" so she can't brush it off. And then ask "you know I changed my name at 24, I was wondering why you still use my old name?". Then you'll understand her perspective better and feel less insulted by it. Then, you can tell her why it's important to you - maybe the reasons you changed, how it makes you feel when people use your old name, how it makes you feel when SHE specifically uses your old name. She probably doesn't know that stuff, and wouldn't do it if she did. Then let her know that you'd really appreciate it if she'd make the effort to use your new name, that you understand it takes some time to get used to and don't mind slip ups, but you'll correct her when it happens and hopefully it'll become the new norm.

If it all goes pearshaped you can put it down to disrespect or power play. But if she's been a good friend in every other way, it's probably that she doesn't know why or how much it matters to you, or else that she has some reason herself that you don't know about. You're good friends, you'll work through it.

CallMeFeral, I really appreciate you taking the time to post. This does sound right.
I am polar opposite. Too adaptable for my own good and lacking in understanding of those that are not.
She does know why I changed it. When I remind her why, as if she could have forgotten, she changes the subject to how weird it all was for me. So I ask please can you do this for me?

You have given me some food for thought. I had decided to approach her again when our most recent life challenges settle which is why I posted now to get some more perspectives of how else i might approach it.
One factor is she told me flat out she dislikes my 'new' name. Breaking all the 'baby naming rules,' but I guess I am no baby and she feels she is close enough to express her opinion.
I think she does not want to change but is being a little selfish because she does know its not just a flight of fancy to make me sound like a pop star. My now name (subjectively speaking)is plainer than my first name.
Thanks again for your post.

#10 Octopodes

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:19 PM

Could it be because you don't see each other often? It might have been 30 years since the name change, but if you only spend time together infrequently it might feel like the change is newer than it is.

Even if that is the case, it does seem rude for her to not even make an effort to use your current name.

#11 Jersey Caramel

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:22 PM

View PostChocolate Cherub, on 11 February 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:


Thanks Kallie88. I know her well and yes she is very set in her ways.
I have made various suggestions to her but she is not gonna budge. I tried not contacting her for a while which seemed utterly childish. She just out-lasted me. I was missing our conversations a lot. I /news and broke the 'silence'. I told her I had missed talking to her and I was disappointed/surprised that she had not made a move to contact me in that time.She said words to the effect 'I knew you'd ring when you were ready' which did then and now seem like some stupid power game.
When I really get on my soap box about this, I recall that the name she is known by is a variation of her legal name.
She has never legally changed her name so all business, doctors etc is done in another initial/name.
Another friend of mine asked why does S's business had the Licensee of her premises as 'E.Surname.'
I know she reverted to her birth name for a while after she was married but went back to the one she likes which has an entirely different first syllable. Sort os Annabel not Isabel. It makes me think she might be a little more receptive. I'm wrong.

Start calling her by her legal name,  or just a completely random name.  See what she says/does!

#12 lizzzard

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:32 PM

If part of her resistance is the name itself, is it possible to find a derivative or nickname she could use for you instead?

#13 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:43 PM

The name you choose to be called by is your identity. Its important to you. She needs to respect that. It seems bizarre to me that she isn't willing to try!

I don't know if Id cut off a friendship but I think Id correct her every single time she used the wrong name.

#14 CallMeFeral

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:45 PM

View PostChocolate Cherub, on 11 February 2019 - 06:19 PM, said:

She does know why I changed it. When I remind her why, as if she could have forgotten, she changes the subject to how weird it all was for me. So I ask please can you do this for me?

...

One factor is she told me flat out she dislikes my 'new' name.

Both these are pretty strange. Both that you have already asked her nicely and she still isn't doing it. It may be that she doesn't fully know why herself. Some people just don't like change and she might not have insight into that. Or the discomfort of calling you something different than the name she thinks of you as (the person she is close to) she might not be fully aware of. Maybe some gentle non-accusatory gentle probing on the feelings she has when she thinks about using your name might actually lead to some insight for her. Disliking your new name suggests she is feeling some discomfort, but she might not have thought about it deeply enough to know why that is. It might be something she will let you do together.

If that fails, maybe PP's suggestion of looking for a compromise - a nickname that doesn't annoy you and she doesn't hate - might be the next best option.

#15 Freddie'sMum

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:46 PM

She is holding over you the fact that she does not use / choose to use your correct name.  It really doesn't matter if you have changed your name from Jane to Princess Lady Sparkles Glitter Fairy.

What about if you changed gender - used to be Jane and are now called Bob. Would she still insist on calling you Jane?

OP - the thread title is "respect".  My answer is this friend does not respect you.  I'm sorry.

#16 MurderBritches

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:53 PM

It's been 30 years. More than enough time for her to get used to it and use ypur now legal name. It's not good enough.

She's being disrespectful and she is well aware of it. I think you know this too.

Keep correcting her every time she does it. Do it publicly. Do it privately. Every single time. If necessary ignore her until she can use your name if you are in a group. Only respond to people who use your name including her.

It's disrespectful. It's her way of exerting some control over you. She's had 30 years to get used to it. Time to grow up.

#17 Mamabug

Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:54 PM

I would feel this deeply.

I have many friends who have changed names, pronouns, and genders. When I slip up, I feel mortified that they may feel that I have disrespected them. But a 30 campaign of refusing to change, that is straight up appalling.

I have no advice to offer, I'm sorry, but I have heard you, and understand.

#18 Jenflea

Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:08 PM

What does she offer you in the way of actual friendship?

Just because you've known each other a long time doesn't mean you have to stay friends the rest of your life, especially when she has PROVEN she doesn't respect you enough (and seems to gloat over the fact) to call you by your chosen name.

Is it an actual friendship or is it habit?

#19 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:24 PM

Geeze, I wonder how she would go if she had someone in her life who was transgender?

I think most people would appreciate the effort to try to use the new name. But refusing for 30 years is pretty bad!  That's actively avoiding using the name. Which, I would find hurtful.

#20 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:59 PM

View PostChocolate Cherub, on 11 February 2019 - 06:19 PM, said:

CallMeFeral, I really appreciate you taking the time to post. This does sound right.
I am polar opposite. Too adaptable for my own good and lacking in understanding of those that are not.
She does know why I changed it. When I remind her why, as if she could have forgotten, she changes the subject to how weird it all was for me. So I ask please can you do this for me?

You have given me some food for thought. I had decided to approach her again when our most recent life challenges settle which is why I posted now to get some more perspectives of how else i might approach it.
One factor is she told me flat out she dislikes my 'new' name. Breaking all the 'baby naming rules,' but I guess I am no baby and she feels she is close enough to express her opinion.
I think she does not want to change but is being a little selfish because she does know its not just a flight of fancy to make me sound like a pop star. My now name (subjectively speaking)is plainer than my first name.
Thanks again for your post.
So, you have discussed this with her a few times over the past 30 years but she keeps changing the subject, ignores your expressed wishes about what you preferred to be called and she's told you that she doesn't like your new name, therefore she's not going to use it???

Who does that and thinks they are being respectful????

View PostJenflea, on 11 February 2019 - 07:08 PM, said:

What does she offer you in the way of actual friendship?

Just because you've known each other a long time doesn't mean you have to stay friends the rest of your life, especially when she has PROVEN she doesn't respect you enough (and seems to gloat over the fact) to call you by your chosen name.

Is it an actual friendship or is it habit?
I'd be wondering the same thing too!

It's not like your name change was only 3 months ago and she is still struggling to get used to it. It was 30 years ago!!! I think she is being deliberately rude and disrepectful. It's one thing to occasionally make a mistake, it's another thing to persistently use the wrong name for 30 years.

I'd say the friendship isn't as strong as you think it is.

#21 Hands Up

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:06 PM

She doesn’t sound like a real friend. She doesn’t respect you.

If you decide to stay friends start calling her Gavin. Or Archibald. Or Bruce. Every time until she starts calling you your proper name. When she asks why say “oh but I don’t like your name”.

#22 fancie shmancie

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:12 PM

I was going to say that I thought the physical distance between you would contribute a lot to her calling you by your old name.  She is not around people who only know you by your new na  me and so is not hearing you called that frequently.

And then I thought, that maybe it is a sentimental attachment to your old name.  That's the name she met and became close to at a really emotional time of her life (15yo).  Sort of like you'll always be her 'old name'.

But then you posted that she has said she doesn't like your new name.

She needs to suck it up.

#23 *Spikey*

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:35 PM

Personally, she's been disrespecting you for 30 years and made it clear she finds it amusing and entertaining to do so. She also made it clear that she has no intention of doing any work in maintaining this so called friendship, even when she hurts you - its your job to just get over it, rather than her job to make amends for being nasty.

Ditch her - for good.

And if you must speak to her, call her by that well known nickname for Richard. Afterall, if the pants fit....

#24 Sancti-claws

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:38 PM

I had a friend that used to call me by my husband's name even though I have never changed mine.

After explaining several times the why and him still doing that, it was another straw for me.

#25 kadoodle

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:49 PM

That’s very rude, OP. Some relatives and family friends insist on using my childhood nickname, which is annoying, but not annoying enough for me to bother to correct them. If it was an issue, and they insisted on still calling me by my childhood nickname despite my protestations, I would be very hurt and not spend time with them.




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