Everyone has at least one pet peeve.
Something that just gets under their skin to varying degrees of annoyance.
Even if it might not bother other people one bit.
Such was the case with Redditor nice_throwaway_, who found himself increasingly irritated when the girlfriend of one of his closest friends refused to stop one of his biggest pet peeves, in spite of several requests to do so.
When this began to put him at odds with his friend, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) to ask “Would I Be The A**Hole” (WIBTA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“WIBTA if I decided not to answer my ‘new nickname?'”
The OP first shared how he and his friend’s girlfriend initially got off to a good start, until she made a rather surprising announcement.
“I (21 M[ale]) have a close group of friends with I meet pretty often.”
“There are six of us, and the other guys bring their significant others (SOs) with them.”
“One of them, Tom (21M), started dating a new girl, May (20 F[emale]).”
“We met her after about a month of them dating, and she seemed nice – funny, kind, charismatic, and I was so happy for him.”
“But after a while blatantly claimed she ‘didn’t like my name’ and will come up with a nickname for me as soon as possible.”
The OP was not particularly thrilled by this piece of news, as with or without knowing it, May struck a nerve by giving the OP a nickname.
“I was a bit surprised and said I prefer if she didn’t, since I hate nicknames and made an active effort to shrug off any previous ones.”
“It’s a stupid pet peeve but I can’t stand nicknames for myself.”
“She insisted that nicknames are cute and friendly, but I stood my ground and suggested she could call me by my surname instead, since people do that too and it’s okay.”
But May and Tom didn’t seem willing to take no for an answer from the OP, later explaining why to the OP.
“May and Tom asked me to talk to them in private.”
“I was very curious so I agreed.”
“According to May, I share my name with her most recent ex, about whom Tom is quite insecure.”
“I pulled May aside and tried to ask as gently as possible if he was abusive or anything, because if so, I would have agreed to a nickname.”
“I don’t want to be the AH who forces her to remember something traumatizing.”
“But no, it really comes down to Tom’s insecurity about the ex, since it turns out he was somewhat of a rebound.”
While he wanted to be sympathetic, Tom and May’s reasoning wasn’t good enough for the OP to surrender to his pet-peeve.
“I refused to answer any nickname she might give me in the future, but she made a point out of this and won’t settle on the surname thing.”
“Tom says I am an AH for possibly hindering their relationship and preventing May from getting over her ex, and she says I probably want Tom for myself (I am a gay man).”
“Two of the others agree with me, but the others agree with Tom and say I am just stubborn and a stuck-up.”
“No one agrees with May’s last ‘theory’, though.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community sided with the OP, agreeing that he would not be the a**hole if he refused to respond to whatever nickname May gave him.
Some Redditors suggested the OP give May and Tom a taste of their own medicine, and have her see how she feels when addressed by a nickname she doesn’t love.
“NTA but see how she likes it, call her Keith.”- Wetnosedcretin.
“If she tries, call them tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee until they stop.”
“Or just refer to Tom as ‘immature baby’.”- mynamecouldbesam.
While just about everyone agreed with the OP that May and Tom’s rationale for giving the OP a nickname was ludicrous, particularly as Tom has known the OP for some time, and the OP appears to have a fairly common name.
“Wait, so first May claims she doesn’t like your name.”
“You gave her a perfectly reasonable option after you told her you hate nicknames, which I understand.”
“And she gets to pick the nickname.”
“Then MAY says it’s her ex’s name, and Tom is really insecure about the ex.”
“And he’s insecure because he’s the rebound…”
“BUT Tom is worried that your name, which more people than you have, is going to stop me from getting over her ex and hinder their relationship?:
“Do May and Tom even know what they were trying to say?”
“That’s the biggest back and forth I’ve ever heard.”
“That makes absolutely no sense.”-Missmouse1988.
“Instead of changing your name, they should check out a therapist.”
“She needs to learn to live with the fact that people share names.”- DogsReadingBooks.
“OMG, THEY’RE ASKING YOU TO RENAME YOURSELF?”
“WTF IS WRONG WITH YOUR FRIENDS!”
“No to nickname.”
“No to surname.”
“You don’t have to explain yourself, and stop offering them anything.”
“What is wrong with her, you offer to let her address you by surname and that’s not good enough?”
“Take back the offer.”
“They’re being perfects AHs, and she’s way off.”- MakeupForBarnie.
“NTA tell tome to put on his big boy panties and get over it.”
“You’re supposed to change your name because of his ex?”
“NTA, tell Tom to get over himself.”
“If he’s truly rebound their relationship is doomed anyway, he should just go ahead and cut his losses and she shouldn’t string him along.”
“So tbh they’re both being pretty sh*tty imo.”- VioletGlitterBlossom.
“You…. can’t just disregard people’s name because you feel like it… wtf.”
“A name is like one of the most important identity markers, trying to take that away from people is extremely dehumanizing and demeaning.”
“NTA and stand your f-ing ground.”- DancinginHyrule.
“Yeeeeah no, you are absolutely NTA.”
“She needs to get over it.”
“Changing somebody else’s name to suit your own needs is not f*cking ok.”
“It’s not ok when white people do it to people of color, or when cis people do it to trans people, or when anybody does it to anybody.”
“Your name is yours and you do NOT have to respond to any other other name just because of someone else’s drama.”
“You may lose ‘friends’ over this but trust me, people that think you should accept changing your name to placate some drama llama are not people you want to keep as friends anyway.”-DJ_Mixalot.
“NTA – they want you to change your name…..”- oryx_za.
“Your name is your name, and you get to determine how comfortable you are with people calling you something else.”
“Much like you, I don’t care for nicknames, I like my name.”
“There are maybe two nicknames that I tolerate, and even then only from certain people.”-Kaworulives.
“May just wants to get her way since you’ve already given her an option not to call you by your name and it wasn’t good enough.”
“And Tom needs to get a grip, if he thinks you having the same name as May’s ex will do any damage to their relationship he’s insecure as hell and really needs to work on that instead of bugging his friend.”- pyretta-blazeit.
“If you don’t want to answer to a nickname, then you don’t have too.”
“She needs to understand people share names.”
“I’ve had a bad ex who made my life hell and now I’m friends with someone who has the exact same name.”- ckbruinfan.
“I understand your point but as you said, you offered her to use your surname.”
“I doubt you share both name and surname with the ex, so I don’t see why it would be a problem.”-0tterly_.
“NTA, as it is incredibly rude to call people by a name they don’t want to be called.”
“Nicknames created in adolescence and adulthood should be okay with person being coined by a new name by the other(s).”
“She’s not your grandparents, using a nickname given to you as a youngster.”
“I’d note I dated someone with the same first name as my sibling who has a very common first name, and it was weird for me for about a week.”
“The brain will quickly differentiate the difference between the two.”-ArmNo8807.
“I don’t get why she thinks she gets any say in what you’re called.”
“That’s truly bizarre.”-OfftotheLeft.
“NTA, he’s dating her knowing his friend has the same name, and it’s a problem so she names up a new name for you?”
“Nah, just tell them to call you by your first or last or not at all.”-DiggityGiggity8.
It does indeed seem very troubling that May can’t get over even hearing the sound of her ex’s name, and that she thinks it’s an acceptable excuse to give the OP a nickname.
It’s also troubling that Tom seems to take May’s side in this, in spite of his lasting friendship to the OP.
Here’s hoping the OP and Tom will eventually come to an understanding, and their friendship won’t suffer any further.