Our names are something assigned to us, rather than something which we could decide for ourselves.
However, our name is one of the few things assigned at birth that we do at least have the power to change in time.
Some people are so dissatisfied with their names, that they go so far as to legally change them.
More often than not, though, people will keep their given names but choose to go by a nickname.
Such was the case for the daughter of a recent Redditor.
Something which seemed to slip the original poster (OP)’s mind, as whenever she was out and about with her daughter, she continued to introduce her by her legal name.
Something her daughter did not appreciate one bit.
Wondering if she had, in fact, done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for using my daughter’s full first name?”
The OP shared how whenever she introduced her adult daughter to others, her daughter’s name always proved to be a point of contention between the two of them.
“My daughter and I had an argument over her name and a friend told me to ask about it here.”
“My daughter goes by a nickname that’s a shorter version of her full first name, like Becky instead of Rebecca.”
“Fake name but you get the idea.”
“I don’t mind that she does that, but I’m getting tired of the way she corrects me when I introduce her.”
“I use her full name because that’s the name her dad and I gave her and I don’t consider the nickname her real name.”
“But when I introduce her, she’ll immediately correct me like I called her a dirty word or something.”
“Then she acts cold and distant toward me.”
“It’s really embarrassing because whoever I’m trying to introduce her to sees her disrespecting me like that and it puts a damper on the whole mood.”
“It happened again today and I’d finally had enough.”
“I told her to drop the attitude and stop disrespecting me over nothing.”
“She rolled her eyes, said ‘Jesus Christ’, which she knows I hate because I’m Catholic, and then walked away from us and waited in the car.”
“I was mortified and ended up crying in the bathroom.”
“I love my daughter but I’m at my wit’s end here.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with introducing her by her real name and I think she’s being oversensitive and rude.”
“But, my friend says I should see what other people think.”
“So here I am.”
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 OP found little to no support from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously found her to be the a**hole for always introducing her daughter by her legal name.
Everyone agreed that the OP should not be so sensitive to the fact that her daughter wanted to be addressed by her nickname, and should respect her wish to be addressed by it.
“I am 36, and go by my middle name.”
“I absolutely despise my first name.”
“I used my middle name all through high school, I use it in my profession.”
“It is my identity.”
“My parents REFUSE to use my middle name, and even at my age I find it the most obnoxious and self-centered take that ‘I gave you your name, I’ll call you what I want’.”
“I imagine your daughter feels similarly.”
“If this is the hill you decide to die on, please be prepared for her to resent you for it.”
“You’re choosing to not respect her as an individual.”
“She is now at an age where she is able to make her own decisions and have a level of autonomy, and you’re basically telling her ‘I have no respect for the decisions you make for yourself’.”-Battered_Mage
“You want respect from your daughter, while actively disrespecting her on a regular basis.”-Embarrassed_Music910
“You are concerned about the ‘appearance’ of respect but you aren’t extending your daughter the respect of using the name she prefers.”
“If your name is Susan and I insist on calling you Sue based on some made-up preference of mine, that would be rude, right?”- LilArsene
“Your daughter prefers to go by a shortened version of her name, and that’s her right.”
“You are the one being disrespectful here, not her.”- NUT-me-SHELL
“When I was around 45 I went through a divorce and decided to go by a shortened version of my middle name.”
“My mom still calls me by my first name which I don’t have a problem with, but she always introduces me by my middle name.”
“Always, it’s now been 10 years.”
“If my 70+ Catholic mother can do it, so can you.”- Peace_Love_HappyHour
“Are you okay with calling Reese Witherspoon Reese when her name is actually Laura?”
“What about David Tennant, who’s actually David McDonald?”
“What about Elton John, Reginald Kenneth Dwight?”
“People use other names all the time.”
“You see it as her disrespecting you in front of company, but she sees it as you disrespecting her because you refuse to use the name she identifies with.”
“You’re alienating her and pushing her away and showing her that her identity doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit with what you want.”– the-cosmic-kraken
“You may have chosen her name but she is the one who decides who she is and how she’s introduced to people.”- GothPenguin
“You are disrespecting them by not introducing them by the name they want to be called.”
“Just because you named them at birth, doesn’t mean you have a right to dictate their identity and preferences forever.”
“They are growing up, and you need to stop trying to control them and let them be their own person, which includes listening to them and treating them with love and respect.”- 1Cattywampus1
“You chose a name for your child that she doesn’t particularly like, and she prefers to be called a variation of it; it’s not ‘disrespectful’ for her to correct you, because that’s what she wants people to call her.”- laughinglovinglivid
“How about I rephrase this as your daughter may routinely experience it.”
“‘My mom refuses to acknowledge that I have a preferred name I want people to use, it’s a version of my full name but it feels better to me’.”
“Every time my mom introduces me to new people she purposefully uses my full name, despite me correcting her repeatedly.”
“It’s embarrassing because whoever she’s introducing me to see how little my mom respects me and it puts a damper on everything because she then acts upset when I’ve repeatedly corrected her’.”
“A name is a gift given from love, if it doesn’t fit the person they’re allowed to exchange it for one that does fit.”
“If the person/people who gave them the gift truly loves them they’ll want that person to have one that feels right to them.”
“Stop being an over-controlling AH to your child.”
‘I have two children, one of whom experiments with new nicknames quite often.”
“I just ask that they remind me what they want me to call them.”
“Respect is earned, not something you get to demand.”
“Your child is a person with their own identity and that deserves respect as well.”– Disneyland4Ever
“Imagine that; a ‘religious’ parent that doesn’t respect their child.”
“What is it with certain parents who think they have more say in who their child is than the child, themselves?”
“You don’t mention ages here unless I missed it, but whether your daughter is 6, 16, or 26, if she wants to go by a nickname, she should get to.”
“You don’t get to decide what she wants to be called and she gets to tell others if there’s a nickname she prefers to go by.”
“You’re being possibly controlling.”- lunapuppy88
“So since you’re all about using given names should she call you by your first name?”
“Cuz , y’know , ‘Mom’ is really just a nickname, right?'”
“Our name and how we are addressed is important.”
“By introducing her as Rebecca instead of Becky not only reinforces the fact that her sense of self is unimportant to you but also directs others in how to address her by a name you know she does not prefer.”
“Keep it up and in the future, you can use the name you gave her that you prefer every time you explain that you have a daughter who no longer is in contact with you.”- A_herd_of_fluff
It is somewhat understandable that the OP might simply be conditioned to call her daughter by her proper name, as it was the name she given to her.
However, if her daughter prefers to go by the nickname, regardless of the reason, it’s important that the OP adapts and calls her by that name.
As doing so will give her daughter the assurance that she respects her decisions and the way she lives her life.
Something the OP will hopefully realize next time she is faced with introducing her daughter.