Nicknames can be fun, but they can also be very hurtful on occasion. Your definition of what an acceptable nickname is will likely be very different than somebody else’s. Nicknames can make fun of your body appearance, an action that you do, or even take a word play twist on your actual name. They are very common, however, and almost everyone has had a nickname at some point in their life. Many nicknames are associated with childhood, but they can be assigned at any time in your life. Countless others have managed to get rid of a nickname or have found a way to not let it get them down. Follow these suggestions and this can be you as well!
1. Ignore them.
If a nickname bothers you, ignore the person or people who call you by this name. If you acknowledge that the name bothers you, chances are high that they will continue to call you by it anyways, and may even call you this name even more than they did.
If you accept their criticism you are also indirectly accepting this nickname for yourself, and it can be difficult to get rid of it after this happens. Don’t get them the satisfaction!
2. Use your real name.
Sometimes a nickname comes to a point where you have no choice but to address it. At this time, an effective technique is to tell them what your real name is. It may be the case that the reason you have a nickname is because people were unaware of what your name was in the first place. Telling them what your name is in a level voice can go a long way to fixing this problem.
3. Explain your concerns.
Nicknames, while they can sometimes be designed to hurt you, can also be genuinely made in good fun. Your best friends in fact might make up a nickname, or several nicknames, that you do not agree with. If you do not explain that the nickname hurts you, chances are they will continue to call you by it.
Telling them that you hurt, and explaining how you are most comfortable when your real name is used can quickly get rid of a nickname. If your friends are calling you a certain nickname, they will understand the concern and stop calling you by this name if they are your real friends.
4. Tell them to stop.
Sometimes the best way to get someone to stop using a nickname is to directly tell him or her to stop using it. You may have tried this strategy in some of the other suggestions, however. If necessary, get an authority figure to help you with this.
Nicknames can be genuinely hurtful. Do not worry about being seen as a tattletale. You have a real concern that should be addressed. Find the help of your friends, your parents, your teachers, or any other person in a position of authority. If the people calling you the undesired name will not listen to you, you may have a better chance of success by following this approach.
5. Don’t assign them yourself.
It may be the case that the reason you have a nickname is because you have given one to someone else, or call others by nicknames! If you start calling people by their real name, chances are they will return the favor.
6. Find new friends.
It may be best to find a new friend group if people are continuing to use a nickname that you do not agree with. If they cannot see what makes you upset about a nickname, or refuse to listen to your concerns, then they might not be your true friends anyhow.
If the people calling you this nickname are not your friends, try and avoid running into these people as much as you can, or avoid them altogether. If you don’t see them often enough, they may forget all about the name they gave you.
7. Move or find new friends.
Sometimes a fresh start can be the perfect way to get rid of a nickname. Trying a new neighborhood, school, or workplace where you may not know anybody is the perfect way to ditch a name you are not pleased with. While you might not want to move exclusively for the purpose of getting a fresh start with your name, you can take advantage of a new move for a different reason to give you this fresh start.
Maybe you have a nickname that you used to like, but it is no longer appropriate because of the school you are in, or a new job that you have. Fair enough! This happens to many people. You should not let this hold you back from getting rid of it anyhow.
8. Don’t use your nickname.
Your childhood nickname of ‘the Killer’ might have been fun in school, but chances are this will not make a good impression in the workplace. If somebody tries to use a nickname that you are not fond of, gently remind him or her in the workplace that this is no longer what you want to be called, and that you are trying to keep things professional by using your real name.
Nicknames can be confusing in a workplace. Companies often keep a computerized record of all of their employees, and the use of a nickname can make this process difficult. For your own convenience, you may be best off to use your own name in this case.
This is especially the case if you have more than one nickname, as some people do. Having a nickname can be cool, of course, but can create confusion if you try to use several of them in different scenarios. It is easiest to just use your own name. Other people likely do not want to keep track of all the different names you may have.
Remove your nickname from any areas where you may be showing it off to different people. Get rid of email signatures, business cards, or your voicemail where you are using your nickname. It can also help to talk about yourself in the third person to your friends and coworkers. This can help them to get the message about what you truly want to be called!
Nicknames are frustrating. As much as they can be a fun way to identify yourself within a friend group, they can also be hurtful, or you may find that they no longer apply to you as you grow older. Getting rid of a nickname can be difficult, but it does not have to be impossible. Follow these suggestions and you will be well on your way to a nickname you actually enjoy, or to people using your actual real name!