I have told people who called me Pam. “You are not my mother. You don’t get to name me. My name is Pamela, not Pam.”
“Are you hard of hearing? Pam, is not what I said.”
I have written a whole story about my name, Please call me Pamela, not Pam. When it comes to my name, I am easily annoyed and will always correct people. The only person I haven’t corrected is my plastic surgeon. She has a scalpel. I want her to be happy.
A few days ago, my friend Jessica, sent me an article Joh Steinberg, President and Chief Operating Officer at BuzzFeed wrote, Why You Should Let People Call You by a Nickname.
She said, “I am not suggesting you use a nickname. Just sharing the article.”
The hackles were already up on my back. I was ready to go down fighting with my can of Pam spray in my right hand. I am the fool they talk about in the book of proverbs. Maybe that’s the problem. I consider someone shortening my name an insult, when they just wanted to be a friend.
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
Ten years ago Jon Steinberg decided he valued closeness more than he valued his formal name, and he decided to use the name Jon rather than Jonathon. In his article he made the hypothesis that short names are a contributing factor in business success.
Perhaps Steinberg is right, a shortened name might contribute to business success. Business success would be nice, but I am starting to realize I need to more concerned about other people’s feeling than my own. The article made me think of how I make other people feel when I correct them about my name. I want to be kind more than I want to be right.
Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
I want to make friends and have people feel comfortable. I will hold my tongue when my name is shortened. However I will still introduce myself as Pamela, and go by Margaret when I order coffee.
Do you let people call you by a nickname?
If I have ever corrected you when you called me Pam, please accept my apology. I do want to be your friend.