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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Southern California
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    2,399

    Switching Over to a Nickname

    I’m considering switching over to using a nickname, but I have no idea how to go about doing so without making it really awkward for everyone. I’ve known a couple people who have tried to do it, but we’re unsuccessful (he told everyone that he wanted to be called Jim now, but no one abided and semi-mocked it). Have you done this successfully or known someone who did?

    ———

    I think there was a thread about this a while ago, but I don’t really want to search through all of the threads to try and find it so I’m just making a new one.
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  2. #2
    Is it for yourself or your children? I think while it will be awkward and unnatural to begin with, people will get used to it after a while and if your family/friends respect your wishes and care about you and your reasons behind it then they will make the effort to start calling you this new name, is it a nickname everyone uses already or?
    Neve • Nate • Flynn • Willow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    978
    For a few close people, you could say, 'I'd like it of you would call me X more'. When introducing yourself to new people, just go with the nickname. When sharing stories about things that have happened to you, include quotes from other people calling you the nickname. Generally if people hear someone being called a nickname they will pick it up too.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    24
    I started going by Stevie (from Stephanie) when I was 26 and now almost everyone I know calls me that. Exceptions are my dad and sister. Not for any reason really. They just forget.

    The way I did it was I changed all my social media to Stevie, started introducing myself as Stevie (especially to friends of friends, because then your original friends will get the message), and by referring to myself in the 3rd person in ways like @dayjoy mentioned. It's definitely doable.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    UK
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    1,776
    I've gone almost exclusively by my nickname since I was 7.

    For new people, just introduce yourself by the nickname. For old friends etc, I really suggest changing your name on Facebook and perhaps in their phones so that when they see your name they only see the name you want to go by. I sign off my work emails with my nickname to ensure that's the name I will get in the reply.

    Although after 25 years (18 of which going by the nickname) I'm slowly starting to appreciate my full name a bit more.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    284
    I used to go exclusively by Mandy, a nickname chosen for me by my parents, up until 6th grade. In 6th grade I up and decided to go by AJ instead. I tested it in my house first, then when it started feeling natural I asked my teacher to call me AJ too, which encouraged my peers to call me AJ. I started signing all my homework as AJ as well, to remind my teacher that that was my name now. My friends picked it up pretty easily after that. There were some mishaps here and there but by 7th grade I was exclusively known as AJ.

    I think starting in the household was my best decision, because it got the people closest to me comfortable with it first, which made the new name feel natural and like it really was my name. It can be awkward at first, your family will surely mess up a couple times, but just brush it off, correct them and eventually it’ll come naturally and that awkwardness will go away. Then try school/your workplace. Start with one person and see if it catches on. Start signing your papers/emails/texts and such with the new nickname and your last name, this’ll challenge others to remind themselves that “Mandy” is now “AJ”.

    I got lucky and not many people really questioned my name change. I’d done it to signify a new chapter for myself, but most people just assumed I’d outgrown Mandy but hadn’t grown into Amanda yet. If people ask you could always give a simple reason like that. Either you’ve outgrown your previous name, or it just doesn’t feel “right” anymore. You don’t have to explain yourself if that makes the situation awkward or uncomfortable to you. Likewise, if that doesn’t bother you, sometimes having a concrete reasoning helps people to adjust to the new name. I’d recommend just feeling those situations out. If they’re somebody you think would do better knowing or needs to know, share with them! If not, if it’s somebody you don’t even see or talk to much, just somebody being nosy, and doesn’t really need to be in the know, just say “Meh, I just sorta outgrew Mandy.” or “Meh, I just got tired of Mandy.” and leave it at that. Personally, I felt okay with people just assuming I’d just outgrown my previous nickname and kept with that reasoning because it made it a quicker, less anxiety inducing experience for me.

    I had ONE person in my life who REFUSED to make the change. Most of the time I just shrugged it off. But sometimes I slipped in a “I prefer AJ now, but yes?” People like that can be a challenge, the people who wouldn’t call Jim by Jim make life difficult. But the best thing you can do is just persevere. It took YEARS, and my grandmother still preferred to call me Amanda, but we finally reached a point where she at least switched between the two names. Don’t let those people get you down. Your identity is more important than people who can’t accept change and beat you back into a box that doesn’t fit you anymore.

    I wish you the best of luck! You got this!
    A J

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    891
    My cousin went by his middle name until he was in his late thirties and then he changed it and wanted to go by his first. His friends and wife started calling him by his first name but almost all of his family still calls him by his middle name.

    I think you’re gonna have a hard time changing it for your family, but if you’re persistent and they see that you really care about it they’ll change their minds.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    978
    This is a fair point. My aunt went by her middle name from birth untill her 40s. It's been almost 5 years, but I still struggle to use her first name, especially since I see her about once a year.
    It might be difficult, but if its changing to a nickname people can at least see where it's coming from, as there should be some similarity (usually). It's fairly easy to remember that Michelle now wants to be called Shell, but more difficult if she wants to be known as Grace.
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    Girls Middles/Honours
    Juliet Margot Vera Celia Rosalie Eleanor


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    Griffin Elliot 'Otto' Caspian Jonas Elias Chester

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    Daniel Charles Bennett Piers Thomas


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