How do I tactfully ask people whom I don’t know very well not to call me by a nickname? My circle of old, close friends never call me by my name, but by a couple different nicknames. I’m okay with that. Unfortunately, my extended circle of friends have sort of picked up on these nicknames…arrrrrgggghhhh.
This has been happening for years and I have never liked it. I would really just prefer that my social acquaintances or not-particularly-close friends call me by my full name and that only my oldest, closest friends call me by nicknames. I mean, I really like my name; and I also feel like nicknames are something you only get to use after knowing someone for a long time. Maybe I am just really uptight or something, I don’t know. But anyway, I don’t really know how to say this to people without upsetting them. Can you suggest a nice way of putting this across to people?
Going out on a limb here, but I think you could say, when someone you don’t know well is like, “Hey, Boopsie, pass the salt,” you could be like, “Sure, I’d be happy to. And I actually prefer Elizabeth; it’s only the old-timers like Sally over there who still insist on calling me Boopsie.”
Granted, your new friend will probably be hurt because you’re telling her that basically you’re not close enough for her to use your nickname. Or people will get confused about what to call you and end up just calling you Uptight Lady Who’s Super Rigid About Her Nickname, but if you can live with that, then go for it. Also, you might want to discourage your old friends from using your nickname anymore. It’s hard to break a lifelong habit, but if you’re really sick of Boopsie, then you might as well make a stink with your old friends who love you than your new ones who might be scared to call you because they don’t know what to call you.