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No More Nicknames, Please!

My name is Anastasia. I'm almost 25, and I have always been called by nicknames: Annie, Ana, Stasia, Nastia, Anya, Stacy, Tasia (only people like my mother, father, sister, and best friend are allowed to call me Annie). But I'm slowly getting sick of always hearing nicknames and never my full name. As soon as I introduce myself, people ask what my nickname is. I don't know what to do to get people to use my full name. Is Anastasia really too much of a mouthful? I hear it so little and I do love my name. Do you have any advice?

–Anastasia, Please!

It's clear that this really bugs you. But it's not clear whether others really know that. So your first step is to make your wishes known, clearly and firmly, but also politely. It will be easiest with new people. If they ask you if you have a nickname, just say "No!" with a smile. You could follow up with a casual reminder that lets your new acquaintance know where you stand: "I know it’s long, but I like the full Anastasia!" Most people will get on board and respect your wishes.

For old friends, and especially family, it's more challenging. You’re asking them to break an old habit, and that’s not easy. Your preference is also tied to your growing independence and maturity. Annie and Ana feel like little-girl names to you, and probably to your parents too. It might be hard for them to acknowledge that you’ve outgrown them.

So be patient, positive, and persistent. Remind your family and friends that you were given a wonderful name, and you’d like them to use it. It may take many gentle reminders for the message to get through. Stick with it. I do caution you against negative tactics, though. Whining, arguing, or refusing to answer to anything but Anastasia can cause hard feelings—and aren't likely to be effective anyway. Cheerfulness and understanding will get you a lot closer to your goal. Good luck!


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June 23, 2016 2:59 PM
By Jenny (not verified)

Anastasia is a really pretty name. If you ask them to, most people will probably be happy to call you by your full name. You may have to gently remind them on occasion, of course.

June 24, 2016 1:29 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

When someone calls you 'Annie' just say politely "Anastasia thanks".


June 24, 2016 12:42 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have an easily mispronounced name. I have come to the realization that it is a bit of a litmus test. People who care about me get it right or stumble tying. People who don't care don't bother to try. (Again, long term family members get a bit of a bye.)

I correct once or twice, and then I choose to use the information that they are giving me: they don't care enough about me to get it right.

June 25, 2016 8:41 AM
By Sabby (not verified)

The Name Lady is correct. When people ask for your nickname tell them that you don't have one. If they hear your parents or your best friend calling you Annie just explain that only close calls you that. For others say, "I know you always call me Stasia, but I really prefer Anastasia. I should've mentioned this before." It's not 100% their fault since you didn't mention a preference. Be kind, but be firm. Everyone deserves to be called by their name.

June 27, 2016 6:41 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We named our first daughter Catherine and loved the name, but it seemed too formal for a baby, so she was "Cathy" and remained Cathy as she was growing up. I don't know what age she was when she decided she wanted to be called Catherine, but sometime in her 20s she started introducing herself as Catherine, and eventually she had an increasing number of people who knew her only as Catherine. This included her husband who had known of her as Cathy but only really got to know her as Catherine. She never asked anyone in our family to call her Catherine, and she's still called mostly Cathy by her siblings, but I find myself using Catherine a lot too. Name changes may not happen overnight, but with patience and perseverance we can encourage others who've long known us to use the form of our name we now prefer and begin with that name when introducing ourself to new people who come into our lives. (Thinking too of my niece Angela, who was Angie for many years, and of myself, who prefers Patricia to Pat that I was known by for most of my life. One of my aunts never stopped calling me my childhood nickname Patty, but I saw that as an endearment and didn't mind.) You can be Anastasia -- maybe not all the time to every one -- but if you gently persist, eventually most of the people in your life will come around.

June 30, 2016 4:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

A friend of mine is Stephen. Not Steve, thank you. And certainly not Stevie. Anastasia may be four syllables, or five, depending on pronunciation, but people (and especially your friends) should respect that. Women called Kimberley and Hillary can expect to be called by their full names, as can the Jennifers of this world. I don't see why it would be so difficult for your friends and coworkers to honor you in the same way; with your full name. Who wants to be called 'Nasty' anyway?

July 6, 2016 2:11 PM
By Caitlin (not verified)

I am Caitlin, and prefer to be called Caitlin. Sometimes people will call me Caity. Mostly family but I don't mind too much. But I do prefer to be called my real name. I babysit a little boy named Alexander. His mom doesn't want him to have nick names so I just call his Full name. It fits him way better than Alex or Xander would.

July 11, 2016 1:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I had a friend with a very long and intimidating African name (much more unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce than Anastasia), who was an expert at gently saying "I prefer [Full name], thanks" as many times as needed. He also made a point to pronounce it very clearly every time he met someone. Some people still insisted on trying to shorten it, but he'd always politely correct and move on. He once told me he went by a different name for a while because of it, but as he gained confidence, he also gained pride in the cultural and family history that his name stood for, and decided it was worth it to him to remind people. It's basic respect to call people what they want to be called, so remember you're not the rude one when you correct them.

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