Dear Ms. L’Anne,
My new in-laws keep calling me the wrong name by accident. I don’t think they mean to, and the name they call me is really close to my actual name, but it’s definitely not my name. I try not to be offended, but it’s getting old. What should I do?
Susie in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
It must be very awkward to have your in-laws call you by the wrong name, and you are doing the exact right thing in trying not to be offended. You are beginning to build a lifelong relationship and choosing not to embarrass your new in-laws is the kind and gracious thing a young Southern lady would do.
Having been on the receiving end of many mispronunciations of my name, I’ve learned that people have a difficult time correcting a name they have often used incorrectly. If you can determine why your new family might be calling you the wrong name, it may give you more patience and enable you to find an indirect way to help them learn your name.
One way to do this is to engage your husband in a plan to use your name often when talking or writing to his parents, instead of using “we” or “she,” say “Susie.” Over time, your problem may be solved with no embarrassment on either side. In the long run, you will not have to groan inwardly when you remember that you embarrassed your in-laws early in your marriage and they will not have to remember that you had to correct them about your name.
Remember that kindness and grace encourage good relationships.
Do you have a question for a tried and true Southern lady? Ask Miss L’Anne via the contact page. She knows everything there is to know about everything. Seriously.