I changed my name two years ago. I changed both my first name and last name and removed my middle name. My previous name was fairly innocuous although it more obviously denoted my heritage (Irish). My current name is also fairly innocuous and my first name is also quite similar in many ways to my old first name.
Most of the people in my life have adapted very easily and respectfully to calling me by my new name.
My mom struggled but she mostly tries and sometimes does a mashup of my old and new names. I just remind her of my new name and she takes the reminder well.
I have a problem with my aunt though. She believes that I need to give her a good enough reason for why I changed my name before she will call me by my new name. My reasons are entirely for spiritual growth/soul thrill but most people are going to be weirded out by that so I just say because I feel the name suits me better as a person (which is also true).
She’s not someone who would be respectful of my spiritual beliefs anyway.
I just don’t know how to approach this claim that she needs to validate my reason of my name change! My reply at the time was a swift F you and EXIT SCENE LEFT THROUGH DOOR THAT DID NOT SLAM PROPERLY… but I would really like to wrap my head around it and be able to stand up for myself more calmly.
Thank you so much for your time whether you post or not!
Someone who loves my new name!
Dear New Name,
I don’t know how much you hang out with this aunt after the Day of The Unsuccessful Door Slam, but when you cross paths again, if your name becomes an issue again, try this:
“I don’t know that there is a reason that will satisfy you. It was important to me to do it and it makes me happy to have done it. I don’t want to fight with you or keep having to justify a decision that’s mine to make. Do you want to have a relationship with me, New Name, or not?”
If Aunt still refuses to call you by your name, then you know she’s chosen “or not.” It’s your human right to name yourself, and it’s a really hostile & rude thing to purposely and continually call someone by the wrong name.
I hope the next time you see her it all goes better.