There are people out there who bristle at being called a pet name, like “Hon” or “Sweetie” or “Babe”. Some people even despise it when you shorten their name. In my case many people call me “Lis” rather than “Lisa”. To be honest, I like it. Although I do advocate calling people by their name often (because to that person it’s the sweetest name in the world), in lieu of first names, a nice moniker can be a fun change of pace.
There are just some people in this world who see people as wonderful additions to the world at large and they let the world know by calling them “Hon” or “Sweetie”. It’s not condescending or rude. It’s just something people do.
For people to be truly bothered by being called a positive name speaks about the one who is bothered. Life is pretty short and we run into just as many rude people as we do nice people. It’s surprising, though, how easily we will just accept the rude one’s behavior, shrugging them off but find ourselves bristling at something a nice person says.
Let’s take two statements: First there’s the sarcastic jerk who, when you enter a room they say to you, “Putting on a little weight?” Then there’s the nice person who gushes, “Oh, I love your hair!” We are all just as likely to ignore the rude comment as we are to say to the complimenter, “Ugh, are you kidding? I look terrible!! I’ve put on so much weight, my hair even looks fat.” Further, quite often we will compliment the sarcasm by either laughing or turning it into a joke. “Hey, good one” or “As a matter of fact, I have put on weight you pig” are more likely responses than a simple “Thank you” for the polite comment.
Why would we ignore something mean but respond to a compliment like that? Although I don’t have the answer, it is a bit sad that our society as a whole encourages sarcasm and rudeness over consideration. If you find yourself hearing “What can I do for you, Sweetie?” and you want to respond with “Don’t call me Sweetie” best advice is to smile and answer their question.
Unless it’s some pig of a person who is hoping for something vulgar for you, when receiving a compliment or being called a complimentary name, please don’t chose to be rude to the nice person but laugh off the rude one? Otherwise you are just adding to the problem.
The next time you wonder why there aren’t nicer people in the world, ask yourself if you are encouraging polite consideration or highlighting rude, sarcastic behavior.