Warmth, protection, role models. From early childhood, all these factors influence our personality— they shape it. We are partly what they made of us when we were children. Although there is something else that is perhaps little talked about, it also determines our lives, something that our parents have given us since the day we were born. Our name.
We decided to investigate the power of names and their ability to determine and even shape behavior. We wanted to know more and came up with some really amazing theories. Read this article to the end and be as amazed as we are.
How Our Names Influence The Way Others Look At Us
Within each country, some names are considered common and others that are or may become very rare, depending on when you look at the statistics. There are also others that, for different reasons, we usually associate with positive or negative meanings, and others that we find attractive, exotic, modern, or, on the contrary, old-fashioned.
It might make sense to think that perhaps these attributes that bear our names influence how others treat us and how we perceive ourselves on some level.
If you’ve ever wondered, it may not be the first. In fact, several studies have been conducted to determine how choosing a name can shape a person’s life. The conclusions of each of these studies go more or less in the same direction.
Yes, choosing a name can have consequences in our life, both positive and negative. Suddenly, choosing a name is no longer just a matter of aesthetics.
It is often said, for example, that names with more “ringing” sounds, such as Owen or Lauren, tend to associate with emotional and friendly people more often than those that include non-voice letters, such as Jack or Katie.
This may be because the latter have shorter and abrupt sounds and may be associated with outgoing, witty, and upbeat people on some level of our consciousness.
That very special relationship between someone’s character and their way of being with a name. This is very clearly reflected in the fiction when naming the main characters. There is even a branch of etymology that studies names, called onomastics.
And just like in the books, the evil characters also have evil-sounding names. In real life, names that people find “weird,” unpopular, or have negative connotations can have a negative impact on the self-esteem of the person who should be called that for the rest of their life.
This is mainly due to 2 different reasons, which at some point merge to create the perfect storm. On the other hand, our own ego can feel hurt because we don’t like the name or what it means to us.
On the other hand, other people may not like it. And most people will find a way to let you know, which is not great, sometimes it can be both.
As is often the case with other things, names can also be skewed. They can have social, cultural, and even linguistic origins. This is how many people come to the conclusion that a person with a more “ringing” name, which is often pronounced more fluently than other names, is a good person. On the other hand, people with longer and “abrupt” names are more likely to be judged as loners by those in their environment.
Other studies seem to further emphasize this idea, suggesting that children with rare or unusual names are more likely to suffer from some emotional disorders than children with common names. Is it a coincidence that the names chosen to represent 2 famous girls from film and television were “Wednesday” from the Addams family and “Annie” from Annie?
The disturbing little girl with braids and the empathetic and lovable Annie are just some of the more revealing examples behind this theory.
But if you’re one of those people with an unusual name, don’t worry, it’s not all bad news for you. In fact, there are also some very positive points about having an original and unique name. Other research has shown that while a common name can help a child become more accepted by others in the short term, someone with a name that is considered exotic, strange, or unusual can convey a sense of uniqueness.
By doing so, you can mold a personality aligned with exceptional character, which can become a very valuable trait depending on how you handle it.
Creativity, an open mind, unusual career paths, and successful business strategies are just some of the main characteristics that many scientific studies have managed to associate with people who were chosen to carry an unusual name throughout their lives.
“Round” And “pointy” Names
The fact that we associate a name with a face, and even with a certain personality, does not depend only on fashion, the common or unusual of the society to which we belong. It is also related to something that could be understood as purely linguistic.
For example, we are thinking about the sound of the letters and how we combine them to make sense of them. Research has shown that people tend to make judgments based solely on what the set of letters that make up a name sounds like.
Studies suggest that our brains tend to link specific sounds with geometric shapes. For example, the sounds of the letters “b”, “m”, “l”, and “o” are most often perceived as round. On the other hand, letter sounds like “k”, “t”, “v”, and “i” are often interpreted as pointed.
We tend to transfer the properties that we hear in people’s names to their characters. This could be the smoothness or the goal we described above. From this, we will preconceive an image of the person.
For example, a “soft” name is associated with someone nice, emotional, responsible, and somewhat vulnerable. On the other hand, we can give someone’s “tough” or “sharp” name to a strong, outgoing, and daring personality.
Does this theory confirm that Bella is vulnerable and Victoria is evil in Twilight? Not really, but it shows our predisposition to think like this. Also, if we only saw the angelic face of Meg Ryan and the intense gaze of Kim Kardashian, would anyone doubt who gets the name one way and who the other?
If you had to choose a name for a competitive and very outgoing woman, what name would you choose? What if you were thinking of a romantic and sensitive man? Tell us what you think!
Preview photo credit The Twilight Saga: New Moon / Temple Hill Entertainment and co-producers, The Mauritanian / Wonder Street and co-producers
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