What's in a name? More than you may have realized
Does your moniker affect other people's perception--or your perception--of you?
Bill (Pappou) Drew
I once dealt with a banker named Peter Banks and had a teacher, Miss English. Does the moniker given or acquired by us describe WHO we are? How about Oscar? Does that bring the golden statue to mind or Sesame Street? How about if the name “Meyer” is added? Do the images turn into the Wienermobile or a small child spelling BOLOGNA?
The recent book titled “Blink” gives examples about the immediate unconscious process of first impressions. “Hillary” (guess her last name) once gave the answer, that her mother named her after the famous Mt. Everest mountain climber, Sir Edmund Hillary. There’s a bit of a problem there. She was born in 1947 and he didn’t become world renowned until 1953. But still, has an unconscious link been established there? Is our perception of her now one who desires and reaches for the highest of aspirations?
If I said my name is Maurice Chevalier, does that bring images to your mind? For me, it’s a wonderful image; pretty girls around, a smile on my face, and having a deep gravelly French accent. Would you think of me as “putting you on?” or “toying” with you? How about using “John Doe?” Am I trying to be evasive or cautious? Do we get trapped by being in the shadows of major name or organization players? “He’s a conservative,” or “She’s a Yankee fan,” or “He is a member of the ACLU.” “awww324qqqqrr .“ Opps. There’s Sam. I call him “computer cat.” He just walked over my keyboard and loves being my editor. “Pay attention to me!”
Does the perception of us as individuals have to be associated with who we associate with or are representatives of? Sometimes, it’s merely coincidence. I live in New Castle. He lives in Rye. There is an immediate impression that may be skewed by not knowing the full details of when, how, or why we found ourselves to be there. How about people named “Katrina Polychronopoulos?,” “Kate Sweeney?” or “Jon Johansson?”
I use my own name to advantage. I mention my sister’s. I love watching people respond after the way I present it. I relish their reactions and the quick “improv” responses given back to me.
Photo by Jim Cerny
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