friendship

Got an unusual name? It's worth it for this brilliant benefit.

Image: Close enough. (via Starbucks Spelling).

When you’re the owner of a name that deviates even slightly from the norm, life becomes a little… complicated.

If it’s not being completely misspelled or mispronounced (“… it’s Kayla, right?”), your name becomes a conversational low-hanging fruit for every stranger you meet. Why did your parents call you that? Does it mean anything? Is that even a real name? 

Life as a Matt or a Grace or a Sarah must be so simple. However, there is some happy news for the creatively-named among us (hi, Apple Martin!): it seems our parents’ left-field naming decisions come with one significant psychological benefit.

According to a recent article from Yahoo Parenting, uncommon names have the power to shape a child’s personality in positive ways.

“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that begins with an unusual name and ultimately leads to unconventional or creative thinking. When you think of yourself as different, you might in turn think and behave differently,” New York University psychology professor Adam Alter tells the website.

North West is smiling now, but wait until she encounters her first substitute teacher.... (Image: Instagram)

“If [people] treat you as though you’re different, whether because of your name or some other characteristic, in time you’ll come to feel that this difference is real. It’s possible that perceiving yourself as different might liberate you to behave and think differently from other people."

In other words, we're forced to live up to our names.

Admittedly, I don't have any psychological qualifications under my belt, but I think there's some truth to the idea that owning a "unique" moniker results in certain personality traits — and not just a little deep-seated resentment towards your parents.

If nothing else, all those years of having to explain and slowly spell out your name (not to mention accepting "close enough" spellings on takeaway coffee cups) has to make you an unusually patient human being. (Post continues after gallery.)

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

It also lends you excellent attention to detail and spelling abilities; because you loathe people getting your name wrong, you're always extra careful to check the spelling and pronunciation of others'.

Then, of course, there's a certain level of resilience required to deal with the lifelong ribbing and "hilarious" observations you'll field about your name. "Ha, ha, yes it does look like 'Kahlua' doesn't it, ha, ha, no my parents aren't big drinkers."

I guess being more "creative" kind of makes up for the heartache of never being able to find one of those personalised name plates as a child.

Do you have an unusual name? What's your biggest grievance?

00:00 / ???