Which Name Would You Choose?

March 25, 2012

I once heard a story about someone who called his wife “Sweet Maria.” That was her nickname. Sweet Maria. That is how he referenced her to other people, that is how he spoke to her. My Sweet Maria, he would say.

When I heard that I thought, “That would be amazing to be described in that way!”

So then I wondered, “Did she become sweet because he calls her so, or was she sweet already?”

What do you think?

How would that change your perception of yourself if you were nicknamed Sweet _____? What if you were constantly called courageous or your nickname was sunshine?

Would that change how you think of yourself and how you treat others?

Words are so powerful. They can lead us to look through certain lenses. We often create those lenses by hearing other people’s words about us. We then continue looking through a certain lens by how we talk to ourselves.

A friend’s mom always called me beautiful when I was little. She called me smart and helpful. Guess how I thought of myself and acted when I was around her?

We often focus on the worst in people, especially those close to us. We often talk with more kindness and concern to a neighbor than to our own spouse.

Why not give the gift of kind words to those closest to us? Call them your hero or beautiful? There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t want to be a hero or beautiful. Open the doors of imagination for someone. Help them see what they are capable of, not what they are lacking.

Question: What would you love to be called every day? What could you call those closest to you? I’d love it if you shared your thoughts in the comment section.

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  • Reply Michael Wright March 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    EVERY single day, my wife writes notes on my daughter’s ziploc baggies and containers for her school lunch. It will often say “Love you Sweetie Pea!”, which is what we often call her or “Mommy and Daddy love you!!” or a variety of sayings. I know it will make a difference in her life. When she is not having a great day at school or someone says something bad to her, she knows she is smart, a sweetie pea, a cutie pie. It’s like spraying Pam on the brain – it doesn’t allow all that bad junk to stick to it!

    It is so true that we often neglect to say the kindest words to those closest to us. I never heard my dad say complimentary words about me until I got a Ham Radio and happened to hear him talking to his buddies on the radio about me and my accomplishments. Felt good, but would have been better in person! Many times I used to think of something great, nice, complementary to say to my wife, but I would keep it to myself, thinking that it wasn’t really ‘necessary’, but I don’t do that anymore. I speak it, because she needs to hear it. I do too and she does a great job of it. Zig Ziglar says if you treat others as if they are hurting and need a word of encouragement, you are probably right.

    • Reply Kent Julian March 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Michael, my wife (Kathy) does the same thing for all three of our kids. What’s amazing is all three of our kids are teenagers, and they love reading their special notes from mom every morning.

      I take a slightly different approach. You can read more about it here: http://www.liveitforward.com/one-letter-per-year-can-change-a-life-a-key-to-success-for-fathers/

      Either way, as Claudia says, words are powerful! I would add, positive words are the most powerful!!

      • Reply Claudia Good March 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

        Read your article and truly loved it!!!

        What a gift to your children to call each of them by name and speak so powerfully into their lives!

        What a blessing your father role has been to them! One of support and encouragement… challenging them to greater heights!

        • Reply Kent Julian March 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

          And what a blessing you are to your family, as well. Believe me, my kids LOVE the notes they get from Kathy everyday. And like I said, they’re teenagers and still love it 🙂

    • Reply Claudia Good March 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

      I love this Michael!
      What a great gift to your daughter! She is reminded every day of how much she is loved.

      And you are totally right when you say it is so much more meaningful to hear these things in person. Hearing someone talk to someone else about you is cool, but doesn’t have the same impact that face to face affirmation does. Especially from a parent!

  • Reply Nancy March 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Very intresting subject!! I can’t wait to read all the comments!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Nancy!
      I am excited as well 🙂

  • Reply Ann J Musico March 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    What a beautiful post – words truly are containers for power and what we call each other and ourselves is very powerful. The Bible says when Jesus returns he will give us each a new name! I can’t wait to see what His Name for me will be. I text my younger son every morning and email my oldest and I usually address them as either – Handsome, dollface, sweetheart or some such thing. I have always spoken to them that way. My daughter lives at home and commutes to college but I call her those endearing names as well. My husband has always been “honey”. Because he sees me as a strong woman who never gets sick – his nickname for me has always been his “Brama” (yes, like the bull!). Not very romantic – but a good one nonetheless!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      I loved your sentence about Jesus giving each of us a new name! That will truly be an amazing day!!

      Your words to your children are a constant investment. It sounds as though you have invested with great kindness and care! What a gift to your children!

      Hahaha so you are “Brama” huh?! Special that he sees you as so strong. Does that make you view yourself as strong?

  • Reply Ryan Ash March 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Very good thoughts, Claudia! I was just listening to the audio version of Switch today, and it was talking about looking for the “bright spots” when trying to change something. Your post makes me think about how we want to change all of the negatives in other people. How much differently would people react to us if we could just look for those “bright spots” that they have, and dwell on them? That would be a pretty basic “How to win friends and influence people” approach.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

      I haven’t read that book… have heard good things.

      Yes, looking for bright spots. What a great way to phrase it! I really like that.

      Dwell on the bright spots. Key. 🙂

  • Reply Marianne Clements March 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm


    My husband calls me BWE (Best Wife Ever) and I call him BHE. We have lots of cute names/labels for each other and I believe these names cause us to strive to be what we are called. God also called people by different names — He called them what He wanted them to become. If you don’t like the way someone is then start calling them what you want them to be. It seems illogical, but it works!

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne Clements
    Victory Christian Coaching

    • Reply Claudia Good March 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      This is sweet Marianne 🙂 It really does make you become what you are being called doesn’t it?!

      And I love this sentence… If you don’t like the way someone is then start calling them what you want them to be. It seems illogical, but it works!” 🙂

  • Reply robclinton March 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Words are extremely powerful and convincing, and really influence our lives more than we know. My wife and I are always encouraging our kids by reminding them how smart and gifted they are in each of their talents and personalities. They bring a huge blessing to us and this world, as does my wife to me and our family. If I were to sit there and even sarcastically name call them, then that would have long term damaging affects I’m sure. We send love, with the hopes that love will always grow…

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