What would you do in this situation?
A friend of mine is having a baby, and she’s planning on naming her Castle. Like the place where the king and queen live. (She thinks it sounds “dreamy.”) Am I allowed to tell her that this is a bad idea, and the kid will resent her for giving her a stupid name?
Melissa Leonard, a business etiquette consultant, suggests keeping one’s opinion to oneself:
When a mom-to-be has her mind set on a name, there is usually nothing that can be said to sway the decision. No matter how close you are with this woman, I think it is best to leave things alone. If you do speak your mind and let her know that you think her child will resent her for bestowing such a “stupid” name on her, she will remember your words forever. There is no reason to destroy (or, at the least, cause a rift in) your friendship just because of your opinion.
I agree with this advice, for the most part.
In my experience, people who ask “What do you think of [this name]?” aren’t looking for opinions so much as support. Even if you’re not a big fan of the name in question, it’s usually best to keep your thoughts to yourself and respond reassuringly.
Sometimes, though, you’ll encounter a name that is truly bad. If you think it may end up being a burden to the child–and you can express this to the parent-to-be in a constructive, non-negative way–I think you should speak up.
It won’t be fun, that’s for sure. No one ever wants to be the one who answers “Do these pants make me look fat?” with “Well, actually…” But sometimes certain things really need to be said. (And they can be said in ways that don’t threaten friendships.)
So, while I mostly agree with Leonard’s “live and let live” advice, I would swap out that idiom for some “honesty is the best policy” when it comes to extreme names.
What do you think?