The Link Between Name-Liking and Self-Esteem

You’ve found a great baby name, but it’s a bit unusual. You’re concerned that your child might not like it as much as you do.

Should you choose something else?

Before you go back to the drawing board, consider this: Research has shown that there’s a strong correlation between “a person’s like or dislike of his or her name and high and low self-esteem, respectively.”

According to psychologist Jochen Gebauer, “People who have high self-esteem tend to like their name more.”

The reason is known as the ‘mere-ownership effect’’ which essentially means that if we like ourselves, we prefer things that are ours to other options.

Another study established this effect years ago when people were given toasters and other household appliances to compare. No matter what they were given, they always preferred the item that was theirs.

When you own a certain object, then you put the value you have for yourself into this object.

In other words, how your child feels about himself will influence the way he feels about his name.

So, if the name you like isn’t too unusual, maybe you shouldn’t waste time worrying about it. Instead, you could spend that time learning how to help your child develop healthy self-esteem.

Sources: Good or Bad, Baby Names Have Long-lasting Effects, People’s names linked to self-esteem, says Welsh research


2 thoughts on “The Link Between Name-Liking and Self-Esteem

  1. Interesting! I have no trouble believing this. My first name is not too out of the ordinary, but I’ve never met another person with my name- Liberty. When I was younger, I always shirked off my full name, and went around as Libby. Now, older, more experienced, and with loads more self-esteem, I love my full first name- even if I still go by Libby.

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