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Is Naming Your Child a Less Common Name Narcissistic?

Aside from having a very popular name, my brother Michael is a "junior" and said if he had kids he'd never have a namesake because he'd want his son to have his own identity. This, and the fact that I never wanted my children to have to answer to "Michael M." or "Mary L." in a classroom, is why I chose uncommon monikers for my kids. But according to a researcher on a study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, choosing a unique name may be a sign of narcissism. A Lemondrop report said:

As Jean Twenge, PhD, one of the researchers concluded, "The most compelling explanation left is this idea that parents are much more focused on their children standing out. There's been this cultural shift toward focusing on the individual, toward standing out and being unique as opposed to fitting in with the group and following the rules." Then she went in for the kill: "I think it is an indication of our culture becoming more narcissistic," Twenge says.

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yeokr yeokr 6 years
I think naming a child an unusual name with the intention of outdoing other unusual names is narcissistic, but finding an unusual name in your family trove or that is not on the list of most popular names is not. i would love to use my great-grandmother's name (ruby), but i am weary since it is more popular right now..
bchicgrl bchicgrl 6 years
I don't think picking an uncommon name is bad, like others have said you can choose to name your baby whatever you want for whatever reason. I loved what Running said about spelling names different, in SOME cases it does make it look like you can't spell. My name was pretty common in the 80's (Megan) and yes it's spelled the original way haha. Now when I meet other Megans, first thing we ask is how it's spelled. There is no reason to add extra letters or change them.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
My ex used to say this song was 'our song,' and when our girl was born we named her after the song. Having a baby with someone is a meaningful experience; we wanted a name that was equally meaningful. I don't see how that's narcissistic.People are just more cultured now than they were 100 years ago; my ancestors never ate Lebanese food or sushi, am I a narcissist for doing so?I found this same article on LiveScience, it says, "...in the late 1800s and early 1900s, about 5 percent of babies were named the top common name, while more recently that dropped to 1 percent."That's their evidence. The lady in charge of this study, Jean Twenge, she's a nutcase. She's a psychologist and she writes books about narcissism; I think she's just trying to sell books by bashing people who give their kids unique names.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
My ex used to say this song was 'our song,' and when our girl was born we named her after the song. Having a baby with someone is a meaningful experience; we wanted a name that was equally meaningful. I don't see how that's narcissistic. People are just more cultured now than they were 100 years ago; my ancestors never ate Lebanese food or sushi, am I a narcissist for doing so? I found this same article on LiveScience, it says, "...in the late 1800s and early 1900s, about 5 percent of babies were named the top common name, while more recently that dropped to 1 percent." That's their evidence. The lady in charge of this study, Jean Twenge, she's a nutcase. She's a psychologist and she writes books about narcissism; I think she's just trying to sell books by bashing people who give their kids unique names.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I just got flagged!
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I just got flagged!
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I think you should pick the name you like while keeping in mind how that name will sound for both a child an adult, and ignore what other people think. I really dislike when people change the spelling on names, especially with extra y's, but thats just my opinion. I don't have the right to harp on or expect my opinion to have any bearing. People tend to jump on the "theyll just have to spell it their entire lives" bandwagon, but that happens for perfectly traditional non changed names. My name is Katrina, and i almost ALWAYS have to spell it. It's not insanely uncommon and it's a traditional spelling. So far I still love my name and I haven't ever wanted to trade it for something else just becuase i have to spell it out.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I think you should pick the name you like while keeping in mind how that name will sound for both a child an adult, and ignore what other people think. I really dislike when people change the spelling on names, especially with extra y's, but thats just my opinion. I don't have the right to harp on or expect my opinion to have any bearing. People tend to jump on the "theyll just have to spell it their entire lives" bandwagon, but that happens for perfectly traditional non changed names. My name is Katrina, and i almost ALWAYS have to spell it. It's not insanely uncommon and it's a traditional spelling. So far I still love my name and I haven't ever wanted to trade it for something else just becuase i have to spell it out.
NyckieRocks NyckieRocks 6 years
I agree with Girl Jen. Our son's name is very uncommon (Creighton) but it was his grandfather's name. But I think that if my husband would have suggested the name to me without ever telling me it was a family name, I still would have loved it. I have always like unique names. I think that it makes you remember that person. And I've never thought about the parent when thinking a person's name was cool and different.
NyckieRocks NyckieRocks 6 years
I agree with Girl Jen. Our son's name is very uncommon (Creighton) but it was his grandfather's name. But I think that if my husband would have suggested the name to me without ever telling me it was a family name, I still would have loved it. I have always like unique names. I think that it makes you remember that person. And I've never thought about the parent when thinking a person's name was cool and different.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
Haha exactly KT. I am very traditional and the trend away from traditional names is very funny because people want to be so different, but it is actually those with "old fashioned" names that stand out these days (in my opinion). When I have kids I plan on using all family names if those happen to be the trend at the time I will have to deal with it, although I'd rather them not be the number 1 name (but I highly doubt it!) And, you cannot predict trends---my niece who is 11 was named Sophia in February 1999 (it was ranked 70th that year), now its soooo common. Who would have known?? When she was named the only Sophie I could think of was the mother on the golden girls...now not so much.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
Haha exactly KT. I am very traditional and the trend away from traditional names is very funny because people want to be so different, but it is actually those with "old fashioned" names that stand out these days (in my opinion). When I have kids I plan on using all family names if those happen to be the trend at the time I will have to deal with it, although I'd rather them not be the number 1 name (but I highly doubt it!) And, you cannot predict trends---my niece who is 11 was named Sophia in February 1999 (it was ranked 70th that year), now its soooo common. Who would have known?? When she was named the only Sophie I could think of was the mother on the golden girls...now not so much.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
My name was the most popular girls' name in 1981. I don't think my dad (who named me) was intentionally being mean or trying to give me a name that all the other little girls had. I think that, like most names becoming popular now, he heard it a few different places and thought it sounded good, not realizing that thousands of other couples expecting little girls also heard that trendy name and thought it sounded good.
runningesq runningesq 6 years
I'm tired of all the "UNEEK" names... putting several extra letters or putting a "y" in the place of every vowel makes you look like you can't spell.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I don't think it's narcistic until you pick out really crazy names. Blanket, apple and the likes are clearly in that category. I think the problem are the trendy names. A friend of mine just had a Marie. That is the number one name in Germany for 2009. That is kinda mean to your child. Picking traditional names is fine as long as there won't be a zillion other children with the same name.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I don't think it's narcistic until you pick out really crazy names. Blanket, apple and the likes are clearly in that category. I think the problem are the trendy names. A friend of mine just had a Marie. That is the number one name in Germany for 2009. That is kinda mean to your child. Picking traditional names is fine as long as there won't be a zillion other children with the same name.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Picking a less common name for a child doesn't automatically mean that a parent is trying to make that child stand out. Maybe it's a family name. Maybe it's an ethnic name. Maybe the parents both went by first names and last initials (yeah, I was Jennifer C. until I grew up), and didn't enjoy it one bit. Maybe they understand that kids with these formerly uncommon names that are becoming common now are the new "crowd" that their child will be fitting into. For what it's worth, my daughter's name is Elizabeth...one of the most common names ever.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Picking a less common name for a child doesn't automatically mean that a parent is trying to make that child stand out. Maybe it's a family name. Maybe it's an ethnic name. Maybe the parents both went by first names and last initials (yeah, I was Jennifer C. until I grew up), and didn't enjoy it one bit. Maybe they understand that kids with these formerly uncommon names that are becoming common now are the new "crowd" that their child will be fitting into.For what it's worth, my daughter's name is Elizabeth...one of the most common names ever.
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