Choosing a baby name is a significant decision. You might spend weeks or months thinking about it. You could have looked up popular baby names online and decided maybe that wasn’t the route you wanted to take. Maybe you wanted a more original, unique name, and you finally feel like you’ve decided on one.
There’s just one issue—what if people hate it?
By people, it could be that your partner hates it, and you can’t agree. Maybe your extended family or your friends don’t like the name.
They could flat-out tell you they don’t like it, or it might be apparent in other ways.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?
You have some different options on how you approach it.
Dealing with Your Own Feelings
When you pick the name of your baby, it’s a lifelong and public decision. When someone challenges your decision, it can be uncomfortable. You might feel mad, surprised, embarrassed, or sad.
Know that these are all normal emotions to experience.
You might also feel disrespected. You’re making one of the initial decisions of parenthood, so when people around you, like your family, aren’t respecting that decision, you might feel like all of your abilities to make decisions are being called into question. That’s tough to process for anyone, especially a new parent.
Give yourself some freedom to handle these feelings in whatever way you feel is best for you. Decide how you want to personally move on and experience and handle your feelings.
Handling the Disagreement
Unless you’re planning to change your baby’s name in response to someone or maybe a few people not liking it, after you process how you’re personally feeling, you’ll have to figure out a strategy to deal with potential disagreement and conflict.
If you have a family member who doesn’t like the name you’ve chosen or disagrees with it, let them know you heard them and validate their feelings. They may be frustrated or stressed, just like you felt about them not liking it.
Also, as hard as it may be, try to keep it all in perspective. Your family members will start to bond with the new addition, and it’s likely that not liking the name will be something they forget about fairly quickly.
When the baby arrives, and they’re spending time with him or her, they’ll be thinking about that and the relationship they want to build rather than caring much about the name.
If you are going to keep the name, you can’t make other people see your perspective. Instead, this becomes a situation where you set a boundary and stick with it.
You can also simply ask people to keep their opinions to themselves. There’s no rule that says anyone has to offer feedback on the name you choose. You can be polite and ask everyone to avoid sharing their negative opinions with you when you debut your chosen name.
What If You Can’t Agree with Your Partner?
It’s one thing for your mother-in-law, for example, to dislike the baby name you choose. Not being able to agree with your partner can be a very different situation.
If you can’t agree on a name with your partner, it’s possible that it reflects a difference in your values and even your potential parenting styles.
You should open up dialogue about what a name means to each of you and what you envision your child’s future life to be like depending on the name you choose. For example, choosing an overly unique name could be something that you’re interested in, yet your partner could point out that it could limit your child’s future employment opportunities.
There could be some very real reservations that one or both of you has when it comes to the names you’re thinking about.
You might want to create a list of possible names that each of you likes and discuss each name on it individually. Get a feel for what each of your objections is and also why you like the names you do.
If this is your first child together, the naming discussion will also likely be the first of many disagreements on how you approach parenting. It’s a good time to build a foundation and to set the tone for how you will always discuss things you disagree on when it comes to raising a child. If you can handle this conflict effectively and come to a compromise, then it’s likely you’ll be in a better position to do the same thing going forward.